Baseball Closes Out Homestand Tuesday vs Sam Houston State

March 28, 2016

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Mar. 29 (Tues.) 6:30 pm; Sam Houston State at Rice
Promotion: All You Can Eat! (Hungry? Bring your appetite and purchase an all you can eat ticket to get an unlimited amount of hot dogs, popcorn and fountain drinks at the concession stands!)
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Rice Baseball Closes Out Homestand Tuesday;
Owls Face Sam Houston Before Weekend C-USA Road Series
The Rice baseball team, 14-9 overall and tied for first place in the Conference USA standings with a 5-1 league record, closes out the current homestand on Tuesday (Mar. 28) against longtime rival Sam Houston State. First pitch against the Bearkats (12-12) is set for 6:30 pm at Reckling Park. The Owls then return to C-USA action with a three-game weekend road series at Middle Tennessee (April 1-3). Start times against the Blue Raiders are set for 6 pm Friday, 4 pm Saturday and 1 pm Sunday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

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 Games that have been selected for TV broadcasts alter the OwlVision availability.

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.

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 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 Look for the GameTracker links on the Rice Athletics front page, the weekly series preview, and the baseball schedule page.

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 1,090-451 with the Owls (651-167 at home, 341-215 on the road and 98-69 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 35-19 vs. Sam Houston State, and  4-4 vs. Middle Tennessee... 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.

1,665 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 1,090 Division I wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,665 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall "collegiate record" is 1,665-564 in a 35-year coaching career that began in 1981.

Wayne Graham Radio Show Airs Monday Nights
The Wayne Graham Radio Show, the live weekly Rice baseball show featuring coach Wayne Graham, airs on Monday nights at 7 pm through the remainder of the season. The show originates from The Genghis Grill Restaurant between Wesleyan and Edloe on the Southwest Freeway. It airs in the Houston area on Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM, and around the world on Coach Graham will review games from the previous weekend and preview upcoming series. In addition to discussions on college baseball's national rankings and chase for the C-USA championship, each week's show will include current members of the team, former Owl players and special guests. Fans will have a chance to interact via Twitter and can now catch the game on their phone by downloading the "Tune In" app. The show is a unique opportunity for baseball enthusiasts to get direct insight from one of the college game's most successful icons who was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame and who has more than 1,000 Division I wins.

Possible Starting Pitcher
Coach Graham will announce Tuesday night's starter vs. Sam Houston State at a later time.

Duplantier & Warren Sweep C-USA Weekly Awards
IRVING, Texas - The Rice duo of Jon Duplantier and Charlie Warren have been named the respective Conference USA Pitcher and Hitter of the Week for Mar. 21-27, the league office announced Monday (Mar. 28) from its headquarters in Irving, Texas... After posting a 4-0 week that included a win at No. 16 Houston and a sweep of an Old Dominion team that came into the weekend in first place in the conference standings, Rice has swept the weekly league baseball awards. Duplantier registered 11 strikeouts in a complete game three-hitter to help the Owls defeat C-USA foe Old Dominion on Friday night, 3-1, ending the Monarchs' seven-game winning streak. He held the 29 batters he faced to just three singles for a composite .103 average. Duplantier allowed one walk and the lone run he surrendered was unearned after an Owl fielding error in the top of the second inning. The Katy, Texas, native improved to 2-2 and lowered his season ERA to 2.57 while earning his second Pitcher of the Week award this month... Warren meanwhile went a combined 11-for-16 at the plate (.688) with five runs scored and four RBI. He added a double to give him a .750 slugging percentage and drew two walks for a .722 on-base average. On Tuesday at crosstown rival Houston, Warren went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI to help defeat the No. 16 Cougars. In Friday's C-USA opener against ODU, The Woodlands, Texas native had a hit and a walk to score two of the Owls' three runs. Warren had his second four-hit game of the week with a run and RBI Saturday against ODU. On Sunday he went 2-for-4 with a walk, run and RBI. Warren's offense was only part of the story, however. In Saturday's game against ODU he threw out a runner at home plate from his spot in right field.

Here's Who's Hot
Junior Charlie Warren's 11-for-16 (.688) exploits that earned him C-USA Hitter of the Week honors are listed above... Sophomore Dane Myers also had a solid week, going 6-for-14 (.429) with his first career home run and a double for a .714 slugging percentage. He also drove five runs, scored three times, and stole a base in the Owls' 4-0 week... In the ODU series true freshman Ford Proctor was 4-for-10 with two doubles for a .600 slugging percentage. He also drew a walk and was hit by a pitch for a .500 OB%... Senior Grayson Lewis went 3-for-9 with a home run, three RBI, two runs scored, two sacrifice bunts and a walk in the ODU series... If you're only as good as your last outing, two Owls had big games to help Rice beat ODU: senior Hunter Kopycinski was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and senior Connor Teykl was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a sacrifice fly.

Previous Game: Rice Completes Sweep of ODU With 8-2 Victory On Sunday
HOUSTON - The Rice baseball team bounced back from an early deficit with eight unanswered runs on the way to an 8-2 Conference USA victory over visiting Old Dominion Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston. With the win the Owls completed a three-game sweep of the weekend series and grabbed a share of the lead in the C-USA standings with a 5-1 league record... All week Rice had played well to stretch its growing win streak to four-straight. The Owls took the first two games of conference set on Friday and Saturday, but quickly learned Sunday's C-USA finale would be yet another battle... Old Dominion pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the third. After Nick Lustrino and Turner Bishop hit singles to start the inning off a Rice passed ball allowed both runners an extra 90 feet. Lustrino was able to score on Connor Myers' single to shallow left and Bishop scored on a ground-out to the right... The Owls were behind but came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Charlie Warren to score Connor Teykl. Immediately cutting the margin back down to one run seemed to help Rice starting pitcher Ricardo Salinas settle-in for another solid outing... Salinas proceeded to fire another 4.0 scoreless innings and post a new career-high with nine strikeouts. Though still down 2-1 as the game moved into the final three innings, Salinas' teammates on the offensive side came through with four big runs for him in the seventh to put the Owls in front, 5-2... Rice extended the margin with three more in the eighth. After back-to-back doubles by Ford Proctor and Dane Meyers plated one, Grayson Lewis' blasted a one-out pitch over the wall in left. His second homer of the season put the Blue & Gray up by six, 8-2, with eight unanswered runs... The Monarchs continued to fight and put two runners on base in both the eighth and ninth. Owl sophomore right-hander Glenn Otto, however, finished out the final 2.0 innings after Salinas to notch his team-leading fourth save of the season. Five Rice players collected at least two hits in a 13-hit afternoon. Senior catcher Hunter Kopycinski led all players with a season-high three hits... Rice improved to 14-9 overall with the team's fifth-straight victory. The Owls also closed out the weekend owning a share of first place in the C-USA standings, joining red-hot Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic with identical 5-1 league records. Old Dominion is now 18-7 on the season and 3-3 in C-USA.

Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion-minded, Rice's 2016 W-L records while wearing the various uniforms is as follows:
5-3 in all-white
3-4 in pinstripes
3-1 in gray `birds' tops
2-1 in blue tops with pinstripe pants
1-0 in blue tops with white pants

Solid In C-USA Regular Season
Since its first Conference USA baseball campaign in the spring of 2006, Rice's regular-season record in C-USA league games is 196-62 (.760).

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

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.

Rice Baseball Returns To Radio Airwaves
Rice baseball will return to the broadcast airwaves for 14 games in 2016 as part of an agreement between Rice IMG Sports Properties and ESPN Deportes Houston (1180 am). The 14 games marks the second-consecutive season that Rice Baseball has been available on radio in the Houston area. The slate of games began on Feb. 24 and continues into May. The 14 broadcasts feature 11 home games and all three games played at Minute Maid Park. The upcoming radio games are among the Owls' biggest non-conference games of the season, including national power Texas A&M (April 5) and crosstown foe Houston (May 10). Be sure and listen to 1180 AM for C-USA games vs. Western Kentucky (April 17), Charlotte (full series) and Florida Atlantic (full series) in the weeks ahead.

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.

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

The Last Meeting
Sam Houston State3
March 2, 2016
Rice Races Past Bearkats Wednesday Night, 8-3
Freshman Dominic DiCaprio's bases-loaded double sparked a five-run first inning and freshman Jackson Parthasarathy's solid outing on the mound helped paved the way to the Rice baseball team's 8-3 road victory at longtime rival Sam Houston State Wednesday evening in Huntsville.





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