May 6, 2008
HOUSTON -- Junior Jared Gayhart went 2-for-2 with a home run, a double, three walks and three runs scored to pace the fourth-ranked Rice baseball team to a 9-1 victory over visiting Texas State as the Owls kicked-off a five-game homestand Tuesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston.
Gayhart led a 10-hit attack on the offensive side while Owl pitchers Bryan Price, Lucas Luetge and Chris Kelley combined to hold Texas State to just a run on five singles. Rice improved to 35-11 on the season by posting a key win to start a busy week of games after a nine-day layoff due to the University's final exams period.
The Owls scrapped out a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Diego Seastrunk and Aaron Luna led off with back-to-back single and a walk by Adam Zornes loaded the bases. Seastrunk hustled home on a ground out the left side and Luna scored on an RBI single by Chad Mozingo to make the score 2-0. Rice added another run in the next frame when Gayhart walked and scored on a one-out double to right-center by J. P. Padron. The double extended Padron's current-hit streak to 19-straight games.
Texas State came right back and scored a run in the top of the sixth to the score 3-1, but a two-run homer by Gayhart in the seventh and a big four-run Rice eighth put the game out of reach at 9-1. Gayhart, Padron, Mozingo and Jimmy Comerota all collected two hits on the night. Mozingo's three RBI was his second-highest single game total of the season.
The Rice pitching was equally sharp. Price worked a career-long 5.0 innings in his first start of the season. The junior right-hander from Marble Falls did not allow any runs on two hits and a walk, and he tied a career-high with five strike outs to improve to 3-4 on the season. Luetge and Kelley both worked two innings each. The duo combined to hold the Bobcats to three singles the rest of the game, a total of five on the night. Texas State fell to 24-23 overall.
The first test after finals has been passed. The Owls next host national power Oklahoma State (35-12) at 6:30 pm on Wednesday (May 7). First pitch with the Cowboys is 6:30 pm atReckling Park. Rice wraps-up the homestand hosting crosstown rival Houston May 9-11. Not only is the Silver Glove Trophy on the line in the annual C-USA series, Sunday's contest vs. UH is the final home game for seven Rice seniors.