May 14, 2013
Zech Lemond stopped the Bobcat rally for his 12th save of the season to tie the Rice school record in the Owls' 5-4 road victory at Texas State Tuesday night in San Marcos, Tex.
Down 5-3 to start the bottom of the ninth, Texas State's Garrett Mattlage led off with a base hit off reliever Chase McDowell and a wild pitch moved him to scoring position. The Owls made the move to Lemond out of the bullpen for the second time in as many games.
Lemond got a ground ball to the right side for the first out of the inning, but Mattlage moved up to third on the play. He scored on another ground out that made it 5-4 with two away. Tyler Pearson lined a double to left-center field off Lemond to put the tying run in scoring position and bring the potential winning run to the plate. The Owl right-hander, however, got the out with a routine grounder to first unassisted for a 5-4 final.
Lemond's 12th save tied the Rice single season school record. The Houston native shares the mark with Owls David Aardsma (2003) and Tony Cingrani (2011) who went on to pitch in the major leagues.
The Rice offense went right to work for a lead in the top of the first inning. Ford Stainback and Christian Stringer led off the game with back-to-back singles, and the duo advanced on a ground out to the right side. Both scored on a RBI single by Michael Ratterree. Ratterree moved to scoring position on a failed pickoff by Texas State. The error was costly as Shane Hoelscher followed with a RBI single and a 3-0 Owl lead.
After the Owls recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the fourth Texas State tied the game. The Bobcats rallied for four-straight singles from the middle of the batting order to make the score 3-3.
The Blue & Gray broke the deadlock in its next turn at bat. Hoelscher reached on a fielder's choice and Michael Aquino followed with a single. Leon Byrd then stroked an RBI single into right field for a 4-3 advantage. Rice added one insurance run in the eighth with the help of a Bobcat fielding error and the score proved to be critical in a one-run contest.
Ratterree, Stainback and Aquino all had two hits each in a 10-hit attack as Rice improved to 34-17 overall. Texas State fell to 25-27n the year.
McDowell earned his fourth win of the season working in relief of starter Kevin McCanna. McDowell pitched 4.0 solid innings on the mound allowing two hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Rice next returns home to Reckling Park to close out the regular season. The Owls host Conference USA foe Marshall for three games from Thursday through Saturday, May 16-18. Game times are set for 6:30 for both of the first two games of the series. Saturday's finale is set for 1 pm.