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Owls Host Sam Houston State Wednesday at 6:30 PM

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March 5, 2013

VISIT the Rice Baseball Ticket Page
PROMOTIONS this season at Reckling Park
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Rice University Baseball Parking Information

Mar. 6 (Wed.) 3:30 pm; Sam Houston State at Rice, Reckling Park
Give Away Items: 2013 poster and schedule cards
Concession Special: TBA
Watch the game on the web
GameTracker (activates at game time)

Mar. 8 (Fri.) 5 pm; Rice at FIU
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Mar. 9 (Sat.) 3 pm; Rice at FIU
GameTracker (activates at game time)

Mar. 10 (Sun.) 10 am; Rice at FIU
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All times listed are Central Time. Internet features activate at game time.

Owls Host Sam Houston State Wednesday; Play This Weekend on the Road
The Rice baseball team, 7-5 overall and ranked No. 19 in the country by Baseball America, closes out its brief two-game homestand on Wednesday (Mar. 6). The Owls host longtime rival Sam Houston State at home at Reckling Park. First pitch with the Bearkats is slated for 6:30 pm.

 

 

Rice Plays Series at FIU
After facing Sam Houston State the Owls return to the road for a three-game weekend series at FIU March 8-10 (Fri.-Sun.). Game times against the Golden Panthers are set for 5 pm, 3 pm and 10 am, respectively. All start times listed are Central Time.

Watch Reckling Park Games On OwlVision All Access
Reckling Park 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). The service has been growing in popularity the last few years. Information about the service and subscription prices are available here. Access the service on game day at the above links.

Audio Broadcasts - Catch Every Rice Baseball Game On The Web & At The Park
Every Rice baseball game this season will be broadcast live around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com. Use the above link to access the Internet audio page. Tune-in to the pregame show 15 minutes before each game's first pitch. The broadcasters for Wednesday's home game against Sam Houston are Ryan Glassman and Cliff Morris. For the weekend games at FIU Adam Levinson returns as the voice of the Owls.

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

National Ranking Update • Five In The Top 25
The Owls are represented in a host of different polls across the country. Here's a closer look at the latest national rankings:

Poll This Week Last Week
College Sports Madness 18 17
Baseball America 19 13
PerfectGame.com 20 14
NCBWA 22 12
USA Today/ESPN 23 14
Collegiate Baseball Magazine 28 13

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 22nd season at Rice. The 2013 campaign marks his 33rd year as a collegiate head coach... He is now 960-385 with the Owls (577-139 at home, 292-189 in road games and 91-57 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .714, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .714 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 116 games in a single year... Graham's records vs. the upcoming opponents is as follows: 32-15 vs. Sam Houston State (20-8 home, 12-7 away), and 4-0 vs. FIU (4-0 home)... Under Graham, the Owls clinched another postseason bid in 2012, making 18-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. 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 and 2012 as well as the C-USA tournament championships in `06, `07, `09 and `11... 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 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; eighth year), Clay Van Hook (Texas, 2008; second year) and Scott Shepperd (Concordia, 2007; first year)... On game days Van Hook coaches at third base while Shepperd coaches at first base.

1,534 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 960 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,534 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,534-498 in a 32-year coaching career that began in 1981.

Previous Outing: Rice Rallies for Shutout 1-0 Victory over Cal on Monday Afternoon
HOUSTON - Sophomore Ford Stainback delivered a clutch RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Rice Owls baseball team to a 1-0 victory over visiting California and preserve a sensational complete-game shutout by junior pitcher Chase McDowell Monday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston... McDowell and four California pitchers had both teams in a scoreless deadlock for eight full innings. Cal's Devin Pearson led off the top of the ninth with a base hit, and he advanced around the stations to third before McDowell worked out of the jam with an infield grounder... In the Owls half of the ninth junior catcher Geoff Perrott lined a one-out single through the left side for his career-best 4-for-4 day at the plate. Freshman Leon Byrd followed with a hard and high chopper back up the middle of the field that that struck and deflected off the Cal pitcher. The Golden Bears alertly attempted to make a play, but it was all the time Byrd needed to hustle down the line for a base hit with Perrott reaching safely at second... Perrott was 4-for-4 at the plate and had called the game like the experienced senior catcher he is, but Rice head coach Wayne Graham elected to go with pinch-runner John Williamson for Perrott to get a little more speed from scoring position - especially with Stainback due up next to hit. A week earlier Stainback provided the late-hit in the 17-inning marathon the Owls won at Hawaii 2-0. The Dallas native delivered once again, this time by lining a pitch through the right side. Williamson sped around the bases before diving-in head first at home...Coach Graham had praise for the team pulling out another fireworks-finish, but also for the Owls' overall defensive effort that kept Cal in check just one day after the Golden Bears scored 13 runs in a win at Minute Maid Park. He had particularly high praise for McDowell in firing a complete-game gem. The College Station, Tex., native scattered just five singles without allowing any walks. He struck out only two, but didn't particularly need to post a high-K total when his Owl teammates in the infield were getting him 16 ground ball outs with one double play. McDowell had only reached 91 pitches on the day... "It was great to win it, and Stainback had a great at bat at the end," coach Graham said. "The real story was McDowell, pitching a wonderful ballgame. He mixed his pitches very well, and he got stronger as the game went-on. He was very efficient with just 91 pitches, and he did not walk a man. That is so important when any runs are at a premium..."Geoff called a great game (defensively)," coach Graham added. "He also went 4-for-4 at the plate. To me that's playing a complete game too."... Joining Perrott with multiple hits were Byrd, Michael Aquino and Christian Stringer with two-hits each. The team's 12 total hits were one-off the season-high and Owls' fourth time to reach double-digits. Rice improved to 7-5 overall. Cal dropped to 5-7 on the young season.

Rice Baseball's 97th Season On The Field
Rice Owl baseball made its debut in the spring of 1913, just one semester after the school (then The Rice Institute) opened its doors for higher education in the fall of 1912. The 2013 season is, however, only the Owls' 97th season playing on the diamond. The school cancelled its baseball season in 1919 and did not field a team for three years (1933-35) during the Great Depression. Rice returned to the diamond in the spring of 1936 and has been playing ever since... The Rice baseball program's all-time record is 1,867 - 1,494- 9.

Big Opening Weekend Series At Reckling Park
Hosting Stanford in an important season-opening series was not lost on college baseball fans. The three games vs. the Cardinal brought in a total of 12,237 fans for the best-attended opening weekend in Reckling Park history. The mark eclipsed the previous record set when Stanford visited two years ago. Here's how some other opening weekends have added-up. (Note that many of the previous opening weekends were in a tournament format against three different opponents.)
Year, 1st Weekend Total (Average)
1. 2012 - 12,237 (4,079)
2. 2011 - 12,182 (4,060)
3. 2009 - 10,950 (3,650)
4. 2004 - 10,117 (3,372)
5. 2012 - 9,615 (3,205)
6. 2010 - 9,198 (3,066)

Postseason Streak At 18-Straight, Looking For 19
The Rice baseball program's 18-straight appearances in the NCAA Baseball Championship is the fourth-longest active streak in the country. Miami (Fla.) has made the field for the 40 consecutive years, extending its own record, followed by Florida State (35) and Cal State Fullerton (21). Rice's 18-straight NCAA Tournament appearances is the sixth-longest national postseason streak in Division I history.

Conference Championship Streak At 17-Straight
Rice has won or shared a total of 17-straight conference championships (including either regular season and/or conference tournament titles) dating back to 1996. The streak covers the Owls' membership in three different leagues beginning with the Southwest Conference (1996), to nine seasons in the Western Athletic Conference (1997-2005) and seven Conference USA titles in as many years... In 2012 Rice won the C-USA regular season championship on the last day of the league's 24-game schedule. The Owls and UCF were tied for first in the C-USA standings heading into the final game of the season. The Blue & Gray clipped the Knights 5-2 to welcome the program's 17th championship to the family.

18-Straight 40-Win Seasons
Rice has clinched 18-straight seasons with at least 40 wins. `Forty' wins actually short-changes the feat a little. The Owls have secured at least 41 wins in 17 of the last 18 years.

Two More TV Games Later This Season
There were already three tape-delayed games this weekend from Minute Maid Park. There are also two regular season Rice games tabbed for a television broadcast on FOX Sports Net. The Owls' March 28 home game against Conference USA foe Tulane is the first live televised contest. The other is the April 20 game at crosstown rival Houston, which the network has now moved to a new 12:30 pm start time... Rice's number of televised games could still increase during the course of the year, including regular season games and in the C-USA Championship to be held May 22-26 at Reckling Park. The tournament's championship final (May 26 at 1 pm) is again set for a television broadcast on CBS College Sports.
Rice's 2013 Games Selected For Television Broadcast
March 28 vs. Tulane - 6:30 pm FOX Sports Net
*April 20 vs. Houston - 12:30 pm FOX Sports Net
(May 26 C-USA Championship Final - 1 pm) CBS College Sports
* - denotes a new starting time

Kubitza & Stringer Garner National Preseason Honors
WICHITA, Kan. - The veteran Rice duo of junior Austin Kubitza and senior Christian Stringer have been tabbed as 2013 preseason All-America selections by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America (NCBWA), the organization announced from its headquarters in Wichita Kan... Kubitza and Stringer were both named to the NCBWA's preseason All-America second team as a starting pitcher and second baseman, respectively. The Owl duo helped Rice go 41-19 last season, claim the Conference USA regular season championship and host an NCAA Regional at Reckling Park... In his first season of Division I baseball after transferring from Navarro College, Stringer took C-USA by storm. The junior second baseman batted a team-leading .343 in 59 starts, and he maintained a .389 average in C-USA league games. Stringer also led the team and ranked among the conference leaders in hits (81), runs (58) and on-base percentage (.448). The Longview, Tex., native was second in walks (38) and steals (6), but his defense might have made the biggest impact to the Owls. Stringer maintained a .978 fielding percentage at second base where he turned or started 35 of the Owls' 46 double plays... A year ago Kubitza finished with a 6-5 record and he was second on the staff in ERA (2.69), innings pitched (80.1) and strikeouts (73). The right-hander from Colleyville, Tex., shared the team lead in starts (15) and he held all opposing hitters to an austere .211 batting average. He was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year after his first Division I season in 2011.

The C-USA Favorites
IRVING, Tex. - With three preseason all-conference players, including the duo of junior Austin Kubitza and Christian Stringer as the 2013 Preseason Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively, the Rice baseball team was picked to finish first in the league in the annual Conference USA head coaches' poll the C-USA office announced... Stringer and Kubitza (season info provided above) are joined by fellow Owl Michael Ratterree on the preseason All-Conference USA team, giving Rice a league-high-tying three selections. Ratterree posted a .407 slugging percentage last season with 20 extra-base hits (13 doubles, one triple and six home runs). The local standout from Memorial High School drew a team-high 42 walks, giving him a .378 on-base percentage. He also drove in 33 runs and unselfishly moved to a new defensive position in the outfield to better-help the team... Under the direction of head coach Wayne Graham Rice returns four of the nine starters in the batting order and a host of veteran pitchers from a year ago. The Owls also have a highly-touted group of incoming freshmen players making their Division I debut this spring. •

2013 PRESEASON BASEBALL AWARDS (as selected by C-USA's head coaches)
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Rice
(7)
2. Southern Miss (1)
3. East Carolina
4. UCF
5. Tulane (1)
6. Memphis
7. Houston
8. UAB
9. Marshall
(first place votes in parentheses)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Christian Stringer, Rice (Senior, Infielder)

PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Austin Kubitza, Rice (Junior, Right-hander)

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
P Austin Kubitza, Jr., Rice
P Sam Moll, Jr. Memphis
P Andrew Pierce, Sr., Southern Miss
RP Bradley Roney, So., Southern Miss
C Ryan Breen, Sr. UCF
IF Garrett Cannizaro, Sr., Tulane
IF Brennan Middleton, Sr., Tulane
IF Jack Reinheimer, Jr., East Carolina
IF Christian Stringer, Sr., Rice
IF Chris Taladay, Sr., UCF
OF Landon Appling, Jr., Houston
OF Brandon Boudreaux, Sr., Tulane
OF Michael Ratterree, Sr., Rice
OF Mason Robbins, So., Southern Miss
DH/UT Drew Reynolds, Jr., East Carolina

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 14 years. Here's a closer look at the country's winningest programs from 1999 to 2012: (These totals do NOT include games played in 2013).
Team, Wins-Loses-Ties (Pct.)
Florida State, 701-244-1 (.742)
Rice, 676-240-0 (.738)
Coastal Carolina, 615-253-0 (.709)
North Carolina, 635-262-1 (.708)
Oral Roberts, 599-249-0 (.706)
Texas, 644-269-1 (.705)
South Carolina, 661-281-0 (.702)
Arizona State, 567-244-1 (.699)
Cal State Fullerton, 615-265-0 (.699)
Miami, 601-269-3 (.690)
Wichita State, 633-301-0 (.678)
Georgia Tech, 589-281-1 (.677)
LSU, 605-294-5 (.672)
Stanford, 568-292-2 (.660)
Tulane, 570-295-2 (.659)
Nebraska, 562-291-2 (.658)
Clemson, 601-316-1 (.655)
East Carolina, 555-295-1 (.653)
Notre Dame, 542-298-5 (.644)
Florida, 564-320-2 (.638)

Ten For The Show
Ten former Rice players were on major league rosters last season. The Owls' 2013 list of big-leaguers includes David Aardsma (Yankees), Lance Berkman (Rangers), Tim Byrdak (Mets), Tony Cingrani (Reds), Brock Holt (Red Sox), Philip Humber (Astros), Paul Janish (Braves), Lucas Luetge (Mariners), Jeff Niemann (Rays) and Joe Savery (Phillies).

Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion dynamo out there, Rice is 3-2 in its all-white uniforms, 2-1 in all-gray, 2-0 in blue tops with white pants and 0-2 in the pinstripes.

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
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