HOUSTON -- A late home run was enough to lift Louisiana to a 4-2 win over the Rice baseball team in the final game of the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic late Sunday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Ragin' Cajuns were quick on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the first inning, but the Owls answered with two in the bottom of the second to take the lead. Ford Proctor laced a leadoff single up the middle and scored from first base on Dayne Wunderlich's rocket double to left-center. Wunderlich hustled to third on a fly out, and then scored easily on Cody Staab's double down the left field line to put the Owls up 2-1.
Louisiana tied it in the top of the fifth. Brian Mills reached on a one-out fielder's choice and moved into scoring position with a stolen base. He scored on Joe Robbins' single to make it a 2-2 game.
The pitching on both sides was sound and solid to keep the score low and tied late into the contest. UL's Nick Lee pitched 7.0 innings allowing two runs. Rice veteran Blake Fox stepped-up to work a season-long 7.1 innings. The Houston native struck out four with just one walk.
After a Rice fielding error in the top of the eighth, UL's Stefan Trosclair broke the deadlock with a two-run homer off the Minute Maid Park foul pole in the left field Crawford Boxes.
The Owls tried to get something going in the ninth with the leadoff runner reaching base, but UL hung-on for the 4-2 final. Rice is now 3-5 on the season. The Ragin' Cajuns improved to 4-3 overall.
The weekend tournament downtown has concluded. Rice junior Charlie Warren was named to the event's All-Tournament team after going 3-for-10, as well as making a sensational catch in right field in Friday's game vs. Arkansas.
Rice next meets longtime rival Sam Houston State on Wednesday (March 2). Start time at Sanders Stadium in Huntsville is set for 6:30 pm. The Owls then return home to host UCF in a three-game series at Reckling Park on March 4-6.