Tulane Sports Information
NEW ORLEANS Solid efforts from three Green Wave seniors at the plate, and a similar effort from left-handed pitcher David Napoli on the mound, helped Tulane win the rubber match against Conference USA foe Memphis, 3-2, on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
After a demoralizing 16-0 loss suffered at the hands Memphis (13-10, 1-2) yesterday in which Tulane (14-12, 2-1) only collected four hits to go along with four errors seniors Brandon Boudreaux, Brennan Middleton and Garrett Cannizaro notched two hits apiece, with Cannizaro driving in a run on a single in the third inning and a double in the fifth.
For the second consecutive Sunday, Napoli (2-1) didn't pitch long due to an injury he sustained earlier in the year, but the New Orleans native was effective, striking out four and allowing only one hit in 5.0 innings.
'I thought David Napoli gave a great effort for us,' said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. 'Boy, did he give us five strong innings and that really helped and Garrett Cannizaro certainly had a big day at the plate. You know after yesterday, this was almost a must-win for us knowing the kind of week we're going in to and knowing we're not going to get any pitchers healthy, we had to use a lot of guys and fortunately it worked out.'
Despite not giving up a hit through his first three innings, Memphis still put a run on in the first after Napoli walked leadoff man Zach Willis, and allowed Jake Little to reach on a fielder's choice. Little stole second, and during his steal attempt of third base, Tulane made an error while trying to throw him out, allowing him to come home for the first run of the game. After striking out Bryce Beeler, Napoli took a line drive off his forearm off the bat of Tucker Tubbs, but was able to make the play despite the scare.
'It was kind of a blur actually,' said Napoli. 'I just remember him hitting a nice line drive and squared it up right at me and I don't know why, but I turned my throwing arm towards it and it hit me right in the other side of the forearm. The adrenaline was going so I got to make that throw to first base. '
As a team at the dish, the Greenies collected twice as many hits as they did yesterday, as they got things going in the bottom of the first when Boudreaux lead the game off with a single to left field, followed by a single by senior Blake Crohan. With one out and runners at first and second, however, back-to-back fly ball outs left Boudreaux and Crohan stranded.
In the bottom of the third, Boudreaux notched his second hit of the day on a single to right center field, and Middleton followed him up with a single through the right side on a hit-and-run that moved Boudreaux all the way to third. Crohan walked to load the bases, and senior Sean Potkay hit a sacrifice fly to bring Boudreaux home to tie the contest. With the next at-bat, Cannizaro collected his first RBI on the day with a single that brought Middleton home for the go-ahead run.
After retiring the side in the fifth inning, Napoli was replaced on the mound by freshman Daniel Rankin. He mowed through the sixth inning quickly on two fly balls and a ground out. In the seventh Colton Simbeck doubled off Rankin to put the tying run in scoring position. Simbeck scored when Tulane made an infield error while attempting to throw Keaton Aldridge out at first. After the ball sailed over Potkay's head, Aldridge moved to second. With the score 3-2 with no outs and the tying runner in scoring position, junior Andrew Garner came in from right field to the mound. Memphis' Drew Griffin put down a sacrifice bunt to move Aldridge to third, but he was left stranded as Garner struck out Ethan Gross and Willis to end the inning.
Garner got through the eighth inning before being replaced on the hill by freshman Ian Gibaut in the ninth. Gibaut struck out Simbeck to start the frame before Aldridge single to left field. He attempted to steal second, but was thrown out by freshman Cameron Burns, who replaced Crohan behind the plate in the seventh inning. After that play, Griffin singled through the left side on a full count before Gross grounded out to end the game.
Garner pitched 2.0 innings and struck out two, while Gibaut earned his team-leading fifth save of the season for his 1.0 inning of work.
Memphis' Alex Gunn (1-2) was credited with the loss, after allowing eight hits and three earned runs in 4.2 innings.
Tulane took the series against Memphis, after winning the Friday night game, 6-4. Tulane has won the last three series against Memphis.
On Tuesday, Tulane will square off against in-state rival LSU at 6:30pm CT at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The game will be televised on Cox Sports Television, and it can be followed on the flagship station for Tulane baseball, 106.1 The Ticket. Live stats will be made available through TulaneGreenWave.com.