Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON – The Rice baseball team collected a season-high 16 hits and led by two runs heading into the eighth inning, but visiting crosstown foe Houston Baptist rallied to tie the game before claiming an 8-7 win in 11 innings Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park.
The three-game weekend series is now level, 1-1, after the Owls claimed a convincing 10-2 victory in the Friday night opener. The series finale is set for 1 pm Sunday at Rice’s Reckling Park.
The Owls twice battled to come back from deficits early in the contest. After HBU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings, true freshman Trei Cruz blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the third to tie score. The Huskies chipped away for runs in the fifth and sixth to move back in front, 5-3. Rice answered with four big runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up by two, 7-5, thanks to a two-run double by Braden Comeaux.
HBU rallied to tie the game, 7-7, on a pair of hits and two walks in the top of the eighth. Rice threatened for runs with men in scoring position in the eighth, ninth and tenth innings, but the Huskies were able to work out of danger each time. HBU put a run on the board in the top of the eleventh and held on for an 8-7 final.
Rice is now 4-6 overall. The Owl duo of Comeaux and Ryan Chandler shared the game lead with three hits each. The team’s 23 total bases was a season-high. HBU improved to 4-7 on the year.