April 8, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The Rice baseball had to battle for a pair of runs against an East Carolina pitching staff that leads the nation in team-ERA, but Owl pitchers Austin Kubitza and Tony Cingrani combined for a sensational outing of their own on the way to a 2-1 road victory over the Pirates in the opener of a three-game Conference USA league series Friday night at Clark-LeClaire Stadium in Greenville, N.C.
Kubitza and Cingrani combined to hold East Carolina to just one run (unearned) on four singles while posting the staff's season high of 18 strikeouts. The Owls needed the exceptional effort as four Pirate pitchers worked together to hold Rice to just a pair of runs.
Early on it might not have looked like runs would be at a premium. Rice put a run on the scoreboard right away in the top of the first inning. J.T. Chargois and Anthony Rendon stroked one-out infield singles. Michael Ratterree knocked a 1-2 pitch into left field to score Chargois for a 1-0 Owl lead.
Kubitza started on the mound for the Blue & Gray and proceeded to strike out seven of the first 10 batters he faced. He added two more strikeouts in the fourth and another two in the fifth, giving him a career-high 11 Ks after only 5.0 frames.
East Carolina struck four a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Trent Whitehead singled and two more walks loaded the bases. Pirate shortstop Jack Reinheimer then hit the ball back up the middle of the infield, but Ratterree made a spectacular grab on the ball behind second base. He athletically made a throw that would have ended the inning. The ball was in the glove, but popped out. A run was in, 1-1, and ECU still had the bases loaded. Cingrani came in at that point and ended the rally with a pop-up.
Rice bounced right back and regained the lead in the top of the seventh. Ryan Lewis led off with a base hit and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Keenan Cook. With first base open Rendon was intentionally walked. The next batter, Michael Fuda, delivered the clutch go-head RBI with single to right-center to score Lewis for a new Rice lead, 2-1.
The Owls still needed a solid three frames from Cingrani and the senior left-hander delivered. He struck out the last two for a 1-2-3 seventh before striking out the side in the eighth.
He fanned the leadoff batter of the bottom of the ninth to make it six Ks in a row, but ECU fought to the end while playing in front of their home fans. Pinch hitters Chase McDonald and Drew Reynolds both collected singles that put runners on first and third. Cingrani regrouped to end the game with a final strikeout, the staff's 18th of the night, for a 2-1 final.
Rice is now 22-12 on the season and 5-2 in Conference USA. East Carolina moved to 21-9 overall and 3-4 against the league.
The C-USA weekend series continues through Sunday (April 10). Start time on Saturday is set for 2 pm Central Time. First pitch Sunday is 9:30 am Central Time.
Rice Scholar Athletes Honored
02/26/2017 - Rice Athletics and the R Association honored some of its best and brightest on Sunday evening as the 2017 Rice Scholar Athletes and Honor Athletes ...
Dallas Baptist Tops Rice Tuesday Night, 8-4
02/21/2017 - Six Rice pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts to post the staff’s highest single game total in two years, but a pair of Dallas Baptist homers ...
Owls Host Dallas Baptist Tuesday Night In Home ...
02/20/2017 - The Rice baseball team, ranked as high as No. 21 in the nation, hosts state foe Dallas Baptist in its home-opener on Tuesday (Feb. 21) at Reckling ...
Owls Take Series Finale At Texas, 7-1
02/19/2017 - Sophomore catcher Dominic DiCaprio went 3-for-4 with three RBI, two doubles, a walk and two runs scored while three Owl pitchers combined to hold...
Baseball Falls Saturday In Texas Twinbill
02/19/2017 - The Rice baseball team struck for the lead in both games of Saturday’s double-header at Texas’ UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, but the...
Baseball Wins Season-Opener Friday Night at Texas
02/18/2017 - Junior Dane Myers pitched six quality innings on the mound, had two hits at the plate and scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the top ...
Baseball Opens 2017 Season Friday Night
02/16/2017 - The Rice baseball team, ranked as high as No. 21 in the nation heading into the 2017 campaign, plays its season-opener on Friday (Feb. 17) on the...
Baseball Fanfest Set For Sunday
02/08/2017 - The second-annual Rice Baseball Fanfest, where the public can get up close to the Owls' baseball program, is set for this Sunday (Feb. 12) from 12:...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store