Feb. 26, 2010
HOUSTON -- Sophomore designated hitter Jeremy Rathjen drove-in a career-best four runs and went three-for-four with his first home run of the season to help lift the Rice baseball team to a 7-2 victory over visiting Elon in the second game of the Owls' annual Rice Invitational Tournament Friday evening at Reckling Park.
The victory over the defending Southern Conference champions snapped a season-opening four-game losing streak. The Owls next face Big 12 foe Nebraska in Saturday's round-robin tournament action. First pitch with the Cornhuskers is slated for 4:30 pm.
Rice exploded for four big runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back. Michael Ratterree led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice by Chad Mozingo. Ratterrree came home on a base hit to left by Michael Fuda, but the Owls weren't finished. Anthony Rendon walked and a base hit to right by Steven Sultzbaugh made the score 2-0. Rick Hague laced a double to center to score one and Rathjen followed with an RBI single to stretch the margin to 4-0.
Elon scored a run in the top of the third on a walk and RBI double by Alex Swim. In the bottom of the frame Rathjen helped the Blue & Gray pad the lead with a long three-run homer to left field. The blast was the Houston native's first round-tripper of the season, plated his career-best fourth RBI and gave Rice a 7-1 cushion.
Elon, a 40-game winner last season that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, continued to fight. Phoenix left fielder Matt Hinson knocked a two-out solo homer to center field for a 7-2 score.
That was all the runs allowed by Rice pitchers Boogie Anagnostou and Jared Rogers. Anagnostou started and recorded the longest outing by an Owl this year for the victory. He worked 5.2 innings, scattering three hits and striking out one. Rogers pitched the final 3.1 innings and handcuffed the previously undefeated Phoenix to no runs and just one hit. He struck out one and didn't walk any on the way to his first save of the season.
Rice is now 1-4 on the season. Elon fell to 4-1. Tournament action continues at Reckling Park on Saturday with Elon meeting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 1 pm and the Rice-Nebraska nightcap. The Invitational concludes Sunday with Nebraska and Elon playing at noon while Rice hosts TAMUCC at 3:30 pm.