HOUSTON -- Senior Grayson Lewis sparked an Owl rally in the bottom of the eighth inning with a leadoff homerun as the Rice baseball team claimed 4-3 victory over visiting Arizona Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
Down 3-1 to start the bottom of the seventh, Rice chipped away for a run when sophomore Dane Myers knocked his second triple of the game and scored on a double to right-center by freshman Ford Proctor. In the eighth, Lewis connected on the first pitch he saw for a solo shot over the wall in left field. His first career homer tied the game 3-3, but the Owls were now riding high and far from finished at the plate.
Junior Charlie Warren followed with a single through the left side and he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tristan Gray. With first base open and already two triples on the day, the Wildcats opted to walk Myers intentionally. Proctor followed with a walk to load the bases. Warren sprinted home on Ryan Chandler's sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead.
Myers had already moved from a starting spot at third base to the mound for the game's final two frames. He fired two hitless innings and recorded a pair of strikeouts to earn his first career win -- and that was on top of a 2-for-3 day at the plate with two runs scored on two leadoff triples. Lewis finished the day going 2-for-4 as the Owls improved to 1-2 on the season. Arizona is 2-1.
Rice returns to action for a busy stretch of games next week. The Owls host Dallas Baptist on Tuesday (Feb. 23), and Texas State on Wednesday (Feb. 24), at Reckling Park in a pair of 6 pm starts. The Blue & Gray then head way downtown to Minute Maid Park for three weekend games at the annual Shriner's Hospital for Children College Classic (Feb. 26-28).