March 20, 2010
SAN DIEGO -- The Rice baseball team had a chance to extend an extra-inning game with San Diego to at least one more extra frame, but a dropped fly in the outfield with two outs in the bottom of the tenth led to the eventual winning run in USD's 6-5 victory over the visiting Owls Saturday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
The teams were deadlocked 5-5 heading into extra innings and appeared to be on their way to at least one more. Rice recorded two quick outs and was on its way to a 1-2-3 tenth inning, but a dropped fly ball allowed Nick McCoy to reach base. He stole second to move into scoring position and came home on a single to right by Tony Strazzara, sliding-in head first just ahead of catcher Craig Manuel's sweeping tag.
The ending wrapped-up a roller-coaster second game of the three-game weekend series. Rice tallied a run in the top of the first inning to start the contest. With one away Michael Fuda doubled down the right field line. Rick Hague followed with a base hit up the middle to drive him home for a 1-0 lead.
San Diego moved in front in the bottom of the third. Strazzara led off with a walk and advanced on a one-out single by James Meador. Victor Sanchez drew a two-out walk to load the bases. The Owls looked to be on their way out of the jam with a ground ball, but two fielding errors on the same play allowed to men to score for a 2-1 advantage.
Rice tied the game, and then moved in front, in consecutive at bats in the fourth. Anthony Rendon led off the frame with a home run over the right field wall for his eighth round-tripper of the year. The next batter, Jeremy Rathjen, homered to left-center for a new Owl lead at 3-2.
Owl second baseman Michael Ratterree stroked a two-out single to keep the sixth alive. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and then third on a erroneous throw to try and retire him hustling to second. He scored from third on a fielding error off the bat of Steven Sultzbaugh to make the score 4-2.
Brian Farris started the USD seventh off with a walk and Nick McCoy was brought in to pinch run. Starzzarra followed with a single and a two-out base hit by Mike Ferrarro made the score 4-4.
The Blue & Gray moved back in front in the the eighth. Rendon led off with a double to center and moved to third on a USD error where the Toreros tried to pick him off base. The throw was into center and Rendon trotted easily to third. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Ratterree for a 5-4 lead.
The Toreros added the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. Austin Green led off with a double to left. A sacrifice moved him to third and a squeeze play knotted-up the score at 5-5.
USD won it in the bottom of the tenth for a second-straight victory in the series. The Owls fell to 11-9 on the year. The Toreros improved to the same 11-9 mark. The weekend series concludes Sunday in California. Start time is set for noon Sunday Pacific Time (2 pm Central).
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