March 26, 2010
MEMPHIS -- The Rice baseball team collected double digit hits on the night but the Owls fell to Memphis 5-2 in the Conference USA regular season opener for both teams Friday evening at FedEx Park on the Memphis campus in Tennessee.
Memphis jumped on the scoreboard for a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Drew Martinez and Chad Zurcher singled to start the frame and Tyler Huelsing bounced into a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners. An Owl error on a failed pick-off attempt allowed one run to score and Huelsing to take second base. Huelsing scored on a single by Rick Russell for a 2-0 Tiger lead.
Memphis answered with a run in its half of the fourth. Rick Russell and Adam McClain both singled to start it off and a walk to Alan Mathis loaded the bases. Russell scored on a ground out by Robby Graham that put the Tigers back up by two, 3-1. That would be all the room Memphis starting pitcher Brennon Martin would need, firing a complete game to improve to 2-2 on the young season.
The Tigers added a pair of insurance runs on a Trey Wiedman home run in the eighth. His third homer of the season made it 5-1.
Rice rallied for a run in the top of the ninth. Sultzbaugh took two bases on a Tiger error and scored on a base hit by Chad Mozingo. The Owls fell to 12-11 on the season and 0-1 in Conference USA play. Memphis improved to 10-12 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Junior right-hander Boogie Anagnostou started on the mound for Rice and fell to 1-2. Junior left-hander relieved him in the fourth and was sound and solid, scattering three hits over the final 4.2 frames with a pair of strikeouts.
There has been a change to the final two games of the weekend series. The teams will now play a double-header on Saturday beginning at 1 pm. The double-header erases the game that was originally scheduled for Sunday. Heavy thunderstorms are anticipated in the Memphis area for late Saturday night and Sunday.