Baseball To Close Out 2008 Regular Season With Series vs. Rice

Single game slated for Thursday before holding split double header on Friday live on CBS College Sports

Junior catcher Jared Dyer and the Green Wave close out the 2008 regular season with a three-game series vs. Conference USA foe Rice.

Junior catcher Jared Dyer and the Green Wave close out the 2008 regular season with a three-game series vs. Conference USA foe Rice.

May 14, 2008

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Playing their best baseball down the stretch, the Tulane University baseball team will close out the 2008 regular season with a three-game series against Conference USA foe Rice beginning on Thursday, May 15, at the new Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

The two teams come to town red hot as Tulane has won 12 of its last 16 games while Rice has won seven in a row. Both Tulane and Rice are also nationally ranked - Tulane as high as No. 24 in the latest Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I Poll and Rice as high as No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll - marking the first time the Green Wave faithful can watch a home series between two ranked teams since the UC Irvine weekend back on March 7-9.

"Any time you play Rice, you're going to have to play well, and this is another great Rice team," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "The last time we played at this site (on Tulane's campus), it was a great weekend for us. But I remember how challenging it was for us. We had a veteran club and they were relatively young.

"That team has matured and there were some freshmen who are now seniors on the team, and I'm sure they remember what it was like being over here. It was an electric weekend for us but it was one that could have gone either way, right down to the final pitch. We have had a tremendous amount of success against them since then. Its just going to be very important for us to play very well because we're playing the top team in the league."

Thursday's game is slated to begin at 6 p.m. while the two teams will play a split double header on Friday with games scheduled for 1 and 7 p.m. Friday's twin billing will be televised live nationally on CBS College Sports Network (Cox Cable Channel 315, DirecTV Channel 610, Dish Network Channel 152). All three games will also be broadcast on the flagship station of Tulane Baseball, WRBH 88.3 FM, and are simulcast on the internet at to paid members of the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats are available on the official website of Tulane Athletics free of charge via GameTracker.

Rice (39-11, 18-3) has already locked up the regular-season C-USA title, but Tulane (36-15-1, 13-6-1) is still fighting for both seeding in the league tournament as well as securing a spot in the NCAA postseason. The Green Wave are currently second in the C-USA standings after winning their last four weekend series, but need to keep pace with Southern Miss - which plays at UAB this weekend - to keep from dropping to third place.

"We played well last weekend," Jones said. "It was a great weekend, but it was just one weekend. We have to look at it that way. It was good to get back and have a couple of days to catch our breath.

"Our guys are excited about just playing baseball right now and they're excited about the challenge this weekend and the conference tournament afterwards. It's an exciting time right now for our players. Last weekend certainly gave us a lift, but we have to build on it from there."

Tulane enters the final weekend of the regular season riding the crest of a four-game winning streak which includes a weekend sweep of C-USA foe East Carolina in Greenville, N.C.

As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .298 with a .466 slugging percentage on the strength of 100 doubles, 20 triples and 54 home runs. Freshman third baseman Rob Segedin leads the team with a .359 batting average while junior infielder/outfielder Anthony Scelfo and junior middle infielder Seth Henry follow with nearly identical marks of .337. Scelfo paces the club with 11 home runs, Segedin has a club-best 56 RBI, and junior outfielder Aja Barto is 20-of-23 in the stolen base category.

From the mound, Tulane sports a 3.98 ERA and has held opponents to a .234 batting average. Green Wave hurlers have combined for 416 strikeouts and 199 walks in 465.1 innings. Junior right-hander Shooter Hunt leads the team with nine wins, 105 strikeouts, a 1.97 ERA, a .144 opponent batting average and 77.2 innings pitched. Junior right-hander Mason Griffin paces the staff with 24 appearances and has seven of the team's 13 saves so far in 2008.

Rice, meanwhile, comes to town following a weekend sweep of their own after taking all three games from league foe Houston last weekend at Reckling Park.

As a team, the Owls are hitting .313 with a .461 slugging percentage after belting 102 doubles, 11 triples and 45 home runs. Diego Seastruck leads Rice with a .391 batting average while J.P. Padron and Aaron Luna are close behind with marks of .355 and .344, respectively. Adam Zornes paces the Owls with nine home runs, Seastrunk leads the way with 51 RBI, and the duo of Luna and Jimmy Comerota have 10 stolen bases each.

From the mound, Rice has a 3.71 ERA and has held opponents to a .266 batting average. The Owl hurlers have combined for 455 strikeouts and 159 walks in 451.1 innings of work. Chris Kelley leads the staff with a 2.98 ERA, Cole St. Clair has a team-best seven wins, and Ryan Berry headlines the club with 69 strikouts, a .242 opponent batting average and 76.2 innings pitched. Bryan Price paces the bullpen with 25 appearances and St. Clair has five of the team's nine saves this season.

This weekend's series marks the 18th, 19th and 20th times Tulane and Rice have met on the diamond, and the Owls hold a 13-4 advantage in the all-time series. Under 15th-year head coach Rick Jones, Tulane is 3-12 against Rice, including dropping all three games of the regular-season series in both 2006 and 2007.

The last time Tulane defeated Rice was during the 2005 NCAA New Orleans Super Regional when the Green Wave defeated the Owls in the best of three series to earn a trip to the College World Series.

Following the series against Rice, Tulane will play host to the 2008 Entergy Conference USA Baseball Championship Tournament from May 21-25 at the new Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The winner of the eight-team, double-elimination tourney will earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals.

For tickets to this week's ballgames, as well as the 2008 Entergy Conference USA Baseball Championship, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE or log onto the internet at

Thursday, May 15      B/T  ERA   W-L  G/GS   IP   H   R   ER  BB  K
TU - Shooter Hunt     R/R  1.97  9-1  12/12 77.2  38  20  17  42  105
RU - Ryan Berry       R/R  3.17  6-3  12/11 76.2  73  27  27  19  69
Friday, May 16 (G1)   B/T  ERA   W-L  G/GS   IP   H   R   ER  BB  K
TU - Matt Petiton     L/L  2.68  6-0  12/7  50.1  30  19  15  13  33
RU - Chris Kelley     R/R  2.98  5-1  14/9  60.1  77  29  20  16  54
Friday, May 16 (G2)   B/T  ERA   W-L  G/GS   IP   H   R   ER  BB  K
TU - Jonathan Garrett R/R  4.80  3-2  10/9  50.2  49  29  27  21  40
RU - Matt Langwell    R/R  4.32  5-0  13/12 66.2  66  37  32  24  57
TICKET UPDATE: With the schedule move to a double header on Friday, the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office would like to remind fans of the ticket policy for the weekend. When season tickets were issued, the Rice series was schedule to have single games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. As a result, Friday's ticket will allow admission to game one of May 16's double header while a Saturday ticket is good for the second half of the twin bill. The Tulane Athletics Ticket Office recommends all season ticket holders to come to the ticket office - located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center - or call (504) 861-WAVE to exchange their season tickets for tickets with the correct date and time on them.

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