Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AUSTIN -- The Rice baseball team struck for the lead in both games of Saturday's double-header at Texas' UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, but the Longhorns claimed wins in both games by the scores of 5-4, and 6-1, respectively.
In the first game of the day Rice battled all the way to the end of the 7-inning contest, but Texas held off an Owl rally to claim the narrow 5-4 decision. The Blue & Gray were first on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the second inning on Robbie Lammons' RBI single.
Texas came back to score five unanswered runs over the next four frames to make it 5-1, but the Owls continued to fight. In the top of the seventh Rice rallied for three runs to pull back within one. With two away and a runner in scoring position, Rice true freshman Brad Gneiting lined a base hit into left and the Blue & Gray went all out to tie the game. Texas' Travis Jones, however, made the thrown on the run to get the final out at the plate and preserve the 5-4 final.
In the nightcap Rice stuck for the first score of the game in the top of the first inning, but Texas answered with a run in the bottom of the frame before adding a total of four more in the fourth and fifth to take a 5-1 advantage.
Three Owl freshman pitchers, Matt Canterino, Addison Moss and Roel Garcia - all in their collegiate debuts - were sharp at times in combining for a season high 12 strikeouts in a hostile road environment. The trio of rookies also showed some growing pains with nine combined walks. Two walks were to start an inning, a total of three free passes resulted directly in runs, and another walk forced in a run with the bases-loaded.
The freshman arms also could have used some support on the offensive side. Rice did not help itself going a combined 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-9 when two outs were already recorded in the inning. Lammons finished the baseball marathon going a combined 3-for-4 at the plate with the round-tripper, and he later made a veteran defensive grab and throw as a replacement at third base in game two.
Sunday's series finale with the Longhorns is scheduled to begin 12 noon. The start time is a change from some earlier listings due to weather conditions expected for the area.