Senior Left-hander Blake Fox Selected as Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Training Continues Into Early November
Stanford edged Rice 3-2 on February 16, 2013
In 50 career appearances, including 32 collegiate starts, Fox is 26-2 all-time with a 2.45 ERA in 220.2 career innings... 2015: Veteran left-hander who did not get much of a chance to sneak-up on opponents, but still finished third in Conference USA with eight wins and was eighth in ERA (3.30) for pitchers with at least the same number of innings (79.0)... Led the Rice staff in wins and shared the team lead in starts (15)... Only Owl on the staff not to work out of the bullpen... Averaged 5.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings... Maintained a 2.2-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio... Finished the year strong when the team needed him most, posting a composite 1.52 ERA with a .226 opponents' batting average over his final five starts the last month of the season... One of his best outings of the year was allowing two runs in 6.1 innings in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament vs. Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana (only to see his teammates in the Owl bullpen squander his four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning)... Struck out a season-high seven in 7.0 innings against traditional power Southern Miss... Held No. 13 ranked Florida Atlantic to just one earned run in 6.1 innings in a start on the road... Suffered only the first loss of his collegiate career on April 4, but bounced back a week later to win on the road at UAB... Pitching style proved to be able to get more ground ball outs (102) than fly ball outs (71)... Pitching is only part of the story, however, as he is also a versatile enough athlete to make additional appearances either as a first baseman, designated hitter or pinch hitter (against right-handed pitching)... 2014: All-America (first team, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association; second team, Collegiate Baseball News; third team, American Baseball Coaches Association); One of three finalists for the National Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Hall of Fame; NCBWA Dick Howser Player of the Year Award semifinalist; USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list; ABCA All-South Region; All-Conference USA (first team); C-USA All-Tournament Team; Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team; Rice Male Athlete of the Year (Examiner.com); Responded to new role in the weekend rotation with aplomb, winning 12-of-15 "Saturday starts" while maintaining a steady 1.46 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP... First Owl to win 12 games in a single season since 2006... Finished fifth in the nation, and led C-USA, in victories... Was 13th in Division I, and second in the league, in ERA... Also ranked among the C-USA leaders in starts (third, 15), hits-per-9 innings (9th, 7.57), strikeouts (11th, 69) and WHIP (11th)... Posted wins over eventual College World Series participant TCU at Minute Maid Park, nationally ranked Stanford and FIU on the road, Southern Miss, East Carolina, UTSA, FAU, Tulane, LA Tech, Purdue and Middle Tennessee (twice)... Pitched into the seventh inning in 14 of the 15 starts, with the lone exception being 5.1 innings against Purdue where the Owls had already built a comfortable 7-1 lead by the 6th (and went on to win 9-1)... Averaged 6.2 innings in 15 starts... Worked into the ninth inning for the first time in his career at FIU (March 22), holding the Panthers' explosive lineup to just two runs... Went a career-long 8.1 innings on the road at Tulane where he tied a career-best with eight strikeouts... Struck out a career-high eight against East Carolina April 5 (exactly one week before the Tulane start)... Held all opponents to a .236 batting average... Maintained a 2.6-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio... ERA in ten C-USA starts was 1.60 (73.1 innings), while ERA for all postseason games was 1.93 (14.0 innings)... Pitching was only part of the story, however, as he made seven additional appearances either as a first baseman, designated hitter or pinch hitter (against right-handed pitching)... Started two games at first base, once as the designated hitter, and twice appeared there as a defensive substitute... Ended the season with an active four-game hitting streak... Had a single and a sacrifice fly in the opener of a key C-USA series vs UAB... Came off the bench to single-home a run against eventual College World Series participant Texas... Singled and scored against East Carolina... 2013: Freshman All-America (third team reliever, Collegiate Baseball magazine); Conference USA All-Freshman Team; C-USA Co-Pitcher of the Week (May 6); One of three Owls with the versatile role of serving as both a hitter and a pitcher... Played in a total of 44 games as a true freshman, including 24 as a left-handed hitter/first baseman and 20 as a pitcher (none in the same game)... Undefeated in six pitching decisions, notching a victory in a start against Lamar and wins in relief against Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Texas State, UAB and UCF... Made two starts, both against Lamar... Fired a career-long 5.0 shutout innings in the second start against the Cardinals, scattering a pair of hits and a walk while striking out three... That game began a season-long stretch consecutive scoreless innings that reached 11.1 frames over four appearances... Allowed just one run in an earlier 12.1 inning span (March 6 to April 6) that lowered his in-season ERA to 2.04... Recorded a save in his collegiate pitching debut at Hawaii (Feb. 25) by blanking the Rainbows for 3.0 innings on two hits... Pitched 3.0 or more innings six different times... Recorded a career-high five strikeouts in the second of three meetings against La Tech... Averaged 5.6 strikeouts per 9.0 innings... Maintained a 1.8-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio... Held opposing hitters to a composite .288 batting average... Finished with a 2.92 ERA in 12.1 innings of Conference USA league games... Picked a runner off first base on the road at UAB... Key contributor on the mound, but pitching was only half the story... Worked his way into 14 starts in the batting order, played as a defensive sub at first base ten times and pinch hit three times... Made 13 starts at first base and one as the designated hitter... Slapped a base hit in his first career at bat on the second day of the season against national power Stanford... Started at DH three days later against Dallas Baptist and promptly went 3-for-3 with a walk and a pair of RBI... Was a perfect 4-for-4 in first four official at bats, and had reached first base in all five plate appearances... Recorded a hit in three-consecutive games where he had at least one at bat... Collected a pair of two-hit games late in the year - in the final C-USA series against Marshall and San Francisco in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament... Solid defensive first baseman who maintained a .986 fielding percentage in 145 total chances... Also played error-free in 14 defensive chances as a pitcher.
High School - A 2012 graduate of Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas... Earned all-Southwest Preparatory Conference honors as a junior and senior... Helped lead the Knights to three-straight conference championships (2010-12)... Four-year varsity letterman under head coach Matt Fox, (Blake's cousin and) a 1998-2001 Rice baseball letterman... Went 7-2 on the mound with a 2.48 ERA and struck out 85 batters in 62 innings as a junior in 2011... Also hit .390 with a .650 slugging percentage, 34 RBI and 28 runs scored in 36 games that season... Versatile student-athlete who was also a varsity basketball letterman.
Personal - Full name: Blake Alexander Fox... Born: June 17, 1993, in Bellaire... Parents: Mike and Linda Fox of Bellaire (three brothers)... Continues a strong Rice baseball legacy as father, cousin (Matt Fox), and grandfather (Jim Fox), all played for the Owls before advancing to various levels of professional baseball in different organizations... College: Will Rice
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