April 5, 2012

Green Wave comes up just short in series opener

For the second straight year, Tulane ran into a Wall against Rice.

After chasing Rice ace Matthew Reckling in the fourth, the Green Wave (20-9, 2-2 Conference USA) could not catch up to senior left-hander Taylor Wall.

Wall, who limited Tulane to one run in 5 1/3 innings of a start in Houston last season, came in with the tying run on third in the fourth and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings as ninth-ranked Rice (22-10, 5-2) held on for a 5-4 victory at Turchin Stadium on Thursday night.

Wall (4-3) induced an inning-ending grounder to short from pinch hitter Blake Crohan to end the fourth. No Tulane runner got past first base the rest of the way in a battle of dominant bullpens.

"He's got a good fastball, he's got a good breaking ball, he stays down in the zone and he manages the strike zone," Jones said. "He's got a good pickoff move, so he really limits the running game."

Tulane's only hits against Wall were a pair of singles from Sean Potkay. Of the first 10 batters he faces, only two got the ball out of the infield.

"He mixes his pitches really well," said Tulane catcher Jeremy Schaffer, who hit a weak grounder to third the one time he faced Wall. "He kept the ball down today when he needed to and elevated the fast ball. We chased it a little bit."

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