May 10, 2014
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SAN ANTONIO - A season-high seven of the Rice baseball team's 13 hits were doubles as the Owls defeated Texas-San Antonio 11-3 in the second game of a three-game Conference USA weekend series Saturday at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio, Texas.
With the win Rice remained in sole possession of first place in the C-USA standings at 19-7 in the league. The Owls held their one-game lead over UAB (18-8 in conference) with now just four C-USA games remaining in the regular season schedule.
UTSA was so quick to score it seemed as though the contest began with Rice at 1-0 deficit. Roadrunner right fielder John Wellborn led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run, but the advantage didn't last long.
Rice stormed back with three runs in the top of the second. Skyler Ewing led off with a base hit and Kirby Taylor and Connor Teykl hit back-to-back doubles before a UTSA fielding error helped give the Owls a 3-1 lead. The teams exchanged runs in the fifth, but two more Owl doubles by Leon Byrd and Keenan Cook in the sixth paved the way to a 6-2 margin.
The Roadrunners fought back for a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 6-3. Rice, however, batted around to explode for five runs in the top of the ninth and pull away in the 11-3 final. Every Owl hitter finished with at least one hit in the 13-hit attack and six players tallied a total of seven doubles.
The offensive outburst almost overshadowed another quality start on the mound by sophomore left-hander Blake Fox. Fox worked a total of 6.2 innings where he allowed just two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one. The Houston native improved his season record to 10-0 in 12 starts. Fox also remained undefeated in his collegiate career, improving to a perfect 16-0 dating back to his freshman year in 2013.
The right-handed relief duo of Matt Ditman and Ryan McCarthy worked the final 2.2 frames where they combined for a total of four strikeouts.
The Owls improved to 33-16 overall. UTSA dropped to 31-20 on the season and 15-11 in conference. The weekend series concludes on Sunday. First pitch at Roadrunner Field is set for 1 pm.