June 11, 2006
HOUSTON -- The Rice trio of Tyler Henley, Joe Savery and Kenny Ford all collected two hits on the day, with Ford adding a career-high three RBI for an early 5-1 lead, but the ninth-ranked University of Oklahoma rallied for 10 unanswered runs on the way to an 11-5 victory over the Owls Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park that evened the best-of-three NCAA super regional series 1-1. The super regional's third and final game between the two teams will be Monday (June 12) noon where a trip to the College World Series will be on the line.
Oklahoma avoided elimination and handed Rice its first loss since May 12. The Sooners stuck first for a run in the bottom of the first inning. Ryan Rohlinger hit a two-out double to left and scored when Kevin Smith followed with a ground-rule double into the right field bullpen.
The Olws came right back with a run in the top of the second. Savery led off by driving a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall. His eighth home run of the year tied the game 1-1. Rice used the long ball again in the third to take the lead. Ford, a true freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., connected for his first career home run to right-center to put the Blue and Gray on top 2-1.
Rice added three runs in the fourth on four hits. After singles by Savery and Aaron Luna, Ford placed a hit just beyond the infield dirt and turned it into a two-RBI double. Ford came home on a double to left-center by Henley and the Owls were ahead 5-1.
The lead looked comfortable, but the Sooners exploded for five runs in the bottom of the frame on four hits and two Rice errors. Freddy Rodriguez led off with an infield single and Kody Kaiser doubled off the wall in right. A Rice throwing error allowed Rodriguez to score and Kaiser to reach third. Aaron Reza was hit by a pitch and Jackson Williams singled to left to bring Kaiser home. Joseph Hughes moved the two runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Reza came home on a wild pitch that made the score 5-4 and a Chuckie Caufield single up the middle tied the game 5-5. Another fielding error on a fielder's choice kept Caufield alive at second base. He then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly for a 6-5 lead the team would not relinquish.
The Sooners hit a pair of home runs to highlight a four-run seventh. The team added one more in the eighth for its 11th run of the day. OU starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen worked a complete game for the win.
Rice fell to 54-11 overall. Oklahoma improved to 45-21. Monday's series finale will be televised on the ESPN family of stations. The first pitch is scheduled for noon central time.