Tulane erupts early, holds off Rice

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --   LSU's Alex Bregman score ahead of a throw to Tulane catcher Cameron Burns as he scores on a single by Mason Katz in the five-run first inning Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans. MAGS OUT / INTERNET  OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/ LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT/225/10/12/IN REGISTER/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/ MANDATORY CREDIT: SCOTT THRELKELD / THE ADVOCATE Show caption
Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- LSU's Alex Bregman score ahead of a throw to Tulane catcher Cameron Burns as he scores on a single by Mason Katz in the five-run first inning Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans. MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/ LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT/225/10/12/IN REGISTER/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/ MANDATORY CREDIT: SCOTT THRELKELD / THE ADVOCATE

HOUSTON — Tulane escaped a furious Rice rally in the eighth and ninth innings to win the third game of the Conference USA baseball series 7-6 on
Saturday at Reckling Park.

The Owls came close to tying the score in their last at-bat, getting a Leon Byrd to third base in the bottom of the ninth.

Tulane freshman Ian Gibaut — who took the loss in Friday’s game — came on in relief of junior Andrew Garner in the bottom of the ninth after Rice scored four in the eighth. With two men on base already for Rice (20-10, 4-2) and the score at 7-5, Christian Stringer sacrificed both runners into scoring position.

Gibaut got Geoff Perrott to groundout to third, scoring Ford Stainback from third. With Byrd at third, Gibaut got Michael Aquino to fly out, allowing Tulane (15-15, 3-3) to hang on.

“The end was just so tense,” Tulane coach Rick Jones said. “The key thing was after a really tough night finding the plate last night, Ian came out and got the job done today. He had a very short memory, and honestly, it was much shorter than mine. It salvages a game in this series for us. If there is such a thing as a must-win, this is one.”

Senior David Napoli pitched well in his seven innings for the Greenies, allowing only one run in the fifth while giving up only three hits. It was the longest outing of the season for Napoli (3-1).

The Greenies will host Nicholls State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Turchin Stadium.

ULL splits with W. Kentucky

Bowling Green , Ky. —
Louisiana-Lafayette closed out a seven-game road trip Saturday afternoon with a split of a doubleheader against Western Kentucky, using a 14-hit attack in the second game to post an 8-6 win and rebound from a 3-0 defeat in the opener.

Andrew Edwards outdueled Austin Robichaux in the first game. Edwards tossed a complete-game shutout, holding the Cajuns to six hits and striking out eight. That win gave WKU (16-12, 7-2) the series victory.

In the second game, ULL (19-8, 4-5) piled up eight runs in the first four innings off of WKU pitcher Tim Bado. The Ragin’ Cajuns host McNeese State at 6 p.m.
Tuesday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.

Lions sweeps Nicholls

HAMMOND — Southeastern
Louisiana defeated Nicholls State 10-9 on Saturday afternoon to complete a sweep of the three-game Southland Conference series.

The Lions (21-8, 6-0 Southland Conference) maintain a one-game lead over McNeese State after starting 6-0 in conference play for the first time in school history.

Southeastern plays again at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday at Alabama.