April 13, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - A five-hit, five-run first inning by the Tulane offense was not enough, as Rice put up nine runs in the top of the third to neutralize Tulane's early offensive explosion to send the Green Wave to an 11-7 loss in the series finale on Sunday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Leading 5-0 heading into the top of the third, Tulane (14-20, 6-11) redshirt sophomore Alex Massey allowed back-to-back singles before walking a Rice (26-12, 13-5) batter to load the bases for the Owls, who then drove in their first run on an RBI-single off the bat of Keenan Cook. Freshman reliever J.P. France came into the game for Massey, and he allowed four consecutive RBI-singles before Michael Aquino brought home two on an RBI-single up the middle. Rice put up two more runs before Tulane could get out of the frame, having put up nine runs on ten hits when it was all said and done.
"They didn't try to do too much," said Tulane baseball interim head coach Jake Gautreau about Rice. "They just put the barrel on the baseball and continued to single us to death. When you're playing a club that's going to fight and give you good at-bats and take whatever they get, sometimes things like that will happen."
Tulane did battle on numerous occasions to remain in the contest, and the team posted ten hits for the first time since totaling 13 against East Carolina in the second game of a doubleheader on March 15. The effort at the dish was a collective one, as well, as all but one Tulane starter notched a base hit in the contest. Senior Andrew Garner went 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and one run scored, while sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run to his name.
Senior designated hitter Nick DiMaggio tied with Garner for the team lead in RBI on the day with two. Freshman outfielder Lex Kaplan was the only player to score twice for the Green Wave on the afternoon. Kaplan and DiMaggio both walked twice in the contest.
Things looked solid after the bottom of the first, as Tulane ran Rice starter Chase McDowell after just 0.1 innings of work. Carthon and freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais singled before moving up a base on a sacrifice bunt by junior first baseman Garrett Deschamp. Garner brought both base runners home on a single up the middle, before Kaplan brought Garner home on a double down the left field line. DiMaggio then brought in freshman third baseman Hunter Hope - who reached base on a hit by pitch - and Kaplan to go up 5-0.
However, the aforementioned third inning by Rice set Tulane back a bit.
"You go up 5-0 and you feel pretty good about it," added Gautreau. "It was just one of those days: we've been pitching really well and not hitting very well, but today we hit pretty well for the most part and didn't pitch as well as we needed to. We just need to play a complete ballgame, and today it wasn't a complete ballgame."
Rice tacked on another run in the fifth to double their lead on the Green Wave. In the bottom of the sixth, Tulane chipped away at that lead with RBI-singles by freshman second baseman Jake Willsey and Carthon that scored Kaplan and DiMaggio, respectively. Unfortunately, the Green Wave had runners at second and third with one out at the end of the inning before a double-play ended Tulane's threat.
In the seventh inning, the Green Wave left the bases loaded as Rice's Jon Duplantier was able to notch a strikeout - one of his five on the day - to keep Tulane from scoring.
"The guys fought the whole game," stated Gautreau of his players. "They didn't stop fighting which is important to us. The effort was there, we just didn't execute on both side of the ball like we needed to win that ballgame."
Duplantier picked up his first save of the season in the win, pitching 3.2 innings, while allowing five hits and striking out five. Trevor Teykl, who replaced McDowell in the first inning, picked up the win. Teykl (3-0) pitched 5.0 innings while allowing four runs on four walks and two hits while fanning four. McDowell allowed three runs on three hits in 0.1 innings.
France (2-3) was credited with the loss without recording an out, allowing five hits and five runs. Sophomore Tim Yandel pitched 3.0 innings of work, giving up just three hits and one run.
Freshman Tyler Zamjahn had an outstanding outing, pitching 2.2 innings and striking out a career-high five while allowing just one run.
On Tuesday, the Green Wave will host in-state opponent McNeese State at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium for a 6:30pm CT first pitch. The game will be broadcast on the home of Tulane baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH. Live stats will be made available through the GameTracker link on the TulaneGreenWave.com baseball schedule page.
Following the tilt against McNeese State, Tulane will travel to North Carolina for the second time this season, as they will play a three-game series against Charlotte on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Single game tickets for the 2014 Tulane baseball season can be purchased through the Tulane ticket office by either calling 504-861-WAVE (9283), or visiting the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center's first floor ticket office.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.