Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MIAMI, Fla. – The Rice baseball team scored in each of the first six innings on the way to a 12-1 Conference USA road victory that was shortened to just seven innings Sunday afternoon in Miami, Fla.
The Owls completed the three-game sweep of the weekend series to remain in at least a tie atop the C-USA standings with an 18-6 league record. Rice improved to 31-14 overall with its sixth-straight win, a full two games better than the squad’s record at the same point a year ago. FIU is now 22-27 on the season and 9-15 in conference.
Rice quickly jumped on the scoreboard for three runs in the top of the first inning. Ryan Chandler and Dane Myers drew back-to-back walks to start it off and both scored on Ford Proctor’s triple off the wall in right-center. Dominic DiCaprio followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0, but the offense wasn’t quite finished on the day.
In the next inning Myers drew a one-out walk and sprinted to third on a Proctor single. The duo executed a double steal with Myers touching home and Proctor taking second. Consecutive singles by DiCaprio and Gray made it 5-0.
The Owls would go on to add a run in the third, two more in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth to extend the margin to 12-0. FIU got on the board with its lone run in the bottom of the sixth, but a scoreless seventh ended the contest as per the C-USA travel rule.
Rice finished the day with 14 hits. DiCaprio, playing in his home state of Florida, went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI. Proctor and Gray both registered three hits each.
Sophomore right-hander Ricardo Salinas meanwhile was in control on the mound in his 11th start of the season. After firing 5.0 shutout innings where he scattered three hits with one walk, the Owl bullpen was given a chance to get some work. Miami native Evan Kravetz allowed just one hit while striking out one in 1.2 innings. Salinas improved to 7-1 overall.
The Owls have concluded the road series and are back home at Reckling Park this week for the final homestand of the regular season. Rice hosts crosstown rival Houston on Tuesday (May 10) at 6:30 pm. The Owls close out the home slate on May 13-15 against C-USA foe Florida Atlantic.