Byo pitches Tulane past Houston in C-USA Championship Play
May 27, 2011
Green Wave pitcher Alex Byo struck out a pair in a solid 7.0-inning start and Bowen Woodson came off the bench to spark a five-run sixth inning as Tulane defeated Houston 7-1 in day three of the 2011 Conference USA Baseball Championship sponsored by Trustmark Friday evening at Trustmark Park.
In victory, the Wave conclude the season with a 31-26 record. The Cougars, meanwhile, fall to 27-31 on the year but will be back in action on Saturday when they look to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA postseason as Houston will battle cross-town foe Rice in the C-USA Championship title game. First pitch of that contest is slated for 7 p.m.
Byo gave up just one unearned run on six hits and a walk during his time on the hill to pick up his third win of the season. Woodson - who entered the game as pinch hitter in the sixth inning - led a 10-hit Tulane attack with two hits and three RBI in three trips to the plate.
After a pair of scoreless innings to open the game, both teams scored a single run in the third and it remained a 1-1 contest until Woodson entered the game in the sixth. Prior to the Green Wave reserve's appearance, first baseman Matt Ryan opened the frame with a walk, right fielder Cody Robinson snuck a one-out double past third and left fielder Nick Schneeberger walked to load the bases.
From there, Woodson replaced starting third baseman Quinn Pippin in the on-deck circle, stepped to the plate and smoked a two-run double into the gap in right central off Cougars reliever Dustin Fuerst to give Tulane a 3-1 lead it would not relinquish. Blake Crohan followed suit and kept the rally going by chopping a pinch-hit off home plate to reload the bases, and shortstop Garrett Cannizaro and second baseman Brennan Middleton drew back-to-back RBI walks to cap the five-run frame.
Tulane padded its lead an inning later as catcher Jeremy Schaffer walked to open the seventh, moved up 90 feet on a ground ball to first and scored a Woodson RBI-single to right to account for the final score.
Andrew Garner went an inning and two third for the Green Wave out of the bullpen, and Robby Broach came in with two away in the top of the ninth and got Cougar first baseman M.P. Cokinos to fly out to center to clinch the victory.
Travis Jenkins (0-2), the second of four Houston pitchers to toe the rubber during the contest, was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs on four hits and five walks in 2.0 0innings of relief. Luke Moran gave the Cougars a solid 5.0-inning start, during which time he allowed just one run on three hits and a trio of walks while fanning four.
The Green Wave had a chance to draw first blood in the top of the first as Ryan drew a one-out walk before stealing second base, and Schneeberger hit a two-out single to right. Ryan rounded third hard but was gunned down at the plate on a fine throw by Houston right fielder Caleb Ramsey.
Two innings later, Tulane broke the scoreless tie when Middleton ripped a leadoff double down the left field line, moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt, and scored on an RBI-ground ball off the bat of centerfielder Nick Boullosa. Houston answered in the home half of the inning as centerfielder Landon Appling singled and advanced to second on a throwing error on the play. In the next at-bat, Cougar second baseman Ryan Still dripped an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to account for Houston's lone tally.