March 19, 2011
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HOUSTON -- The Rice baseball team took the lead with three runs in the fifth and rode on some steady relief work from Tyler Duffey and Tony Cingrani on the way to a 5-2 victory over visiting Louisiana Tech in the middle game of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
Rice quickly put a run on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Walks to Daniel GonzalesLuna and Anthony Rendon put two men on base and freshman Shane Hoelscher lined a two-out double down the left field line for a 1-0 advantage.
The Owls turned Derek Hamilton's leadoff single in the fourth into another run and a 2-0 lead. Hamilton singled, moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Geoff Perrott and came home on a two-out base hit up the middle by J.T. Chargois.
Rice starting pitcher Chase McDowell retired each of the first 12 batters he faced, but La Tech tied the game in the top of the fifth. Alex Williams led off with a double to right-center and moved to third on a ground out to the right side. He scored on base hit by Clint Ewing to make it 2-1. Justin Gordey followed with an RBI double to right-center and a new 2-2 contest.
The Owls came right back with three big runs in the bottom of the frame. Hoelscher hit his second double of the game and scored on Hamilton's two-out base hit to left field. Rice was back in front, 3-2, but still looking for more. Perrott walked to put two men on base and he and Hamilton moved up an extra 90 feet on a Bulldog wild pitch. Freshman Keenan Cook followed with a base hit to score both runs and the Blue & Gray stretched the margin to 5-2.
That was more than enough room for Rice relievers Tyler Duffey and Tony Cingrani. Duffey came on in the fifth and struck out three of the eight batters he faced, finishing with 2.2 hitless frames. Cingrani pitched the last two innings for his first save of the season. The senior from New Lenox, Ill., allowed just one hit and struck out four of seven batters he faced.
Rice pitchers combined for a total of 10 strikeouts and allowed just four hits with one walk in the game. Hoelscher, Hamilton and Chargois all had two hits for the Owls in leading a nine-hit attack.
With its second win in a row Rice clinched the three-game weekend series and moved to 12-9 on the season. La Tech is now 8-10 on the year. The series concludes on Sunday with a scheduled 1 pm start.