April 3, 2009
HOUSTON- The Tulane Green Wave baseball club dropped their weekend opener to host Rice University Friday night, 11-3. The Owl bats came out swinging, putting up 15 hits with three runs in both the first, third and seventh innings to get out to and maintain a lead which the Green Wave (17-12, 1-3 C-USA) couldn't overcome.
The Owls, now 19-7 and 5-2 in Conference USA play, went to work quickly, putting up three runs in the bottom of the first when Brock Holt reached on an error. With Holt on the move, Chad Mozingo singled to right center bringing up Diego Seastrunk. Seastrunk flew out to Nick Boullosa in centerfield, scoring Holt on the sacrifice and getting Rice on the board. Rick Hague logged a two-out double for the Owls, scoring Mozingo. Daniel Gonzales-Luna singled in Hague, giving the Owls the 3-0 advantage before Jimmy Comerota doubled to left field to Scott Powell, who relayed the ball into Jeremy Schaffer via Josh Prince to get Gonzales-Luna at the plate for the final out of the inning.
Boullosa got things going to Tulane in their half of the third when he led off the frame with an infield hit. Boullosa promptly stole second, putting him into scoring position for Drew Allain who singled up the middle for the RBI.
The Owls got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Mozingo led off with a solo shot over the right field wall, extending Rice's lead 4-1. Seastrunk doubled off the right field wall and subsequently scored on a base hit off the bat of Anthony Rendon, ending Conrad Flynn's outing. Jonathan Garrett entered the contest for the Green Wave and went right to work, issuing back-to-back strikeouts to Hague and Gonzales-Luna. Comerota took Garrett's first offering through the left side for an RBI-single, plating Rendon and giving Rice the 6-1 lead. Garrett answered back by striking out Steven Sultzbaugh to get Tulane back in the dugout.
Tulane seemed to have something cooking in the top of the fourth when Steve Moritz punched a two-out base hit through the left side and Boullosa hit a high chopper to up the middle that he beat out for his second hit of the night. Allain took a 2-0 offering from Owls' starter Jared Rogers (2-1) through the right side, scoring Moritz to close the gap 6-2. Prince laced a ground ball to Owls' shortstop Hague, but Hauge made a driving play to get Allain at second on the bang-bang play to end the inning.
Rice threatened again in the bottom of the inning when Michael Fuda beat out an infield hit to open the frame. Holt received a base on balls and Mozingo reached on a fielder's choice to Prince at shortstop, who got the short out at second. With runners at the corners, Seastrunk stepped in but was promptly retired when the Wave rolled a pair on Seastrunk's ground ball to second baseman Seth Henry.
The Owls picked up another run on a Comerota base hit up the middle that plated Hague in the fifth and added on a three-spot in the bottom of the seventh, extending the Rice lead 10-2.
The Green Wave added a single run with two outs in the top of the eighth when Schaffer singled up the middle and was later plated by Henry's RBI double but the Owls made up the difference when Rendon took the first pitch from reliever Mason Griffin over the left field wall making it 11-3 and Tulane couldn't overcome Rice's crooked numbers as the Wave fell in game one of the series.
Tulane will look to even up the series Saturday afternoon as they take on the Owls at 2PM at Reckling Park in Houston.