Schaffer Homers in the Ninth to Give Tulane a 10-8 Win at UCF
ORLANDO, Fla. â€“ A ninth inning, three-run home run from junior Jeremy Schaffer capped of a back-and-forth ballgame for the Tulane baseball team on Friday night. The Green Wave rallied from an 8-4 deficit in the seventh and Schafferâ€™s home run in the ninth made it 10-8 and Alex Facundus slammed the door with three innings of relief of Conrad Flynn to claim his sixth win of the season.
â€œThat was something that hasnâ€™t been the norm for us, as far as getting down, coming back and getting down again, especially against a good offensive club in their ballpark where they donâ€™t lose a lot,â€ said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. â€œWe put together some good at bats to get back in (the game) and Schaffer just put a great swing on a hanging breaking ball. He did what he was supposed to do (with a pitch like that). Conrad Flynn settling in and getting through those innings after he struggled in the fourth was big and Alex Facundus did a wonderful job to come in and stop the bleeding against a good offensive club in their ball park.â€
UCF took an early 1-0 lead when Beau Taylor hit a sacrifice fly after Jonathan Griffin doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. The Green Wave responded with two runs of their own in the fourth, as Matt Ryan and Blake Crohan each singled and Nick Schneeberger delivered a two-RBI double of the right fielders head to push the visitors ahead, 2-1.
UCF got to Tulane starting pitcher Conrad Flynn in the bottom half of the fourth with four runs of their own. Griffin hit a two-run home run to open the scoring, Eric Hempe hit added solo home run of his own and Ronnie Richardson singled to cap the scoring and give the Knights a 5-2 advantage.
Tulane pulled within one run in the seventh when Bowen Woodson and Garrett Cannizaro each delivered RBI base hits. UCF, however, put three runs on the board in their half of the inning when D.J. Hicks drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Taylor delivered a two-RBI single to extend the Knights lead to 8-4.
The momentum would turn in the eighth when the first three batters of the inning reached versus UCF reliever Joe Rogers. After Rodgers got a pair of strikeouts, Quinn Pippin was hit by a pitch and Cannizaro singled through the right side of the infield to score two more and trim the UCF lead to 8-7.
After Facundus tossed a perfect eighth inning, Nick Boullosa singled against Rogers and Richardson entered the game from center field to pitch. Ryan walked to put two runners on base with one out against the right-hander and Schaffer followed by hitting a breaking ball deep to left field to push Tulane ahead, 10-8.
The game was in the balance in the ninth when Ryan Breen singled with one out and Griffin added a two-out blooper to bring the game winning run to the plate against Facundus. The rookie showed some moxie by coaxing a ground ball to second base from Taylor to seal the victory.
Head coach Rick Jones didnâ€™t get to see the final outs of the contest, as he was ejected from the game in the seventh inning, but the come-from-behind win gave him his 1,000th career victory as a collegiate head coach.
Flynn gave Tulane a solid effort on the mound, despite allowing seven runs, as he kept the Green Wave in the game and gave the depleted pitching staff six innings of work. He struck out two and walked a pair in the no decision. Facundus allowed one run on three hits in three innings of relief work and struck out two batters to improve to 6-1 on the season.
Boullosa extended his hitting streak to six games with his ninth inning single and Woodson pushed his hitting streak to four games in the contest. Cannizaro Schaffer tied for the game-high with three RBIâ€™s and added a pair of hits. Cannizaro, Crohan, Ryan, Schaffer and Schneeberger each posted two hits in the game. All of Tulaneâ€™s walks came after the seventh inning, with two of them coming around to score, while the pitching staff didnâ€™t walk a batter â€“ other than an intentional pass â€“ after the fourth inning.
The series with UCF will continue on Saturday at 3:00 Central time and conclude on Sunday with an 11:00 a.m. first pitch.
700 for Jones: If you had to guess, you would probably ballpark the percentage of life that head coach Rick Jones has spent at a baseball field around the 90-percent mark. In 37 seasons as a baseball coach, the former left-handed pitcher has seen his fair share of games and on Friday, April 8, 2011 against UCF the Chatham, N.C. native won his 1,000th career game as a head coach in come from behind fashion with a 10-8 victory.
â€œThis is my 26th year in college (baseball), so, I have just been doing it a long time,â€ said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. â€œI have been in (baseball) for 37 years, 26 as a head college coach, but this is all about the kids. I donâ€™t really think about (my win total), I just wanted to get a win tonight. It is something hard to talk about, because I have been really fortunate to be in this profession this long.â€
Jones has made three stops at three different colleges in his 26-year head coaching career, serving as the frontman for Ferrum College, Elon College and the last 18 season on the Uptown Campus. In 1456 games, Jones has won nearly 69-percent of his games and owns a 1000-459-3 record. Jones won 102 games for the Panthers while at Ferrum (Va.), compiled 174 wins for the then-Fighting Christians of Elon and has won 724 games at the helm of the Olive and Blue.
Jones has averaged 42 wins during his first 16 full seasons on campus, which includes a pair of 56 win seasons. The Bennett, N.C. native has won 40 or more games in ten of his 16 seasons and has advanced to the postseason in 12 of those campaigns. Jones guided the Green Wave to the NCAA Super Regional during the 2001, 2004 and 2005 campaigns and advanced to the College World Series in 2001 and 2005.
During his tenure at Tulane, Jones has guided the Green Wave to four regular season Conference USA Championships and a Conference USA-record five tournament titles. Tulane has won twenty or more games in Conference USA play six times during their 15 years in the conference and 55 players have earned 80 different All-Conference selections in that time. The programâ€™s student-athletes have been honored with 196 Conference USA Commissionerâ€™s Cup Honor Roll accolades.
Jones was honored as the 2005 National Coach of the Year after leading the Olive and Blue to 56 wins and guiding them to their second appearances in Omaha with a Super Regional victory over Rice at Turchin Stadium. His success during the first decade of Conference USA earned him the Coach of the Decade honor from the conference office.
He has taken two tours with USA Baseball, serving as the pitching coach during the summer of 1990 â€“ when he was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech â€“ and in the summer of 2009 he was the head coach for the Collegiate National Team that won the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia.
On the national scene, Jones has tutored 25 players to All-American honors and 13 of his pupils have earned Freshman All-American accolades. James Jurries and Michael Aubrey each earned National Freshman of the Year honors under Jones, while Jurries, Tommy Manzella and Rob Segedin were each named to the Academic All-American teams. He has seen seven players earn Conference USA Player of the Year honors, while three TU pitchers have been honored as the conferenceâ€™s best.
Jonesâ€™ Milestone Wins
1 - Ferrum College
50 - Ferrum College
100 - Ferrum College
150 - at Elon 10, Catawba 3 (3/11/1986)
200 - at Elon 1, Methodist 0 (4/20/1987)
250 - Elon 13, at High Point 2 (3/26/1989)
300 - at Tulane 6, Northwestern State 5 (4/13/1994)
350 - at Tulane 5, Morehead State 0 (2/9/1996; 1996 Season Opener)
400 - at Tulane 15, Rutgers 5 (3/7/1997)
450 - Tulane 6, at South Florida 5 (3/28/1998)
500 - at Tulane 8, Cincinnati 7 (3/27/1999)
550 - at Tulane 3, St. Louis 2 (4/8/2000)
600 - Tulane 17, at Southern Miss 9 (4/21/2001)
650 - at Tulane 14, Louisville 6 (5/3/2002)
700 - at Tulane 3, Louisville 1 (5/22/2003; Conference USA Tournament)
750 - at Tulane 7, Arizona State 2 (2/19/2005; at Zephyr Field)
800 - Tulane 6, vs. Texas Tech 4 (2/11/2006; Houston College Classic)
850 - at Tulane 9, Wright State 8 (3/3/2007; at Zephyr Field)
900 - Tulane 8, at New Orleans 4 (4/9/2008)
950 - at Tulane 14, Boston College 6 (2/21/2010)
1000 â€“ Tulane 10, at UCF 8 (4/8/2011)
42 Wins-per-Season in 17 Total Seasons at Tulane
12 Regional Appearances
Three Super Regional Appearances
Two College World Series Appearances
2005 National Coach of the Year (Baseball America)
Conference USA Coach of the Decade
2009 USA Collegiate National Team Head Coach
1990 USA Collegiate National Team Assistant Coach
Four Regular Season Conference USA Championships
Five Postseason Conference USA Championships
25 All-American Selections
13 Freshman All-Americans
55 Players Earned 80 All-Conference Selections (46 First Team selections)
196 Players Selected to the Conference USA Commissionerâ€™s Honor Roll
Seven Conference USA Players of the Year
Three Conference USA Pitchers of the Year
44 Players Drafted by Major League Baseball
QUOTES FOLLOWING TULANEâ€™S 10-8 WIN AT UCF
Head Coach R. Jones
â€œThat was something that hasnâ€™t been the norm for us, as far as getting down, coming back and getting down again, especially against a good offensive club in their ballpark where they donâ€™t lose a lot. We put together some good at bats to get back in (the game) and Schaffer just put a great swing on a hanging breaking ball. He did what he was supposed to do (with a pitch like that). Conrad Flynn settling in and getting through those innings after he struggled in the fourth was big and Alex Facundus did a wonderful job to come in and stop the bleeding against a good offensive club in their ball park.â€
On Flynnâ€™s Effort
â€œConrad came back and got those three quick innings because you donâ€™t know what is going to happen. We got back in the game and that would not have happened as easily had he not been able to give us those quick innings and not have to use more of our bullpen.â€
On the teams approach at the plate
â€œWe have been taking about just having good at bats, because the outcome is going to go in your favor more times than not if you do. We just continue to talk about having good at bats and tonight I thought we had more of them.â€
On his 1,000th win
â€œThis is my 26th year in college (baseball), so, I have just been doing it a long time. I have been in (baseball) for 36 years, 26 as a head college coach, but this is all about the kids. I donâ€™t really think about that, I just wanted to get a win tonight.it is something hard to talk about, because I have been really fortunate to be in this profession this long.â€
On is ejection from the game
â€œI just wanted to win. I watched the last three innings from behind the center field fence and did the same thing I do in the dugout, just not verbally. I respect the umpire who threw me out and he respects me, I know that. I was just trying my best to get some extra emotion of our club on the road and it was nothing more than that.
On carrying the momentum into Saturday
â€œIt depends on whether or not we build on it or rest on it. We are playing a really good Central Florida club and we need to build on this. We did this same thing two weekends ago and didnâ€™t build on it and that was the last thing I talked to the club about, building on this momentum.
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