May 21, 2014
Rice combined a wealth of hits with a solid starting pitching performance from Kevin McCanna for a 9-2 victory over FIU on the opening day of the annual Conference USA Baseball Tournament.
The 16th-ranked Owls (38-17) collected 16 hits against three FIU pitchers as Rice logged its 16th victory in 20 tournament games since 2009, the last time the tournament was held in Hattiesburg. Michael Aquino went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Skyler Ewing was 4-for-5with two doubles and two RBI.
"I thought we were tenacious with the bat," Rice coach Wayne Graham said. "We hit a couple balls hard at people and we just kept hitting the ball hard, and that's what you have to do. In playoff ball you can't waste at-bats."
The offensive backing was more than enough to support the work of sophomore starter Kevin McCanna, who allowed two runs on 10 hits in 7.1 innings. The right-hander from The Woodlands, Texas, walked no one abd struck out two to improve to 7-3 on the season.
"Kevin did a great job, and that's what we need from him for the rest of the season," said Aquino who drove in three runs and scored twice. "He's got a big-league slider when it comes down to it, and he's using it well."
Rice will face fourth-seeded Middle Tennessee (31-25) at 4 pm Thursday in a winners' bracket game. The eighth-seeded Panthers (36-19) will meet fifth-seeded Old Dominion (33-24) in a 9 am elimination game Thursday.
Rice took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. After being hit by a pitch, right fielder Keenan Cook stole second, moved to third on third baseman's Shane Hoelscher's single to right and scored on catcher John Clay Reeves' sacrifice fly to left field. After designated hitter Chase McDowell walked, Aquino lined a run-scoring single to left.
Rice, which swept the season series from the Panthers, broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning.
After Reeves reached on an error, McDowell's single sent him to third and Aquino drove in his second run with a single to left. Ewing doubled to score McDowell, Aquino scored on shortstop Ford Stainback's sacrifice fly and Ewing came around on center fielder Leon Byrd's single.
FIU broke through in the sixth inning on a single by center fielder Tyler Hibbert and consecutive, two-out singles by catcher Aramis Garcia and second baseman Edwin Rios.
Aquino knocked in his third run in a three-run sixth inning by the Owls. Ewing and Stainback also had RBI-singles in the inning. Right fielder Brandon Gomez drove in FIU's final run with a single in the seventh.
The C-USA Tournament continues in a double-elimination format until the Championship Final on Sunday, May 25.
Rice Baseball Team Catches Havana Sights
11/28/2016 - While the Rice University baseball team won't be completing its five-game baseball tour as the people of Cuba mourn their former leader Fidel...
Owls Take In Cuba’s Culture
11/27/2016 - While the Rice University baseball team won’t be completing its five-game baseball tour out of respect to the people of Cuba as they mourn...
Rice Baseball Itinerary Update
11/26/2016 - The Rice University baseball team has suspended its scheduled practice Saturday (Nov. 26) and other activities until further notice out of respect ...
Meyers & Moss Combine On 4-Hit Shutout In...
11/25/2016 - The Rice pitching duo of Dane Myers and Addison Moss combined to hold Cuban League team Artemisa to no runs on just four hits as the Owl baseball...
Rice Baseball In Cuba - Day 2
11/24/2016 - The Owls are certainly having a fun, cultural and educational experience in Havana, but there is also the matter of actually playing five games...
Follow Los Buhos in Cuba
11/23/2016 - Updates from the Owls historic trip to Cuba
Baseball Announces Nine New Signees
11/22/2016 - The Rice baseball program has signed nine new standouts in the early period who will join the team for the 2018 season, head coach Wayne Graham...
Los Buhos to visit Cuba
11/21/2016 - The Rice University baseball team will embark on a 12-day trip to Cuba beginning Nov. 23. Los Buhos (The Owls) will play five games against Cuban...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store