May 3, 2013
Box Score html
Box Score pdf
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Rice baseball team collected 14 hits, including a season-high three home runs, but UAB slipped away with a 10-9 Conference USA win over the Owls in the opening game of a weekend league series Friday evening at Young Memorial Field in Birmingham, Ala.
Rice was in control through the first three and a half innings. Michael Ratterree's solo homer to lead off the fourth was already the team's ninth hit of the game that made the score 4-0.
Owl starting pitcher Austin Kubitza meanwhile had not allowed any hits his first time through the order with four strikeouts. Two Rice fielding errors, however, in the fourth and fifth, proved costly in paving the way to three unearned runs that cut the margin to one, 4-3.
UAB then exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth on just two hits, and all with two outs already recorded in the inning. Rice issued a total of four walks and hit one batter as a light but constant rain played havoc with the surface of the pitching mound. Blazer Ryan Prinzing connected on a pitch for a grand slam and new 10-7 UAB lead.
Rice would not go away so easy and fought back to within one run. The Owls scored five in the bottom of the eighth on three walks and two hits. The big blow for the Bue & Gray was a three-run homer by Ratterree. The Houston native's second longball of the contest was also the 29th of his collegiate career.
Despite 14-hit attack where six different Rice players had two or more hits it was as close as the Owls could get. UAB closed out the ninth for a 10-9 final.
The Owls dropped to 29-15 overall and 9-7 in C-USA league play. UAB improved to 18-29 on the season and 4-12 in conference.
The teams continue the C-USA set through Sunday. Saturday's second game of the weekend series has a new start time of 4 pm. Sunday's finale is scheduled for 12 noon in Birmingham.