Tulane Sports Information
NEW ORLEANS –It was a hard-fought weekend series, but the Tulane baseball team was unable to grab a victory against 15th-ranked UCF, as the Green Wave fell 8-6 on Sunday (April 22) afternoon inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Olive and Blue pounded out ten more hits on Sunday, with three players collecting multi-hit games, but the Knights struck for 11 hits to claim the series sweep.
The Knights opened the scoring in the first inning when Ronnie Richardson walked to start the frame, stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error by Tulane (26-14, 5-7 C-USA) catcher Jeremy Schaffer. Kyle McKenzie, the Green Wave starting pitcher, struck out the next two batters before Chris Taladay delivered the run scoring double.
McKenzie again recorded two outs in the third inning before a double from Darnell Sweeney and a walk to D.J. Hicks put two runners on base. Taladay then added his second two-bagger of the contest to plate both runs and push the Knights lead to 3-0. McKenzie would allow one more run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hicks before he would be relieved by Randy LeBlanc. A passed ball and a pair of wild pitches from LeBlanc allowed the final two runs of the fifth inning to score and UCF (34-8, 12-3 C-USA) had a 6-0 lead.
McKenzie (3-2) ended his day after four and two-thirds innings with six runs allowed – five earned - on six hits. The sophomore fanned four and walked three batters in the loss.
The Green Wave got on the scoreboard in the fifth as Blake Crohan walked to start the inning and Bowen Woodson’s double plated the first run of the frame. A Garrett Cannizaro single to left field pushed Woodson across and the lead was trimmed to 6-2 in favor of the visitors.
The margin increased to six runs when UCF plated a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning on Taladay’s third RBI double of the afternoon and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Breen.
A four run bottom of the seventh inning pulled the Green Wave within two runs at 8-6. In the inning, Tulane used six singles in against two UCF relievers. Brandon Boudreaux started the scoring with a RBI single and Nick Schneeberger plated the second run of the frame with a base hit to right center field. Sean Potkay’s base knock to left field scored the third run and Tucker Oakley’s pinch hit RBI single pulled the home team back within two runs.
LeBlanc would be replaced by D.J. Ponder to start the ninth inning after throwing three and one-thirds innings of relief. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits and struck out three with just one walk in the outing. Ponder threw a scoreless ninth inning, but Tulane was unable to harness any of their late inning magic from Saturday and dropped the series finale.
In the game, Potkay, Schneeberger and Woodson each posted two hits and drove in RBIs, while Potkay added two walks and extended his reached base streak to a career-high 19 games. Middleton was one-for-four on the afternoon and has now reached safely in 17 straight games, while Schaffer and Boudreaux extended their reached base streaks to 13 and 14 games, respectively.
Tulane will host Northwestern State on Tuesday, April 24 in a businessman’s special at 3:00 p.m. on the Turf at Turchin. The Green Wave will then head to Greenville, N.C. for a three game series with East Carolina, starting on Friday, April