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Owls Face Texas Tuesday Night In Austin

RICEOWLS.COM <b>Anthony Fazio</b><br>Hanszen College
RICEOWLS.COM
Anthony Fazio
Hanszen College
RICEOWLS.COM

March 22, 2010

(All times listed are Central)

Mar. 23 (Tues.) 6:05 pm; Rice at Texas
KTRU Radio (91.7 FM) and Internet audio Listen Here
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Mar. 26 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; Rice at Memphis
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Mar. 27 (Sat.) 2 pm; Rice at Memphis
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Mar. 28 (Sun.) 12 Noon; Rice at Memphis
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Internet features activate at game time.

Owls Head To Austin For Rematch With No. 6 Texas Longhorns
The Rice baseball team, 12-9 overall and rated as high as 18th in the nation in one national ranking, is approaching the midpoint in a rugged stretch of eight-straight road games. The Owls next face the No. 6 ranked Texas Longhorns on the road in Austin on Tuesday (Mar. 23). First pitch at Texas' UFCU Disch-Falk Field is set for 6:05 pm... After facing the Longhorns there's still four consecutive road games to play, a stretch that will last until April 1. Rice opens Conference USA regular season action on the road at league rival Memphis on March 26-28. Game times with the Tigers are set for 6:30 pm, 2 pm and 12 noon, respectively, at Memphis' new FedEx Park.

Catch The Texas Game on KTRU (91.7 FM)
Every Rice baseball game is broadcast live around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com and KTRU.org. There are a host of 2010 Rice baseball games scheduled to air live on the radio in the Houston area on campus station KTRU (91.7 FM), including Tuesday night's Texas game. For on-line listeners there is a direct connection to the audio feed provided at the above links. The Rice broadcasting tag-team this season is J.P. Heath and David Brady.

Watch On-Line
Both the University of Texas and University of Memphis have set up a live video feeds to watch each of this week's games on-line. The links are provided above and activate at game time.

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. 18
Rice is ranked 18th in the country in the latest PINGBaseball.com poll. The Owls are ranked 24th by Rivals.com and 25th by Baseball America. As of presstime, the current 2010 national ranking roll call is as follows:
18th PINGBaseball.com
22nd National Collegiate Baseball Writers Assoc.
24th Rivals.com
25th Baseball America
25th PGCrosschecker.com
RV 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 842-326 with the Owls (514-112 at home, 250-168 in road games and 78-46 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .721, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .721 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 weekend's opponents is as follows: 23-31 vs. Texas (11-11 at home, 6-15 road, 6-5 neutral), and 14-2 vs. Memphis (5-1 at home, 6-0 road, 1-0 neutral)... 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.

1,417 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 842 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,417 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,417-439 in a 30-year career that began in 1981.

Consider This
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 842 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.

Did You Know?
As Rice heads into its Tuesday night game with Texas, Coach Graham is now 69-31 in his last 100 games against teams from the Big 12 Conference. The 100-game pace dates back to the start of the 2000 season.

Probable Pitchers
Wayne Graham announced the Owls' probable starting pitcher for the Texas game as redshirt freshman Anthony Fazio. Fazio (1-1) has made four appearances with two starts for the Owls this season. The right-hander from Kelly high school in Beaumont, Tex., was sound and solid in his previous start March 9 against longtime rival Sam Houston State. He worked a career-best 5.2 innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out a career-high four batters. Fazio held the opposition to a .158 batting average that game. It was more than a year of waiting in the wings, but Fazio made his NCAA Division I debut in the opening weekend of the season at Stanford after sitting out all of 2009 with an injury he suffered an injury just prior to the start of the 2009 season. He worked hard to bounce-back and finally pitch in the Owls' Blue-Gray scrimmages in the fall training period. Fazio made his Division I debut at Stanford (Feb. 20) and returned home to make his first Rice start against Lamar on Feb. 24. The multi-sport high school star also threw a third of an inning against crosstown rival Houston on March 2... Texas announced its probable starting pitcher as left-hander Sam Stafford (0-0, 0.00).

C-USA Ticket Packs Now Available
Conference USA regular season action begins this week and it won't be long until Rice begins hosting C-USA games at Reckling Park. C-USA baseball ticket packs are now available on-line! With C-USA packs fans may purchase great tickets to each Rice home game against an upcoming C-USA home opponent Houston (Apr. 1-3), East Carolina (Apr. 23-25), Southern Miss (May 14-16), and UAB (May 20-22) - a total of 12 games in all. C-USA packs for seats behind home plate on the upper concourse level are $100. C-USA packs for seats on the upper concourse level on the first and third-base sides are $80. Order C-USA Packs On-line here.

Previous Outing: Owls Rally To Defeat San Diego Sunday On The Road
SAN DIEGO - The Rice baseball team rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning, then hung on in the bottom of the frame, to claim a 9-8 victory in the finale of a three-game weekend series Sunday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium in San Diego, Calif... Trailing 6-5 to start the final inning, Rice exploded for four runs to go up 9-6. Senior Jimmy Comerota drew a leadoff walk and Michael Fuda hit a one-out single up the middle.Jeremy Rathjen was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but an infield fly brought the Blue & Gray to their last out. Senior designated hitter Diego Seastrunk laced a single up the middle to score to and give Rice a 7-6 lead, but the team wasn't finished. Rick Hague doubled to left to score one more and Seastrunk moved to third. Seastrunk came home on a wild pitch to make it 9-6 and the final run that eventually proved to be critical... San Diego would not go away so easy on its home field. A walk, an error and hit batsman loaded the bases with no outs. The Owls then turned a double play, second-to-first and then on to third. One run came home on the untraditional double play to make it 9-7. A Steven Chatwood single then plated one more, but Owl senior reliever Mark Haynes recorded a swinging strikeout to end the game at 9-8... Rice had won the final game of the series to improve to 12-9 overall. San Diego fell to 11-10 after the teams volleyed the lead back and forth throughout the day... The Owls struck first for a run in the top of the first when sophomore Jeremy Rathjen slugged a two-out homer over the wall in left field. Rathjen moved into sole possession of second place on the team with his fourth homer and he also gave Rice a 1-0 lead.... San Diego came right back with two runs in the bottom of the first. James Meador punched a two-out hit through the right side and Victor Sanchez drew a walk to put men on first and second. Austin Green hit a pitch off the wall in centerfield for a triple to score two and give the Toreros the lead. Rice tied the game 2-2 in the third. Comerota hustled for a leadoff double down the right field line and took third on a fly out to right. He scored on a bunt by Fuda that he beat-out for a RBI single... USD answered with two runs in its half of the third. Zack Kometani led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Tony Strazzarra walked and James Meador singled to drive in one and place runners on the corners. Green drove in Stazzarra with a base hit to give the Toreros a 4-2 advantage... The Owls regrouped to go back on top in the fifth. Michael Ratterree started the rally off with a single and he scored all the way from first on a double to left-center by Fuda. Anthony Rendon then blasted a one-out, two-run homer to left-center to make it 5-4 Rice. The longball was Rendon's ninth of the season and the 29th of his collegiate career... The Toreros scored twice in the sixth to take the lead. Three singles loaded the bases and a fourth single by James Meador dropped in shallow right-center field to score a pair and a new 6-5 USD lead... Rice senior Jared Rogers picthed 5.2 innings in relief of starter Tony Cingrani to improve to 2-1 on the season. He was relieved by Mark Haynes under some intense pressure of having two men on an nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. The defense bent, but didn't break as Hayned earned his second save of the season.

Crowded House
Last Tuesday night's crowd of 5,469 was the second-largest in Reckling Park history. The attendance record of 6,193 was set against Texas on St. Patrick's Day last season.

Rendon Delivers
After being carried off the field with an ankle injury last season in the Baton Rouge Super Regional, sophomore third baseman Anthony Rendon has the full attention of the opposition. Rendon is 22-for-62 (.355) with nine home runs and three doubles for an .839 slugging percentage. Surely Rendon has more than 62 official at bats in 21 games?? Nope. The Owl slugger has already been walked 31 times and hit by a pitch twice for a .573 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 ninth homer of the season, and the 29th of his career, last weekend against San Diego. He also has been known to bring the fans to their feet with some spectacular defensive plays. In the win over Nebraska he broke a 3-3 tie by delivering the game-winning RBI with a double in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Walk This Way
Here's a quick, but unofficial, look at how some of the NCAA Division I leaders for walks are shaping-up so far this season. At this rate, Anthony Rendon will walk away with the mythical walks crown.
Rank, Player, Team, BB
1. Anthony Rendon, Rice, 31
2. A. J. Kirby-Jones, Tennessee Tech, 26
3. Dan Gulbransen, Jacksonville, 23
3. Christopher Auten, New Mexico State, 23
5. Michael Choice, Texas-Arlington, 22
5. Oscar Garcia, Northwestern State, 22
5. Packy Elkins, Belmont, 22
5. Charles Smith, Texas Southern, 22
5. Vincent Mejia, Texas-Pan American, 22
10. Levi Michael, North Carolina, 21
10. Ben Magsig, Eastern Michigan, 21
10. Kole Calhoun, Arizona State, 21
10. Tate McMillan, Tennessee Tech, 21
10. Brian Harris, Vanderbilt, 21

Craig "The Man" Manuel
Sophomore Craig Manuel has proved to be one of the team's hottest hitters the past 12 games. Since March 5, Manuel's .484 batting average (15-for-31) is the highest on the team and he's also third in RBI (10). Not only does the slugger from Satellite Beach, Fla., share the team lead with three doubles in the last 12 games, he also has a triple for a .645 slugging percentage. Manuel currently owns a career-best nine-game hitting streak.

The Fuda Fighter
Sophomore Michael Fuda is also off to a great start, going 32-for-85 with two home runs, two triples and four doubles for a .541 slugging percentage. Fuda has also walked 11 times, been hit by a pitch twice (.459 OB%), and is second on the team lead in runs scored (22). The former two-sport standout from Katy, Tex., began the year with a 13-game hitting streak that dated back to last season and he currently has an eight-game hitting streak.

Hague Heating Up
Junior shortstop Rick Hague enters the week batting at a .361 pace thanks to hitting safely in 13 of his last 36 at bats. The standout from Klein Collins High School has also knocked two home runs and three doubles during the current stretch for a .611 slugging percentage. In addition to the hot hitting stroke, Hague has unselfishly executed a team-high three sacrifice bunts in the Owls' last nine games.

Rathjen Rakes
Sophomore outfielder Jeremy Rathjen has made an offensive impact the last few games. Rathjen is 6-for-14 recently (.429) with two home runs and two doubles for a 1.000 slugging percentage. The local standout from Memorial High School is now second on the team with four home runs this season.

Boggie Fever
Junior pitcher Boogie Anagnostou has had some steady work on the mound the last few outings, but perhaps not much to show for it in the W-L column. In his last five appearances Anagnostou has maintained a 2.60 ERA in a team-leading 27.2 innings of work. He's 1-0 in that span and has held opposing hitters to a composite .255 average.

Seastrunk Returns
Senior Diego Seastrunk came up with a big, bases-loaded two-out hit in the top of the ninth in the finale of the San Diego series to help lift the Owls to victory. Rice certainly welcomed his return to duty after missing 12 recent games due to an injury. The veteran from Channelview High School owns 230 hits in his Rice career and he is a career .316 hitter. Seastrunk needs to play in just two more games to reach the milestone of 200 career games as an Owl.

For The Record
After two close losses to Cal to open the four-game series March 11-12, Rice turned the tide and defeated the Golden Bears by a score of 26-11 on March 13. The 26 runs tied for the fifth-highest single-game total in school history and players set a host of team and individual season-highs up and down the batting order. The Owls collected 24 hits on the day, one of the highest marks in school history. Sophomore Anthony Rendon finished with two home runs, including a grand slam, on the way to an eight-RBI afternoon - the most by an Owl since 2002. Shortstop Rick Hague reached base seven consecutive times in the game, a feat that has been accomplished at Rice only three other times. The impressive names on that All-America list includes eventual major leaguers Lance Berkman, Jose Cruz Jr., and Bubba Crosby.

This & That
Senior Jimmy Comerota has hit all of his three triples since March 7. Comerota is now the Owls' active leader with eight triples, the most since Jared Gayhart finished with nine triples in 2008... Sophomore left-hander Taylor Wall recorded his 100th career strikeout in his March 19 start at San Diego... Junior right-fielder Chad Mozingo needs to score only one more run for 100 in his career... Junior shortstop Rick Hague needs only one more double for 40 in his Rice career... For the fashion followers out there, Rice is 5-2 in its all-white uniforms, 4-1 in the pinstripes, 1-5 in all-gray, 1-0 when wearing a blue top with white pants, and 1-1 when wearing a blue top with gray pants... Rice's March 21 win over San Diego marked the first time in eight occurrences this season when the Owls had won a game when trailing after eight innings.

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.

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 March 7 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.

Owl Newcomers Abound
Eight new Owls made their Division I debut on the road at Stanford and two more played for the first time in the first home weekend at Reckling Park. Another freshman made his debut against Cal making it 11 new faces who have seen action this year. 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 18 strikeouts in 17.1 innings while holding opponents to a composite .213 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)

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
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

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
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