April 21, 2012
Craig Manuel blasted a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning to lift the Rice baseball team past visiting East Carolina 6-2 in the second of a three-game Conference USA weekend series Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
Rice improved to 30-11 overall and notched its eighth-straight win. The Owls are now 11-3 in C-USA league play and have won the first two games of the weekend set from ECU (now 26-13-1 on the season and 8-5-1).
For the second time in as many games it was a tight contest with high-drama in a 2-2 game. Junior J.T. Chargois, who had started at first base but was on the mound for the final two innings, was still in the offensive lineup when he began the bottom of the tenth with a base hit. After a Pirate fielding error on a fielder's choice bunt, a wild pitch, and intentional walk, Rice had the bases loaded with no outs. Manuel then knocked a Pirate pitch over the right-field wall for the game-winning grand slam and a 6-2 final.
The home run was Manuel's first of the year. Like his game-winning homer from his sophomore year in 2010 that beat Houston in 14th innings, Manuel needed only to be sure to touch all the bases - but that wasn't all Rice needed according to the veteran catcher from Florida.
"We needed this game," Manuel explained. "When you're pitching as well as we are right now, we need to score runs here and there. Hopefully we'll start picking up the clutch at-bats."
Both teams may not have the greatest of days in clutch at-bats (where runners are in scoring position), but the Pirates struck for a run in the top of the first inning. Drew Reynolds singled to left-center and scored on two-out double by John Wooten.
The Owls tied the game in the bottom of the third. Christian Stringer led off the frame with a double to center and hustled to third on a ground out. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Chargois that made it 1-1.
The teams were deadlocked until the eighth when East Carolina struck for a run to go in front 2-1. Wooten led off with a single and moved to scoring position on Jay Cannon's sacrifice bunt. He scored after back-to-back singles by Zach Wright and Philip Clark. With two men still on base and only one away the Pirates were still looking for more, but junior relief pitcher Tyler Duffey was able to get the final two outs and get the Blue & Gray out of the inning.
Rice came right back with a tying run in its half of the eighth. Sophomore third baseman slugged a two-out home run just to the left of the centerfield screen. The round-tripper was Hoelscher's fourth of the season that evened up the game 2-2.
When ECU put a runner on base in the ninth, the Owls moved Chargois from first to the mound. He ended the threat and worked out of another jam in the tenth with a runner on third base.
"J.T.'s got great stuff," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "The pitching continued to deliver. East Carolina is a good hitting team and we were able to hold them to two runs."
The C-USA series continues through Sunday, April 21. First pitch is set for 11 am Central Time. The 11 am start is a change from some earlier listings.
Rice Hosts Charlotte Friday In C-USA Twin-bill
Upcoming Baseball Schedule Changed Due To...
04/28/2016 - Changes have been made to this weekend's Rice and University of Charlotte baseball series at Reckling Park due to impending weather conditions in...
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...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store