April 2, 2006
METAIRIE, La. -- The sixth-ranked Rice baseball team chipped away for single runs in six different innings and three relievers combined to hold 11th-ranked Tulane to one hit over the final 8.1 innings as the Owls claimed a 9-2 win over the Green Wave Sunday afternoon at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La. With the win Rice became the first team to sweep a three-game Conference USA series over Tulane since 2002 and the first team to sweep any home weekend series from the Green Wave since 1997.
Rice opened the scoring with a run in the first inning. Sophomore Tyler Henley drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a base hit to right field by Greg Buchanan. Henley came home on a ground out for a 1-0 lead.
Tulane came right back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Matt Riser led off with a double and Brad Emus followed with a walk. Both advanced on a sacrifice and scored on a single to center by Warren McFadden.
The Owls answered with a run in the third to tie the game and another in the fourth to take the lead, 3-2. In the third Henley led off with a triple into the right field corner and he scored easily on Buchanan's sacrifice fly to centerfield. In the fourth the Owls went in front to stay. Chad Lembeck was hit by a pitch with one away and he advanced to second and third with two steals. Lembeck scored on a single to left by Brian Friday.
Sophomore Joe Savery led off the top of the fifth with a home run and the Owls stretched the margin to 4-2. It was the third time in five innings Rice's leadoff man reached base and scored. It happened two more times over the next two innings. Aaron Lnua led off the sixth with a walk and advanced to second on sacrifice by Friday. Luna took third on a Tulane wild pitch and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Travis Reagan.
In the seventh inning Buchanan drew a leadoff walk and reached second on a wild pitch. He scored on a Savery single up the middle to make it 6-2. The Owls added three more in the eighth on four hits. The big blow was a two-run homer to right-center by Henley for 9-2 advantage.
Sophomore Will McDaniel started on the mound for Rice and allowed both first-inning runs. He was replaced by Bobby Bramhall with two away in the inning and proceeded to hold the Green Wave to one hit for a career-long 4.1. Sophomores Bobby Bell and Cole St.Clair followed with two shutout innings each without allowing a hit.
With their sixth-win in a row the Owls improved to 24-8 overall and a share of the C-USA lead with a 5-1 record. Tulane fell to 18-12 on the season and 2-4 against the league. Rice next plays at longtime rival Texas A&M on Tues. (Apr. 4). First pitch at Olsen Field in College Station is slated for 7 pm.