April 10, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - It came down to the ninth inning for the second straight day between the Tulane baseball team and Conference USA foe Rice on Saturday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. In the end, however, the Owls evened the series with an 11-8 defeat of the Green Wave and forced the rubber game on Sunday. Tulane cranked out 13 hits and scored seven runs over the final four innings, but Rice tallied ten run in the first six to even the series.
"I was disappointed in the way that we came out of the gates," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I didn't feel like, for whatever reason, that we had the same energy level that we had when the series started last night. It was something that we talked about last night...something that we addressed in pregame and (the energy level) still wasn't where we needed it to be. Once we got into their bullpen and things got a little interesting, everything picked up for us. There is no question that the ballgame was lost early on."
Diego Seastruck pushed the Owls out to an early lead as he drove in a pair of runs with a bases loaded single in the first inning and then added another RBI with a single in the third.
Rice (18-14, 5-3 CUSA) scored four runs against Robby Broach in the fourth, ending the day for the TU starter. The first three batters reached base for the Owls, with Chad Mozingo driving in an RBI, before Jeremy Rathjen hit his sixth home run of the season to left center field. Broach (5-1) left the contest trailing 7-0, but struck out six batters in 3.1 innings of work, allowing nine hits and walking one to suffer his first loss of the season.
Ryan Doiron came on to replace Broach and retired the first five batters he faced, but allowed three runs on three hits in the sixth inning. With the Rice lead at 10-1, the Olive and Blue answered with five runs of their own in the sixth inning - forcing the Owls to use four different pitchers - and Tulane sent 11 batters to the plate in the frame.
In the sixth, Segedin doubled for the 20th time this season to plate the first run, Jeremy Schaffer singled in a run and Brian Barry plated the third run of the frame with a single to center field. A walk to Nick Boullosa loaded the bases with two outs, but back-to-back walks to Brandon Boudreaux and Matt Ryan forced in the final two runs of the inning and Tulane trailed 10-6 heading to the seventh.
Kyle McKenzie relieved Doiron in the sixth and allowed a run in the seventh before Drew Zizinia would throw the final three innings scoreless. Zizinia walked two and allowed a hit, but kept the Owl offense at bay to give the Green Wave an opportunity in the ninth.
Segedin jump started the offense again in the ninth with a solo home run to lead off the inning and with one out, Cannizaro, Matt Shortall and Barry each singled to load the bases. Boullosa drove in a run on a fielders choice and Abe Gonzales struck out the final batter of the game to cap the 11-8 contest in favor of the visitors.
"You saw us come back and what inspires you in situations like that is the fact that you see yourself getting back into the game," said Jones about the late inning rally. "I do admire the way that we battled. We kept ourselves in it and gave ourselves a chance to win the game late. Zizinia gave us a good outing out of the bullpen, but it was just too little, too late."
Seven of the Tulane starters drove in RBI's and five different Wave players scored at least one run. Cannizaro and Segedin each posted three-hit games, while Barry and Schaffer chipped in two hits apiece. Segedin has homered in each of his last three games and with a pair of RBI's on Saturday, pushed his season total to 29.
The Green Wave are now 21-11 overall and drop back into a four-way tie for first place in Conference USA with a 5-3 record. The series finale with the Owls will take place on Sunday, April 11 starting at 1:00 on the turf at Turchin. Tickets are available online at www.tulanegreenwave.com or by calling the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.