HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Sam Houston State jumped out to a seven-run lead after four innings to claim an 11-4 win over the visiting Rice baseball team in the second game of the back-to-back, home & away midweek series Wednesday evening at Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
Wednesday's rematch would not be a repeat of Tuesday's contest at Reckling Park where Rice shutout the Bearkats 4-0. Sam Houston scored twice in the bottom of the first inning before erupting for five runs on four hits in the fourth. The Owls also issued three walks and hit another batter as SHSU extended its early lead to 7-0.
Rice continued to fight and came back for four runs in the top of the fifth. Freshman Tristan Gray led off with a single to right and Hunter Kopycinski chopped a one-out hit into left. The runners advanced on Ryan Chandler's single, and Gray scored on Ford Stainback's sacrifice fly.
The Blue & Gray was on the board, but not finished with the scoring. Leon Byrd reached on a Bearkat fielding error to load the bases. John Clay Reeves roped a single to left to score two. Kirby Taylor then drove a single up the middle to plate the speedy Byrd to make it 7-4.
Sam Houston came back with one run in the seventh. Miles Manning singled home Collin Yelich that doubled the margin to four, 8-4. In the bottom of the eighth SHSU's Spence Rahm slugged a three-run homer for an 11-4 final.
The Owls had 10 hits on the night, led by Taylor's 3-for-4 outing to raise his season batting average to .434. Rice is now 17-10 on the season. Sam Houston State improved to 13-14 overall.
Rice is next back home at Reckling Park for a three-game weekend series vs. Southern Miss beginning on Friday night (March 27). Friday's start time is 6 pm.