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Rice Baseball Hosts Houston Thursday Night In Televised Game

RICEOWLS.COM <b>The Silver Glove Trophy is up for grabs starting Thursday night.</b>
RICEOWLS.COM
The Silver Glove Trophy is up for grabs starting Thursday night.
RICEOWLS.COM

March 31, 2010

  • Visit the Rice Baseball Ticket Page
  • Check Out these Rice Baseball Game Day Promotions

    (All times listed are Central)

    April 1 (Thurs.) 6:30 pm; Houston at Rice
    Game to be televised live on Comcast Sports Southwest (Check your local cable TV listings.)
    Internet audio (only) Listen Here
    Game Tracker
    Watch it on the web. * Please note that the game will NOT be viewable on the web if you live in an area that is subject to the broadcast's black-out. Check with your local cable companies about the availability of Comcast Sports Southwest in your area.
    Game Promotion: Come sit back and relax at the Rice Baseball LuOWL. Wear your Hawaiian gear, enjoy a Rice Baseball game, and get $3 beers at the Roost! The first 1000 fans in attendance will receive a blue lei! Stick around after the game to receive Rice insulated tote bags compliments of H.E.B.!

    April 2 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; Houston at Rice
    Game to be televised live on Comcast Sports Southwest (Check your local cable TV listings.)
    Internet audio (only) Listen Here
    Game Tracker
    Watch it on the web. * Please note that the game will NOT be viewable on the web if you live in an area that is subject to the broadcast's black-out. Check with your local cable companies about the availability of Comcast Sports Southwest in your area.
    Game Promotion: Get to the game early and receive a Rice rally towel, courtesy of Memorial Hermann.

     

     

    April 3 (Sat.) 2 pm; Houston at Rice
    Internet audio (only) Listen Here
    Game Tracker
    Watch it on the web.
    Game Promotion: Rice fans--get a keepsake of your favorite Rice baseball players! Fans will receive the 1st of 5 strips of baseball trading cards courtesy of Fidelity Investments. Featured on this strip will be Jeremy Rathjen, Geoff Perrott, Mike Ojala, and Chad Mozingo! Kids--because there's no Sunday game this week, you will get to go on the field for the National Anthem and run the bases after the game on a Saturday!

    Internet features activate at game time.

    Owls Are Back Home At Reckling Park To Host Houston Starting Thursday Night
    The Rice baseball team, 14-12 overall and 1-2 in Conference USA action, is back home at the friendly confines of Reckling Park on Thursday (April 1) for the opener of a three-game C-USA/Silver Glove Trophy series against crosstown rival Houston. Note that the Thursday-Saturday format is a change to the schedule from some earlier listings. Game times with the Cougars (12-11, 2-1 in conference) are set for 6:30 pm on Thursday and Friday. Both those games are to be broadcast on cable television's Comcast Sports Southwest. The C-USA series, where the annual Silver Glove Trophy is also up for grabs, concludes on Saturday at 2 pm.

    It's Prime T.V. Time on Comcast Sports Southwest
    As if a crosstown showdown with the Cougars wasn't big enough, both the Thursday and Friday night games will be broadcast on cable television throughout the city. Comcast Sports Southwest, a broadcasting leader in televising collegiate sports across the country, will air the game. Broadcasters Matt Stewart (play-by-play) and former major leaguer Steve Sparks (commentary) will call the first two games for CSS at Reckling Park.

    Catch Home Games On OwlVision All Access
    A host of home games at Reckling Park, including the 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. * Please note that Thursday's and Friday's games will NOT be viewable on the web if you live in an area that is subject to the broadcast's black-out. Check with your local cable companies about the availability of Comcast Sports Southwest in your area.

    Audio Broadcasts
    Every Rice baseball game is broadcast live around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com and KTRU.org. 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.

    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.

    Join the Rice "LuOwl" Thursday Night
    All fans are invited to kick-off the early days of spring with our Hawaiian-themed baseball game on Thursday night. The first 1,000 fans will receive a blue lei, but all fans are encouraged to wear their loudest Hawaiian gear! Note that Rice played plenty of Hawaiian-themed games against "U.H." from 1997-2005, but Thursday's game will not count in the Western Athletic Conference standings!!

    National Ranking Update • Rice In A National Top 30
    Rice is ranked 28th in the country in the latest PINGBaseball.com poll. The Owls are receiving votes in the respective polls by USA Today/ESPN and National Collegiate Baseball Writers'. As of presstime, the current 2010 national rankings by the various baseball polls is as follows:
    28th PINGBaseball.com
    RV USA Today/ESPN
    RV National Collegiate Baseball Writers Assoc.
    Baseball America
    Collegiate Baseball
    PGCrosschecker.com
    Rivals.com

    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. He is now 844-329 with the Owls (514-112 at home, 252-171 in road games and 78-46 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .720, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .720 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 117 games in a single year... Graham's record vs. the University of Houston is 62-25 (36-7 at home, 25-18 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.

    1,419 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
    Wayne Graham owns 844 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,419 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,419-442 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 844 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?
    Rice is 1-2 to start conference play, but in 2005 the Owls were swept by Western Athletic Conference foe San Jose State in the first conference series of that season. The Owls bounced back from that 0-3 conference start to win the league's championship and advance to an NCAA Super Regional.

    Probable Rice Pitchers
    Wayne Graham announced the Owls' probable starting pitching rotation for the Houston series as sophomore Taylor Wall (lhp, 0-4, 5.61) on Thursday and senior Jared Rogers (rhp, 3-1, 4.96) in the middle game on Friday. Rice's third starter of the series will be announced at a later time.

  • In 2009 Taylor Wall went 7-6 with a 3.72 ERA while in his first season of Division I baseball. The 6-foot-2 left-hander from Houston (Westside High School) had worked his way into a regular spot in the Owls' weekend rotation and eventually led the staff in starts (15), innings pitched (94.1) and strikeouts (77). He was particularly strong in the postseason where he maintained a 2.05 ERA and a .167 opponents' batting average in four appearances. Wall was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Houston Regional after firing a sensational three-hit, complete game shutout to defeat Kansas State and setup a one-game final for the Regional championship. He also blanked Marshall with a 7.0-inning shutout to earn selection to the C-USA All-Tournament team... Wall was tabbed as the starting pitcher on Opening Day at Stanford and struck out three in 3.0 innings of work. He also battled No. 3 ranked Texas in a start at the Houston College Classic on Mar. 5, scattering just five hits while striking out a season-high eight Longhorns in a season-long 7.1 innings... Last week Wall started the Friday night game at Memphis. He has 102 career strikeouts in 128.0 collegiate innings.
  • Veteran Jared Rogers was new to the Rice staff in 2009 as a junior transfer from Navarro College. Last year with the Owls he went 4-1 with a 6.15 ERA in 19 appearance, but was at his best in the run through the NCAA Tournament where he maintained a 3.46 ERA and held opponents to a .205 batting average. In addition to a seven-strikeout, complete game NCAA Regional victory over A-10 champion Xavier, the 6-foot-6 right-hander also fired four shutout frames against eventual national champion LSU in the NCAA Super Regional... Rogers made his 2010 debut in the middle game of the Stanford series and allowed two runs in 3.1 innings of a no-decision. He was particularly sharp in a March 2 start vs. crosstown rival Houston, firing 6.0 steady innings for his first win of the season. Against the Cougars Rogers allowed just one run on five hits without any walks and three strikeouts. His previous outing was a start in the Memphis finale where he earned his third win of the season after working a season-long 7.1 innings. So far Rogers has only five walks in 32.2 innings.
    Houston announced its first two starters as right-hander Michael Goodnight (3-2, 4.26) and left-hander William Kankel (1-1, 4.68), respectively.

    C-USA Ticket Packs Now Available
    Conference USA regular season games are here at Reckling Park this week and league 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 Top Lamar Tuesday On The Road, 7-2
    BEAUMONT - The research was completed and alterations made, so all that was left for Rice junior lefthander Doug Simmons was to apply his discoveries on how poor mechanics negatively impact his performance... In theory bridging the chasm between discovery and application isn't quite that simple, but that truth didn't prevent Simmons from working three dominant innings of relief on Tuesday night, anchoring a strong pitching effort in the Owls' 7-2 win over Lamar at Vincent-Beck Stadium... Six Rice pitchers combined to allow Lamar (15-10) just two unearned runs on nine hits and three walks while compiling 11 strikeouts. Simmons labored the longest of the 13 pitchers that toed the rubber for both teams, and his career-high five strikeouts were a byproduct of both his effectiveness and the staff's desire to see him maintain momentum... "I thought I was just going to go in there for one batter like I had been doing the whole season, but they kept telling me every time I came back in (the dugout), `You're going to go one more,'" Simmons said. "I guess they wanted me to face those four lefthanded hitters (atop the Lamar order) again."... When Simmons entered to face Cardinals left fielder Clayton Farhat with two outs in the fourth inning, he did so with Andy Mena on base and the Owls (14-12) clinging to a 4-2 lead. Simmons retired Farhat before setting down four consecutive batters. Lamar third baseman Pablo Salinas drew a one-out walk in the sixth, but Simmons responded by setting four more Cardinals down in order, including the first two of that quartet of lefthanders he was challenged to retire to open the seventh... Simmons was lifted when Lamar right fielder Quentin Luquette lined an infield single off Simmons' glove, but the Owls held a 6-2 lead at that juncture and appeared firmly in control. Simmons had struck out four in a total of 5 1/3 innings prior to his appearance against Lamar, an outing in which his arsenal of confounding pitches was on full display. The bouts of wildness that had plagued Simmons were a distant memory... "It's been kind of a lesson for me the last two times I pitched," Simmons said, referring to his outing at Texas last week. "I've been really staying closed with my body and it's been helping me out. I've been having a really good feel for my changeup, and that's been helping me out a lot... "The two times that I pitched bad were at Stanford and San Diego. I was flying open and throwing across my body. Every fastball I was throwing was down and out. Since (then), I've been really trying to stay closed." ... "Added Rice coach Wayne Graham: "Simmons was a big, big, huge plus. He was the guy that really stepped forward tonight and showed us he can help us a lot. And I believe he can... "He threw a good curveball, he threw sinking fastballs, and he had a good changeup. What's not to like? It was all good."... Senior righthander Mike Ojala (1-0), in just his third appearance since his return from midsummer Tommy John surgery, set a positive tone in his first start of the season. Facing a predetermined pitching count of 35, Ojala allowed three singles and one walk while striking out a batter in 1 2/3 innings. He would have completed his second inning of work were it not for a two-out throwing error with the bases loaded that enabled Lamar to slice the Owls' 4-0 lead in half. Ojala finished with 31 pitches... "I was more settled down, less out of control, wild and crazy," Ojala said in comparing his start with his two previous relief outings at San Diego and at Texas. "I was a little more calm tonight and relaxed. It was fun."... Having worked explicitly on situational hitting following their return from their league-opening series at Memphis last weekend, the Owls' offensive performance represented a mixed bag. On one hand the Owls matched their season low by striking out just four times, and three of those strikeouts came in their final four at-bats. Diego Seastrunk, Jimmy Comerota, Abel Gonzales and Anthony Rendon knocked in runs with sacrifice flies, and Jeremy Rathjen struck the decisive blow with a two-out, two-run double off Blake Ford (1-3) for a 3-0 lead in the first inning... On the other hand, the Owls failed to drive in a run via a base hit after the second inning despite having the leadoff batter reach in the third, fifth, sixth and eighth inning. In the third and sixth the Owls' first two batters reached yet they scored just one run total, and in the eighth the Owls loaded the bases with no outs but settled for the Rendon sac fly... "The guys that delivered the sacrifice flies did good. The guys that left some other guys on (base) had some terrible at-bats," Graham said. "At least the guys that were in a situation when they knew they needed to get the fly ball, they got it when we needed a run. And that's good." -- By MOISEKAPENDA BOWER

    The Silver Glove Trophy Series - 2010 Edition
    Like the big rivalries in college football, the city of Houston's top two college baseball programs play for a coveted prize (the Silver Glove Trophy) as part of their annual series. Rice has won 11 of the 12 series with Houston since play for The Glove began in 1998. The Owls won the trophy in its first two years and have held the hardware now for nine years in a row (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009)... Game one of the 2010 Silver Glove Trophy series was played on March 2 at Reckling Park. The Owls claimed an 8-2 victory on the strength of double-digit hits and a solid start on the mound from senior right-hander Jared Rogers.

    Recap of 2009 Silver Glove Series
    The 2009 edition of the Silver Glove Trophy series had a familiar intensity. Rice jumped out to a 2-0 series lead by winning the opener at Reckling Park 9-2 (Feb. 25), and three weeks later at Cougar Field 8-1. Houston bounced back to win the C-USA series opener at UH 7-4, but the Owls hung-in for tough wins in games four and five, 7-5 and 6-5, respectively. The 2009 All-Silver Glove Series team consisted of C: Chris Wallace (UH); 1B: Jimmy Comerota (Rice); 2B: Brock Holt (Rice); 3B: Jake Runte (UH); SS: Blake Kelso (UH); OF: Chad Mozingo (Rice), Chase Dempsay (UH), Michael Fuda (Rice), Caleb Ramsey (UH); P: Ryan Berry (Rice), Matt Evers (Rice), Jared Ray (UH); Wild Card: Rick Hague (Rice). The Owls' Anthony Rendon was named the Most Outstanding Player of the series after batting .571 (12-for-21) with four home runs and eight RBI in the five Silver Glove games.

    Rice-Houston Series History
    The Silver Glove has only been around for a dozen years. The Owls and Cougars have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to 1948. In 152 games played since the first meeting between the two schools in 1948, Rice leads the all-time series with Houston 83-69. The teams became Southwest Conference rivals when UH joined that league in the 1970s. The teams renewed the conference rivalry in 2006 as C-USA foes. There have been 45 one-run games in the series. In 2003 the city rivals played each other a record eight times.

    Rice-Houston Series Went Out-of-State Last Season
    Rice and Houston had twice before played at a neutral site, but 2009 clash at the C-USA Tournament in Hattiesburgh, Miss., was the first and only time for the foes to meet outside the state of Texas in 61 years. That 2009 C-USA tournament clash was another familiar battle, but the Blue & Gray finally broke the game open with a total of four late runs scored in the seventh and eighth innings on the way to a 7-2 final. The semifinal victory sent Rice to the tournament's championship final for a showdown with event host Southern Miss. The Owls won five-of-six total games against UH last season.

    Crowded House
    The March 16 home crowd of 5,469 to see Rice host Texas 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 28-for-79 (.354) with ten home runs and four doubles for an .785 slugging percentage. Surely Rendon has more than 79 official at bats in 26 games?? Nope. The Owl slugger has already been walked 37 times and hit by a pitch twice for a .558 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 tenth homer of the season, and the 30th of his career, last weekend against Memphis. 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. Rendon tallied the 100th RBI of his Rice career Tuesday night at Lamar.

    Career Longball Leaders
    It was only going to be a matter of time before Anthony Rendon broke into the Rice top ten for career home runs. With his 30th round-tripper on March 27 at Memphis, he claimed sole possession of tenth place on the Owls' all-time home run list. The sophomore standout from nearby Lamar High School has some reachable targets directly ahead of him, who also happen to be some of the most prominent players in Rice baseball history. Rice's top ten career sluggers are as follows:
    1. 67, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
    2. 59, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
    3. 43, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
    4. 42, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
    T 5. 39, Jay Knoblauh, (1985-88)
    T 5. 39, Aaron Luna (2006-2008)
    7. 37, Damon Thames (1998-99)
    8. 33, Jacques Landry (1995-96)
    9. 32, Enrique Cruz (2001-03)
    10. 30, Anthony Rendon (2009-current)

    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, 37
    2. A. J. Kirby-Jones, Tennessee Tech, 31
    3. Michael Choice, Texas-Arlington, 29
    3. Charles Smith, Texas Southern, 29
    5. Dan Gulbransen, Jacksonville, 28
    6. Packy Elkins, Belmont, 27
    6. Christopher Auten, New Mexico State, 27
    9. Kyle Blackburn, Georgia Southern, 26
    8. Kyle Roller, East Carolina, 26
    8. Donnie Corsner, Old Dominion, 26

    Craig "The Man" Manuel
    Sophomore catcher Craig Manuel has proved to be one of the team's hottest hitters the past 14 games. Since March 5, Manuel's .442 batting average (19-for-43) is the highest on the team and he's also tie for second in RBI (12). Not only does the receiver from Satellite Beach, Fla., share the second-highest doubles total (four) doubles in the last 17 games, he also has a triple for a .581 slugging percentage. Manuel recently had a career-best nine-game hitting streak and he is one of the most dependable clutch hitters on the team. This season he is 8-for-19 when batting with runners in scoring position (.421).

    The Fuda Fighter
    Sophomore Michael Fuda is also off to a great start, going 42-for-110 with two home runs, three triples and five doubles for a .536 slugging percentage. Fuda has also walked 11 times, been hit by a pitch twice (.447 OB%), and is second on the team lead in runs scored (25). The former two-sport standout from Katy, Tex., began the year with a 13-game hitting streak that dated back to last season.

    Hague Heating Up
    Junior shortstop Rick Hague enters the UH series batting at a .333 pace thanks to hitting safely in 18 of his last 54 at bats. The standout from Klein Collins High School has also knocked two home runs and three doubles during the current stretch for a .500 slugging percentage. In addition to the hot hitting stroke, Hague has unselfishly executed a team-high three sacrifice bunts in the Owls' last 14 games.

    Ratterree Rakes
    Freshman second baseman Michael Ratterree has stepped-up his offensive output as of late. Since March 13 Ratterree is 15-for-41 (.366) with three doubles for a .439 slugging percentage. The local standout from Memorial High School has also scored 13 runs and maintained a .481 on-base percentage in the Owls' last 11 games. Defensively he's started or turned nine of the team's ten double plays in that span.

    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 earlier games due to a strained oblique. The veteran from Channelview High School owns 235 hits at Rice and he is a .315 career hitter. Last weekend at Memphis, Seastrunk reached a milestone of playing in his 200th career game as an Owl.

    This & That
    In Tuesday's win at Lamar six Owl pitchers combined to record a season-high 11 strikeouts. The Rice hitters meanwhile tied a season-low in strikeouts (four) and tallied a season-high four sacrifice flies... Three different Owls played shortstop, two played first and two played third in Tuesday night's game... Senior Jimmy Comerota recorded his 500th career at bat Tuesday at Lamar. Comerota has hit all of his three triples since March 7 and he is now the Owls' active leader with eight triples (the most since Jared Gayhart finished with nine in 2008)... At Memphis, junior right-fielder Chad Mozingo scored the 100th run and junior shortstop Rick Hague knocked the 40th double of their respective Rice careers... For the fashion followers out there, Rice is 5-2 in its all-white uniforms, 4-1 in the pinstripes, 2-7 in all-gray, 1-0 when wearing a blue top with white pants, and 2-2 when wearing a blue top with gray pants... In addition to the season-high three home runs in the 13-4 win over Memphis, the Owls also hit a season-best five doubles for a new season-high 37 total bases.

    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.

    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 20 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

    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

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