Owls Host No. 16 East Carolina Starting Friday

March 10, 2016

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PDF of Rice's latest pregame release

Mar. 11 (Fri.) 6 pm; East Carolina 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. 12 (Sat.) 2 pm; East Carolina at Rice
Camper Reunion Day - Hey campers come back to Reckling Park and hang out with your friends at Rice Baseball! Campers receive free admission. For more information please contact the marketing office at (713) 348-6930.
Giveaway Item - Get the first of five Rice trading card strips FREE on Saturday courtesy of Houston Methodist! (Hint: Get strip No. 1 on Saturday and then No. 2 on Sunday.)
Get The Owls' Autographs - All fans may get player autographs after the game!
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Mar. 13 (Sun.) 12:30 pm; East Carolina 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 second of five Rice trading card strips FREE on Sunday courtesy of Houston Methodist! The remaining trading card strips will be handed out at different games over the course of the year.
Watch the game on the web
GameTracker (activates at game time)

Rice Baseball Hosts East Carolina In Weekend Set;
Owls Play at Home Through March 15

The Rice baseball team (6-6 overall) is at home to host former conference rival East Carolina at Reckling Park in a three-game weekend series March 11-13. Game times vs. the No. 16 ranked Pirates (10-3) are set for 6 pm Friday, 2 pm Saturday and 12:30 pm on Sunday. It wasn't scheduled this way originally, but due to a postponement of the Owls' March 8 game at Lamar, Rice is now slated to play seven-straight games at home dating back to the start of the UCF series on March 4. The Owls have only had one game outside the city of Houston since the start of the season on Feb. 19.

Game Day Parking
There has been a number of changes to baseball parking since Rice University began construction of 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.

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 1,082-448 with the Owls (646-165 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 22-8 vs. East Carolina... 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.

1,657 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 1,082 Division I wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,657 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall "collegiate record" is 1,657-559 in a 35-year coaching career that began in 1981.

Possible Starting Pitchers
Coach Graham announced Rice's first two probable starting pitchers for East Carolina as the veteran duo of right-hander Jon Duplantier (1-1, 2.66) and left-hander Blake Fox (0-3, 3.50). The final pitcher will be announced by coach Graham later. Duplantier had a sensational outing last Friday vs. UCF where he was named both the C-USA Pitcher of the Week and National Pithcer of the Week according to CollegeSportsMadness.com. He's pitched at least 6.0 innings in starts against UCF and national powers Arizona and Arkansas... Fox has been solid in his last two outings against UCF and nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. The senior from Houston has maintained a 3.14 ERA with ten strikeouts in 14.1 innings. In 35 career starts Fox is now 26-5 with a 2.53 career ERA.

Duplantier Named National/C-USA Pitcher of the Week
For his dominating performance last weekend vs. UCF, junior Jon Duplantier was named both the Conference USA Pitcher of the Week and National Pitcher of the Week (according to CollegeSportsMadness.com. Duplantier turned in the best outing of his collegiate career in the Friday night (Mar. 4) victory over former conference rival UCF. The junior right-hander allowed an earned run on just one base hit and two walks while recording 14 strikeouts in 8.0 innings for his first win of the season. Duplantier held 29 batters-faced to a composite .038 average. The 14 strikeouts and 8.0 innings were both career-bests in only the tenth start of his career (which includes being sidelined all last season). The native of Katy, Texas, (Seven Lakes HS) fanned three batters in an inning three different times and retired 13 in a row during one stretch. He worked into the ninth inning of a tight 4-1 game.

Did You Know? Part I
Jon Duplantier's 14 strikeouts against UCF was the most by an Owl in a single game since Eddie Degerman fanned 14 against Baylor in an NCAA Regional in 2006. Between the Degerman and Duplantier games, there were three Owls to post 13 strikeouts in a game: Ryan Berry vs. Southern Miss in 2008, Matthew Reckling vs. Grambling in 2012, and Austin Kubitza vs. Hawaii in 2013. The last time an Owl had 15 strikeouts in a game was Joe Savery vs. Fresno State on April 30, 2005. The most before that was Degerman with 16 vs. Louisiana Tech on April 9, 2005, to tie for the third-highest single-game total in Rice history.

Did You Know? Part II
In the series finale vs. national power Arizona (Feb. 21), sophomore Dane Myers had two triples in the 4-3 Rice win. The last Owl to do that eventual major leaguer Josh Rodriguez vs. Miami-Ohio in 2004. Rice had two triples in a 2013 win vs. Marshall.

Here's Who's Hot
True freshman Ford Proctor has been right at home playing at the Division I level. Not only has the Beaumont, Texas, native hit safely in 11-straight games, he is 7-for-16 (.438) recently with four runs scored and two walks for a .500 on-base percentage... Charlie Warren continues to play well after earning a spot on the College Classic All-Tournament Team (Feb. 28). In his last three games Warren is batting .417 (5-for-12) with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI, a walk and a stolen base... In the last two games Dane Myers went a combined 3-for-6 with two RBI, two runs scored, a walk and sacrifice fly... In the same stretch senior Grayson Lewis is 3-for-7 (.429) with two runs scored and an RBI. He's also walked once and been hit by a pitch for a .556 on-base average.

Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion-minded, Rice's 2016 W-L records while wearing the various uniforms is as follows:
2-2 in all-white
1-3 in pinstripes
1-0 in blue tops with white pants
1-0 in blue tops with pinstripe pants
1-1 in gray `birds' tops

Previous Game: Rice Halts UCF Rally To Win 13-10 (March 6)
HOUSTON - The Rice baseball team held-off a late rally to notch a 13-10 victory over visiting UCF Sunday (March 6) in Houston... With the win Rice claimed the three-game weekend series from the Knights two games to one. Where the first two games of the series featured a pair of back-to-back pitching duels, the hitters for both teams were ready to shine Sunday. Not only did the squads combined for 23 runs on 28 hits, the heavy slugfest went all the way to the final bell... UCF jumped on the scoreboard for four runs in the top of the first inning. The Owls answered with two in the second, but the Knights were back up by four again in the third after Kam Gellinger's single drove in two more to make the score 6-2... The Owls came right back with four runs on a walk and four-consecutive hits in the bottom of the frame to tie it, 6-6. Rice then exploded for six runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend the margin to 13-6. The Blue & Gray added another four base hits and took advantage of four walks and a hit-batsman for its biggest-offensive inning of the young season... The Knights continued to fight, and chipped away for a run in the eighth before making things interesting in the ninth. UCF rallied for three runs with two out before freshman pitcher Jackson Parthasarathy closed out a 13-10 final with the potential tying run at the plate... Freshman Ford Proctor went 3-for-5 and scored three times to lead Rice's season-best 13-hit attack. The trio of Grayson Lewis, Dane Myers and Dayne Wunderlich all had two hits and combined for another seven runs. Wunderlich also added a career-best three RBI. Overall the Owls were an efficient 10-for-21 (.476) when batting with men on base, and an even better 8-for-14 (.571) with men were in scoring position... Almost lost in all the offensive fireworks was a sensational relief appearance from sophomore Glenn Otto in the middle of the contest. The right-hander from Spring scattered four singles and stuck out eight in 5.0 innings of work. It was Otto's second-longest outing, with the second-highest strikeout total, of his collegiate career. He improved to 1-0 while Parthasarathy posted his first career save.

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).

Owls Ink Nine In Early Signing Period
The Rice baseball program has signed nine high school standouts in the early period who will join the team for the 2017 season. The list of newest Owls includes Matt Canterino, Garrett Gayle, Brad Gneiting, Addison Moss, Mackenzie Mueller, Sean Reynolds, Chace Sarchet, Nick Silber, and Zach Wright. The group consists of three multi-position players who are versatile enough to contribute as both a pitcher and position player/hitter. Four are pitchers (only) and there are two outfielders. Eight are from the high school ranks. Seven are from Texas and three are from the greater Houston area.

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
Ohio St.             17    622    379    1    .621
UL-Lafayette         17    646    395    1    .620
Southern Miss.       17    636    390    1    .620

 

 

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