March 2, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Alabama baseball team dropped the opening game of a three-game series at Tulane, 9-7, on Friday night from Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 4-5, while the Green Wave improves to 9-1 with the win.
The Tide collected eight hits in the game, with six coming from the top four spots in the batting order. Leadoff hitter Taylor Dugas was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three-hole hitter Jared Reaves was 2-for-4 with two singles. Both Dugas and Reaves scored twice and had an RBI. Cameron Carlisle, who was the designated hitter and hitting clean-up, was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.
“Offensively, this was one of our best nights,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Hopefully it will give us some momentum for the rest of the weekend. The key for us right now is to get the young guys to give us more quality starts and settle the game down early and get us to the back end of the bullpen.”
Alabama starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau had his shortest outing of the season, throwing 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Trey Pilkington (0-1) gave up three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings, and took the loss for Alabama.
Relief pitcher Andrew Garner (3-0) got the win for Tulane, after throwing 3.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts. D.J. Ponder got the final five outs for Tulane to record his second save of the season.
“Overall we're playing to tough schedule and games like this will only make us better,” Gaspard said. “We need to learn from the mistakes we’re making and continue to improve from game-to-game. This was a good atmosphere tonight, much like an SEC game. I thought we battled and competed well, but we have to start executing more pitches, especially with our young guys.”
Tulane opened the scoring in its first at-bat, scoring once in the first. With runners on the corners, a slow chopper to third resulted in a single by Nick Schneeberger, scoring Brandon Boudreaux. The Green Wave added three run in the second, with two coming on a single by Garrett Cannizaro, making the score 4-0 in favor of the Green Wave.
UA answered with four runs in the third to even the game at 4-4. Andrew Miller started the inning with a sharp single, his first hit of the season. From there, Hunter Gregory walked and a double down the left field line by Dugas drove in Miller for UA’s first run. The RBI was the 100th of the career for Dugas, while the double marked the 58th of his career, tying Jeremy Brown for fifth all-time at Alabama.
Following the Dugas double, a sac fly by Kenny Roberts pushed Gregory across, a single by Reaves plated Dugas and a double by Carlisle capped the scoring, as Reaves scored from first.
Blake Crohan gave the Green Wave the lead again with an opposite field solo home run with two outs in the bottom half of the third. An infield single by Brennan Middleton drove in the second run of the inning, making the score 6-4. Tulane threatened again in the fourth, loading the bases with one out, but a 5-4-3 double play for Alabama ended the threat.
Alabama tied the score at 6-6 in the fifth on a two-run double by Carlisle. After Dugas walked and Reaves singled, Carlisle drove the first pitch he saw to the wall in left center field to easily score both Dugas and Reaves. The run for Dugas was the 200th of his UA career.
Tulane loaded the bases again in the fifth off Pilkington, before getting two singles and a sacrifice fly to score three more runs and retake the lead at 9-6.
Freshman lefty Jon Keller pitched the final three innings for Alabama, holding the Green Wave scoreless in his time on the mound. Keller did not allow a hit to the nine batters he faced, as the only hitter to reach base came on the only error of the game.
The Tide got a run in the eighth inning on a double by Brett Booth that scores Jon Kelton from first, but could not get anything else, as Ponder retired all five hitters he faced.
Alabama and Tulane will take the field again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m., (CST) from Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. UA will throw junior right-hand pitcher Charley Sullivan (1-1, 3.60) and the Green Wave will counter with junior righty Tyler Mapes (0-0, 6.75). Due to schedule conflicts with men’s basketball, Saturday’s radio broadcast will be available on WTSK-AM 790 in Tuscaloosa.