April 7, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane baseball team's offense just could muster enough juice in their 5-0 loss to Rice in their Conference USA series finale on Sunday (April 7) inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Green Wave walked five times and Brandon Boudreaux was hit by a pitch, but Jeremy Schaffer's seventh inning single was the lone hit of the afternoon as the Olive and Blue dropped just their second weekend series of the year to the ninth-ranked Owls.
"I was disappointed in our performance today," said head coach Rick Jones. "I didn't feel like we made the adjustments (at the plate) that we made last night. I'm giving credit to Austin (Kubitza), because he threw really well, but we didn't take that slider away from him, and it really made it tough for us. One hit, I mean you're not going to win getting one hit."
The Owls opened the scoring in the first inning when Ford Stainback walked to start the game and back-to-back singled from Christian Stringer and Jeremy Rathjen, the later recording the RBI, to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
Kyle McKenzie held Rice (23-11, 6-3 C-USA) in check over the next three innings, but two errors in the frame allowed three Owls runs to score and ended his outing. A leadoff single was followed by an error at second base to put two runners on base with no outs. A wild pitch was followed by a double play, scoring the first run of the frame, but a double and the second TU error of the inning plated the second run and Craig Manuel singled to push Rice out to a 4-0 lead and end McKenzie's outing.
"After he walked the leadoff hitter and gave up a run in the first, I thought he settled in and pitched well enough," said Jones, "but when we had the breakdowns defensively that hurt him. He left two or three balls up there in zone during that fifth inning and it created a situation where we had to take him out. I didn't think it was a bad performance, but it wasn't as good as he had last week. Against a club like we saw today, you have to be almost perfect, and we have to play better defensively behind him."
Shane Hoelscher stretched the Owls lead to 5-0 when he hit a one-out home run to left field against Reeves in the sixth. The junior allowed just one hit - walking two - with one strikeout in one and one-thirds innings of work in his fourth appearance this season.
Tulane (21-10, 3-3 C-USA) saw their offense collect five walks and one hit batter over the first six innings, but could crack the hit column against Owls starting pitcher Austin Kubitza. The Green Wave started the sixth with Boudreaux reaching via the hit-by-pitch, but an awkward landing on the follow through prompted a pitching chance and Taylor Wall entered to snuff out the leadoff base runner.
Schaffer broke up the no-hit bid to lead off the seventh inning when he singled into right field, but Wall was able to get out of the frame unscathed.
In the game, Tulane had seven base runners with Briggs Barrios, Boudreaux, Brennan Middleton, Sean Potkay and Nick Schneeberger all collecting walks and Schaffer owning the lone hit. Boudreaux was the only Green Wave player to reach base twice in the contest, getting hit by a pitch in the sixth. Each team grounded into three double plays on the afternoon.
Tulane will continue their six-game homestand with a pair of midweek tilts on the Turf at Turchin, starting on Tuesday, April 10 versus Nicholls State. The Green Wave and Colonels will face off at 6:30 on Tuesday, before TU welcomes Alcorn State for a 6:30 first pitch on Wednesday, April 11.
- Rice leads the all-time series 25-7.
- Brandon Boudreaux was the only Green Wave player to reach base twice in the contest, walking and getting hit by a pitch.
- Jeremy Schaffer extended his hitting streak to four games on Saturday versus Rice.
- Sean Potkay's walk in the contest moved his reached base streak to ten games.
- Brennan Middleton moved his reached base streak to nine games with a walk versus Rice on Saturday.
- Andrew Reeves stranded an inherited runner on base in the fourth inning, marking the 37th of 53 inherited runners to be stranded by the Tulane bullpen.