Oct. 25, 2009
HOUSTON -- The Rice senior tandem of Steven Sultzbaugh and Diego Seastrunk combined for seven RBI and senior pitcher Jared Rogers picked-up the win on the mound with a pair of shutout innings to lead the Rice baseball team to a 14-6 win over visiting Texas State in a fall exhibition Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
It my be a long time until the official 2010 baseball season-opener, but the Owls' offense looked sharp collecting 16 hits and scoring in eight of the exhibition's 14 frames. Sultzbaugh went 2-for-5 with four RBI on the strength of a long three-run homer in the bottom of the third. The Owls exploded for six runs in that inning to move in front for the remainder of the day. Seastrunk did a solid job starting behind the plate and finished the day going 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore outfielder Jeremy Rathjen led the Blue & Gray with three hits, including two doubles and a pair of runs scored. Sophomore Anthony Rendon, who last year was named the National Freshman of the Year, was 1-for-2 with a double, but he and last summer's Team USA standout, junior shortstop Rick Hague, had the full attention of the Bobcat pitchers. Both were both walked three times each.
Eight Rice pitchers saw duty on the mound. Sophomore Taylor Wall started and gave up a run on two hits and struck out one in 2.0 innings. He was relieved by Rogers, who earned the victory with a pair of scoreless frames. Newcomers Tony Cingrani (lhp), Boogie Anagnostou (rhp), Tyler Duffey (rhp) all three 2.0 innings. Veteran Rice left-hander Doug Simmons was particularly sharp in his 2.0 ininngs, scattering two hits and striking out four. Freshmen Chase McDowell and J.T. Chargois each had 1.0 inning and did well. The eight hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts over the 14-inning clash.
Last spring the Owls, under the direction of head coach Wayne Graham, went 43-18 and won the Conference USA Tournament Championship. Rice hosted and won an NCAA home Regional to advance to the Super Regional round for a fifth-straight year. The Owls open the 2010 season with a three-game series on the road at national power Stanford on Feb. 19-21.