Rice Baseball, 22-13 this season and 11-4 in Conference USA action, continues its current four-game road swing and returns to C-USA league play on April 10-12. The Owls play a three-game weekend series against UAB. The Blazers (19-12 overall, 6-6 C-USA) have won seven their last ten games. Start times at Young Memorial Field in Birmingham, Ala., are set for 6:30 pm on Friday, 2 pm on Saturday and 12:30 pm on Sunday.
Watch C-USA Games On OwlVision All Access
This weekend's C-USA series is slated for a live on-line video broadcast by OwlVision All Access. OwlVision is a subscription-based service which matches the play-by-play audio with a video feed to create a television-like broadcast on the Internet (either live or in an archived format). Information about the service and subscription prices are available at RiceOwls.com.
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 this weekend.
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.
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.
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 - 1,541 - 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 No. 12 by the baseball writers, and in the Top 20 of six polls 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
CollegeBaseballDaily.com 14 16
D1Baseball.com 15 14
Collegiate Baseball Magazine 22 nr
PerfectGame.com nr nr
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 1,061-433 with the Owls (635-160 at home, 329-212 on the road and 97-61 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .710, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .710 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 weekend's opponent is: 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.
1,636 Wins · A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 1,061 Division I wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,636 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall "collegiate record" is 1,636-546 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.
Coach Graham announced the probable starting pitchers for the UAB series as junior right-hander Kevin McCanna (4-2, 3.28) on Friday, followed by reshirt junior right-hander Jordan Stephens (3-2, 1.82) on Saturday, and junior left-hander Blake Fox (3-1, 4.57) on Sunday.
· Kevin McCanna is a veteran with 41 appearances in his collegiate career, including 25 starting assignments. In eight starts this year facing the Friday night pitchers from Texas, Arizona, Stanford, Southern Miss, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee, Charlotte and LA Tech, McCanna owns a 3.28 ERA in 46.2 innings of work. He has held opposing batters to a composite .275 average with 8.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, and maintained a 3.0-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. McCanna had another solid start last week vs. first place foe Middle Tennessee. He allowed just two runs in a season-long 7.2 innings with six strikeouts and one walk... A year ago McCanna finished second on the team, and eighth in Conference USA, in both victories (8) and innings pitched (93.2). He pitched into the seventh inning in 7-of-12 starts, with one of the early departures at 6.0 innings vs. Purdue after the Owls had built a comfortable 20-3 lead. The Woodlands, Texas, native averaged 6.2 innings and held opponents to a .247 batting average as a starter. McCanna also averaged a 6.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and maintained a 2.7-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. He began 2014 as the "Sunday" pitcher in the weekend rotation (in addition to four relief appearances and one midweek start), before being promoted to a new "Friday night" role for the remainder of the year. McCanna thrived as the series-opening pitcher, winning 5-of-7 outings while maintaining a steady 1.76 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP in 51.0 innings. He was the opening pitcher in the C-USA Tournament and held heavy-hitting FIU to a pair of runs over 7.1 innings. The righty then returned just four days later to pitch another 4.0 frames in relief in the Championship Final against a UTSA squad that defeated him in the regular season. The former TWHS Highlander had a good case to be named to the league's all-tournament team, going 2-0 with a composite 2.38 ERA for 11.1 total innings (but was so quietly effective that he was overlooked by the voting attending members of the media). McCanna started the Owls' opening game of the NCAA Regional against Atlantic 10 Conference champion George Mason, where he allowed just one earned run on three hits with five strikeouts over 7.1 innings in a no-decision. He fired a complete game, 9.0 inning shutout in the opener of a key C-USA series against league runner-up UAB, propelling his team to a three-game sweep of the Blazers. It's notable the 9-inning gem was not McCanna's longest outing of the season. Rice has had dozens and dozens of complete games pitched the last few years, but in a March 8 (2014) start against eventual NCAA Tournament-bound Old Dominion, McCanna went 9.1 innings for the longest outing by an Owl pitcher in more than a decade.
· After being sidelined most of last season, Jordan Stephens has worked his way back into a weekend starter's role. Slowly bringing the veteran back into the mix has paid-off. The redshirt junior from Alvin, Texas, made his third start of the season last Sunday against Middle Tennessee and ended up being named the C-USA co-Pitcher of the Week. So far in 24.2 innings Stephens has held all hitters to a composite .195 batting average with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. His strikeouts-to-walks ratio is 8.8-to-1. A start Sunday would be the 32nd of his collegiate career. He needs just ten more strikeouts to reach 200 as a Rice Owl.
· A host of news organizations have a preseason All-America team leading up to the 2015 campaign, and Blake Fox was on just about every one of them. In eight starts this year Fox is 3-1 and averaging more than 5.1 innings per outing... Prior to last week the Owls' junior left-hander was undefeated in his Rice career, posting a 21-0 record dating back to his freshman season of 2013. "All Good Things," as Fox was the pitcher of record in the 7-4 setback. In 43 career appearances, including 25 collegiate starts, Fox is 21-1 all-time with a 2.58 ERA in 185.0 innings. Pitching is only part of the story, however. Fox is a versatile enough athlete to make additional appearances either as a first baseman, designated hitter or pinch hitter (against right-handed pitching).
Previous Outing: No. 1 Texas A&M Slips Past Rice Tuesday, 4-3
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Rice baseball team battled No. 1 ranked Texas A&M with double-digit hits and a solid effort on the mound from three pitchers, but the Aggies rallied for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to slip away with a 4-3 home win over the visiting Owls Tuesday night in College Station... With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, A&M drew a one-out walk and put runners on the corners with a single to right. The Owls got the second out with a strikeout, and appeared to be getting out of trouble with a soft ground ball to the left side. Though the ball may not have been enough to clear the infield dirt, it was just deep enough in the hole for an RBI single and a 4-3 lead to send the game to the ninth... Texas A&M held the lead in the ninth to improve to 31-2 overall. Rice, which led 3-1 midway through the contest, is now 22-13 on the season... The Aggies were the first to get on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the third, Michael Barash led off with a single to center and moved to scoring position on a tough one-out chopper behind the mound. He scored on a double to right-center by Mitchell Nau for the 1-0 advantage... Rice came right back with a run in the top of the fourth. Senior Ford Stainback singled to extend his current hitting streak to nine games. He advanced to second on a ground out to the right side, and sprinted home on an RBI single up the middle by senior John Clay Reeves... The Owls added two more in the fifth. Kirby Taylor hustled for a leadoff double to left-center. Hunter Kopycinski dropped a one-out single into shallow right to put runners at the corners. True freshman Ryan Chandler laced a double to left-center to drive home one run, but the Blue & Gray weren't finished. Kopycinski dashed home on an RBI grounder by Stainback for a 3-1 advantage... Texas A&M used the longball to tie the game in the seventh. Back-to-back solo home runs by J.B. Moss and Logan Nottebrok leveled the score at 3-3... Junior Austin Orewiler started on the mound for Rice and registered a solid outing. The right-hander scattered seven hits and one walk over 6.1 innings. He left the game with the lead, surrendering two runs while striking out four. Josh Pettitte and Matt Ditman also saw mound duty for Rice... Rice came up just short on an offensive chance in the eighth. Charlie Warren bunted for a base hit with one away, and Connor Teykl roped a single through the right side to give the Owls a first and third situation. A&M though then turned a come-backer to the mound into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning. The defensive play gave A&M a lift to start the bottom of the eighth.
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 .376 batting average with a team-leading 36 RBI in the Owls' 35 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 .530 slugging percentage with a .456 on-base average to help Rice jump out to a 22-13 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 24 of its 35 games. The Owls enter the weekend ranked third in the nation in hits. The team averages 11.0 hits per game, and was just under that mark with ten hits Tuesday night at Texas A&M... Rice also enters the UAB series as the No. 11 team in the nation for batting average (.312). The Owls out-hit opponents by 61 percentage points (.250)... At No. 1 ranked A&M senior second baseman Ford Stainback picked-up where he had left-off over the weekend against Middle Tennessee. Stainback's now 9-for-17 (.529) with a triple and a double for a .706 slugging percentage. He also drew a walk for a .556 on-base average, scored a team-best six runs, and stole a base... Junior first baseman Connor Teykl has gone 13-for-26 (.500) over the last eight games to raise his season batting average 51 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 .567 on-base percentage... Sophomore outfielder Charlie Warren put together another solid week, going a combined 7-for-16 (.438) with a double, six RBI, two stolen bases and four walks for a .550 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 five games to play the senior backstop is 7-for-17 (.412) with a double, a home run, six RBI and five runs scored... When Reeves was sidelined, junior reserve catcher Hunter Kopycinski made the most of his new playing time. Kopycinski enters the UAB series on an 8-for-17 (.471) pace with a double, four RBI, four runs scored and a .500 on-base average.
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
6-3 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')
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 180-57 (.759).
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 16.2 innings from 12 appearances, Pettitte owns a 2.70 ERA while holding opponents to a .219 batting average. He averages 1.4 strikeouts per inning with a 3.4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Stainback Closing-In On Career Games Played Top 10
Senior second baseman Ford Stainback enters the weekend having played in 207 games during his collegiate career. He now needs just two more games played to reach No. 10 all-time at Rice. Owl great Craig Manuel played in 209 games from 2009-2012.
Career Climber In Saves
Junior reliever Matt Ditman notched his fifth save of the season March 31 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 inning (in the ninth), but the Owls posted three runs in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 10-0 which ended the game by league rule.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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).
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
The Last Meeting
April 20, 2014