June 1, 2014
Rice, now 42-19, next plays Sunday at 3 pm against Texas A&M (40-18). The winner advances to play a second game Sunday, meeting Texas at 7 pm. The Longhorns only need to win its one game Sunday to advance to next week's Super Regional Round of the NCAA Tournament. A Texas loss Sunday would force a one-game final on Monday at 6 pm (Central Time) in the double-elimination format.
Saturday's contest may have started in the month of May, but felt like it ended a month later - which in one sense it did as midnight came-and-went and June 1st officially arrived. The three-hour, 27-minute game started nearly three hours behind its originally scheduled 7 pm start time because of area rain and the length of the early Texas A&M/George Mason game. The weather could not dampen the spirit of the 5,199 fans in attendance.
Rice jumped on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Skyler Ewing singled and Chase McDowell walked to put runners on first and second. Leon Byrd sacrificed both men for an extra 90 feet, and John Clay Reeves followed with a single through the right side for a 1-0 advantage.
Texas struck back for a run in the top of the sixth. Mark Payton and Tres Barrera stroked back-to-back doubles to the wall in left-center. The Owls worked out of the jam with the score knotted-up, 1-1.
The Blue & Gray came right back in its half of the inning to regain the lead. Shane Holescher led off with a single and Michael Aquino's sacrifice advanced him into scoring position. Hoelscher sprinted home for the go-ahead run on Ewing's double off the wall in left-center the way the Horns did in their turn at bat.
The Longhorns rallied for the tying run in the eighth. Payton knocked a leadoff double and a Barrera single put runners at the corners. A one-out sacrifice fly by C.J. Hinojosa scored Payton to make the score 2-2.
Zane Gurwitz started the 11th with double, the Horn's fifth of the game, and scored on Brooks Marlow's RBI single to right-center.
Blake Fox started on the mound for Rice and worked a total of 7.0 innings. The sophomore left-hander from Houston allowed nine hits and one walk while striking out four. He was followed by Trevor Teykl (1.1 inn.), Zech Lemond (0.2 inn.) and Jon Duplantier (2.0 inn.).
Rice is now 42-19 on the season. Texas improved to 40-18 on the year. Sunday's games in the Regional are slated for 3 pm and 7 pm Central Time.