Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON -- Rice sophomore Matt Canterino struck out a career-high 12 batters in 7.0 shutout innings, and the bats came alive with new season-highs in runs (10) and hits (13), as the Owls' baseball team posted a 10-2 victory over visiting crosstown foe Houston Baptist Friday night at Reckling Park.
For the third time in as many starts Canterino was in control. The right-hander from Southlake, Texas, held HBU to just a pair of base hits and one walk while firing a season-long 7.0 scoreless frames. He posted a new personal best with 12 strikeouts, the most by an Owl pitcher in two years. Canterino struck out the side in both the second and fifth innings, and he retired 18 batters in a row during one stretch.
Canterino had quality starts in his previous two outings against nationally-ranked opponents UCF and Stanford. The only missing ingredient in those games, however, was offensive support. Friday the Owls' offense spotted him three runs through the first five frames and was much more efficient with timely hits.
After Canterino retired his last Husky batter in the top of the seventh, the Owls exploded for five runs on three hits in the bottom of the frame. The big blow was a three-run homer by Chace Sarchet. The senior from Lubbock also slugged a triple on the way to driving in a career-high five runs. The Blue & Gray added two more in the eighth to reach double-digit runs for the first time this season. Six different players collected two or more hits.
The Huskies continued to fight, and plated runs in both the eighth and ninth innings in a 10-2 final. Rice improved to 4-5 on the season. HBU is 3-7 overall.
The three-game weekend series continues through Sunday. Start times of both and Saturday and Sunday's games are set for 1 pm at Rice's Reckling Park.