April 17, 2011
HOUSTON - Alex Byo allowed one run in five innings of work, but the Owls scored ten runs against the Green Wave bullpen to grab an 11-1 decision in a seven inning contest between Rice and the Tulane baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park.
"Alex Byo was outstanding today and (Rice) really didn't have a good swing against him all day," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "When you're in a one run ballgame and you have a couple of close calls at the plate that could have gone either way end up going against you, it gives them a little momentum. But you saw it again today. We are very thin (in the bullpen). We loaded the bases and their pitcher really did a good job (getting out of the jam), but Jeremy (Schaffer) had a good at bat and just missed (the pitch he popped up)."
The Owls struck with a run in the opening frame against Green Wave starting pitcher Alex Byo to take the early lead. Byo struck out the first two batters of the inning before Antony Rendon singled off the glove his glove. Rendon then stole second base and Craig Manuel dropped a single into center field to plate the base runner and give Rice (26-14, 8-4 C-USA) the 1-0 lead.
Tulane (21-15, 4-8 C-USA) stranded runners on base in three of the first five innings against Taylor Wall, the Owls starting pitcher, but Byo was equal to the task in keeping the home team scoreless through the final four innings of his outing. The sophomore allowed the one run on four hits, walking one and striking out a career-high eight batters.
Rendon created the Owls second run of the contest against Tulane reliever David Napoli in the bottom of the sixth, starting the inning with a single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second base and a ground out to Brennan Middleton at second pushed him to third. With two outs, pinch hitter Geoff Perrott drew a full count walk, with the fourth ball getting away from Crohan, and Rendon beat to the tag at the plate. After a single put two runners on with two outs, Michael Ratterree hits a three-run home run to left field and the Owls led 5-1 heading to the seventh.
The Green Wave loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with no outs, but Simms retired the final three batters of the frame to hold the Owls lead at 5-1. The home team added to its lead in the bottom of the inning with three more runs against Napoli and three runs scored against Andrew Garner. A bases loaded double from Ratterree ended the game in the seventh, as three runners scored to push the Owls lead to 11-1, thus enacting the Conference USA ten-run rule.
Cannizaro and Crohan each posted two hits in the game, with Crohan collecting the long Tulane RBI on the afternoon. Boullosa walked twice, while Jeremy Schaffer singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Brennan Middleton also posted a hit in the ballgame to push his hitting streak to a season-best five games.
Ratterree paced all players with three hits and six RBI's, while Rendon posted two hits, walked and scored three times in the game.
Napoli (1-1) took the loss on the mound, throwing one and one-thirds innings, allowing seven runs on four hits to go along with three walks. Garner allowed the final three runs of the game and didn't record an out in the appearance.
The Olive and Blue will return home for the first of eight straight games on the turf inside Greer Field Turchin Stadium. Tulane will host Southeastern Louisiana in the rubber game of their season series on Tuesday, April 19 starting at 6:30.