March 20, 2013
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Senior Geoff Perrott
went 4-for-4 in the team's season-high tying 16-hit attack and two big innings paved the way to Rice's 11-5 baseball victory over visiting UTSA Wednesday night at Reckling Park, extending the Owls' win-streak to a season-best seven-straight games.
The Owls opened the scoring with a run on Keenan Cook's sacrifice fly to score Christian Stringer in the fourth inning. The Blue & Gray then batted around for a big four-run fifth to extend the lead to 5-0. The big blows were a bases-loaded double to right by Stringer to score two, and a single to left-center by Michael Aquino that drove in two more.
Rice starting pitcher Chase McDowell was sound and solid working into the seventh. He allowed six hits and posted three strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work. In the seventh UTSA rallied to four runs to pull within one, 5-4.
"Chase gave us a quality start," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "I would have liked to see the bullpen give him a little more support, but it was still a quality start. I have no doubt Chase will help us."
Rice worked out of the jam and then answered with another big inning in its next turn at bat. The Owls batted around again to score five runs on four hits, a walk and hit batsman to make it 10-4. Both squads added single runs in the eighth for an 11-5 final. Rice closed out the contest with 16 total hits to match its season-high from the finale of the FIU series (March 10). Perrott went 4-for-4 while four other Owls had two hits on the night.
"I thought we did a good job of hitting, and it was very nice to see how we turned things on late in the game," said coach Graham. "We'd get a runner on second base and drive him, and we did that a couple of times tonight when it seems like we hadn't done it very much at all so far this season. It was good to see. I think we're getting a little more confident at the plate and we're playing good defense."
Rice improved to 16-7 overall with its seventh-straight win. UTSA is now 13-8 on the year. The Owls have closed out the current homestand and next open Conference USA regular season action with a three-game weekend series at Southern Miss on March 22-24 (Fri.-Sun.). Game times against the Golden Eagles are set for 6 pm, 2 pm and 1 pm, respectively, at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss.