Baseball Continues Homestand With Four Games vs. California
Games are 6:30 pm Thursday & Friday; 2 pm Saturday; 1 pm Sunday
March 10, 2010
Mar. 11 (Thur.) 6:30 pm; California at Rice
Watch it on OwlVision All Access
KTRU Radio (91.7 FM) and Internet audio Listen Here
Mar. 12 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; California at Rice
DOLLAR DOG NIGHT! Get hot dogs for just $1!
"Take Me Out To The Ballgame" night for Rice Students
Watch it on OwlVision All Access
Internet audio (only) Listen Here
Mar. 13 (Sat.) 2 pm; California at Rice
Attention Rice Students: Come to the game and have the chance to win a Princeton Review course! Enter to win at the game. The winner will be drawn during the game.
Watch it on OwlVision All Access
Internet audio (only) Listen Here
Mar. 14 (Sun.) 1 pm; California at Rice
10th annual "Kids Take Over the Ballpark! Kids get the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of a Rice Baseball game and take over the facility! (Note - Kids Take Over the Ballpark is now full. Registration is closed.)
Watch it on OwlVision All Access
Internet audio (only) Listen Here
Internet features activate at game time.
Homestand Continues Thursday Night vs. California
With eight wins in their last nine games, the ninth-ranked Rice baseball team (8-5) meets west coast foe California on Thursday (Mar. 11) to continue the current homestand that will last until March 16. First pitch with the Golden Bears (7-3) is set for 6:30 pm at Reckling Park. The Cal series is a lengthy four-game set to close out the weekend. Tickets to the games are available at the Rice Ticket Office or may be purchased on-line at the above link. The Rice Internet audio and live stats links for Thursday's game are also provided and activate at game time.
Friday Is "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" For Rice Students
Rice students get free admission to Rice baseball games, but there's even more to look forward to at Reckling Park with the annual "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" festivities on Friday night (March 12). At "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," Rice students will have a chance to get FREE hot dogs, win prizes and cheer on the Owls... At this year's "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," FREE hot dogs will be available for Rice students (while supplies last) beginning at 6 pm on the leftfield hill at Reckling Park. The Owls host west coast power California beginning at 6:30 pm, but there are plenty of activities that night. Three students will be selected to participate in a 5th-inning hot dog eating contest, where the winner will receive a Rice baseball jersey signed by Coach Wayne Graham. There will also be a student-drawing where the winner will get to enjoy a Reckling Park luxury box for themselves and seven guests at an up-coming game. Friday's "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" is also the day where replica shirts of the Owls' jerseys will be for sale $7... The Rice baseball team has now won eight of its last nine games heading into the four-game Cal series. The Owls want to know which College is the loudest for "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" on Friday night, and all season long.
Did You Know?
At 8-5 Rice has the same record to start the season that it did in 2008. That 2008 Rice squad went on to win the Conference USA regular season championship and make it all the way to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. In the other recent years the Owls have had similar records to start both 2009 and 2007. Rice began those respective years with 9-4 marks.
98th Season Since The Start; 95th Season On The Field
The 2010 season marks the 98th year since Rice played baseball for the first time. Rice Owls baseball made its debut in the spring of 1913, just one semester after Rice opened its doors for higher education in the fall of 1912. The 2010 season is, however, only the Owls' 95th season on the diamond. The school did not field a baseball 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.
All Home Games On OwlVision All Access
A host of home games at Reckling Park, including games in the current homestand are slated for a live broadcast on OwlVision. 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 proved to be very popular with fans and alumni living throughout the world. Information about the service and subscription prices are available here.
Catch Thursday's Game on KTRU (91.7 FM)
Thursday's opening game of the Cal series is set for a live radio broadcast in the Houston area via campus station KTRU (91.7 FM). There are a host of Owl baseball games scheduled to air on KTRU in 2010. Next week every game of the San Diego series will be on the air in the Houston area on 91.7 FM.
Every Rice baseball game is broadcast live around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com and KTRU.org. A direct connection to the audio feed is provided at the above links. The Rice broadcasters this season are J.P. Heath and David Brady.
Live Stats On GameTracker
Live play-by-play text and statistics from every Rice game will be posted on RiceOwls.com. Look for the GameTracker links on either the Rice Athletics front page, the weekly series preview or the baseball schedule page.
National Ranking Update Rice As High As No. 9
Rice is ranked ninth in the country in the latest polls by Baseball America and Rivals.com. Four polls have the Owls among the Top 16 in the nation. What is essentially the Top 16? The final 16 teams are in Super Regionals with a chance to go to Omaha. As of presstime, the current 2010 national ranking roll call is as follows:
9th Baseball America
15th National Collegiate Baseball Writers Assoc.
19th USA Today/ESPN
NR Collegiate Baseball
Head Coach Wayne Graham
Four-time national coach of the year and Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Graham (Texas, 1970) is in his 19th season at Rice. The 2010 season marks his 30th year as a collegiate head coach... In 2009 he won his 800th game at the helm of the Rice program (against Southern Miss on March 20). He is now 838-322 with the Owls (511-110 at home, 249-166 in road games and 78-46 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .722, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .722 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 117 games in a single year... Graham's record against this week's opponents are as follows: 0-0 vs. California... Under Graham, the Owls clinched another postseason bid in 2009, making 15-straight seasons for Rice to earn an NCAA appearance. 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 the C-USA regular season crowns in 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as the C-USA tournament championships in `06, `07 and `09. Rice has advanced into the NCAA tournament in 1995-96-97-98-99-00-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-09... 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 and `08... 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 Mike Taylor (Prairie View A&M, 1997; tenth year), David Pierce (Houston, 1988; eighth year), Patrick Hallmark (Rice, 1995; fifth year)... Taylor coaches at third base this year while Hallmark coaches at first base.
1,413 Wins A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 838 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,413 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,413-435 in a 30-year career that began in 1981.
To help place Coach Graham's achievements in perspective, consider that Rice started its baseball program in 1913 and in the 77 seasons where there are verified won-loss records (Rice is missing a few W-L totals from those early days), the Owls won a total of 838 games. In the 18 years since 1992 when Graham was named the head coach, the Owls have won 838 games. It's only taken Graham 18 years to accomplish essentially what it took the program more than three-quarters of a century to do before he got here.
Wayne Graham announced the Owls' probable starting pitching rotation for the Cal series as sophomore Taylor Wall (lhp, 0-2, 4.15) in the Thursday night opener, senior Jared Rogers (rhp, 1-0, 3.14) on Friday, junior Tony Cingrani (lhp, 1-0, 4.70) on Saturday, and junior Boogie Anagnostou (rhp, 1-1, 3.93) in the finale on Sunday.
Previous Outing: Owls Defeat Sam Houston State 8-1 Tuesday Night At Home
HOUSTON -- The Rice baseball team used a big five-run second inning and rode a career-best outing from freshman starting pitcher Anthony Fazio for an 8-1 victory over visiting Sam Houston State Tuesday night at Reckling Park... The Owls broke a scoreless game wide open in the bottom of the second inning. Anthony Rendon drew a leadoff walk, Chad Mozingo singled and a Sam Houston error on Rick Hague's sacrifice bunt brought one run in with men still on second and third. Craig Manuel followed with a double down the left field line to plate Mozingo and Hague. Steven Sultzbaugh made it back-to-back doubles to score Manuel for run number four. Sultzbaugh advanced to third on a ground out to the right side and scored on Michael Ratterree's single to make it 5-0 early... In the bottom of the fifth, Mozingo hit a double to right and Hague smashed a homer over the wall in right-center field to stretch the margin to 7-0. That was more than enough room for Fazio, a redshirt-freshman who was sidelined all of last season. The right-hander from Beaumont, Tex., handcuffed the Bearkats to just three hits in a career-long 5.2 innings. He kept Sam Houston off the board until the sixth and finished the night with a career-best four strikeouts on the way to his first Division I victory... The Bearkats battled for a run in the top of the sixth. Greg Olson drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on Chris Andreas' two-out single up the middle... Rice came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame. Sultzbaugh stroked the second of his season-high three hits and worked his way round the bases before scoring on Ratterree's sacrifice fly to right... With the team's eighth win in the last nine games the Owls improved to 8-5 on the season. The Bearkats fell to 3-10 overall... Offensively Rice finished with nine hits, including five for extra bases. Sultzbaugh was 3-for-4, scored twice and drove in a run. Manuel finished with a career-best two doubles and Mozingo scored twice after a pair of hits. Hague's homer was his second round-tripper of the year.
Wall & Rathjen Named To All-College Classic Team
The Owls' sophomore tandem of left-handed pitcher Taylor Wall and outfielder/DH Jeremy Rathjen were both named to the 2010 College Classic All-Tournament team last week at Minute Maid Park. Rathjen batted .333 with a double, RBI, run scored, walk and sacrifice bunt. Wall faced No. 3 ranked Texas and allowed just two runs on five hits in 7.1 innings while striking out eight.
After being carried off the field with an ankle injury last season in the Baton Rouge Super Regional, sophomore third baseman Anthony Rendon has had the full attention of the opposition. Rendon is 10-for-36 (.278) with two home runs and two doubles for a .500 slugging percentage. Surely Rendon has more than 36 official at bats in 13 games?? Nope. The Owl slugger has already been walked 18 times and hit by a pitch twice for a .536 on-base percentage. On Mar. 3 at Texas State he batted leadoff for the first time in his Rice career and drew three walks with a run-scored. He hit his second homer of the season, and the 22nd of his career, last weekend at Minute Maid Park. He also brought the fans to their feet with a bare-handed grab to retire a hitter from his spot at third base. Against Nebraska he broke a 3-3 tie by delivering the game-winning RBI with a double in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Fuda Fighter
Sophomore Michael Fuda is also off to a great start, going 16-for-47 with two home runs, two triples and double for an .574 slugging percentage. Fuda has also walked eight times, been hit by a pitch twice (.456 OB%), and is second on the team lead in runs scored (10). The standout from Katy, Tex., began the year with a 13-game hitting streak that dated back to last season.
The fact that the Owls have won eight-of-nine can be directly attributed to improved pitching. In the last nine games the Rice hurlers have kept the team in a position to win, maintaining a 1.91 ERA while holding opponents to a composite .201 batting average. The Owls have also allowed just 24 walks in 80.0 total innings the nine eight games.
Another area where Rice has turned it around from the start of the season is batting with runners in scoring position. In the last seven games the Blue & Gray is 20-for-59 (.339) with men in scoring position.
Owl Newcomers Abound
Eight new Owls made their Division I debut on the road at Stanford and two more played for the first time last week at Reckling Park. One newcomer, second baseman Michael Ratterree, hit a home run in his first collegiate at bat and finished the Owls' home tournament with two round-trippers. Like Rendon, he quickly got on the Cardinal radar and was walked five times. Ratterree was the first Rice freshman to homer in his first at bat since Aaron Luna in 2006. One of the freshman pitchers of note is rookie Tyler Duffey, who has 10 strikeouts in 8.0 innings while holding opponents to a composite .115 batting average.
At Bat Flex Packs Now Available
HOUSTON -- Single game tickets for the 2010 Rice baseball season are now available through the At Bat Flex Packs, the Rice Ticket office announced... The Flex Packs are a convenient and economic way for fans to purchase tickets of their choice, including on-line purchases. The Flex Packs are available in four options; the single, double, triple and home run. Here's what they deliver:
Single - eight tickets for $60
Double - 12 tickets for $80
Triple - 16 tickets for $100
Home Run - 20 tickets for $120
Flex Pack fans will be sent vouchers that can be redeemed for printed tickets at the Rice ticket office or at the Reckling Park ticket window the day of the game. The vouchers may be used all at one game, or spread out over several games. For example, with the Single Pack, a fan and a friend can go to four games, bring a group of eight to one game, or get one ticket to eight different games, etc.... Fans are encouraged to specify the games they would like to attend when they order online or by phone. Otherwise, fans will receive vouchers that can be redeemed during ticket office business hours or at Reckling Park on the day of a game while supplies last... Tickets purchased with the Flex Packs will be in Concourse 2 at Reckling Park, with the exception of games against Texas (March 16) and the University of Houston (March 2 & April 1-3), which will be general admission... For more information, call the Rice Ticket Office at 713-522-OWLS. Link directly to Rice Ticket Page.
At Sign Up For "Dollars For Dingers"
HOUSTON - Owl fans are encouraged to support Rice Athletics by signing up for the 2010 edition of the Dollars for Dingers program, the Athletics Development Office announced on Friday (Feb. 12). Signing up on-line at at this link is easy and secure... With the start of the 2010 baseball season fast-approaching (Feb. 19), Dollars for Dingers is a fun way to support Rice student-athletes. The popular program ties the total number of Owl home runs hit during the season to a financial contribution from our fans. Last year, participants in the Dollars for Dingers program contributed more than $20,000 to the Owl Club Scholarship Fund supporting all of Rice's student-athletes... Rice invites fans to make your pledge today as the Owls try to eclipse last year's home run total of 71. The Development Office will keep track of the count all the way through the College World Series, and let fans know their gift amount at the end of the season. Every pledge of $2 or more qualifies participants for a special souvenir... The baseball team will again be swinging for the fences this year. On behalf of the student-athletes who benefit from your generosity, Rice sends its deepest appreciation and hopes the wind is blowing our way each time the Owls are up to bat!
Anthony Rendon Invited To Team USA Tryouts
HOUSTON - Rice third-baseman Anthony Rendon has been named one of the early invitees to the 2010 USA Baseball National Team Trials to be held in Cary, North Carolina, later this summer. The Owls' sophomore slugger will have a chance to represent his country and Rice as a member of Team USA in games against international competition... USA Baseball, the United States' governing body for international baseball competition, announced the first 11 of 36 eventual invitees to the 2010 National Team Trials. The Trials will be held at the national training complex in Cary, N.C. The invitees will compete for a spot on the final 22-man roster to be announced in June... Rendon is a Houston native who, after a sensational freshman campaign for the Owls, has already garnered a host of individual accolades including preseason All-America and preseason Conference USA player of the year... The Team USA try-out invitation is Rendon's second in as many years. He had to decline the 2009 invitation, however, when he suffered an injury in the Owls' last game of the season in the NCAA Super Regional. Rendon was sidelined but his current teammate on the left side of the Owl infield, shortstop Rick Hague, was also a 2009 try-out camp invitee who made the U.S. national team. Hague went on to share the Team USA lead in hitting (.429) on its international tour last summer... "We are thrilled to have Anthony as part of our trials in 2010," said National Team General Manager Eric Campbell. "His freshman season was incredible, and we look forward to watching him have another great year at Rice alongside Rick Hague, who was a key performer for us in 2009."
Rendon joins fellow sophomores Sonny Gray (P, Vanderbilt), Danny Hultsen (P/IF, Virginia), Matt Jensen (IF, Cal Poly), Mikie Mahtook (OF, LFU), Brad Miller (IF, Clemson), Austin Nola (P, LSU), Matty Ott (P, LSU), Tyler Pill (P/OF, Cal State Fullerton), Nick Ramirez (IF/P, Cal State Fullerton) and Kyle Winkler (P, TCU) as Team USA's early invitees. The 2010 national team will be managed by Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg with Cal State Fullerton's Dave Serrano (pitching), San Francisco's Nino Giarrantano and St. John's Ed Blankmeyer serving as assistant coaches... With Hague as the most-recent national team member, a total of 11 Owls have played on ten different Team USA squads. Recent major league draft pick Ryan Berry pitched for Team USA in 2007. Two Owl greats, Josh Rodriguez and Joe Savery, both made the national team as sophomores in 2005.
Preseason All-America Accolades For Rendon & Hague
DURHAM, N.C.-- The left side of the Rice baseball team's infield, sophomore third baseman Anthony Rendon and junior shortstop Rick Hague, were both named preseason All-America selections by Baseball America magazine, the publication announced Feb. 5 from its headquarters in Durham, NC... Rendon is on the preseason All-America first team while Hague is a second-team honoree. Baseball America polled major league scouting directors, who voted on the team and made their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential... Earning baseball accolades is nothing new for Rendon. He is also a preseason All-America from the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball magazine and Rivals.com to name a few. In 2009 he was a national semifinalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy as the nation's top college player and the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top amateur player. The local standout from nearby Lamar High School became the first player in Conference USA history to be named both the Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season. The Owls' young slugger is one of only two sophomores on Baseball America's first team... Rendon led C-USA in batting average (.388), slugging percentage (.702) and home runs with a Rice freshman record of 20 round-trippers. He was also tops on the team and among the league's best in RBI (72). In addition to knocking 14 doubles and scoring 60 runs in 61 games, Rendon drew 31 walks for a .406 on-base average. He was named the C-USA Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the Owls to the championship title... Hague caught the world's attention after a stellar summer of baseball representing his country and Rice playing for the United States National Team on its international goodwill tour. He shared the Team USA lead in hitting and earned the Best Hitter Award at the World Baseball Challenge held in Canada. Always a steady fielder, last season Hague was the Owls' shortstop for all but four of the team's 542.2 innings (99.3 percent)... Baseball America's preseason All-America team has proved to be an accurate predictor of both team and individual success. Eleven of the 15 college players drafted in the first round last June appeared on the magazine's preseason All-America list--eight of them on the first team. For the second year in a row, 11 of the 2009 preseason All-Americans played for teams that reached the College World Series.
The C-USA Favorites
IRVING, Tex. - With sophomore third baseman Anthony Rendon tabbed as the 2010 Conference USA Preseason Baseball Player of the Year, he and fellow Rice Owls Rick Hague, Chad Mozingo and Taylor Wall were all named preseason all-conference in a recent poll of C-USA's nine head coaches, the league office announced... The announcement of the C-USA coaches' poll was just two days before the Owls held their first practice of the season on Jan. 29. Rice and East Carolina both had four preseason honorees, the most of any school in the annual coaches' survey... Outfielder Chad Mozingo batted .383 in C-USA games last season and .357 in the Owls' run through the NCAA Regional. He finished second on the squad in doubles (16), and was just one double from the team leader despite having 38 fewer at bats. Mozingo was third on the team in slugging percentage (.523), RBI (50) and triples (3)... As a freshman pitcher last season Taylor Wall was named the most outstanding player of the NCAA Regional at Reckling Park. The left-hander worked his way into a regular spot in the weekend rotation and eventually led the Owls' elite pitching staff in starts (15), innings pitched (94.1) and strikeouts (77).
2010 PRESEASON BASEBALL AWARDS
(as selected by C-USA's head coaches)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Anthony Rendon, Rice (Sophomore, 3B)
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Todd McInnis, Southern Miss (Junior, rhp)
P, Seth Maness Jr. East Carolina
P, Todd McInnis Jr. Southern Miss
P, Taylor Wall So. Rice
RP, Collin Cargill Jr.. Southern Miss
C, Jeremy Schaffer So. Tulane
IF, Victor Gomez Jr. Marshall
IF, Rick Hague Jr. Rice
IF, Blake Kelso Jr. Houston
IF, Jonathan Merritt Sr. UAB
IF, Anthony Rendon So. Rice
OF, Devin Harris Jr. East Carolina
OF, Chad Mozingo Jr. Rice
OF, Trent Whitehead Jr. East Carolina
DH/Util., Kyle Roller Sr. East Carolina
Welcome Back Rice Baseball Alumni
HOUSTON -- Over 100 Rice baseball lettermen, from as far back as the 1940s to the recent College World Series teams, were on hand Feb. 6 at Reckling Park as the Rice Owls baseball program celebrated its rich heritage with its biennial Alumni Game... A host of former players, many still playing professionally and some who were in the major leagues in 2009 like Paul Janish and Jeff Niemann, came home to Reckling Park to renew friendships and see old teammates. In an exhibition game between two alumni teams, the former players showed they were still able to bring the heat and swing for the fences like they did when they wore the Blue & Gray... After the alumni had their exhibition game, some of the heavy-hitting pros took on the Owls' young varsity in home run derby. San Diego Padres farmhand Adam Zornes stormed past his alumni teammates Mark Quinn and Jake Baker for the right to meet current all-America slugger Anthony Rendon in the derby's championship round. In the prelims Zornes put on an impressive display with eight homers, including one that sailed over the top of the centerfield screen. It was more of the same in the derby's championship final as Zornes defeated Rendon by a HR count of 7 to 2... After the home run derby, the varsity gave the attending fans a sneak peak at the 2010 Owls with a Blue-Gray scrimmage. It was a fun day for all.
Baseball Alumni Day Photo Gallery