Baseball Hosts UCF In Three-Game Series

March 3, 2016

Video: Blake Fox' Sly Pickoff Move Goes Viral!
by Luis Loya, Rice Athletics (lfl1.edu)

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Mar. 4 (Fri.) 6 pm; UCF at Rice
Multi-sports Weekend - Use your ticket from the either the March 3rd or March 5th Rice men's basketball game to receive $5 off your baseball ticket this weekend!
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Mar. 5 (Sat.) 4 pm; UCF at Rice
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Mar. 6 (Sun.) 1 pm; UCF at Rice
Rice Owls Kids Club Day - Owls Kids Club members can receive a free ticket to this game with their membership. Enjoy inflatable, games and more in the Kids Zone. Click here for more information on the Owls Kids Club.
Giveaway Item - Get the first of five trading card strips FREE on Sunday courtesy of Houston Methodist! The four remaining trading card strips will be handed out at different games over the course of the year.
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Rice Baseball Hosts UCF In Three-Game Series
Owls Face Former Conference Foe at Reckling Park
The Rice baseball team (4-5 overall) returns home for the first time in more than a week starting March 4-6. The Owls host former conference rival UCF at Reckling Park in a three-game weekend series. Game times vs. the Knights are set for 6 pm Friday, 4 pm Saturday and 1 pm on Sunday.

Game Day Parking
Rice University is constructing the new Moody Center for the Arts adjacent to Reckling Park. There is a charge for game day parking, with the lone exception being FREE parking in the Greenbriar Lot on the west side of Rice Stadium (football). Fans may purchase season or individual-game parking passes by calling the ticket office at 713-348-6957. Limited complimentary parking and a host of other game day benefits are also available by supporting Rice student-athletes with a gift to the Owl Club.

Watch Home Games Online Via OwlVision All-Access
Most home games are slated for a live on-line video broadcast by OwlVision All Access. OwlVision is a subscription-based service which matches the play-by-play audio with a video feed to create a television-like broadcast on the Internet (either live or in an archived format). Information about the service and subscription prices are available at RiceOwls.com. Games that have been selected for TV broadcasts alter the OwlVision availability.

Play-By-Play Audio On The Web
Every Rice baseball game this season is scheduled for a live audio broadcast around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com. Tune-in to the pregame show 15 minutes before each game's first pitch. J.P. Heath is in his eighth season as the regular voice of the Owls. Fellow Rice broadcaster Gerald Sanchez is also scheduled to do selected games over the course of the season.

Follow The Tweeting Rice Owls
The official Rice baseball Twitter account is @RiceOwlsBSB while the Rice Athletics department is @RiceOwlsdotcom. Twitter is perhaps the fastest way to get weather-related changes to the schedule/updated start times.

Live Stats On GameTracker
Links to live play-by-play text and statistics from every home game are posted on RiceOwls.com. Look for the GameTracker links on the Rice Athletics front page, the weekly series preview, and the baseball schedule page.

NCAA RPI Is On The Way; Owls No. 37 In 2015
If you have disdain for the politics of the various baseball polls and prefer the cold, hard math of the NCAA's official Rating Power Index (RPI), you'll have to wait a little longer. The NCAA is not scheduled to release the official RPI just yet. A year ago the Owls had the No. 37 RPI in the nation.

Head Coach Wayne Graham
Four-time national coach of the year and 2012 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Graham (Texas, 1970) is in his 25th season at Rice. The 2016 campaign marks his 36th year as a collegiate head coach... He is now 1,080-447 with the Owls (644-164 at home, 338-214 on the road and 98-67 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .707, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .707 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 114 games in a single year... Graham is 22-9 vs. UCF... Under Graham, the Owls clinched another postseason bid in 2015, making 21-straight seasons for Rice to earn an NCAA appearance. The Blue & Gray has advanced into the NCAA tournament in 1995-96-97-98-99-00-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10-11-12-13-14-15. The 2003 bid culminated with the Owls' first national championship... Rice played in the 1994-95-96 Southwest Conference tournaments (winning the final league title in `96), won the 1997-98-99 WAC tournaments, shared the 2000 WAC title with San Jose State before winning the 2001-02-03-04-05 titles outright. He won (or shared) C-USA regular season crowns in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as the C-USA tournament championships in `06, `07, `09, `11, `13 and `14... Graham was named the WAC Coach of the Year in 1998, `99, `02 and the Co-Coach of the Year in `03. He was named the Keith LeClair C-USA Coach of the Year in `06, his first year in the league, and again in `07, `08, `10 and `11... Rice has seven appearances in the NCAA College World Series under Graham (1997, `99, `02, `03, `06, `07, `08)... Graham has led the Owls to number-one rankings for seven weeks during the 1999 season, for six weeks during the `01 campaign, two weeks in `02, six weeks in 2003 (the last of which established some staying power), three weeks in 2004, 12 weeks in 2006 and five weeks in `07... Graham's San Jacinto Gators dominated the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., in the 1980s, winning five national titles in six years (1985-86-87, 89-90)... The Austin American-Statesman named Graham its SWC Coach of the Year in `95 after he led the Owls to their first NCAA tournament appearance... Collegiate Baseball was especially cognizant of Graham's efforts at San Jac. He was named the newspaper's Coach of the Decade for all levels in the 1980s after winning those five junior college national titles, and CB tabbed him the NJCAA Coach of the Century... He was named the 2007 Division I college Coach of the Year by FieldTurf... One of the few current collegiate head coaches to have played in the major leagues (N.Y. Mets in 1963, Philadelphia in 1964), Graham is aided by assistant coaches Patrick Hallmark (Rice, 1995, Brown College; 11th year), Clay Van Hook (Texas, 2008; fifth year) and Scott Shepperd (Concordia, 2007; fourth year)... On game days Van Hook coaches at third base while Shepherd coaches at first.

1,655 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 1,080 Division I wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,655 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall "collegiate record" is 1,655-558 in a 35-year coaching career that began in 1981.

Possible Starting Pitchers
Coach Graham announced Rice's first two probable starting pitchers for UCF as the veteran duo of right-hander Jon Duplantier (0-1, 3.65) and left-hander Blake Fox (0-2, 4.09). The final pitcher will be announced by coach Graham later. Duplantier pitched at least 6.0 innings in both of his starts vs. national powers Arizona and Arkansas. Fox was solid in 7.1 frames Sunday against Louisiana, the longest outing by any Owl so far this season.

Warren Named To All-College Classic Team
Last weekend at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, junior right fielder Charlie Warren was named to the event's all-tournament team. The standout from The Woodlands went a combined 3-for-10 at the plate and made a sensational diving catch in right field in the Friday night game against Arkansas (Feb. 26).

Here's Who's Hot
Charlie Warren earned a spot on the College Classic All-Tournament Team, but he's been hitting better for more than just the last three games. Warren is batting .389 (7-for-18) over the Owls' last six games, where he also has five RBI, a stolen base and four walks for a .478 on-base average... Junior leftfielder Dayne Wunderlich is hitting at a .381 pace (8-for-18). In addition to six RBI and five runs scored the last six games, Wunderlich has a home run and a double for a .571 slugging percentage... True freshman Ford Proctor has been right at home playing Division I baseball. Since Opening Day, Proctor is 9-for-26 (.346) with three doubles for a .462 slugging percentage. In Rice's last eight games the Beaumont native also has four RBI, five runs scored and six walks for a .469 on-base average... Keep an eye on left-handed hitting freshman Cody Staab, who in his last three games is 2-for-8 with an RBI-double and two walks for a .400 on-base percentage.

Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion-minded, Rice's 2016 W-L records while wearing the various uniforms is as follows:
1-2 in all-white
1-2 in pinstripes
1-0 in blue tops with pinstripe pants
1-1 in gray `birds' tops

Two More Games Picked Up By TV, Total Now Five Overall
Two more Rice baseball games have been selected for a television broadcast for the upcoming 2016 season under the FOX Sports banner. The Owls' April 22 contest at C-USA foe Southern Miss is now a TV game. The second selection is the May 13 home game vs. Florida Atlantic. Note the start time for both is now 7 pm due to the respective broadcasts on Fox Sports 2... The Owls also had three College Classic games televised by ROOT Sports.

Conference Titles Streak Now At 20-Straight
Rice's streak of consecutive conference titles is 20-straight years (just one behind its NCAA streak)... The Owls have won or shared a total of 20-straight conference championships (including either regular season and/or conference tournament titles) dating back to 1996. The streak covers membership in three different leagues beginning with the Southwest Conference (1996), to nine seasons in the Western Athletic Conference (1997-2005) and now ten C-USA titles in as many years. The Owls won the 2015 C-USA regular season title by a comfortable 2.5-game margin. Here is a closer look at Rice's title run the last 20 years:
Year    Conf.    Regular Season    Conf. Tourney
2015    C-USA         1st            tied 7th
2014    C-USA         1st              1st
2013    C-USA       tied 1st           1st
2012    C-USA         1st            tied 5th
2011    C-USA       tied 1st           1st
2010    C-USA         1st              2nd
2009    C-USA         2nd              1st
2008    C-USA         1st            tied 7th
2007    C-USA         1st              1st
2006    C-USA         1st              1st
2005    WAC           1st           no tourney
2004    WAC           1st           no tourney
2003    WAC           1st           no tourney
2002    WAC           1st           no tourney
2001    WAC           1st           no tourney
2000    WAC         tied 1st        no tourney
1999    WAC           1st              1st
1998    WAC       1st South Div.       1st
1997    WAC       1st South Div.       1st
1996    SWC          tied 6th          1st

National Postseason Streak At 21-Straight
Rice baseball's 21-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament is the nation's fourth-longest active streak. In 2015 Miami (Fla.) made the field for the 43rd-consecutive year, extending its own record, followed by Florida State (38) and Cal State Fullerton (24). Rice's 21-straight NCAA Tournament bids is also now tied for the fourth-longest postseason streak in Division I baseball history (after Clemson saw its 21-year regional streak snapped in 2008).

Rice Since 1999
Using the 1999 season as the starting point (the year the NCAA expanded the postseason tournament field to 64 teams with the current Super Regional format), Rice baseball has maintained one of the nation's top win percentages over the last 17 years. Here's a closer look at the country's winningest programs from 1999-2015 (this listing do not include games played in 2016):
Team              Years   Wins  Loses  Ties    PCT
Florida St.          17    835    299    1    .736
Rice                 17    799    302    0    .726
North Carolina       17    763    325    1    .701
South Carolina       17    780    337    0    .698
Cal St. Fullerton    17    739    324    0    .695
LSU                  17    762    333    6    .695
Miami (FL)           17    732    330    3    .689
Texas                17    747    341    1    .686
Coastal Caro.        17    714    331    0    .683
Oral Roberts         17    695    323    0    .683
Arizona St.          17    672    312    2    .683
Georgia Tech         17    708    352    1    .668
Virginia             17    684    355    3    .658
Nebraska             17    666    365    2    .646
Clemson              17    709    392    1    .644
Col.of Charleston    17    645    361    1    .641
East Carolina        17    659    369    3    .641
TCU                  17    667    375    0    .640
Stanford             17    659    372    2    .639
Florida Atlantic     17    651    370    1    .637
Oregon St.           17    624    356    1    .637
Florida              17    685    391    2    .636
Tulane               17    658    377    2    .635
Oklahoma St.         17    651    375    0    .635
Texas A&M            17    669    392    3    .630
Louisville           17    654    386    1    .629
Wichita St.          17    660    390    0    .629
Kent St.             17    631    373    0    .628
Notre Dame           17    633    376    5    .627
Southern             17    494    295    0    .626
Vanderbilt           17    658    395    0    .625

The Last Meeting
Rice5
UCF1
May 23, 2013
Reckling Park
Baseball Team Defeats UCF 5-1 Thursday Night At C-USA Championship
Rice starting pitcher Jordan Stephens held UCF hitless until the sixth inning and his teammates on offense gave him early support as the Owl baseball team claimed a 5-1 victory over UCF on the second day of action at the Conference USA Championship Thursday night at Reckling Park.



 

 

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