Feb. 10, 2006
HOUSTON - Rice pitchers Eddie Degerman and Cole St.Clair combined to hold Texas Tech to one unearned run on just two hits while striking out 14 on the way to a 5-1 victory over the Red Raiders on the first day of action at the Houston College Classic Tournament held Friday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
Degerman scattered two hits and two walks while striking out seven in 5.2 innings of work. St.Clair dominated the final 3.1 innings, matching the seven strikeouts without allowing a hit or walk. In moving to 3-0 on the season, the second-ranked Owls have averaged 14 strikeouts per game.
Rice struck first for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Greg Buchanan led off with a single and advanced to third on a sharply hit ball by Josh Rodriguez that Texas Tech mishandled. Joe Savery doubled to drive in Buchanan and Rodriguez dashed to third. He came home on a sacrifice fly to right by Chad Lembeck and the Owls led 2-0.
Degerman was in control for the first four innings and worked through a jam in the fifth. In the sixth the Red Raiders scored an unearned run to cut the margin to 2-1. Joey Callender reached on a Rice fielding error and scored on a two-out double by Matt Smith. Degerman walked the next man to put runners on first and second and sophomore Cole St.Clair was called out of the bullpen. The left-hander ended the threat with a strikeout and proceeded to keep the Tech hitters in check. Degerman moved his record to 1-0 while St.Clair earned his first save.
While the 2-1 margin was all the room St.Clair needed, the Owls added three more insurance runs for a 5-1 lead. In the bottom of the sixth Joe Savery drew a one-out walk and freshman Aaron Luna brought him home with a two-run homer to right field. It was Luna's fourth home run and his seventh and eighth RBI of the young season. In the seventh the Owls scratched out another run without collecting a hit. Danny Lehmann was hit by a pitch and pinch run for by Derek Myers. Myers advanced to second on a Jordan Dodson walk and the duo converted on a double-steal. Myers scored on a sacrifice fly by Buchanan.
Texas Tech fell to 3-1. Rice won for 11th-straight time over Texas Tech dating back to April of 1996. The Owls have defeated the Red Raiders in 13 of the last 14 meetings. Rice next meets Texas on Saturday at 7 pm on the second day of the tournament. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Southwest. The Owls play TCU in the Sunday finale at 6 pm.
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