April 24 (Sat.) 2:07 pm; East Carolina at Rice
Game to be televised live on CBS College Sports. Check your local cable TV listings. (Note there is no live video stream for this game due to the CBSC broadcast.) KTRU (91.7 FM) & Internet audio Listen Here Game Tracker
Special Home Game Promotion: Rice fans--get a keepsake of your favorite Rice baseball players! Fans will receive the 2nd of 5 strips of baseball trading cards courtesy of Fidelity Investments. Featured on Strip 2: Matt Evers, Jimmy Comerota, Tony Cingrani, and Boogie Anagnostou
First Place In Conference USA On The Line When Owls Host East Carolina This Weekend
Conference USA baseball co-leaders Rice and East Carolina go head-to-head in a three-game league series this weekend (April 23-25) at Reckling Park. The Owls are 23-16 overall and 8-4 in conference while the ECU Pirates are 24-14 and 6-3. The series winner will have the early inside track and the head-to-head tie-breaker for the C-USA regular season crown. Game times are set for 6:30 pm on Friday, 2:07 pm on Saturday and 1 pm in the Sunday finale.
It's Prime T.V. Time Saturday on CBS College Sports
As if a weekend showdown for first place in the conference standings wasn't big enough, Saturday's game with the Pirates will be broadcast on cable television. CBS College Sports, a broadcasting leader in televising collegiate sports across the country, will air the game. Broadcasters Tom Hart (play-by-play) and former major leaguer Kevin Stocker (commentary) will call Saturday's televised action at Reckling Park.
Finally Back Home
Rice is happy to return home for a series. The Blue & Gray finished a positively rugged stretch on the schedule where the squad played nine games in 12 days and eight-of-nine games on the road. The Owls had only one home game, but been on the road for clashes at Tulane (3), UCF (3), Sam Houston State and Texas A&M (last Tuesday) for a total of eight road games since April 9.
Audio Broadcasts - Saturday & Sunday Games On KTRU Radio
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 second and third games of the East Carolina series (April 24-25) will be broadcast live on the radio in the Houston area on campus station KTRU (91.7 FM). The Rice broadcasting tag-team this season is J.P. Heath and David Brady. Note that for the first two games this weekend the broadcasts will have two additional voices calling the action. David Saltzman, the current broadcaster for Owl football and basketball, is mic-side Friday night for a special one-time baseball call. Clifton Morris, the announcer for Rice women's basketball, will call the game on Saturday. David Brady brings the series home on Sunday.
Watch The Friday & Sunday Games On OwlVision All Access
The Friday and Sunday games vs. East Carolina are slated for a live on-line video broadcast by OwlVision (Friday and Sunday only). 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. Access the service on game day at the above links.
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.
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 853-333 with the Owls (518-113 at home, 257-174 in road games and 78-46 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .719, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .719 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 117 games in a single year... Graham's record vs. East Carolina is 11-3 (5-1 home, 6-1 road, 0-1 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.
1,428 Wins A Baseball Odyssey Wayne Graham owns 853 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,428 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,428-446 in a 30-year career that began in 1981.
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 853 games. It's only taken Graham 18+ years to accomplish and surpass essentially what it took the program more than three-quarters of a century to do before he got here.
Final Series Before Finals
Sunday's series finale with East Carolina is the Owls' last game-action before the University enters its official Final Exams period the following week. There are no Rice athletics events, or extra-curricular University events, during the Final Exams period from April 28 to the end of the work day (5 pm) on May 5... The Owls return to the baseball diamond at 6:30 pm on May 5 with a game against crosstown foe Texas Southern.
Five For The Show
Five Owls were on the Opening Day Rosters of major league teams in 2010. Congratulations to former Owls David Aardsma (Mariners), Lance Berkman (Astros, D.L.), Tim Byrdak (Astros), Jeff Niemann (Rays) and Paul Janish (Reds).
Probable Rice Pitchers Wayne Graham announced the Owls' probable starting pitching rotation for the East Carolina series as sophomore Taylor Wall (lhp, 2-4, 3.95) on Friday, senior Mike Ojala (rhp, 2-1, 5.14) and Jared Rogers (rhp, 4-1, 4.50) in the Sunday finale.
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) worked his way into a regular spot in the Owls' weekend rotation as a freshman 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 7.1 innings. The Friday night lefty started the opening game of the Houston series (April 1) and fired the program's first complete game one-hit shutout since 2001. For his effort that day he shared the C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors. Last week Wall pitched well in the Friday night start at UCF, allowing two runs while striking out five in 7.2 innings for a win... In his last four starts Wall is a combined 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA. He's also averaged 7.0 innings per start and held all opposing hitters to a .137 batting average... For is Rice career Wall has 117 career strikeouts in 151.1 collegiate innings.
Veteran Mike Ojala has worked hard to come back from an injury last summer to help his teammates in this, his senior season. The standout from Kingwood, Tex., is 2-1 in six appearances this season, including starting assignments in road games at Lamar (Mar. 30), Tulane (Apr.10) and UCF (Apr. 17), and against crosstown rival Houston (April 3). In 2010 he's allowed 14 hits and struck out 13 in 14.0 innings. Each of "O's" appearances have been limited to a specific (increasing) number of pitches while coming back from offs-season surgery. Last week at UCF he struck out a season-high six batters in 4.0 innings, but was tabbed with the first loss in his Rice career - just one loss in 28 collegiate starts and more than 40 career appearances. While at Rice he's 14-1 with a 3.67 ERA and registered 160 career strikeouts in 147.0 innings of work... Ojala was brilliant at Tulane on April 10, allowing just three singles in 5.0 innings while throwing just 59 pitches.
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 in the opening series of the season (Stanford) 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 year. Against the Cougars Rogers allowed just one run on five hits without any walks and three strikeouts... His last five outings, including three starting assignments in four conference games, have been sound and solid. In that stretch he's 3-0 with a 3.81 ERA and his strikeouts-to-walks ratio is 4.3-to-1... Rogers' most recent appearance was in relief against UCF on Sunday where he entered the game in the first inning and worked 4.2 frames overall. He was outstanding in a win at Tulane (Apr. 11) where he allowed just one run (unearned) on four singles and pitched a seven-inning complete game after the Owls coasted to a 19-1 victory. Rogers' season-long outing was a victory in the Memphis finale where he pitched 7.1 innings and struck out four. Rogers has only seven walks in 48.0 innings.
East Carolina announced its rotation as Zach Woods (rhp, 5-1, 2.96), Seth Maness (rhp, 7-2, 5.02) and Kevin Brandt (lhp, 3-4, 3.29).
Rendon Named C-USA Hitter of the Week
IRVING, Tex. - Rice sophomore third baseman Anthony Rendon and Memphis right-hander Ryan Fraser were named the Conference USA Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the C-USA office announced from its league headquarters Monday (April 19) in Irving, Tex... Last week Rendon batted a composite .619 (13-for-21) to help Rice win four games and hold a share of first place in the C-USA standings. In addition to extending his current hitting streak to eight games, Rendon slugged two home runs and two doubles for a team-best 21 bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage. The Houston native from nearby Lamar High School shared the team lead with eight runs scored to go along with eight RBI. He also drew two walks and was hit twice for a team-best .680 on-base percentage. Rendon stole one base and defensively he recorded 15 assists in four games at the hot corner while starting four of the team's six double plays... This is the second time this season that Rendon has been named C-USA Hitter of the Week. He was also Hitter of the Week on March 15 and he is now the second-straight Owl to earn the honor after Jeremy Rathjen was the C-USA recipient on April 12. Rice sophomore pitcher Taylor Wall was named the C-USA co-Pitcher of the Week on April 1... Memphis' Ryan Fraser played a substantial role in a pair of Tigers' wins this past week, going 1-0 with a save in two appearances. He notched nine strikeouts in 10 innings of work, including a save at No. 14 Mississippi and a C-USA road victory at Houston.
C-USA Ticket Packs Now Available
Fans don't wait any longer, Conference USA 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: East Carolina (Apr. 23-25), Southern Miss (May 14-16), and UAB (May 20-22). 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.
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.
Eyes On Rendon
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 batting a team-leading .369 (48-of-130) with 13 home runs and seven doubles for a .723 slugging percentage. Surely Rendon has more than 130 official at bats in 39 games? No. The Owl slugger has already been walked an eye-opening 48 times and hit by a pitch four times for a .541 on-base percentage. He hit his 13th homer of the season, and the 33rd of his career April 14 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He already has two grand slams this season. On Mar. 3 at Texas State Rendon batted leadoff for the first time in his Rice career and drew three walks with a run-scored. 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. In his last seven games, Rendon is 15-for-27 (.556) with three doubles and two home runs for an .889 slugging percentage. He also brings fans to their feet with some spectacular defensive plays.
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 33rd round-tripper on April 14 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, he moved into a tie for eighth 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 home run hitters 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)
T 8. 33, Jacques Landry (1995-96)
T 8. 33, Anthony Rendon (2009-current)
10. 32, Enrique Cruz (2001-03)
Walk This Way
Rendon's dropped to No. 2 in the nation now for base-on-balls, but here's a quick (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 just may walk away with the mythical walks crown.
Rank, Player, Team, BB
1. Michael Choice, Texas-Arlington, 49
2. Anthony Rendon, Rice, 48
3. A. J. Kirby-Jones, Tennessee Tech, 46
4. Kyle Roller, East Carolina, 40
4. Taylor Dugas, Alabama, 40
6. Logan Vick, Baylor, 39
6. Chris Epps, Clemson, 39
8. Corbin Smith, Texas Southern, 38
9. Pratt Maynard, North Carolina State, 37
9. Donnie Corsner, Old Dominion, 37
Last week senior catcher/designated hitter Diego Seastrunk moved into sole possession of fourth place on the Owls' all-time list for games played. The senior from Channelview, Tex., now has 216 career games under his belt and could move into a tie for third place on the games-played list with three more games on the schedule this weekend. Seastrunk would tie Donald Allen's 219 games from 1989-92. That's only part of the story, however. Last Sunday Seastrunk simultaneously moved up on two more of the school's all-time offensive lists (for career hits and career doubles) and he caught the same Owl player on each of the respective lists. Seastrunk's sixth-inning double at UCF was the 251st base hit of his collegiate career, tying him with Owl greats Jay Knoblauh (Rice 1985-88) and Tyler Henley (Rice 2005-2007) for eighth on the school's career list. It was also Seastrunk's 51st career double, moving him into a tie for seventh place with Knoblauh on Rice's all-time doubles list. Seastrunk's Career Targets Games
241, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
234, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
219, Donald Allen (1989-1992)
216, Diego Seastrunk (2007-2010) At Bats
924, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
891, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
793, Diego Seastrunk (2007-2010) Hits
309, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
291, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
285, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
266, Chris Kolkhorst (2002-2004)
261, Joe Savery (2005-2007)
256, Jacob Baker (1996-99)
252, Will Ford (1996-99)
251, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
251, Tyler Henley (2005-2007)
251, Diego Seastrunk (2007-2010) RBI
272, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
243, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
217, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
203, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
187, Damon Thames (1998-99)
185, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
179, Will Ford (1996-99)
171, Diego Seastrunk (2007-2010) Doubles
65, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
64, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
64, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
60, Damon Thames (1998-99)
56, Joe Savery (2005-2007)
55, Brian Friday (2005-2007)
51, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
51, Diego Seastrunk (2007-2010)
Here's Who's Hot
You've already read Anthony Rendon is 15-for-his-last-27 (.556), but he's not the only Owl swinging a hot bat right now... Senior first baseman Jimmy Comerota is hitting at a .488 clip (21-for-43) over the last 12 games. In that span he has belted three doubles and a home run (.628 slugging). Comerota has also drawn seven walks and been hit four times (.582 OB%) on the way to scoring 18 times in the last dozen games. His hot streak included a six-RBI night vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on April 14... Junior right fielder Chad Mozingo is 15-for-34 (.441) over the Owls' last eight games. In addition to 12 runs scored in the current eight-game pace, Mozingo has clubbed two doubles for a .500 slugging percentage. He's drawn five walks for a .476 on-base average, stolen five bases and driven-in eight runs, all while batting leadoff... Junior Rick Hague enters the weekend batting at a .444 pace thanks to a recent 4-for-9 stretch. The standout from Klein Collins High School also has a homer and double in the last two games. Hague recently eclipsed the 200-hit plateau for his collegiate career...
This & That
Eleven of the Owls' 16 losses this season have been by two runs or less... Rice has won 11 of its last 16 games and three losses in that span were by a single run and the another was by just two runs at UCF on Saturday... In a busy five-game week last week, Rice rose to the challenge and hit a composite .349 with seven home runs from six different players to out-score its opponents by a combined margin of 57-24... The Owls turned a season-high three double plays in last Friday's 9-2 C-USA win over UCF. The team then logged a season-high three sacrifice bunts in Sunday's 13-8 victory over the Knights... After 12 C-USA games junior right fielder Chad Mozingo is batting an eye-opening .519 against the league. Mozingo has 27 hits in the 12 games, scored 14 times, driven-in 12 runs and stole six bases... In Sunday's win over UCF, sophomore outfielder/designated hitter Michael Fuda, a former two-sport athlete who was a member of the Owls' football team his freshman year, scored from first base on single to left-center field by Comerota... For the fashion Dynamo out there, Rice is 7-3 in its all-white uniforms, 6-1 in the pinstripes, 3-8 in all-gray, 1-0 when wearing a blue top with white pants, and 6-4 when wearing a blue top with gray pants.
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 a save and 32 strikeouts in 30 innings.
At Bat Flex Packs 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.
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)
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Todd McInnis, Southern Miss (Junior, rhp)
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