April 18, 2014
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HOUSTON - Rice's Kevin McCanna fired a complete game shutout to help lead the Rice baseball team to a 2-0 victory over visiting UAB in the opening game of a Conference USA weekend series Friday evening at Reckling Park.
McCanna was in control. The sophomore right-hander scattered eight hits and did not walk any batters on the way to the first complete game victory of his collegiate career. He worked out of jams in the third sixth and eighth after the Blazers put two men on base in each of those innings. McCanna also received some steady defensive help, like first baseman Skyler Ewing's dramatic grab of a line drive in the fourth and then doubling a runner off base to end the inning.
Runs were at a premium as UAB starter Chase Mallard was also sharp in 7.0 innings of the C-USA pitcher's duel. Rice scored both its runs after getting the leadoff man on base in two different innings. In the bottom of the third, Ford Stainback led off with a double to right and scored on a two-out single by John Clay Reeves.
The Blue & Gray added an insurance run in the sixth after Skyler Ewing led off with a single and a hit batter and walk loaded the stations. Ewing dashed home on a sacrifice fly by Blake Fox that doubled the margin to 2-0.
That proved to be more than enough room for McCanna, who picked up his fourth win of the season. Rice improved to 27-13 overall and 14-5 in C-USA league play. UAB is now 24-14 overall and 10-6 in conference.
The C-USA series continues through Sunday. Start time for Saturday's second game of the series is scheduled for 2 pm at Reckling Park.