May 13, 2007
HOUSTON -- The trio of Brian Friday, Danny Lehmann and Joe Savery all collected three hits each to lead a 15-hit Rice attack as the third-ranked Owls baseball team defeated Tulane 7-4 in the finale of a three-game Conference USA weekend series Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston. Rice completed the three-game sweep of the Green Wave to record its 14th-consecutive win as well as its 22nd victory in the last 23 games.
For the third-straight game of the series the Owls jumped on the scoreboard for a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Friday led off with a base hit to left-center and Jared Gayhart drew a base on balls. Friday took third base on a fly out to center field and scored on a delayed double steal. Savery singled home Gayhart from second base and the Owls were quickly in front 2-0.
In the fourth Gayhart led off with base hit and scored when Jess Buenger blasted a double off the left field wall. Savery followed with an RBI single that stretched the margin to 4-0.
The Green Wave got two of the runs back in the fifth. Seth Henry started the rally with a double and Nate Simon doubled with one away to drive him home. Cat Everett singled to score Simon and lead was back to two, 4-2.
Rice answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Savery singled for the third time and he advanced to scoring position after a walk to Aaron Luna. Lehmann doubled to left for one run and Luna hustled to third base. He scored on a sacrifice fly by J.P. Padron as the Owls continued to apply the offensive pressure.
Tulane would not give in so easy. Warren McFadden doubled to left center and Ty Wallace singled to put men on the corners. Seth Henry punched the ball through the left side for one run and Jared Dyer singled to load the bases. Simon drew a walk to force in a run and cut the lead to two, 6-4. The Green Wave were looking for even more but reliever Matt Langwell came out of the Rice bullpen and ended the threat by inducing a Friday-to-Buenger-to-Lehmann double play.
For his final hit of the day Friday led off the bottom of the sixth with a stand-up triple that was off the wall in center. He scored easily on Gayhart's sacrifice fly to make the score 7-4. Langwell held the Wave scoreless the rest of the way to earn his first Rice save. He fired 3.2 scoreless innings of one-hit relief, notching one strikeout with no walks. Savery started on the mound and earned his seventh win of the season working 5.1 innings.
Rice secured the weekend series win with an 8-3 victory in Saturday's game. Sunday's win marked the 24th time in the current streak of 37-straight home series wins that the Owls swept its opponent. The Blue & Gray has won 24-consecutive conference series (home and away) dating back to March of 2005, with 13 ending in a 3-0 sweep.
Rice has won every C-USA series since joining the league a year ago. Overall the Owls have won 28-straight home conference series, including 20 by a three-games-to-none margin. The last time Rice lost a three-game regular season series at home was a Western Athletic Conference set against Nevada in April of 2001, two-games-to-one.
The Owls are now 41-11 on the year and 19-2 in C-USA action. Tulane fell to 30-23 on the season and 9-15 in the league. Rice continues the second half of its eight-game homestand against longtime state rival Baylor on Tuesday, May 15. First pitch with Bears is slated for 7 pm at Reckling Park. The game will be televised live by CSTV.