April 14, 2007
HOUSTON -- Junior Joe Savery went 4-for-4 to lead a 15-hit Rice attack and the Owls had a masterful game on the mound from senior pitcher Ryne Tacker on the way to a 12-0 win in eight innings in the second game of the three-game Conference USA/Silver Glove Trophy series Saturday evening at Cougar Field on the UH campus. With the victory Rice tied the series 1-1 heading into Sunday's finale scheduled for 1 pm at UH.
The Owls scored in five of the game's eight innings, including a pair of runs in the top of the first. Jared Gayhart and Brian Friday knocked back-to-back doubles to the gap in right-center for one run. Savery singled to score Friday for a 2-0 lead.
The Blue & Gray used the longball to add three more in the fourth. Jordan Dodson singled with one away and Tyler Henley slapped a two-out hit to right to put men on the corners. Gayhart followed by blasting a bases-clearing home run to right on the first pitch to stretch the margin to 5-0.
Savery led off the sixth with a single and he moved into scoring position on a ground ball to the right side. He was able to come home on a Houston fielding error to make the score 6-0. An inning later Savery drove in two more runs with his fourth hit of the day as part of a three-run sixth and a 9-0 lead. The Owls scored three more in the eighth on two hits, a walk and UH error for a 12-0 final.
That was more than enough room for Tacker in his first starting assignment in two years. The right-hander from Benbrook, Tex., fired a season-long 6.0 scoreless innings for his team-leading seventh win of the season. He allowed just three hits and one walk while tying a season-high with nine strikeouts.
Tacker worked out of two early jams to keep Houston off the scoreboard. With two men on base in the first inning, he covered first base on a ground out to the right side to end the Cougars' threat. In the second inning he struck out the side with men on first and third. From the third inning to the fifth he struck out five in a row. Junior Bobby Bramhall pitched a hitless seventh and sophomore Matt Langwell threw a hitless eighth. The pitching trio combined to post the staff's fourth shutout of the season.
As Rice stepped to the plate to bat in the top of the ninth, umpires announced the 12-0 game was final. The Owls improved to 28-11 on the season and 9-2 in C-USA action. Houston fell to 19-15 on the year and 6-2 against the league.
Not only does the winner of Sunday's series finale win the weekend series 2-1, that team also wins the coveted Silver Glove Trophy as the city's top collegiate team. First pitch is slated for 1 pm at UH.
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