April 19, 2013
The loss snapped a two-game win streak as the Owls fell to 26-14 on the season. Rice is now 7-6 in C-USA league play. Houston improved to 27-11 overall and 7-3 in conference. The contest was also the first game in the annual best-of-three series for the Silver Glove Trophy.
It was the offenses that were in control early as both teams combined for total of four runs in the first inning. In the top half of the first Rice's Leon Byrd, Christian Stringer and Ford Stainback all hit consecutive singles for a 1-0 Owl lead. Stringer scored on a ground out, but the 2-0 lead did not last long.
Houston came back with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the frame. Kyle Survance doubled and Frankie Ratcliff tripled for the first score. Ratcliff trotted home on a sacrifice fly to even it up, 2-2.
Blue & Gray went back in front in the fourth. Keenan Cook doubled down the left field line and then hustled to third on a wild pitch. Michael Ratterree followed with an RBI single to left for a 3-2 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth Houston exploded for five runs on five hits and two walks. The Cougars sent ten men to the plate to move in front and stretch the margin to 7-3.
Rice fought back for a run in the sixth. Cook drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a ground out. He scored on a two-out single to left field by Geoff Perrott.
Houston scored an unearned run in the seventh after an Owl fielding error for an 8-4 lead. The additional tally proved to be another costly run to surrender as Rice charged right back for three runs in the top of the eighth.
Cook walked again and Ratterree followed with a single to center. A Shane Hoelscher single scored one run, but a UH error on the throw home allowed Ratterree and Hoelscher to advance into scoring position. Both advanced one station on Perrott's sacrifice fly, and Hoelscher scored the third run of the inning on a ground out to make the score 8-7.
The Owls finished with seven runs on nine hits. Ratterree and Stainback both finished with two hits. Jordan Stephens started on the mound and was relieved by John Simms, Tyler Spurlin and Matt Dittman.
Game two of the weekend series is set for Saturday at 12:30 pm at UH's Cougar Field. The contest will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net. The series finale is Sunday at 1 pm.
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