May 1, 2013
HOUSTON - The senior duo of Christian Stringer and Geoff Perrott both collected three hits while freshman pitcher Blake Fox fired a career-long 5.0 shutout innings to pace the Rice baseball team to a 6-1 victory over visiting Lamar Wednesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston.
Though Rice had not played in the last ten days while the University was in its final exams period of the spring semester, the Owls picked up right where the team had left off (on April 21) by winning its third-straight game. Stringer and Perrott accounted for six the team's 11 hits, as well as a total of three doubles and two RBI. Fox was one five Owl pitchers who combined to hold a red-hot Lamar squad in check and ultimately halt the Cardinals' eight-game win streak.
In just the second start of his collegiate career Fox worked a career-long 5.0 innings. The left-hander from Houston held the 33-win, .300-hitting, Lamar squad to just two singles. He also allowed one walk, but no Cardinal batter was able to reach second base safely. Fox finished with three strikeouts on the way to improving his season record to a perfect 5-0.
The Rice offense backed Fox up with a pair of three-run innings. Skyler Ewing led off the bottom of the third with a walk and advanced to third after a wild pitch and sacrifice bunt by Leon Byrd. Ewing scored easily on Stringer's RBI double to right field. Stringer went to third on a single by Michael Ratterree and scored on Michael Aquino's sacrifice fly. Ratterree then stole second and scored on a single up the middle by Shane Hoelscher for a 3-0 advantage.
After Stringer led off the fifth with a single, the Owls staged a two out rally for three more runs. Keenan Cook drove in Stringer with an RBI single. Hoelscher walked, stole a base and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Perrott doubled-home the final run to stretch the margin to 6-0.
"It's really good to see Christian and Geoff hitting," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "Geoff has really put together an all-star year. He can hit, call the game and throw people out. He's doing extremely well. It looks like Christian could be coming-on here late. That's good because we need him.
"Blake gave us everything we needed and more," coach Graham added. "Two singles and walk in five innings is a very good outing. I pulled him after five because we may need him some this weekend.
Lamar fought back for a run in the top of the sixth. Sam Bumpers doubled to right field and advanced to third on ground out to the right side. He scored on Darian Johnson's tough infield chopper behind the mound.
The Blue & Gray did not allow any more runs the rest of the way and improved to 29-14 on the season. The Cardinals are now 33-12 overall.
Rice returns to Conference USA league play this weekend with a three-game road series at UAB. Game times against the Blazers are set for 6:30 pm on Friday, 2 pm on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday.