Owls Play At Texas A&M Tuesday Night

April 6, 2015

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LISTEN online (pregame show 15 min. before start)
PDF of Rice's latest pregame release

April 7 (Tues.) 6:35 pm; Rice at Texas A&M
Listen on-line at the above link, or on the radio in the Houston area on station 1180 AM
Watch the game on the web
Live Stats (activates at game time)

April 10 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; Rice at UAB
Watch the game on the web
GameTracker (activates at game time)

April 11 (Sat.) 2 pm; Rice at UAB
Watch the game on the web
GameTracker (activates at game time)

April 12 (Sun.) 12:30 pm; Rice at UAB
Watch the game on the web
GameTracker (activates at game time)

Rice Baseball, 22-12 overall and 11-4 in Conference USA action, begins a rugged four-game road swing starting on April 7. Rice plays at longtime rival and No. 1 ranked Texas A&M on Tuesday. First pitch at Blue Bell Park in College Station is set for 6:35 pm.... The Owls then return to C-USA league play for a three-game weekend series at UAB on April 10-12. Game times against the Blazers are 6:30 pm on Friday, 2 pm on Saturday and 12:30 pm on Sunday.

Tuesday Night's Game at Texas A&M One of Nine Radio Broadcasts This Season
Rice Baseball returns to the radio airwaves Tuesday vs. Texas A&M on ESPN Deportes Houston (1180 am). The contest is one of nine on-air games in 2015 as part of an agreement between Rice IMG Sports Properties and one of the city's fastest-growing sports stations. The slate of on-air games began with the season-opener vs. Texas. It was the first time since 2010 that the Owls had been available on radio. The nine games selected include six at home and three on the road, with five games slated for Fridays and four others on Tuesday nights. The season-opener vs. Texas, the series-opener vs. Stanford (Feb. 27), at TCU (Mar. 3) and home vs. LA Tech (March 13) were all 1180-broadcasts. The radio schedule also includes a pair of games with crosstown rivals Houston (April 14 & May 12). Each broadcast will be preceded by a 15-minute pregame show.

Audio Broadcasts - Catch Every Rice Baseball Game On The Web
Every Rice baseball game this season is scheduled for a live audio broadcast around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com. Tune-in to the pregame show 15 minutes before each game's first pitch. Fans attending home games can listen to the Rice broadcast at Reckling Park via an FM proximity transmitter. The FM frequencies for the in-stadium broadcasts at Reckling Park is 99.7 FM. J.P. Heath is back for his seventh season as the regular voice of the Owls. The veteran broadcaster has the call for this weekend's action at Reckling Park.

Follow The Tweeting Rice Owls
The official Rice baseball Twitter account is @RiceOwlsBSB while the Rice Athletics department is @RiceOwlsdotcom. Twitter is perhaps the fastest way to get weather-related changes to the schedule/updated start times.

Live Stats On GameTracker
Links to live play-by-play text and statistics from every home game are posted on RiceOwls.com. Look for the GameTracker links on the Rice Athletics front page, the weekly series preview, the baseball schedule page.

98th Season On The Baseball Diamond
Rice Owl baseball made its debut in the spring of 1913, just one semester after the school (then The Rice Institute) opened its doors for higher education in the fall of 1912. The 2015 season is, however, only the Owls' 99th season playing on the diamond. The school cancelled its baseball season in 1919 and did not field a 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. The Rice baseball program's all-time record is 1,968 - 1,540 - 9.

National Rankings Update · Owls Hold Top 20 Spots
Rice baseball is respected enough to hold a Top 20 national ranking in a host of different college baseball polls. The Owls are as high as No. 12 according to the baseball writers, and in the Top 20 of six overall. Here's a closer look at some of the latest national rankings, and changes from last week (as available at press time):
Poll                         Current  Previous
NCBWA                            12    14
USA Today/ESPN                   13    15
College Sports Madness           14    12
Baseball America                 14    14
D1Baseball.com                   15    14
Collegiate Baseball Magazine     22    nr
CollegeBaseballDaily.com        tba    16
PerfectGame.com                  nr    nr

High Last Season RPI: No. 14 In 2014
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. 14 RPI in the nation.

Head Coach Wayne Graham
Four-time national coach of the year and 2012 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Graham (Texas, 1970) is in his 24th season at Rice. The 2015 campaign marks his 35th year as a collegiate head coach... He is now 1,061-432 with the Owls (635-160 at home, 329-211 on the road and 97-61 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .711, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .711 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 115 games in a single year... Graham's record vs. this week's opponents is: 33-20 vs. Texas A&M; 23-9 vs. UAB... Under Graham, the Owls clinched another postseason bid in 2014, making 20-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. 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 and 2014, 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 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; tenth year), Clay Van Hook (Texas, 2008; fourth year) and Scott Shepperd (Concordia, 2007; third year)... On game days Van Hook coaches at third base while Shepherd coaches at first.

1,634 Wins · A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 1,059 Division I wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,634 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall "collegiate record" is 1,634-544 in a 33-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 RiceOwls.com. 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 Conference USA championship, each week's show will include current members of the team, former Owl players and special guests. There will be some Rice give-away items at the show and fans will have a chance to interact via Twitter. 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.

Starting Pitchers
Coach Graham announced Rice's probable starting pitcher for Texas A&M as junior right-hander Austin Orewiler (4-0, 2.64). The rest of the Owls' weekend rotation will be announced by coach Graham at a later time.
· Austin Orewiler is scheduled for his 12th appearance of the season, and the sixth start of his collegiate career, Tuesday night at Texas A&M. Getting the starting nod is after a solid effort to earn a win in his previous time out, the March 31 relief appearance at Lamar. In that game Orewiler came out of the bullpen in the third inning to fire 6.0 frames, scattering four singles and one walk while striking out six. He added the Lamar victory to his earlier wins over Louisiana Tech, Stanford and Arizona. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound, righty owns a 2.64 ERA in 44.1 total innings this season, where he's held opposing hitters to a composite .248 batting average. He's maintained a 1.9-to-1 strikeouts to walks ratio while averaging 6.9 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. He's also averaged just under 6.0 innings for each of his five starts. His most notable starts were the very first of career - the finale of the Texas series where he fanned a career-high ten batters in 6.2 innings and then two weeks later vs. national power Stanford, where allowed just three hits in a career-long 7.2 innings... Recall in 2014 Orewiler pitched a season-long 3.0 shutout frames against Texas A&M, followed by another 2.1 scoreless innings in the finale vs. red-hot Houston. He closed out the year with a streak of 8.1 scoreless innings over four appearances, where he allowed just two singles and two walks with six strikeouts. The summer and fall of 2014 is where the former Ball HS Tor made his biggest pitching improvement. He added a new release point in his delivery and a series of elite outings in the program's Blue-Gray scrimmages quickly caught the coaches' attention. It's been more than a few years in the making for the older of the two Orewiler brothers currently on the roster, but he now has a chance to get the ball against an Aggie squad that is the No. 1 team in the nation.

Previous Outing: Have Mercy! Owls Blank Middle Tennessee 10-0
HOUSTON - The Rice veteran pitching tandem of Jordan Stephens and Matt Ditman combined on a three-hit shutout with 11 total strikeouts on the way to a 10-0 game-shortened C-USA victory over visiting league foe Middle Tennessee in the finale of the weekend series Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park... With the win Rice won the three-game series two games to one and improved to 22-12 on the season. The Owls have most wins in C-USA league play with an 11-4 record, and are just percentage points from the top spot in the conference standings. Middle Tennessee is now 17-13 overall and 9-3 in conference... Umpires ended Sunday's game in the bottom of the eighth inning before Middle Tennessee's chance to bat in the ninth. As per the C-USA rule for the final game of a league series, the game is called when a team (in this case Rice) stretched its lead to double digits after the seventh inning... Rice tallied a total of seven runs on the scoreboard after the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Ford Stainback singled and John Clay Reeves was hit by a pitch with two away before Charlie Warren doubled-in the first run of the game. Connor Teykl followed with a single through the right side to plate two more for a 3-0 lead... The Owls then sent eight to the plate in a four-run second. Tristan Gray lined a leadoff single, Hunter Kopycinski was hit by a pitch and Ryan Chandler drew a walk to load the bases with none away. Stainback singled-home the first run and Leon Byrd followed suit with an RBI hit for a 5-0 lead. Chandler scored easily on a ground out, and Warren drove in a run with a perfectly placed bunt-base hit to the right side that stretched the margin to 7-0... For as strong and comfortable as the Rice offense was in building a seven-run lead after just two innings, redshirt junior starter Jordan Stephens mirrored the same look from the pitcher's mound. The right-hander from Alvin, Texas, posted his best outing of the season, while slowly working his way back to form after being sidelined most of last year. Stephens struck out the side in the top of the third on the way to retiring nine in a row during one stretch. He went on to work a season-long 6.0 innings and register a season-high eight strikeouts without issuing any walks... Fellow right-hander Matt Ditman pitched the final two hitless frames to keep the first place Middle Tennessee off the scoreboard. The Blue Raiders had three total hits off the Stephens and Ditman duo, and only two men managed to reach second base (in the first and fifth innings). Ditman could have possibly been on his way to a three-inning save, but he did not need to come out for the ninth... In the bottom of the eighth, Stainback lined a two-out double to the wall in left-center for his third hit of the day. He trotted to third base on a wild pitch and Byrd walked to put runners at the corners. Reeves laced a double down the left field line that drove in a run, and now put two in scoring position. Warren followed with a single to center for his third hit of the day to score both runners and make the score final, 10-0... Rice finished with 13 hits in the game. Warren finished his 3-for-5 day with a career-high four RBI. Stainback was 3-for-5 with three runs scored.

Stephens Named C-USA Pitcher of the Week
IRVING, Texas - Rice's Jordan Stephens has been named the Conference USA Baseball co-Pitcher of the Week for March 30-April 5, the league office announced Monday (April. 6) from its headquarters in Irving, Texas... Stephens shared the league's Pitcher of the Week honor with Florida Atlantic's Sean Labsan. FAU's Brendon Sanger was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week... Stephens was electric, clinching a series win for Rice over Middle Tennessee on Sunday (April 5). The redshirt-junior fired a season-long 6.0 scoreless innings against the Blue Raiders in the rubber game of a three-game series against the first-place squad. The right-hander posted a season-best eight strikeouts, scattering just three singles without allowing any walks. He held opposing hitters to a composite .143 batting average in posting his third win of the year. It's the second time of Stephens' career to be named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week. He previously earned the honor March 12, 2012... Labsan allowed just one run on four hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters in six innings to No. 6 UCF on March 31. Sanger hit .533 on the week (8-for-15) with a .667 on-base percentage and an .867 and slugging percentage. He scored six runs on eight hits and six walks, and drove in four.

Reeves On Johnny Bench Award Watch List
WICHITA, Kansas -- Rice senior John Clay Reeves has been named to the official watch list for the 2015 Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher... The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com. The inaugural watch list consists of 75 players from across the country... So far this season Reeves owns a .377 batting average with a team-leading 35 RBI in the Owls' 34 games. The Monroe, La., native and Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year belted his fourth home run of the season in the Owls' 11-4 victory over Southern Miss (March 28). He has scored 19 runs and maintained a steady .535 slugging percentage with a .455 on-base average to help Rice jump out to a 22-12 start... The Johnny Bench Award watch list will be narrowed down semifinalists on May 14. Ballots will be sent to a national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2015. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 18th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 25, 2015... A 1989 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Johnny Bench was twice named the Most Valuable Player in the National League and a 14-time MLB All-Star. While Bench is remembered for his offense, he may have had the greatest impact behind the plate. He was the first receiver to use a protective helmet in the field and introduced catching techniques that have become the foundation for how the position is played today.

Here's Who's Hot
Rice has reached double-digit hits in 23 of its 34 games. The Owls enter the week ranked third in the nation in hits. The team averages 11.1 hits per game... Rice enters the Texas A&M game as the No. 11 team in the nation for batting average (.313). The Owls out-hit opponents by 63 percentage points (.250)... Senior second baseman Ford Stainback had a solid weekend series against Middle Tennessee, going 7-for-13 (.538) with a triple and a double for a .769 slugging percentage. He also drew a walk for a .571 on-base average, scored a team-best five runs, and stole a base over the weekend... Junior first baseman Connor Teykl has gone 11-for-22 (.500) over the last seven games to raise his season batting average 44 points. The hot stretch includes his first career home run on April 4, as well as six RBI, a stolen base and four walks for a .577 on-base percentage... Sophomore outfielder Charlie Warren put together another solid week, going a combined 6-for-13 (.462) with a double, six RBI, two stolen bases and four walks for a .588 on-base average... C-USA Preseason Player of the Year John Clay Reeves had to sit out most of last week after accidently getting struck on his catching headgear by an opposing hitter's follow-through swing during a recent conference game. Reeves returned in the final game of the Middle Tennessee series, and over his last three games to play the senior backstop is 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, a home run, four RBI and four runs scored... When Reeves was sidelined, junior reserve catcher Hunter Kopycinski made the most of his new playing time. Kopycinski enters the Texas A&M game on a 7-for-17 (.412) pace with a double, four RBI, four runs scored and a .476 on-base average... Keep an eye on junior shortstop Leon Byrd, who enters the road swing on a 5-for-13 (.385) pace with a triple and a double for a .615 slugging percentage.

Many Happy Returns
Jordan Stephens is one Owl who is making a comeback this season after being sidelined for more than a year. Another pitcher on the comeback trail is freshman redshirt-transfer Josh Pettitte. Pettitte has been impressive while slowly building up innings and outings the last month. In 15.2 innings from 11 appearances, Pettitte owns a 1.72 ERA while holding opponents to a .217 batting average. He averages 1.4 strikeouts per inning with a 3.7-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Career Climber In Saves
Junior reliever Matt Ditman notched his fifth save of the season Tuesday night at Lamar. It was also the 14th of his career to move him into a three-way tie for fourth place on the Owls' all-time list for saves with former major leaguers Matt Anderson (1995-97) and Philip Barzilla (2000-01). Ditman was on his way to getting career save No. 15 on Sunday vs. Middle Tennessee, but his teammates on offense stole his thunder. Ditman had 2.0 scoreless innings vs. the Blue Raiders and only needed one more, but the Owls posted three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the score 10-0 which ended the game by league rule.

Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion-minded, Rice's 2015 W-L records while wearing the various uniforms is as follows:
8-1 in the white `birds' top
6-2 in blue tops with pinstripe pants,
4-3 in all-white,
3-3 in the gray `birds' top
1-2 in all-gray,
0-1 in the home alternate (`Old English R')

Stainback Closing-In On Career Games Played Top 10
Senior second baseman Ford Stainback enters the week having played in 206 games during his collegiate career. He now needs just three more games played to reach No. 10 all-time at Rice. Owl great Craig Manuel played in 209 games from 2009-2012.

Nine (9) Televised Games In Regular Season
The people in the business of selecting games for television broadcasts have a good idea of the teams the public want to see. So far nine Rice regular season games are slated for a TV broadcast and that number could still grow over the course of the year, not including a possible TV appearance in the championship final of the C-USA Tournament in late May. Here is Rice's "starting nine" in the upcoming TV lineup:
Feb. 20 (Fri.) at Arizona, PAC-12 Network;
Feb. 21 (Sat.) at Arizona, PAC-12 Network
Feb. 22 (Sun.) at Arizona, PAC-12 Network
Mar. 3 (Tues.) at TCU, FOXSSW+
Mar. 27 (Fri.) vs. Southern Miss, FOX Sports 2; 
Apr. 18 (Sat.) vs. UTSA, ASN
Apr. 26 (Sun.) at Western Kentucky, ASN
May 9 (Sat.) at Florida Atlantic, ASN
May 16 (Sat.) vs. FIU, FOX Sports Net

Berkman To Be Inducted Into College Baseball Hall of Fame
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Former Rice Owl great Lance Berkman has been selected for induction into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame later this summer, the College Baseball Foundation announced March 4 from its headquarters in Lubbock, Texas... Joining Berkman in the 2015 College Baseball Hall of Fame induction class are Frank Viola, a Cy Young Award winner, World Series MVP and three-time major league all-star who led St. John's to the 1980 College World Series; Joe Arnold, a two-time NJCAA All-American pitcher at Miami-Dade who also earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 1966 NJCAA World Series; Larry Hays, who is one of only eight coaches at any level of college baseball with 1,500 wins; Al Holland, a ten-year major league pitcher and collegiate star at North Carolina A&T; Bill Holowaty, the third-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history; Mike Kelly, who was the consensus national player of the year in 1990 and winner of the 1991 Golden Spikes Award; and Rick Reichardt, who won the first recognized collegiate national player of the year award in 1964. The induction ceremony is set for June 29, in Lubbock... Before he became a six-time major league all-star and 2011 World Series champion, Berkman amassed 67 home runs, 272 RBI and a .385 batting average in his collegiate career at Rice (1995-97). He led the Owls to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1995, and first College World Series appearance in 1997, when he was named the National Player of the Year and was unanimous All-America selection. That season he won the Western Athletic Conference triple crown with a .431 average, 41 homers and 134 RBI, as well as being the league leader in runs (109) and hits (110). The New Braunfels, Texas, native was a first-round MLB draft pick in 1997 (16th player selected overall) by the Houston Astros, who eventually led that franchise to its first World Series appearance in 2005... "This class features players and coaches with some incredible superlatives," said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. "There are some unique and outstanding accomplishments by the individuals in this class. Our voting committees consists of longtime college baseball media members, active and former coaches, retired umpires, past inductees, college baseball historians and in several cases they are also former players," Gustafson added. "I commend them on another outstanding job."... Berkman joins Owl head coach Wayne Graham in National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Coach Graham was inducted in the 2012 class... "I can't imagine a more deserving player for this honor than Lance," coach Graham said. "He had one of the greatest years in the history of college baseball (in 1997) to help get us to Omaha. He is one of the prime players who elevated our program in so many ways. Congratulations to Lance, and all the new inductees."... Tickets for the 2015 induction will be available in May on the Hall of Fame's website at www.collegebaseballhall.org... For more information, contact Mike Gustafson, National College Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO, at gus@collegebaseballfoundation.org.

Did You Know?
There have been plenty of players who have hit 40 home runs in a major league season, but just four Division I players who have hit 40 homers in the significantly shorter collegiate season. Lance Berkman is the only person on both these lists. He clubbed 41 round-trippers at Rice in 1997, and then had two 40-plus homer seasons with the Houston Astros - in 2002 (42 HR) and 2006 (45 HR).

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 178-56 (.761).

Rice 17th In Total Home Attendance
In 2015 Rice has drawn more than 59,000 fans for the first 21 home games at Reckling Park. The Owls are currently 17th in the nation in total home attendance. Here are the national attendance leaders (by home total).
1. LSU  213,641
2. Mississippi State 176,891
3. Ole Miss 150,269
4. South Carolina 145,251
5. Arkansas 136,903
6. Texas A&M 99,714
7. Florida State 89,440
8. Florida 77,000
9. Clemson 69,907
10. Texas 69,636
11. Texas Tech 68,168
12. Arizona State 67,993
13. TCU 66,505
14. Nebraska 66,164
15. Hawaii 63,630
16. Arizona 61,699
17. Rice 59,241

Rice Also 19th In Average Home Attendance
Rice baseball has averaged almost 2,900 fans for the 21 home games. That is currently the 19th-highest attendance average in the country.

20-Straight 40-Win Seasons
Rice has clinched 20-straight seasons of posting at least 40 wins. `Forty' wins actually short-changes the feat a little. The Owls have secured at least 41 wins in 19 of the last 20 years.

National Postseason Streak At 20-Straight
Rice baseball's 20-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament is the nation's fourth-longest active streak. In 2014 Miami (Fla.) made the field for the 42nd-consecutive year, extending its own record, followed by Florida State (37) and Cal State Fullerton (23). Rice's 20-straight NCAA Tournament bids is the sixth-longest postseason streak in Division I baseball history.

Conference Titles Streak Now At 19-Straight
Rice has won or shared a total of 19-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 nine C-USA titles in as many years. The Owls won the 2014 C-USA regular season title by a comfortable three-game margin, then completed the title sweep by taking the league tournament last in Hattiesburg, Miss. Here is a closer look at Rice's title run the last 19 years:
Year    Conf.    Regular Season    Conf. Tourney
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

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 16 years. Here's a closer look at the country's winningest programs from 1999 to 2014:
Team    Years    Wins    Loses    Ties    PCT
Florida State    16    791    278    1    .740
Rice    16    762    280    0    .731
North Carolina    16    729    301    1    .708
South Carolina    16    748    312    0    .706
Cal St. Fullerton    16    700    299    0    .701
Texas    16    717    314    1    .695
Arizona State    16    637    289    2    .688
LSU    16    708    321    6    .687
Coastal Carolina    16    675    310    0    .685
Miami (Fla.)    16    682    313    3    .685
Oral Roberts    16    654    307    0    .681
Georgia Tech    16    676    329    1    .672
Wichita State    16    703    357    0    .663
Virginia    16    640    331    3    .659
Stanford    16    635    340    2    .651
Clemson    16    677    363    1    .651
Nebraska    16    632    342    2    .649
East Carolina    16    619    347    3    .640
Tulane    16    623    352    2    .639
Southern    16    474    272    0    .635
Florida Atlantic    16    609    351    1    .634
C. of Charleston    16    600    346    1    .634
Oregon State    16    585    338    0    .634
Oklahoma State    16    613    355    0    .633
TCU    16    616    360    0    .631
Kent State    16    600    351    0    .631
Florida    16    633    373    2    .629
Notre Dame    16    596    353    5    .627
Mississippi    16    621    376    1    .623
Louisville    16    607    368    1    .622
Texas A&M    16    619    378    3    .621
Ohio State    16    587    359    1    .620
Vanderbilt    16    607    374    0    .619
UL-Lafayette    16    604    372    1    .619





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