Owls Host UTSA In C-USA Weekend Series

April 16, 2015

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April 17 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; UTSA at Rice
Social Media Night - Join us for the new Social Media Night. Live tweets will be uploaded to the videoboard throughout the game and a few lucky fans will be picked to live tweet, blog or post from the press box! Also don't miss the social media photo area and much more. For more information, call (713) 348-6930.
Recent Alumni Special - The Association of Rice Alumni and Rice Athletics invite recent alums to attend our Recent Alumni Happy Hour at Reckling Park. Join us at every Friday home game to enjoy Rice Baseball with fellow alums. The Happy Hour package includes your ticket to the game and a wristband for discounted beverage purchases in The Roost all evening long. Call the Marketing Office at (713) 348-6930 for details.
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April 18 (Sat.) 2 pm; UTSA at Rice
Autism Awareness Day - Join us in supporting Autism Awareness as the Owls partner with the Houston area chapter of Autism Speaks! A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the charity. Click here and use promo code "listen" to get your tickets now!
Kids Re-Take Over Tbe Ballpark - Presented by Houston Methodist, Owls Kids Club members will have the opportunity to work with Rice staff members in various game day roles including PA announcer, grounds crew, ticket takers and more. This is an exclusive benefit for Rice Owls Kids Club members. To join click here!
Health & Wellness Day - Be sure to sign up for the Flying Owl 5K and then come out to Reckling Park for our Health and Wellness vendor fair! Call the marketing office for details at (713) 348-6930!
Neighborhood Day - Discounted tickets for all surrounding Rice neighbors. Call the ticket office for details at (713) 348-OWLS!
No OwlVision this game due to telecast on American Sports Network.
GameTracker (activates at game time)

April 19 (Sun.) 1 pm; UTSA at Rice
Hispanic Heritage Day - Get to the Park early and enjoy a pregame party with music, art, culture, and fun for the whole family.
Methodist Trading Card Strip No. 4 - The first 750 fans will receive strip No. 4 of Rice Baseball Trading Cards, courtesy of Methodist!
Living Social Deal - Enjoy great deals through Living Social for this game! Click here for details!
Rice Owls Kids Club Day - Owls Kids Club members can receive a free ticket to this game with their membership. Enjoy inflatable, games and more in the Kids Zone. Click here for more information on the Owls Kids Club!
Watch the game on the web
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Rice Baseball, 24-15 overall and 12-6 in Conference USA, continues its current homestand this weekend with a C-USA league series. The Owls host state foe UTSA in a three-game series on April 17-19. First pitch Friday is set for 6:30 pm. Saturday's contest is slated for a live television broadcast on the American Sports Network (ASN) beginning at 2 pm. Start time Sunday is scheduled for 1 pm.

It's T.V. Time Saturday Afternoon
Saturday's game has been selected for a live television broadcast. The American Sports Network, a leader in televising collegiate competitions across the country, is bringing the Rice-UTSA clash to the nation. Broadcast veterans Dave Armstrong and former major leaguer Keith Moreland have the TV call Saturday.

Game Day Parking
Rice University is in the early stages of building the new Moody Center for the Arts adjacent to Reckling Park. Like any major construction project, a host of changes to the old routine are now under way. There is a charge for game day parking, with the lone exception being FREE parking in the Greenbriar Lot on the west side of Rice Stadium (football). Fans may purchase season or individual-game parking passes by calling the ticket office at 713-348-6957. Limited complimentary parking and other game day benefits are also available by supporting Rice student-athletes with a gift to the Owl Club.

Friday Night's Game vs. UTSA One of Nine Radio Broadcasts This Season
Rice Baseball returns to the radio airwaves Friday vs. UTSA 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), at home vs. LA Tech (March 13) and both of the first two games vs. Houston were all 1180-broadcasts. The radio schedule also includes the final game against Houston (May 12). Each broadcast will be preceded by a 15-minute pregame show.

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 1,970 - 1,543 - 9.

National Rankings Update · Owls No. 16
The Owls are as high as No. 16 in two different national polls. 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 16 12
USA Today/ESPN 16 13
College Sports Madness 25 14
CollegeBaseballDaily.com nr 14
Baseball America nr 14
D1Baseball.com nr 15
Collegiate Baseball Magazine nr 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 1,063-435 with the Owls (636-160 at home, 330-214 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: 14-2 vs UTSA... 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.

1,638 Wins · A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 1,063 Division I wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,638 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall "collegiate record" is 1,638-546 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.

Starting Pitchers TBA
The Rice Owls' weekend rotation will be announced by coach Graham at a later time.

Previous Outing: Owls Blank Crosstown Rival Houston 11-0
HOUSTON - The Rice baseball team tied a season-high with 16 hits and junior right-hander Austin Orewiler was sensational striking out a career-high 11 in 6.0 innings as the Owls blanked crosstown rival Houston 11-0 Tuesday night at Reckling Park... Rice won its second-straight game to improve to 24-15 overall. The Owls also evened the season-long best-of-three series vs. UH for the Silver Glove Trophy, 1-1. Houston is now 23-14 on the season... The Cougars looked ready to jump on the scoreboard early with a pair of baserunners in the top of the first inning, but Rice turned a key double play to end the threat with no damage. The defensive play appeared to give the Owls a lift for the bottom of the frame. In its turn at bat, Rice proceeded to club six-straight hits on the way to a four-run first inning lead... The Owls weren't quite finished. Rice then added two more runs in the second and another two more in the third for an 8-0 advantage on ten hits... There was still a lot of baseball left to play after just three innings, but Orewiler was particularly sharp in his seventh start of the season. The Galveston, Texas, native allowed the Cougars just two base hits and a walk in 6.0 scoreless innings of work. He hit three batters on the night, but also fanned a career-high 11 - including two in his final frame... Orewiler was relieved for the final 3.0 innings by Glenn Otto. The freshman right-hander did not allow any hits to keep the shutout intact, and he also posted five strikeouts of his own for a final staff total of 16 (just one off the season-high 17 from the first week of the season)... "It was just one of those games where we pitched, hit and fielded all very well," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "I knew we were capable of having a good game like tonight, and now I want us to continue to play like this the rest of the way. This is a good win because I know Houston is a good team," coach Graham added. "It had been a while since we had beaten them."... Rice ended up pushing the final margin to 11-0 with three runs on three hits and three walks in the fifth. Senior Ford Stainback paced a 16-hit attack going 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Every Owl starter who batted finished with at least one hit, and five players had two hits. A total of nine different Owls scored at least one run.

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 .359 batting average with a team-leading 41 RBI in the Owls' 39 games. The Monroe, La., native and Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year belted his fifth and sixth home runs of the season in the Owls' 13-5 victory at UAB (April 12). He has scored 24 runs and maintained a steady .542 slugging percentage with a .455 on-base average to help Rice jump out to a 24-15 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
Over the last eight games senior second baseman Ford Stainback is an eye-opening 16-for-32 (.500) with two triples and two doubles for a .688 slugging percentage. He also has also drawn six walks in the last eight games for a .579 on-base average, scored a team-best 11 runs, stole a base, and been error-free in the field in 32 chances... Over those same eight games junior first baseman Connor Teykl has gone 14-for-30 (.467) to help raise his season batting average 60 points. The hot stretch includes his first career home run on April 4, as well as 10 RBI, a stolen base and three walks for a .529 on-base percentage... Sophomore outfielder Charlie Warren is 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, five RBI, four runs scored and a .462 slugging percentage... C-USA Preseason Player of the Year John Clay Reeves had to sit out most of the previous week after accidently getting struck on his catching headgear by an opposing hitter's follow-through swing during a recent conference game. He has since returned and is red-hot. Reeves clubbed two home runs in the series finale at UAB and is now 3-for-8 (.375) with five RBI and four runs scored... When Reeves was sidelined, junior reserve catcher Hunter Kopycinski made the most of his new playing time and it's been hard to keep him out of the lineup. Kopycinski enters the weekend on a 9-for-22 (.409) pace with a double, four RBI, five runs scored and a .500 on-base average.

Stainback Continues Career Climb In Record Books
Senior second baseman Ford Stainback enters the weekend with 808 at bats in his collegiate career. He now needs only 14 more at bats to tie Michael Fuda (822 at bats from 2008-2012) for No. 5 all-time. Stainback has also played in 211 games during his collegiate career, the ninth-highest total in school history. He now needs just one more game played to tie Keenan Cook (212 games from 2011-2014) for No. 8 all-time.

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
7-3 in blue tops with pinstripe pants,
5-3 in all-white,
3-4 in the gray `birds' top
1-3 in all-gray,
0-1 in the home alternate (`Old English R')

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. In 17.2 innings from 13 appearances, Pettitte owns a 4.58 ERA while holding opponents to a .243 batting average. He averages 13.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings with a 3.3-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Matt `The Man' Ditman
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) for what would have been save No. 15, but the Owls posted three runs in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 10-0. The 10-0 lead after 7.0 innings immediately ended the game by league rule.

The Last Meeting
May 25, 2014
Hattiesburg, Miss.
Baseball Team Wins C-USA Tournament Title for Sixth Time
The Rice baseball team rallied for the lead in the eighth inning, then broke a one-run game wide-open in the ninth to claim an 11-5 victory over UTSA in Sunday's Championship Final at the C-USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss.





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