April 19, 2014
HOUSTON - Skyler Ewing's two-run homer in the bottom of the eleventh inning lifted the Rice baseball team to a 5-3 walk-off victory over visiting UAB in the second game of the Conference USA weekend series Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park.
The Owls, now 28-13 overall and 15-5 in C-USA action, have clinched the three-game set after a 1-0 win the series-opener on Friday night. UAB is now 24-15 on the season and 11-6 in in the league. The teams play the final game of the weekend on Sunday at 1 pm.
Rice opened the day's scoring with a run in the bottom of the second inning when Ewing singled and scored on a base hit to centerfield by Ford Stainback. UAB bounced back to take the lead with three runs in the sixth on a walk and three-consecutive singles.
The Owls chipped away for a run in the seventh to make it 3-2. Connor Teykl led off with a base hit through the right side and Michael Aquino doubled to right-center to put runners on second and third. Teykl came home on a sacrifice fly by Stainback.
UAB was just five outs away from a victory in the bottom of the eighth when junior John Clay Reeves hit a ball hard and on a line toward the left field corner. The ball stayed up, cleared the fence for a solo home run and made it a brand new game at 3-3.
The contest went into extra innings where the Owls eluded danger in the top of the tenth after the Blazers had a man on third base with just one out, and then the bases-loaded with two away. Rice reliever Matt Ditman worked out of both situations. His teammates came through on offense in the bottom of the eleventh.
Reeves led off by hustling for a single on a ball deep in the hole on the left side. Two batters later Ewing connected on a pitch for a towering home run to left-center field for a 5-3 walk-off victory. The blast was Ewing's sixth round-tripper of the year for his team-leading 37th and 38th RBI.
Rice remains in first place in the C-USA standings. The Owls attempt to sweep the three-game series with the Blazers on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm.