March 30, 2011
HUNTSVILLE, Tex. -- The Rice baseball team twice rallied from deficits before finally using a three-run inning in the sixth to claim a 5-2 road victory at Sam Houston State Wednesday night at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Tex.
Sam Houston State opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Ryan Mooney singled to right field with one away and moved to second on a wild pitch. He came home on Mark Hudson's single to center for a 1-0 Bearkat lead.
The Owls came right back and tied the game in the top of the fourth. Anthony Rendon drew a leadoff walk and advanced to scoring position with a steal of second base. He went to third on an infield hit by Michael Ratterree and trotted home on Shane Hoelscher's sacrifice fly to make it 1-1.
The Bearkats moved back in front in the bottom of the fifth. Mark Hudson hit a solo home run to left for a 2-1 SHSU advantage.
Once again the lead didn't last long. In the top of the sixth Ratterree worked a leadoff walk and he took second on a ground out. Ratterree was able to score on a base hit up the middle by Hoelscher. It was now 2-2, but the Owls weren't quite finished. Ryan Lewis walked in a pinch-hit appearance to put runners on first and second. Craig Manuel then blasted a big two-out, two-run double to the right field corner to score both runners and put Rice in front to stay 4-2.
The Blue & Gray added one more in the eighth. Keenan Cook, Manuel and Derek Hamilton all collected consecutive singles for a run that made the score 5-2. Hamilton finished the game with three hits and extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. Hoelscher and Manuel shared the game lead with two RBI each.
Junior left-hander Taylor Wall started on the mound for the Owls and struck out a season-high four in a season-long 3.2 innings. He was relieved by Tyler Duffey (1.1 IP) and John Simms (2.2) and Tony Cingrani (1.1). The trio allowed just a run four hits while combining for eight strikeouts. Duffey improved to 4-1 on the season and Cingrani notched his second save.
Rice is now 18-11 on the season with the team's second-straight win. Sam Houston State moved to 17-10 overall.
The Owls return to Conference USA league play on Friday (Apr. 1) with a three-game weekend series against Marshall. The start times at Reckling Park are 6:30 pm on Friday, 1 pm on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday. Note that the Saturday and Sunday start times are a slight change from some earlier listings.