Feb. 17, 2007
HOUSTON -- The Rice baseball team's bats came alive for a season-high 10 hits, including five for extra bases, and the Owls had another solid outing from freshman starter Ryan Berry on the way to an 11-2 win over 20th-ranked Long Beach State Saturday afternoon at home at Reckling Park. The three-game weekend series is now even at 1-1 heading into Sunday's 1 pm fnale.
The Owls had a narrow 4-2 lead after five innings but exploded for seven more runs over the seventh and eighth innings. That was more than enough room for Berry, who made his second Division I start a memorable one by scattering seven hits over a career-long 7.2 innings while striking out a career-high eight. He allowed just two runs with three walks in improving his season record to 2-0.
Rice tallied pair of runs in the bottom of the third to start the scoring. Juniors J.P. Padron and Tyler Henley led off with back-to-back singles and Brian Friday moved them both into scoring position with a sacrifice. Both came home on a double to right center by Chad Lembeck and the Owls were up 2-0.
Long Beach State came right back with a run in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to right field by Kyle Morgan. It was the first run of the season allowed by Berry in three appearances. The rookie from Humble, Tex,. began his collegiate career with 13.1 consecutive scoreless innings and he has now allowed just runs in 16.2.
The Owls answered the Dirtbags' solo home run with a longball of their own in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore Aaron Luna slugged the very first pitch of the inning over the center field wall for his fist round-tripper of the season to give the Owls a 3-1 lead.
LBSU got one run back in the top of the fifth. Brandon Godfrey and Matt Cline led off with singles to put men on the corners. Godfrey scored on a sacrifice fly by Robert Perry to cut the lead back to one, 3-2.
Rice made it 4-2 with an RBI double by Joe Savery in the sixth. The Blue & Gray broke it open with three runs on two hits, three walks and a LBSU error in the third. The big blow was a bases-clearing triple by Luna that gave him four RBI on the day. The team added four more in the eighth and again it was a bases-loaded triple that did the damage. Freshman Diego Seastrunk's blast to center cleared the bases after three-straight hit batsmen and a walk.
The Owls improved to 4-4 on the young season while Long Beach dropped to 5-3. Sunday's series finale will be broadcast live on the radio in the Houston area on KTRU (91.7 FM). The probable starting pitchers are listed as Rice's Joe Savery (lhp) and LBSU's Omar Arif (lhp).
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