Feb. 17, 2006
HOUSTON - Rice senior right-hander Eddie Degerman was brilliant in holding Oklahoma to no runs on one hit, striking out a season-high 11 in a season-long seven innings of work, and senior Greg Buchanan went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI as the second-ranked Owls defeated the Sooners 8-2 on the first day of action at the Coca-Cola Classic Tournament Friday evening at Reckling Park.
Buchanan put Rice on the scoreboard early. The standout from Friendswood slugged his first home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning to give the Owls a 1-0 lead. Rice added one more run just four batters later. Josh Rodriguez and Joe Savery followed Buchanan's homer with singles and Aaron Luna was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Brian Friday lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Rodriguez and stretch the margin to 2-0.
In the bottom of the fourth Chad Lembeck and Jordan Dodson led off with singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Henley. Lembeck scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Buchanan that made the score 3-0. The Owls broke the game open with a five-run sixth on five hits, highlighted by three triples in the inning.
That was more than enough room for Degerman. The senior all-America candidate did not allow a base hit after the Sooners' leadoff batter, Chuckie Caufield, blooped a hit between second base and shallow centerfield that went for a double. The veteran worked out of the jam with a strikeout that turned into a double-play and a fly ball. Degerman walked two men in the top of the third but came back to retire 13 in a row before leaving with a comfortable 8-0 lead after 7.0. He struck out 11 to reach double-digit Ks for the fourth time in his career.
The Owls finished with 13 hits by eight players. Rice improved to 5-1 on the season while Oklahoma dropped to 5-2. In the opening game of the tournament, 11th-ranked Long Beach State defeated Lamar 11-6. The 49ers slugged 16 hits to improve to 5-3 on the season. Lamar fell to 4-3.
Round-robin tournament action continues through the weekend at Reckling Park. On Saturday Rice hosts Long Beach State at 1 pm. Lamar meets Oklahoma at 4:30 pm. The tournament concludes Sunday with games at noon and 3:30 pm.