March 10, 2011
3/11/2011 - 3/13/2011
NR/#25 Wichita State Shockers at #24/RV Tulane Green Wave
First Pitch: 6:30 p.m. (Fri.), 2:00 (Sat.), 1:00 p.m. (Sun.)
Stadium: Greer Field at Turchin Stadium
Series: Tulane Leads Series 1-0
Looking at the Green Wave
The Olive and Blue entered the season ranked 25th in the nation by Baseball America, but after a 2-2 start the squad dropped out of the rankings. The Green Wave bulled their way back into the rankings by taking two of three games in their first road series of the 2011 slate at Ole Miss. Entering the weekend, Tulane owns a 9-3 record and have used solid pitching to get to that point. A team ERA of 2.29 ranks second in Conference USA (ECU, 2.00), while the offense has done enough to win games to this point.
Conrad Flynn will get the Friday night start versus the Shockers after taking the loss at Ole Miss with three runs allowed in five innings of work. Flynn is 0-2 on the season, but owns a 2.50 ERA with 17 strikeouts and 2 walks, while holding opposing hitters to a .246 batting average against. Alex Byo, who earned Louisiana Pitcher of the Week last week, will enter with a 12-innings scoreless streak that spanned over two starts last week. Byo owns a 0.59 ERA in 15.1 innings of work and has struck out 14 batters to just two walks.
The offense is producing 3.8 runs per game with just a .219 batting average, but over 25-percent of their hits have went for extra bases. Jeremy Schaffer paces the club with a .409 batting average and leads C-USA in doubles (9). Schaffer posted five doubles and scored three runs last week in five games, while walking twice and striking out only once. Garrett Cannizaro has picked up his offense, after starting the season 0-for-16 at the plate, going 10-for-26 since. The sophomore shortstop drove in four RBI's last weekend, the first coming on a walk-off single in the ninth inning versus Northwestern State and the other three coming in the series finale at Ole Miss.
Looking at the Shockers
Wichita State opened the season with a 7-0 record and split a pair of games over the weekend, winning two of three at the Dallas Baptist Tournament before dropping a 9-3 decision to UT-Arlington. The Shockers are ranked 19th by Collegiate Baseball Magazine, sit 25th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and are 28th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll entering the weekend.
The Shockers enter the weekend with a .326 team batting average, led by juniors Tyler Grimes (.412), Chris O'Brien (.361) and sophomore Johnny Coy (.341). Grimes paces the team with 18 runs scored, 16 walks and is 10-for-11 in stolen bases so far in 2011. O'Brien leads the team with two home runs, while Coy paces the squad with 15 RBI's and six doubles. WSU has scored 92 runs in 11 games on 122 hits - 38 for extra bases - and has stolen 28 bases in 31 attempts.
On the mound, Friday night starter Charlie Lowell anchors a pitching staff that enters with a 2.13 ERA and a .213 batting average against. Lowell is 2-1 on the season with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings of work. The left hander has struck out 21 batters and walked only two in three starts this season and is limiting the opposition to a .104 batting average and has allowed just two runs all season. Righty Tim Kelley will make the Saturday start, entering at 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA, and southpaw Josh Smith, who is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA, will toe the rubber to start Sunday's contest.
Inside the Series
These two programs have met only once on the baseball diamond, with that meeting coming in 1993 at the Hawaii Rainbow Easter Tournament. The Green Wave emerged victorious that day by a score of 5-3 on March 21st in Honolulu.
Tulane owns a record of 19-9 versus the current alignment of the Missouri Valley Conference, holding a winning record against four of the six teams is has competed against. The Green Wave has played Bradley (2-1), Drake (1-1), Illinois State (13-4), Indiana State (2-0), Southern Illinois (0-3) and Wichita State (1-0).