Nov. 4, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Green Machine took two of three mini-games - tying Game 1, 1-1, before taking the final two contests, 1-0 and 5-1 - as the Tulane University baseball team wrapped up its Fall World Series Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
With two victories and a tie on Sunday, the Machine claimed the overall Fall World Series title 6-2-1. The team played a pair of three-inning contests before shortening game three to two frames.
"Aja Barto and Drew Allain had really good days," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "It was exciting to see those guys because both of those guys can do things on the base paths. Both of them run so well, so when they're swinging it, it creates opportunities for us to score runs and put crooked numbers up in an inning. Jared Dyer had another good day, and I thought he caught and threw really well. That was another positive."
Barto lead all players by going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a run scored and an RBI while Dyer went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and an RBI for Team Green. Dyer called a good game for the Machine and threw out a pair of would-be base runners. Allain, meanwhile, played right field and caught for the Black Attack and finished the day 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a walk and an RBI.
Freshman right-hander Rob Segedin got the start for the Attack and finished the day with just one earned run and four strikeouts while scattering three singles and two walks in 5.0 innings. He also posted a double in four trips to the plate. Not to be outdone, Machine starter Taylor Rogers fanned four and pitched his way around four walks and two hits to give up just one run in 5.0 innings as well.
"I thought Taylor Rogers pitched well and that shows you that we do have some quality pitching depth. We'll get Preston Claiborne back in the springtime, and if we can keep the other guys healthy like Trey Martin, that's going to have an impact when we have to play those weeks where we have five games a week."
Allain gave the Attack the early lead in game one, driving home junior centerfielder Scott Powell - who roped a double off the wall in left to open the ballgame - with his first double of the day. After a scoreless second inning, the Machine tied things up when freshman second baseman Blake Bennett singled, advanced the bases on a sacrifice bunt by rookie designated hitter Karl Mundt and a stolen base before scoring in an RBI-single off the bat of junior shortstop Seth Henry.
Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth innings, but the Machine claimed the game-two win with a run in the sixth when junior left fielder Warren McFadden reached on a fielder's choice, advanced the bases on a steal and a groundout and scored on Barto's triple.
Game three was all Machine as the team plated two runs in the seventh and another three in the eighth. Henry drove in the first run of the mini-game with an RBI-triple to center, and Dyer brought Henry home with a base hit up the middle. One inning later, junior first baseman Sam Honeck walked, Barto doubled and junior third baseman Jonny Weiss brought the pair home with a two-run double. Weiss scored two at-bats later on a Bennett single through the left side of a drawn-in infield.
The Black Attack got on the board in the bottom of the seventh as rookie left fielder Kirk Cunningham and junior catcher Steve Moritz opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Freshman third baseman Matt Ryan's sacrifice bunt moved the pair into scoring position, and rookie second baseman Drew Villar drove Cunningham in with an RBI single up the middle.
"It has been the longest fall practice since I've been at Tulane because of the NCAA rule change, but it hasn't seemed long at all," Jones said. "I think that's two-fold: one, our routine is so smooth and easy being back on campus, and two, the thrill of being in this ballpark.
"Everybody loves being here every day, and having so many new players creates situations where every day you're re-evaluating and trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle. The weather has been cooperative for the most part, and it's really flown by. It felt more like a spring season. The six weeks have gone by quicker than the months usually go by, but the big thing is being back home."
The Tulane team will enjoy a day off on Monday before returning to the field on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The team will hold practice again on Wednesday before wrapping up fall ball on Thursday, Nov. 8.
"The next three days are going to be nothing but review - everything in our system both offensively and defensively, whether it be a first-and-third defense and our picks, our hit-and-runs, our bunts, our slashes, our steals, fly-ball communication," Jones said. "We're going to take everything that we've gone over n the fall and we start from scratch again for those three days. Each day will be themed, whether it be an offensive day or a defensive day, we'll work on signals and that."
Following Thursday's final fall practice, Jones said the team will hold exit meetings on Monday, Nov. 12. The team will work out on its own over the next two months before reconvening in January for the spring semester. Team practice in the spring is set to begin across the county on Feb. 1.