Pitching Impresses Coach Jones During First Spring Intrasquad

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Brennan Middleton laced a triple off Alex Byo during Saturday's intrasquad
Brennan Middleton laced a triple off Alex Byo during Saturday's intrasquad

Jan. 26, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane baseball team took to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium to participate in their first intrasquad scrimmage of the spring on Saturday afternoon.

Head baseball coach Rick Jones and his staff split their roster into two squads -mixing starters with role players - to assess their abilities in both the field and at the plate. On the mound, a slew of pitchers got some work in to prepare for the 2013 campaign. Tulane took full advantage of the beautiful weather to practice for the second time this season.

"I thought it was a real good day for us," said Jones. "From a pitching standpoint, I've never had so many guys go out on the mound and touch 90 miles per hour for us. Ian (Gibaut), David (Napoli), Kyle (McKenzie)- they all touched it. I thought Alex Byo threw very well. Tony Rizzotti's command was really good. Andrew Reeves had some command issues, but he's never had that before, so I'm not concerned. I thought it was really impressive to see that many guys have that kind of velocity and stuff."

Catcher Blake Crohan blasted a home run off pitcher Alex Byo in the bottom of the seventh, and senior Brennan Middleton showed his speed on the base paths by legging out a triple early in the contest. Sean Potkay, Garrett Cannizaro, Briggs Barrios and Tim Yandel all collected two hits on the day, as well.



"Timmy (Yandel) had a really good day for a freshman," added Jones. "Blake (Crohan) had a really good day too. I thought that Brennan Middleton did really well in the leadoff spot. Also, Cameron Burns really caught the ball well behind the plate. Briggs (Barrios) is really starting to come on. I was really impressed with them all today."

For the most part, the coaches weren't terribly focused on stats, as they wanted to see how their athletes performed in a game-like setting. The coaches put their hitters and pitchers in special situations - sometimes starting an inning with two men already on base.

"We just wanted to try to put ourselves in situations that we know we will be in," said Jones. "With guys coming out of the bullpen, inheriting runners, we want them to be familiar with these situations. From an offensive standpoint, when you are working on execution, you create those situations so guys are more prepared for it during the season."

The Greenies will return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for another intrasquad scrimmage. The Tulane baseball squad will travel to San Marcos, Texas, for the Texas State Tournament , held Feb. 15-18. They'll participate in their first home contest on Feb. 19 when they host Southeastern Louisiana.

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