Feb. 29, 2008
Rice-Oklahoma Photo Gallery
HOUSTON -- Rice freshman Chad Mozingo went 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI and sophomore pitcher Ryan Berry was sharp on the mound to lead the ninth-ranked Rice baseball team to a 7-2 victory over Oklahoma in the opening game of the Houston College Classic Tournament Friday afternoon at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.
The Owls collected 12 hits and scored in five of the nine innings on the way to the team's fourth-straight win of the season. While the Blue & Gray chipped away for single runs in four of the frames, Berry scattered five hits and three walks in 6.2 innings of work. The right-hander from nearby Humble, Tex., matched his season-high with eight strikeouts to move to 1-0 on the young season.
Rice put all the runs it would need on the scoreboard with two outs in the top of the third inning. Sophomore Jimmy Comerota punched a base hit through the right side and he stole second to move into scoring position. Jared Gayhart walked and Diego Seastrunk followed with an RBI single. Comerota scored easily, but a Sooner throwing error on the play allowed Gayhart to come home as well and Seastrunk to take third base. Chad Mozingo singled to bring home Gayhart and Blue & Gray was up 3-0.
The Owls added another run in the fourth with the help from the defense. Aaron Luna was safe on a fielding error and J.P. Padron singled to put runners on first and second. Rick Hague reached on a fielder's choice and Padron moved to second. Oklahoma was called for catcher's interference on Adam Zornes' at bat to load the bases. Padron scored from third on an RBI fielder's choice by Jordan Dodson to make the lead 4-0.
Oklahoma answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the margin in half. Berry started the frame with a strikeout, but OU's Spencer Shelby, J.T. Wise and Matt Harughty collected back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases. Casey Johnson drew a walk for the first run. A wild pitch on a strikeout scored the second. Berry came back and fanned each of the next two batters to end the inning with four strikeouts.
Rice came right back with a run in the top of the fifth when Mozingo drove the ball to the gap in left-center for a double. He moved up 90 feet on a passed ball and scored on an RBI ground out by Seastrunk. In the top of the eighth Zornes blasted a solo home run off the Minute Maid Park facade in left field. His second home run of the season extended the Rice lead to 6-2. In the ninth Luna drove in Mozingo from scoring position for a 7-2 score.
Berry was relieved on the mound by junior Lucas Luetge with a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. The left-hander from San Jacinto College held Oklahoma hitless for the final 2.1 innings. He did not issue any walks and struck out one to earn his first Division I save.
Rice is now 4-2 on the season. Oklahoma moved to 3-2. The Owls next face the fourth-ranked Texas Longhorns on Saturday's second day of the tournament. The 7 pm game has been selected for a live television broadcast by Fox Sports Southwest. Senior left-hander Cole St.Clair will start on the mound for the Owls.