March 6, 2013
Sam Houston led off the top of the third inning with a solo homerun by Jessie Plumlee, and added another run on three hits and two walks in the fourth. In the sixth Carter Burgess hit a one-out triple and scored on Kevin Miller's infield hit near the first base line.
The Owls were not without men on base and scoring chances, collecting seven hits to go along with five walks. The Blue & Gray left the bases-loaded in the fifth and had runners at third base in both the eighth and ninth innings. Rice head coach Wayne Graham has been in baseball long enough and tallied enough wins remain focused on the positives.
"I thought we were in the game all the way and our pitching staff fought hard," coach Graham said. "Tonight was not our best with the bat, and that seemed to get magnified when we had some critical opportunities. When we made mistakes I thought it was in areas of the game that can be correctable, like swinging at a pitch that we know is ball four. It's a mistake that is correctable, absolutely. We have plenty of talent, and pitching. It's growing pains.
"Jordan (Stephens) was great to keep us in the game," coach Graham added about his sophomore right-handed pitcher who came out of the bullpen to record a big strikeout with the bases-loaded in the fourth. Stephens ended-up fanning three of the five Bearkats he faced. "He wanted to pitch tonight a little, as a tune-up.
"Zech (Lemond) was brilliant," coach Graham said. "Now not everyone pitched well tonight, but enough did to keep us in the game. We just need to put it all together."
After five games in six days the Owls next head east to face future Conference USA foe FIU on the road in Florida. The three-game weekend series begins on Friday (March 8).
"I don't think there's anything wrong with us going on the road," coach Graham said. "We need to prove we can win wherever we go."
Friday start time against the Golden Panthers is set for 5 pm Central Time. Saturday's contest begins at 3 pm and the Sunday finale is at 10 am (all Central).
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