March 2, 2013
The Aggies opened the scoring with three runs in each of the first two innings on six hits and two Owl fielding errors. In the first inning A&M had two infield hits, a walk and a double to left by Blake Allemand that cleared the bases. Only one of the runs in the second inning was earned due to two Rice fielding errors, but the Aggies stretched the margin to 6-0.
Rice battled back for three in the top of the fourth. Connor Teykl was hit by a pitch to lead it off and Christian Stringer followed with a walk. Junior Michael Aquino hit the first pitch he saw into the park's Crawford Boxes in left. The round-tripper was Aquino's team-leading fourth of the season to make the score 6-3.
"I felt like I've been swinging the bat pretty well overall and I felt good on the pitch to get home run, but I'd trade any individual stat for a win - no question," Aquino said after his 2-for-4 night with three RBI. "I know this team, and I know we're all going to work hard to have a great game tomorrow."
The Aggies got two back in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of two-out singles. A&M finished with 11 hits off three Owl pitchers in an 8-3 final score. Rice redshirt pitcher Connor Mason made his collegiate debut and fired a pair of scoreless frames with two strikeouts.
"I didn't think we did a good job of hitting," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "Mike was our whole offense. He's more mature this season. I should have played him in every game this year."
There is still one more day of tournament action left at Minute Maid Park, downtown home of the Houston Astros. The Owls next meet longtime rival Baylor on Sunday (March 3) in the Classic's finale. Start time against the Bears is slated for 5:30 pm.
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