Today the R Blog presents a closer look at Hall of Fame inductees Kenny Baugh and Candace Lessmeister.
Kenny Baugh - Hall of Fame Inductee
A product of Houston's Lamar High School, Kenny Baugh was a three-time All-America selection and was twice named the Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year (2000 and 2001). From 1998 to 2001, Baugh compiled a 41-8 collegiate won-loss record with a 2.72 career earned run average. He won at least 12 games in each of his final three seasons and set the Rice single-season record with 163 strikeouts in 2001. He helped Rice reach NCAA regionals four-straight years with four-consecutive WAC titles. He was the winning pitcher in the program's first-ever win at the College World Series in 1999 as the Owls defeated Okalahoma State 7-2. He finished as Rice's career record holder for games started (67), innings pitched (460.0) and strikeouts (447), and he was second in career wins (41).
After a stellar junior season in which he went 12-2 with a WAC-best 2.22 earned run average, Kenny was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the fifth round, but did not sign with the club. He then proceeded to post a 13-2 mark with a 2.17 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 2001 as a senior.
In the 2001 Major League Baseball draft, Baugh was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 11th pick in the first round. He spent eight seasons in the Tigers organization and then two seasons with the Florida Marlins organization.
Candace Lessmeister - Hall of Fame Inductee
Candace Lessmeister was a distance runner from Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan, Canada, who ranks sixth in the 800m (2:06.91) and fourth in the 1500m (4:19.42) on the Rice outdoor performer list. Lessmeister won three Southwest Conference 1500m outdoor titles (1993, 1994, and 1995). During the indoor campaign, Lessmeister won the 800m and mile events in 1993, and 1994, and captured the 3000m title in 1995. She earned All-America status in 1993, as a member of the Owls' 4x800m relay team. In 1994 and 1995, Lessmeister was an indoor All-America in the mile event.
Lessmeister led the Owls to their first-ever SWC cross country title in 1994, with 64 points to underscore Baylor's 65, with a second place finish. She also qualified as an individual for the NCAA Cross Country Championship, where she finsihed 42nd in the nation. In 1992, she placed fourth at the SWC Cross Country Championship.
Candace was bestowed the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, given annually to the most outstanding female athlete at Rice University for her efforts in sports, classroom, and in the community in 1995.
This year's ceremony takes place in the R Room, atop the south end zone of Rice Stadium and begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour and the program commences at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.00 each and can purchaed by calling Mary Santos at 713-348-5677 or online: