April 5, 2012
Box Score (PDF) | Season Statistics
Junior A. Reeves Postgame Comments (Video) | Senior J. Schaffer Postgame Comments (Video)
NEW ORLEANS - The Green Wave had their chances against ninth-ranked Rice on Thursday evening, but the Tulane baseball team couldn't scratch the tying run across the plate in their 5-4 loss to the Owls inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. Andrew Reeves tossed three and one-thirds innings of scoreless relief and Nick Schneeberger was on-base four times on the night, but it wasn't enough to overcome the early 5-1 deficit that Rice built against TU starting pitcher Randy LeBlanc.
"We battled hard tonight," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones, "but (we) just came up short. It was a great game for the fans, tonight. They got to see two very evenly matched teams play a really good game. We weren't able to throw enough strikes early; they took advantage of that and had some good two-out at-bats. I thought we did a good job battling back and (Andrew) Reeves was outstanding...We just couldn't get it done."
Rice (22-10, 5-2 C-USA) took the early lead with a run in the first when they loaded the bases with one out against Tulane (20-9, 2-2 C-USA) starting pitcher Randy LeBlanc. Craig Manuel opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field. The Green Wave would add a run of their own with a bases loaded RBI of their own. Sean Potkay worked a bases loaded, two-out walk against Owls starting pitcher Matthew Reckling to knot the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Olive and Blue added three runs of their own and chased Reckling from the game in the process. The rally started with two outs in the frame when Brennan Middleton and Brandon Boudreaux singled and Garrett Cannizaro was hit by a pitch to load the bases. All three runners would score on a Jeremy Schaffer single to right field, plating two RBIs, and an errant throw by the Rice center fielder into the Tulane dugout allowed the third run of the frame to cross the plate.
"Well, (it's hard) when you fall behind like we did early," said Jones." "We came back and from four runs down, but their bullpen was really good. The problem was that we...put ourselves in a position where they were able to score early. Two walks and a hit batsman in the first two innings made a big difference. We walked the leadoff hitter twice, didn't throw a strike to him, and both times he scored."
LeBlanc left after five and one-thirds innings of work and was replaced by Reeves with a runner on second and two outs in the sixth inning. Reeves got a pop out and a ground out to end the inning and retired nine straight batters before walking Derek Hamilton with one out in the ninth. LeBlanc finished the night with five runs allowed on seven hits, walking two and striking out one in the loss.
Reeves retired 11 of the 12 batters he faced in his outing, striking out one and walking one in three and two-thirds hitless innings of relief work.
Reeves held the Owls off the scoreboard the rest of the way and Tulane had runners on base in the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, but were unable to do any damage against Taylor Wall and J.T. Chargois out of the Rice bullpen.
Schneeberger paced the offense with three walks and a single, while Potkay was two-for-three with a walk in the contest. Cannizaro, Middleton and Schaffer each reached base twice on the evening - with each collecting a hit - and Schaffer posted his eighth multi-RBI game of the year with a pair of runs batted in.
Tulane will look to even the series on Friday, April 6 evening when they host Rice in the second game of a three-game set at 6:30 on the Turf at Turchin. The two teams will wrap up the series with a 1:00 contest on Sunday, April 7.
- Rice leads the all-time series 24-6.
- Tulane lost their first game of the year when out-hitting their opponents (17-1).
- Garrett Cannizaro extended his hitting streak and reached base streak to 12 games on Thursday.
- Sean Potkay moved his hitting streak to four games and his reached base streak to eight games on Thursday.
- Frank Florio collected a hit in the third inning to extend his reached base streak to nine games and his hitting streak to four games.
- Jeremy Schaffer posted his team-leading eight and 47th career multi-RBI game with a pair of runs batted in on Thursday versus Rice.
- Andrew Reeves didn't allow a hit in three and two-thirds innings of relief work on Thursday evening.