March 4, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Alabama baseball team dropped the final game of the series at Tulane, 7-2, on Sunday from Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Crimson Tide dropped the first and third games of the series, and are now 5-6 overall this season. Tulane improves to 10-2 following the series win.
A seventh inning grand slam off the bat of Tulane right fielder Nick Scheeberger was the difference in the game, as he hit a 0-1 pitch off Ian Gardeck to left field. Gardeck (0-1) took the loss, throwing two-thirds of an inning, allowing four runs on two hits with three walks.
Tulane reliever Alex Facundus (2-0) was the beneficiary of the Schneeberger, as he picked up the win. Facundus threw 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, while striking out two. Alabama starting pitcher Justin Kamplain threw 5.0 innings in his third start of the season, allowing no runs on two hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
“We got a decent start from Justin Kamplain. He maneuvered his way through five innings scoreless and was able to throw his breaking ball for a strike,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Offensively, we took the lead, but we missed on a number of opportunities early in the game. We had multiple guys in scoring position with less than two outs, but we couldn’t deliver the big hit.”
Offensively, Alabama was led by Ben Moore and Brett Booth. Moore was 2-for-4 with a double and Booth was 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI. Jon Kelton delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth, which gave the Tide a 2-0 lead at the time. Taylor Dugas reached base three times, going 1-for-3 with a pair of walks.
After threatening in both the first and second innings, Alabama got on the scoreboard in the fourth on an infield RBI single by Brett Booth, for the first run of the game. Austen Smith doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a groundout by Josh Rosecrans. After Moore lined out to third, Booth hit a slow roller to third base with two outs to push Smith across for a 1-0 Tide advantage.
Alabama added to its lead in the sixth, when the pinch-hit single by Kelton dropped in front of Tulane center fielder Blake Crohan, scoring Moore from third. Moore singled earlier in the inning and advanced to third in a single to center by Booth.
Following five scoreless innings for Kamplain, Nathan Kennedy made his second appearance of the season to open the sixth. After striking out the first batter he faced, Kennedy allowed back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Following a strikeout of Sean Potkay, pinch-hitter Frank Florio doubled to right center on a 3-1 pitch to drive in both runners, tying the game at 2-2.
“When we went to the bullpen we kind of broke down,” Gaspard said. “They got a big two-out hit that tied the game in the sixth and we certainly broke down in the seventh. We have to throw more strikes, command two pitches and be better in the back end of the game.”
Following a double and a walk for Tulane off Gardeck, a sac bunt put runners on second and third for the Green Wave. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, TU clean-up hitter, Schneeberger, hit a fastball over the left field fence to give the Green Wave the lead for good, 6-2. Tulane added a run in the eighth when fielder’s choice ground ball to shortstop with the base loaded drove in Bowen Woodson.
The Tide returns to action on Tuesday, March 6 when it takes on the Auburn Tigers in the Capital City Classic, from Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala. First pitch for the non-conference game is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CST), and the game will be televised on CSS.
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