March 25, 2008
SAN MARCOS, Tex. -- Junior Jared Gayhart drove in four of the Rice baseball team's 13 runs to pace the tenth-ranked Owls to a 13-3 road victory over longtime rival Texas State Tuesday night in San Marcos. With the offense in high gear for 14 hits, including seven for extra bases, the Blue & Gray won its tenth game in a row to improve to 18-6.
Rice turned a Texas State fielding error into a big four-run outburst in the second inning. Freshman Rick Hague drew a leadoff walk and Chad Mozingo lined a pitch into left field with one away. Jimmy Comerota reached base on a ground ball that could have been the third out of the inning. Instead the team's second-leading hitter, Jared Gayhart, came to the plate with the bases loaded and drove a triple off the wall in left field to score all three runners. Gayhart then trotted home on a double down the right field line by Diego Seastrunk that extended the lead to 4-0.
The Blue & Gray needed only two hits to put five runs on the board in the third. Adam Zornes' leadoff single and a double by Hague put runners on second and third. Two more walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch scored three more. Gayhart reached on a fielder's choice that scored the eighth run of the game, but another Bobcat fielding error on the play allowed one more run to come home and the Owls were coasting with an early 9-0 lead.
The comfortable margin allowed Rice starter Matt Langwell to exit after just five innings. The junior from College Station, Tex., scattered six singles over the five frames with just one run allowed. He struck out three hitters and induced seven ground outs on a night where the wind was blowing out. Langwell, now 3-0 for the season, was relieved by Matt Evers and Lucas Luetge. The two newcomers combined to hold State to two runs on just two more hits for the final four innings.
The Owls went on to add two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to push the run total to 13. Hague drove in the two in the seventh with a double. A double by Mozingo, Rice's fifth of the game, and a triple by Jordan Dodson closed out the scoring. Texas State fell to 12-8 on the season.
Rice next travels across town to take on rival Houston at UH's Cougar Field on Wednesday. The game is not part of the Conference USA slate, but is the second installment of the best-of-five series for the Silver Glove Trophy. The start times for both games is 6:30 pm.