May 11, 2013
Box Score pdf
HOUSTON - A pair of unearned runs proved costly as the Rice baseball team fell to visiting Memphis by a score of 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
The Owls are now 32-17 on the season and 11-9 in C-USA action. Memphis improved to 32-19 overall and 14-9 in the league. The Tigers have claimed both of the first two games of the three-game weekend series. Sunday's series finale is set for 1 pm.
As in Friday's opener, the game was a scoreless duel for the first five frames. In the top of the sixth Memphis loaded the bases with one away on a pair of hits and a base on balls. The Owls had a chance to get out of the inning with a possible double-play ball, but a fielding error on the play allowed two runs to score.
Rice came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning on a base hit by Ford Stainback and two-out RBI single by Michael Ratterree.
The Tigers added one final insurance run in the seventh. The Blue & Gray had a chance to keep the run off the board but an second Rice fielding error extended the inning and the Memphis lead, 3-1.
That was all the room Memphis starter Erik Schoenrok needed in a complete game pitching performance. The left-hander scattered six hits and walked one while striking out seven.
A solid performance, even by an opposing player, has Rice head coach Wayne Graham's full respect. He was clear Saturday that he wanted to see more solid play from the Owls.
"We were the ones making the mistakes today, and we have to quit making mistakes," said coach Graham. "Their pitcher pitched well and deserves credit, but we also gave them runs today.
"Giving away runs was part walking batters, making errors and not playing smart," coach Graham explained. "Walking another six batters today is unsatisfactory.We have to play better in every area of the game or we're going to be stuck. We'll have to get to work tomorrow."