March 9, 2007
CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. -- The eighth-ranked Rice baseball team broke a one-run game wide open with a big 12-run seventh inning on the way to a 20-6 win over TCU on the first day of the Whataburger College Classic Friday night at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Owls exploded for 12 runs on nine hits, three walks and an error on the way to season highs in runs, hits (18) and doubles (6). Rice improved to 12-7 on the season and next faces Texas Tech in the second round of the annual tournament on Saturday night.
Rice sophomore Aaron Luna was 3-for-4 with a home run and five RBI. Junior Brian Friday drove in four runs with a pair of hits. Seven different Rice players had two or more hits on the night.
TCU used the longball to start the scoring in the top of the second inning. Austin Adams singled to lead it off and designated hitter Matt McGuirk followed with a home run to right field for a 2-0 lead.
The Owls came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame. Joe Savery punched a ball through the left side and stole second to move into scoring position. The next batter, freshman Diego Seastrunk, clubbed a double to right-center to make the score 2-1.
The Horned Frogs scored two runs in the third inning with two away. With runners on second and third base the Owls issued Matt McGuirk an intentional walk to set up a force. First baseman Matt Vern drew a walk to score one and Clint Arnold had an infield single to stretch the margin to 4-1.
Rice rallied to push across two runs with two away in the fourth inning. Danny Lehmann walked, Aaron Luna singled and Jared Gayhart walked to load the bases. Jordan Dodson singled to center to drive in two and the Blue & Gray pulled within a run 4-3.
The Owls took the lead with a big four-run fifth, again with two outs already recorded. Savery got it started with an infield single and Lehmann and Seastrunk drew walks to load the bases for Luna. Savery came home on a wild pitch to tie the game. Luna then blasted his fourth home run of the season to left field to plate three more for a 7-4 advantage.
TCU's Ben Carruthers was hit by a pitch to lead off the seventh and Bryan Kervin singled. Steven Trout doubled down the left field line to drive them both in and the lead was down to one, 7-6. Rice was in control after that.
Lost among all the offensive fireworks was solid outings on the mound by seniors Scott Lonergan and Ryne Tacker. Lonergan scattered just three hits and two walks in 3.1 innings. he struck out a Rice-high seven batters to move to 3-0 on the season.