April 16, 2011
HOUSTON - Tulane scored a total of five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to claim a 7-4 victory over the Rice baseball team in the second game of a three-game Conference USA series Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park. The series is tied 1-1 heading into Sunday's final game of the weekend set.
Tulane scored late in the contest to take the lead, and early in the top of the first inning after the Owls issued two walks. The first two Green Wave batters reached on free passes and both scored for a 2-0 lead on a bases-loaded single by Brandon Boudreaux.
The Owls used the longball to move in front in the bottom of the third. J.T. Chargois walked and Michael Ratterree singled to right-center with two away. Junior catcher Craig Manuel followed with a three-run homer over the right field wall. His first round-tripper of the season put the Blue & Gray in front 3-2, but the Owls weren't finished. The next batter, freshman Shane Hoelscher, blasted a solo shot to left field that doubled the margin to 4-2.
Rice had two excellent opportunities to break the scoring wide open, but left the bases-loaded in both the fourth and the sixth innings. Tulane carried the defense lift over to the offensive side.
In the top of the seventh the Green Wave tied the game 4-4 on two hits, a hit batsman and a Rice fielding error. Tulane took the lead in the top of the eighth, posting three runs on four hits and an intentional pass to make it a 7-4 score.
Junior Matthew Reckling started on the mound for Rice and worked a total of 6.1 innings. He allowed four hits and four walks and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts. Craig Manuel and Michael Ratterree both went 2-for-5 at the plate and scored a run.
Rice fell to 25-14 on the season and 7-4 in conference league play. Tulane improved to 21-14 overall and 4-7 in C-USA action.
The conference series continues through Sunday. First pitch Sunday is 1 pm at Reckling Park.