April 15, 2008
The sixth-ranked Rice baseball team slugged double-digit hits for the eighth game in a row, including two home runs and four doubles, on the way to an 11-2 win over eighth-ranked Texas A&M before a rowdy crowd of 5,570 at Olsen Field Tuesday night in College Station. The victory simultaneously extended the Owls' win-streak to eight in a row and snapped the Aggies' win-streak at 13.
Rice began the contest with a blast. Leadoff batter Jared Gayhart connected on a 2-1 pitch for a home run over the right field wall. Texas A&M answered with a solo home run of its own in the bottom of the frame.
The longball was the key hit of a three-run Rice third. Jimmy Comerota reached on an Aggie fielding error and a base hit by Diego Seastrunk put runners on first and second. Aaron Luna followed with a home run blast to left field that put the Owls out in front, 4-1.
That was all the room starting pitcher Mike Ojala would need on the night. The right-hander from Kingwood held A&M to just a run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. With another quality start he would remain undefeated on the season with a 3-0 record. He was relieved by Bobby Bell, who worked one inning and Matt Evers who pitched the final two.
The Owls needed only three hits for six big runs in the fifth. Comerota was hit by a pitch and consecutive walks to Seastrunk and Luna loaded the bases. Veteran Adam Zornes delivered a one-out double to right-center field to clear the bases and stretch the margin to 7-1. Chad Mozingo walked and a wild pitch moved both men into scoring position. Derek Myers came off the bench to deliver a base hit to score both runs. Gayhart then lined a pitch into left-center for a double to plate Myers and make the score 10-1 after five-and-a-half innings.
In the seventh Rice added one more off an A&M miscue. After a dropped fly ball in the outfield Seastrunk hustled around the bases all the way to third. He was able to score on a sacrifice fly by Rick Hague for an 11-1 lead. Texas A&M added a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
Gayhart, Seastrunk, Zornes and Padron all finished with two hits on the night. Zornes and Luna tallied three RBI. Rice improved to 28-10 on the season. Texas A&M is now 30-7.
The Owls resume Conference USA action with a three-game weekend home series April 18-20. Rice hosts league foe East Carolina at Reckling Park. Start times with the Pirates are set for 6:30 pm on Friday and 7 pm on Saturday in a televised game by CBS College Sports. Sunday's series finale is slated for 1 pm.