Baseball Completes Sweep Of Oakland With 16-0 Sunday Win
March 16, 2008
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Outfielder Scott Powell and second baseman Seth Henry combined to go 6-for-10 with three home runs and five RBI, and five pitchers combined to keep the Golden Grizzlies off the scoreboard, as the Tulane University baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Oakland University with a 16-0 victory Sunday afternoon at the new Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
While Oakland (2-9) starter Andrew Estes retired the first three batters he faced, the Green Wave scored in seven of the eighth innings the team drew an at-bat, including a seven-run eighth when both Powell and Henry went yard. Freshman right-hander Robby Broach gave the team a gritty 5.0-inning start and Preston Claiborne, Trey Martin, Nick Pepitone and Mason Griffin each threw single scoreless stanzas to shutout a weekend opponent in all three games for the third time since 2004.
"We just pitched really well," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "We threw a lot of strikes and (pitching) Coach (Chad) Sutter called three great games. He had guys set up and they executed. We did a good job, especially on Saturday and Sunday, of getting runs early and stretching the lead. We also played well defensively all weekend."
Powell, who started his second straight game on Saturday in right before moving to center late in the ballgame, went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Since being inserted into the lineup, he has connected at a .556 clip (5-for-9) with three RBI, a stolen base and four runs scored. Henry, meanwhile, also went 3-for-5 but hit a pair of homers and drove in three.
Not to be out-done, junior designated hitter Andrew Rodgers also had a three-hit day while rookie third basemen Rob Segedin went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Combined with Saturday's 19-0 victory, Tulane's 35 runs over the last two games is the most by a Green Wave team since the squad defeated Marist 24-2 and 11-5 on March 5-6, 2005.
"We're all coming together as a group and we're having a good time," Powell said. "We're not going to be tight or nervous, and we're trying to not have to play from behind. We're just trying to basically just have fun and let the game take care of itself."
Following a scoreless first, Tulane scored the only run it would need in the second when Rodgers scored on a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of junior first baseman Sam Honeck. The Wave padded their lead in the third courtesy of a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Jared Dyer and RBI singles from junior centerfielder Aja Barto and junior left fielder Warren McFadden.
One inning later, Powell plated Henry with an RBI single up the middle, and Segedin made it a 6-0 affair with his first RBI double in the fifth. Henry's leadoff home run in the sixth extended the lead to seven and Tulane added a pair of runs in the seventh on a double steal and Segedin's second run-scoring double.
Playing with an already sizeable advantage, Tulane put an exclamation point on the weekend in the eight. Powell's one-out homer sparked the rally, and with the bases loaded, reserve right fielder Drew Allain made it 11-0 with an RBI-single through the right side of the infield. One out later, pinch hitter Rustin Rebowe clubbed a three-run, opposite field double to left and Henry capped the scoring with his second homer of the afternoon.
Broach (2-1) picked up the victory after scattering three hits and three walks while fanning a pair during his time on the hill. The freshman struggled at times on Sunday, but allowed more than one base runner in an inning just twice and gave up just one hit after the first inning.
"Robby Broach struggled with his command more than we wanted him to today," Jones said. "It's an area that he is going to continue to work hard on. He's had some really good outings for us and has been very competitive. But today, he struggled with his command. The good news is, he made pitches when he had to and let his defense work for him. A lot of guys get in that situation and not know how to get out of him. He certain did today."
The only time the Grizzlies truly threatened was in the first when they loaded the bases on a fielder's choice grounder, a single and a two-out walk. Broach, however, bounced back to get Taylor Traub to bounce into a 4-6 fielder's choice to get out of the inning without any damage done. From there, only one Oakland player got past second base, but Broach stranded Justin Wilson at third by getting an inning-ending ground ball in the fifth.
"Tulane has an outstanding pitching staff," Oakland head coach John Masachio said. "We do swing the bats pretty well. We came into the weekend hitting .315 and we hit .307 as a team last year. We hit a lot of balls right at people and they made a lot of great pitches. It was a tough weekend."
Tulane returns to action on Wednesday, March 19, when the Green Wave travel to Baton Rouge for a 6:30 p.m. showdown against arch-rival LSU. Following the game at Alex Box Stadium, the Wave return home for a three-game series against Sacred Heart from March 21-23 at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Tulane University Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or go on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.