May 8, 2011
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HOUSTON - Red-hot hitting Michael Ratterree collected three more hits and scored a pair of runs to help lead the Rice baseball team to a 5-2 Conference USA road victory at crosstown rival Houston Sunday afternoon at UH's Cougar Field. With the win the Owls completed a three-game sweep of the C-USA weekend series, as well as all five games of the season-long Silver Glove Series between the crosstown rivals, where Ratterree was named the series' Most Outstanding Player.
Ratterree was as sensational Sunday in the series finale as he was all-series long. The sophomore second baseman from nearby Memorial High School finished the five games against Houston batting .542 (13-of-24) with eight RBI, eight runs scored, four doubles, and stolen base. He maintained an .833 slugging percentage and a .560 on-base average.
With Ratterree as the Most Outstanding Player, a total of ten Owls were named to the annual All-Silver Glove Series team. The 2011 honorees were Craig Manuel, Rice (C), M.P. Cokinos, UH (1B), Ryan Still, UH (2B), Derek Hamilton, Rice (SS), Shane Hoelscher, Rice (3B), Keenan Cook, Rice (OF), Michael Fuda, Rice (OF), Daniel Gonzales-Luna, Rice (OF), Matt Creel, UH (DH), Tyler Spurlin, Rice (P), Austin Kubitza, Rice (P), John Simms, Rice (P), and John Cannon, UH (Wild Card).
Rice struck quickly for a run in the top of the first inning. With one away, J.T. Chargois knocked a stand-up triple to right-center and scored on an RBI grounder by Anthony Rendon for 1-0 advantage.
The Owls added two more in the in the second on just one base hit. Hoelscher led off with a single, Ryan Lewis walked, and a sacrifice bunt by Fuda advanced the runners to scoring position. Hoelscher came home on a UH fielding error that now had men on the corners. Lewis dashed home on a sacrifice fly by Cook to make it 3-0.
In the third it was consecutive singles by Ratterree and Craig Manuel that led to the team's fourth run. Ratterree scored on Hoelscher's sacrifice fly for a 4-0 advantage.
Houston rallied for a run with two away in the bottom of the fifth. Landon Appling singled and scored on a double to left-center by Ryan Still to make it 4-1.
Both teams scored to close out the ninth. Ratterree led off with his third hit of the game and his 13th in the Silver Glove Series. He hustled to third base on Manuel's single to right and scored on a sacrifice fly by Fuda.
The Cougars matched the scoring sequence. After singles by Chase Jensen and Joel Ansley, Jensen came home on a sacrifice fly by John Cannon for a 5-2 final.
Freshman John Simms started on the mound for the Owls and worked 7.0 solid innings. The rookie right-hander from College Park High School allowed a run on four hits and a walk. He struck out four and was able to get 14 fly-balls, almost all tracked-down with ease by the Owl outfielders. He as relieved by Tony Cingrani who worked the final two frames for his team-leading seventh save of the season.
The Owls improved to 32-16 on the season and 12-6 in Conference USA play. The Cougars are now 22-26 overall and 9-9 in league play.
The Owls conclude the four-game road swing on May 10 before returning back to Reckling Park next weekend. Rice plays the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday in Lafayette, La. Note that first pitch for the game is slated for new start time of 5:30 pm, which is a change from some earlier listings.