Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON – The Rice baseball team scored six runs in the bottom of the third inning to break a one-run game wide open and claim an eventual 10-1 victory over visiting Texas State Tuesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston.
With a RBI single by Dominic DiCaprio and sacrifice fly from Tristan Gray, Rice quickly went to work to put a pair of runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Texas State battled right back with a run in the top of the second to cut the margin to 2-1. The Owls then exploded for six runs on six hits in the bottom of the frame and never looked back.
Ryan Chandler punched a leadoff single through the right side and Ford Proctor followed with a walk. Dane Myers singled-home Chandler for Rice’s third run, and each of the Owls’ next three batters all hit safely (making it four consecutive base hits, with a total of five hits from the first six Owls to start the inning). Gray delivered a big single with the bases-loaded to score two. Darryn Sheppard’s two-run double cleared the stations for a 7-1 advantage. Senior Charlie Warren’s one-out single scored Sheppard to make it 8-1.
The Blue & Gray would go on to add single runs in both the sixth and the seventh to stretch the margin to 10-1 on nine hits. Rice successfully avenged an almost mirror-opposite nine-run loss to this same Bobcats team from last March with its seventh time to reach double-digit runs this season.
Almost lost in the run-scoring barrage was some solid work on the mound from five Rice pitchers, particularly Evan Kravetz in his first start this year. The sophomore left-hander worked a career-long 5.0 innings with a career-high four strikeouts to earn his third win of the season. The Miami, Fla., native left with the comfortable eight-run lead and having retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced. Pitchers Addison Moss, Zach Esquivel, Dane Myers and Jackson Parthasarathy all contributed one hitless inning of work, and the entire staff combined for eight strikeouts overall.
The Owls improved to 25-28 on the season. Texas State now has the identical 25-28 record .
Rice has closed out its 2017 home schedule, but the Owls still have a key Conference USA road series coming up this weekend. The Blue & Gray face league foe UAB in Birmingham, Ala., beginning on May 18 thru May 20. Start times against the Blazers are set for 6:30 pm on both Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s series finale is set for 1 pm at UAB’s Young Memorial Field.