Baseball Travels to Tuscaloosa for Pivotal Non-Conference Series Against Alabama

Senior Alex Byo will get the start on Saturday against Alabama

Senior Alex Byo will get the start on Saturday against Alabama

Feb. 28, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's baseball squad will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a three-game series this weekend against the Alabama Crimson Tide - the first time Tulane has visited Alabama since the Green Wave's days in the Southeastern Conference.

Tulane is coming off a 5-3 win against New Orleans on Wednesday night after falling to Nicholls State on Tuesday, 6-5, in Thibodaux, La.

"Alabama is playing outstanding baseball, and they have gotten off to a great start," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "It is going to be a very challenging weekend for us."

Tulane is 4-5 on the season, and is lead at the plate by senior Brennan Middleton, who is batting .389 with two RBIs. Junior Andrew Garner - who has notched two saves on season from the mound - is batting .286, with one home run and eight RBIs. He blasted his first home run of the season against Nicholls State on Tuesday. Garrett Cannizaro has hit the other home run of the season for the Green Wave. In the last five games, Middleton is hitting .500 and Garner is hitting .350. Senior cleanup hitter Sean Potkay is tops in Conference USA in walks with nine.

Friday's 6:05pm CST contest will pit Tulane's ace redshirt sophomore Tony Rizzotti against Alabama's right-handed senior Charley Sullivan. Rizzotti (1-1) has thrown 15 innings on the season, including his one-hit complete game shutout during his debut against Sam Houston State. He has 11 strikeouts, three walks and holds an ERA of 1.20. Opponents are batting .096 against the Arlington, Texas, native. Sullivan is 0-0 on the year, despite starting two contests for the Crimson Tide. He has thrown 9.1 innings, striking out 11 and walking four while posting a 2.89 ERA.



On Saturday, Tulane will send senior righty Alex Byo to the mound for the 2pm CST game. Byo (0-1) holds a 1.35 ERA in two starts on the season, being credited with last Saturday's loss against Notre Dame. He has pitched 13.1 innings, striking out 10 and walking three. Alabama will start lefty sophomore Jon Keller at pitcher on Saturday. Keller is 2-0 on the year, throwing 10 innings and striking out 13. Keller has allowed 11 hits, and has walked four.

The Green Wave will play it by ear for Sunday's 1:05pm CST tilt before naming a starter. Alabama will use right-handed sophomore Spencer Turnbull at pitcher. Turnbull has started two contests on the year - throwing 9.2 innings - allowing 12 hits and striking out only three.

The Green Wave will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this weekend for a three-game series against the University of Alabama. The two teams squared off last season at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, with Tulane taking two of the three games. The Crimson Tide is 7-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to Florida Atlantic during the third game of that series.

Tulane will more than likely use junior Brady Wilson out of the bullpen at some point this weekend. Wilson, a junior college transfer from LSU-Eunice, has already made six appearances out of the bullpen on the year, striking out ten in 8.1 innings. He was credited with the win against New Orleans.

Alabama currently sits at 7-1 on the year. Their lone loss on the season came in the last game of a three-game series against Florida Atlantic. The Crimson Tide defeated Tulane Conference USA foe Southern Mississippi earlier this season, 10-8.

The Crimson Tide is led at the plate by Brett Booth, who is batting .375 with one home run and eight RBIs. Georgie Salem and Mikey White are both battling .333, and they have six and five RBIs to their names, respectively.

Alabama is skippered by Mitch Gaspard, who is in his fourth year as head coach. He previously coached at Northwestern State from 2002 to 2007. He played collegiately at UL-Lafayette, and he holds a career record of 315-226. His record at Alabama is 105-88.

The two teams squared off last year at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, with the Greenies taking two of the three games in early March. Prior to that, the two teams faced one another in 2005 when Tulane hosted the NCAA New Orleans Regional. Tulane won both ball games against the Crimson Tide, 10-4 and 7-4.

The all-time series against the Green Wave and Alabama dates all the way back to 1897. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series, 61-34.

Friday's contest will be broadcast on Tulane's flagship station, 106.1 The Ticket. Saturday's game will be available only on TulaneGreenWave.com to All Access members. Sunday's tilt will be on 106.1 The Ticket, following the Tulane women's basketball game.

You can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.