April 13, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Rice baseball team bounced back from an early five-run deficit to claim an 11-7 Conference USA road victory over Tulane in the finale of a weekend league series Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, La.
The Owls swept the three-game set for the team's fourth-straight win overall. Rice improved to 26-12 overall and 13-5 in conference. Tulane is now 14-20 on the season and 6-11 in the league.
Sunday's contest featured perhaps the widest in-game change of momentum in the season so far. Tulane quickly made the first offensive push. In the bottom of the first inning the Green Wave batted around to explode for five runs on five hits.
Down 5-0 but with a lot of baseball left to play, Rice pushed back two innings later. In the top of the third the Owls proceeded to send 14 men to the plate on the way to a nine-run inning. Each of the first nine batters reached base safely, eight by singles, and none of the eventual ten total hits went for extra bases. The Blue & Gray simply went station-to-station scoring one run at a time to tie the game with five-straight singles. Michael Aquino drove-in two runs with a single that made it 7-5. The Owls went on to plate two more to stretch the margin to 9-5.
The Owls made it double-digit runs in the fifth on a walk and a hit. Tulane continued to fight and battled for two in the bottom of the sixth that made it 10-7. Rice scored its final run in the eighth on the team's first and only extra-base hit of the game when Chase McDowell doubled-home Shane Hoelscher in an 11-7 slugfest.
Rice finished with a total of 18 hits on the afternoon, the squad's third-highest output of the season and most since collecting 22 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on March 12. True freshman Charlie Warren went a career-best 5-for-5 to lead five Owls with two or more hits.
Almost lost in the offensive fireworks was some solid work from the Rice bullpen. Junior right-hander Trevor Teykl earned his third win of the season pitching 5.0 innings allowing two hits and striking out four. Freshman Jon Duplantier worked the final 3.2 scoreless frames striking out five and notching his first collegiate save.
There is one more game on the Owls' current road stretch. Rice next plays at longtime rival Lamar on Tuesday, April 15. Start time in Beaumont, Texas, is slated for 6:30 pm.