March 2, 2010
HOUSTON -- Senior pitcher Jared Rogers held Houston in check with a season-long 6.0 innings while the Owl offense gave him a comfortable eight runs on ten hits, more than enough room for the ninth-ranked Rice baseball team to claim an 8-2 non-conference victory over visiting UH Tuesday night at the Owls' Reckling Park. The showdown was the first meeting of a season-long five-game series between the foes for the annual Silver Glove Trophy as the city's collegiate champion.
Rice made the first move for the 2010 Silver Glove with a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning. Junior shortstop Rick Hague connected on a 3-2 pitch for a round-tripper to left field. The shot was his first of the year and the 18th of his collegiate career.
The Owls came back with three in the third. Michael Ratterree slashed a triple to right-center and scored on a base hit by Chad Mozingo. Michael Fuda singled and Anthony Rendon walked to load the bases. Freshman Chase McDowell lined a hit through the right side to score two more for a 4-0 advantage.
Houston tallied a run in the sixth. Joel Ansley led off with a single and moved into scoring position on Blake Kelso's sacrifice bunt. Ansley scored on a double to center by Caleb Ramsey to make it 4-1.
That was the only damage allowed by Rogers on the way to his first win of the season. The right-hander from Duncanville, Tex., scattered a total of five hits without any walks and struck out three. In a total of 12.2 innings this season, Rogers has allowed just three hits and a walk with a 2.13 ERA.
Even with Rogers in-command, Rice got the run back and more in its next at bat. A leadoff walk and a one-out, two-run homer by Jeremy Rathjen stretched the margin to 6-1.
Houston's M.P. Kokinos homered in the top of the seventh for a 6-2 Rice lead, but the Owls answered with two in the bottom of the frame. Fuda and Rendon drew walks to start it off and the duo advanced on Craig Manuel's sacrifice bunt. Both scored on a single by Jimmy Comerota and the Blue & Gray coasted-in with its largest lead of the night for an 8-2 final.
Comerota, McDowell and Mozingo all finished with two RBI while Fuda and freshman catcher Geoff Perrott both had a pair of hits. Rice improved to 4-4 on the season. The Cougars fell to 2-5.
The Owls next face longtime foe Texas State on the road in San Marcos, Tex., on Wednesday night. Rice will be the first opponent to play in Texas State's new home baseball venue, the Bobcat Baseball Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 pm.
Rice then meets a host of talented teams at the annual College Classic Tournament downtown at Minute Maid Park Friday through Sunday (Mar. 5-7). The Blue & Gray plays the University of Texas on Friday night at 7 pm, followed by Texas Tech on Saturday and 7 pm and TCU on Sunday at 6 pm.
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