April 14, 2013
The Owls had rallied from a 4-0 deficit to take a 7-4 lead into the final two frames. UCF chipped away for one run in the eighth and was staging a two-out rally of its own in the top of the ninth. JoMarcos Woods hit a two-out single to left-center and James Vasquez doubled down the right field line to put men on second and third.
Erik Hempe followed with a ground-ball up the middle of the field that was just too far for a lunging Rice shortstop Ford Stainback to field. Woods was able to score easily and Hempe reached first safely, but the play wasn't quite finished.
Stainback deflected the ball to his teammate at second base, Christian Stringer, who was instinctively charging to his right for the ground ball up the middle. Stringer alertly fielded the Stainback deflection, and rifled a throw to the plate where the Knights were hustling home in an attempt to tie the game by scoring a second run.
Stringer's throw was on-target and Rice freshman catcher Hunter Kopycinski applied the tag on the sliding UCF runner for the final out of the game and a 7-6 final score. The Owls improved to 25-13 overall and 7-5 in C-USA league play. UCF is now 20-17 on the year and 6-6 in C-USA action.
"It was a saving play," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "UCF had already won the first two (games of the series) and they had the mindset to win another one. They played hard and played well all weekend."
"Of course it's critical to get a conference win, and it was good to have that big-inning to come-back and take the lead," coach Graham added. "We have got to be able to take advantage of (offensive) opportunities earlier in the game. We will have to pitch better than what we showed this weekend, no question."
UCF was first on the scoreboard in the top of the third. The Knights had a hit and took advantage of a Rice fielding miscue for a 1-0 advantage.
The Knights used the longball to build a 4-0 advantage midway thru the sixth. In the top of the fourth, Chris Taladay led off with a base hit and scored on a one-out home run to left field by Jeramy Matos. Erik Hempe then led off the sixth with a solo home run to left-center field.
Rice followed suit. In the bottom of the sixth senior Michael Ratterree led off with a solo home run to left-center field. His second round-tripper of the season cut the margin to 4-1.
The Blue & Gray then batted around to erupt for six runs on four hits in the bottom of the seventh and move in front 7-4. The big blows were a bases-loaded single up the middle by Shane Hoelscher that scored two, and a base hit to the right side by Keenan Cook that drove in two more.
UCF continued to battle, and chipped away with another run in the eighth. With two away, Matos connected on a pitch for his second home run of the day that made the score 7-5.
The Owls' current homestand continues thru Wednesday. Rice hosts longtime state rival Texas Tech for two games, scheduled for Tuesday (April 16) and Wednesday (April 17) at 6:30 pm and 6 pm, respectively.
Wayne Graham Radio Show Returns Monday Night
04/25/2016 - The live, weekly Rice baseball radio show featuring the Owls' legendary head coach returns Monday (April 25) at 7 pm.
Southern Miss Rallies Past Rice In Ninth Inning...
04/24/2016 - Southern Miss rallied for the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 2-1 Conference USA win over the Rice baseball team Sunday...
Rice Takes Game Two Saturday at Southern Miss, 4-3
04/23/2016 - Connor Teykl drove-in Dane Myers for the tying run in the sixth, and the same duo then combined for the go-ahead RBI & run in the eighth to help ...
Southern Miss Slips Past Rice Friday Night, 2-1
04/22/2016 - The Rice baseball team’s ninth inning rally was just 90 feet away at third base as Southern Miss held on for a narrow 2-1 Conference USA win ...
Rice Plays Key C-USA Series At Southern Miss
04/21/2016 - The Rice baseball team, 24-11 overall and winners of 15 of the last 17 games to earn a No. 13 national ranking from Baseball America, returns to...
Myers & Otto Each Named To Watch Lists For ...
04/20/2016 - Rice’s sophomore duo of Dane Myers and Glenn Otto have each been named to the respective watch list for some of the top awards presented...
Gray Earns C-USA Hitter of the Week Award
04/18/2016 - Rice’s Tristan Gray has been named the Conference USA Hitter of the Week for April 12-17, the league office announced Monday (Apr. 18) from...
Wayne Graham Notches 1,100th Rice Victory With ...
04/16/2016 - Not only did the Rice baseball team give head coach Wayne Graham his 1,100th victory at the school with a double-header sweep of visiting Western...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store