March 3, 2010
SAN MARCOS, Tex. -- Junior pitcher Abe Gonzales fired 5.1 shutout innings and the Owls put together a big four-run sixth on the way to a 5-0 non-conference road victory over longtime rival Texas State Wednesday night on the road in San Marcos, Tex.
In his first start of the season Gonzales was just what the Blue & Gray needed against a Bobcat team that prior to the season was picked to win the Southland Conference. The junior left-hander from Houston's St. Thomas High School scattered just three hits and a walk for his first win of the season. The 5.1 innings is Gonzales' career-longest outing and he tied a career-high with three strikeouts.
The offense supported him with one run in the top of the first. Sophomore Anthony Rendon batted leadoff for the first time in his career and his ability to get on-base quickly turned into an Owl run. The All-American drew a walk, his team-leading 14th of the season, and moved to second on base hit through the right side by Chad Mozingo. Michael Fuda lined a one-out base hit up the middle to bring Rendon home for a 1-0 lead. Fuda has hit safely in every game this season and the sophomore standout has a 13-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
Rendon proceeded to get on base each of the next three times via walks and his teammates turned the opportunities into runs in the top of the sixth. A wild pitch allowed Rendon to move to second and an infield hit by Michael Ratterree put men on the corners. Fuda drew a walk to load the bases and freshman Chase McDowell brought them home with a triple to the gap in right-center field. It was McDowell's third hit with the bases-loaded on the young season, but the Owls weren't finished. Jeremy Rathjen hit a sacrifice fly to score McDowell and stretch the margin to 5-0.
Gonzales was relieved by Boogie Anagnostou and Tyler Duffey. Anagnostou worked 2.2 frames allowing three hits but no walks. Duffy registered a 1-2-3 ninth, but the Owls were too far ahead for a possible save. Rice improved to 5-4 on the season with its first shutout since defeating Kansas State 8-0 in the home NCAA Regional last season. Texas State moved to 3-3
Rice next 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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