April 24, 2007
Baseball: Rice Gayhart's Seventh-Inning Triple Breaks 2-2 Tie; Owls Win Seventh-Straight Game and 15-of-last-16
HOUSTON -- Sophomore Jared Gayhart's two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the third-ranked Rice baseball team to a 6-2 come-from-behind victory over visiting Sam Houston State Tuesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston. The win was the Owls' 15th win in the last 16 games.
After four scoreless innings both teams put runs on the board in the fifth. Austin Boggs led off Sam Houston's half of the inning with a double to right center. Todd Sebek hit an infield single, but an errant Rice throw allowed Boggs to score and Sebek to take second base. Heath Pugh followed with a third-straight base hit to bring Sebek home and the Bearkats took a 2-0 lead.
Rice came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame and then tied it in the sixth. In the fifth Chad Lembeck reached base on a fielder's choice and Danny Lehmann singled up the middle. Brian Friday punched a hit through the left side to score Lembeck for the first Rice run. Tyler Henley drew a walk to start the sixth and he moved to second on a base hit by Joe Savery. Aaron Luna singled and a Bearkat fielding error allowed Henley to score the tying run, 2-2.
The Owls broke the game wide open with a four-run seventh. A hit batsman and a walk put two men on for Gayhart and the transfer from San Jacinto College blasted a drive to the gap in right-center. Derek Myers and Brian Friday scored easily as Gayhart hustled for a stand-up triple that gave the Blue & Gray its first lead of the night, 4-2. With the Owls still threatening for more, Henley walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Gayhart and Henley scored on a one-out hit up the middle by Jess Buenger that extended the lead to 6-2 with six unanswered runs.
While the offense was coming around, Owls' reliever Bobby Bramhall held the Bearkats in check with three hitless innings. The junior left-hander struck out three and walked just one to earn his fourth win of the season. Rice won it seventh game in a row to improve to 34-11 on the season. The Bearkats (27-16) saw their four-game win streak snapped.
Rice next takes to the road for a three-game Conference USA weekend series. The Owls meet UAB in Birmingham, Ala., April 27-29. Start times with the Blazers are set for 7 pm Friday, 2 pm Saturday and noon on Sunday.