March 29, 2013
HOUSTON - Tulane baseball dropped their second straight game to Rice, 6-3, after the Green Wave bullpen allowed three runs in the bottom of the sixth to allow the Owls to take the lead once and for all at Reckling Park on Friday night.
Tulane (14-15, 2-3) freshmen Ian Gibaut and Daniel Rankin attempted to get out of the sixth after senior starter Alex Byo allowed the tying run to reach third base. However, Gibaut (1-1) allowed an RBI single to Rice's (20-9, 4-1) Geoff Perrott to score Michael Aquino from third, and followed that up by allowing a double to Skyler Ewing before walking Conner Teykl to load the bases. On eight straight balls, Gibaut walked in the go-ahead run, as well as an insurance run, giving Rice a 5-3 lead.
"Ian has so many friends and family members here in Houston that don't normally get to see him pitch, and I think tonight he just had a little too much adrenaline going," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones.
The Green Wave took the lead early, putting two runs on the board in the top of the second against Rice's Jordan Stephens. Junior Andrew Garner singled up the middle with one out, and freshman Richard Carthon reached on an error by Rice's Connor Teykl. Freshman Tim Yandel singled through the left side that that scored Garner for Tulane's initial run, advancing Carthon to third base. Junior Bowen Woodson grounded out to third base for the second out of the inning that brought Carthon home from third.
Byo had to work deep into counts in the early innings, but managed to find his way in the third when he retired the lineup in order. However, in the fourth inning, Rice scored their first run of the game to cut Tulane's lead in half. Rice's Christian Stringer leadoff the inning with a single to center field, and he advanced to second on Byo's fourth wild pitch on the season. Aquino singled to score Stringer, but was thrown out at second from right field when he attempted to stretch his hit into a double.
In the fifth inning, Rice's Ewing hit a 1-0 single, but was thrown out at second by Byo on a fielder's choice by Michael Ratterree, who was attempting to move Ewing over on a sacrifice bunt. Ratterree stole second base, and Teykl popped up to senior Brennan Middleton at shortstop. With two outs, Byo walked Leon Byrd before teammate Ford Stainback singled to score Ratterree to tie the ball game.
Tulane retook the lead in the sixth when senior Blake Crohan singled through the left side to lead off the frame before advancing to second on a groundout. Senior Sean Potkay brought him home on a single, making the score 3-2.
However, after Byo was pulled in the bottom of the sixth, Rice took the lead with Gibaut on the mound before Rankin replaced him for the final out of the frame. In the seventh inning, Rice added another run to go up by three.
Stephens (4-2) went 6.2 innings, allowing eight hits and three runs before being replaced by closer Zech Lemond. He didn't allow a base runner in the eighth. However, the Green Wave made things interesting in the top of the ninth. With two outs, Woodson walked, and senior Brandon Boudreaux was hit by a pitch to put. With two men on base, Middleton - who went 4-for-5 on the night - singled to the deep part of the infield, allowing all runners to advance. With the bases loaded, Crohan - who represented the go-ahead run - flied out to deep right field to end the game. Lemond earned his eighth save on the season, including his second in as many nights.
"Blake hit the ball hard, but it was just another frustrating night for us," added Jones.
Tulane notched nine hits as a team. Yandel, Garner, Potkay, Crohan and Boudreaux all had one each to go along with Middleton's four.
The Green Wave will rely on senior lefty David Napoli to start on the mound for tomorrow's 2pm CT contest. Rice will send righty John Simms to the hill. The game will be broadcast on 106.1 The Ticket, and live stats will be made available through TulaneGreenWave.com.
You can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.