May 8 (Tues.) 6:05 pm; Rice vs. Stephen F. Austin Title Sponsor: The Holiday Inn, Galleria Promotion: $2 off any ticket with coupon from Sammy's Savings coupon book Special Giveaway: 200 Champion Energy hats Concession Special: $2 Tuesdays 2 burgers & 2 drinks for $10; Game televised by Comcast Sports Southwest; Use the CSS channel-finder! Watch the game on the web GameTracker (activates at game time)
May 11 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; Rice vs. UAB Title Sponsor: The Holiday Inn, Reliant Park The Roost Special: The Frankie B. Mandola Italian Sub Watch the game on the web GameTracker (activates at game time)
May 12 (Sat.) 2 pm; Rice vs. UAB Title Sponsor: Coldwell Bankers Promotion: Camper Appreciation Day Free admission to Rice campers with their camper t-shirt Special Giveaway: Final Rice trading card strip (# 5) to the first 500 fans Caray Cup Recognition: The winner of last week's Carey Cup will throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch. Watch the game on the web GameTracker (activates at game time)
May 13 (Sun.) 1 pm; Rice vs. UAB Special Promotion: Houston Zoo Kids Day! At every Sunday home game all kids 14 and under get to take the field for the National Anthem and run the bases post-game. Special Pregame: Senior Day Join us in recognizing the Owls' 2012 senior class. Mother's Day: All moms in attendance will be recognized, and kids will have a chance to make a special Mother's Day Card at the ballpark. Concession Specials: $2 ice cream sundaes Special Postgame: The Blooper Reel You've loved the different promotional videos that players have done on the scoreboard display all season, but this postgame clip will feature some of the out-takes and bloopers! Watch the game on the web GameTracker (activates at game time)
All times listed are Central Time. Internet features activate at game time.
Owls Continue Homestand Tuesday vs. Stephen F. Austin
The No. 5 ranked Rice baseball team, 33-13 overall and tied for first place in Conference USA with a 13-5 league record, continues its current homestand this week with four games at Reckling Park. The Owls host state foe Stephen F. Austin at 6:05 pm on Tuesday (May 8). The contest against the Lumberjacks (19-27 overall) is scheduled for a television broadcast by Comcast Sports Southwest... Rice then returns to C-USA action with a three-game weekend home series against UAB on May 11-13. Game times against the Blazers (26-23, 7-11 C-USA) are slated for 6:30 pm on Friday, 2 pm on Saturday and 1 pm on Sunday. The UAB series marks Rice's final home games of the regular season.
It's Prime T.V. Time on Comcast Sports Southwest Comcast Sports Southwest, a broadcasting leader in televising collegiate sports across the country, will air Tuesday night's game against SFA. Broadcasters Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and former major leaguer Steve Sparks (commentary) will call the action for CSS Tuesday night. Use the CSS channel-finder!
Watch Rice Games On OwlVision All Access
Most home baseball games (and all Conference USA league games) are 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). The service has been growing in popularity the last few years. Information about the service and subscription prices are available here. Access the service on game day at the above links.
Audio Broadcasts - Catch Every Rice Baseball Game On The Web & At The Park
Every Rice baseball game this season will be broadcast live around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com. Use the above link to access the Internet audio page. Tune-in to the pregame show 30 minutes before each game's first pitch. Fans attending the games can now listen to the Rice broadcast at the stadium where the team plays via an FM proximity transmitter. The frequency for in-stadium broadcast at Reckling Park is 99.7 FM.
Live Stats On GameTracker
Live play-by-play text and statistics from every game will be posted on RiceOwls.com. Look for the GameTracker links on the Rice Athletics front page, the weekly series preview, or the baseball schedule page.
National Ranking Update Five Top 10s; As High As No. 5
Rice was ranked in the Top 10 of a host of different polls to start the 2012 campaign. Coming down the home-stretch for the regular season the Owls are holding as a consensus Top 8 team and as high as fifth in one poll. Here's a closer look at the latest rankings:
Rice University Centennial; 96th Season On The Baseball Field
Rice University is celebrating its centennial in 2012. 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 2012 season is, however, only the Owls' 96th 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 1,852 - 1,483- 9.
Head Coach Wayne Graham
Four-time national coach of the year and soon-to-be 2012 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Graham (Texas, 1970) is in his 21st season at Rice. The 2012 campaign marks his 32nd year as a collegiate head coach... He is now 945-374 with the Owls (570-134 at home, 285-188 in road games and 90-52 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .716, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .716 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 116 games in a single year... Graham's record vs. this week's respective opponent is: 4-1 vs. Stephen F. Austin (3-0 home, 1-1 away) and 15-7 vs. UAB (9-1 home, 5-4 away, 1-2 neutral)... Under Graham, the Owls clinched another postseason bid in 2011, making 17-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. 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 and 2011 as well as the C-USA tournament championships in `06, `07, `09 and `11... 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 and `10... 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; 12th year), Patrick Hallmark (Rice, 1995, Brown College; seventh year), and Clay Van Hook (Texas, 2008; first year)... On game days Hallmark coaches at third base while Van Hook coaches at first base.
1,519 Wins A Baseball Odyssey Wayne Graham owns 945 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,519 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,519-487 in a 31-year career that began in 1981.
Wayne Graham To Be Inducted Into College Baseball Hall of Fame
HOUSTON - Only a few hours before the nationally-ranked Rice baseball team was to take the field against the University of Texas in Friday's final game of the College Classic Tournament (March 2), Owl head coach Wayne Graham was announced as one of seven inductees into College Baseball Hall of Fame later this summer... Coach Graham is part of an impressive class of inductees who will officially join the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Tex., on June 29-30. The 2012 inductees include Lou Brock, a Major League Hall of Famer who was a collegiate star at Southern University in 1958-60; Ed Cheff, who won 16 NAIA national championships coaching at Lewis Clark State from 1977-2010; Nomar Garciaparra, a three-time All-America selection at Georgia Tech who went on to make six all-star games during a 14-year major league career; Tim Jorgensen, a two-time Division III National Player of the Year and All-American at Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Brad Wilkerson, a three-time All-America selection and 1998 National Player of the Year from the University of Florida; and the late Frank Sancet, who coached at Arizona for 23 seasons where he led the Wildcats to the College World Series ten times... The Owls' head coach is already a member of three other Halls of Fame. Currently in his 21st year at the helm of the Rice program, and his 32nd as a collegiate head coach, Graham has already been inducted into the Junior College Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Col. (1995), the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in Fort Worth (2003) and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco (2005)... At Rice, Graham has led the Blue & Gray to an NCAA Regional for each of the last 17 years. Not only has the baseball program won at least 40 games in each of the last 17 seasons, Rice has won or shared 16-consecutive conference championships (including regular season and/or conference tournament titles). Rice has maintained the nation's best composite Division I baseball win-percentage (.742) since 1999, a comprehensive 13-year span that marks the first year the NCAA adopted its current 64-team/Super Regional format for the NCAA Tournament... "It's a unique event and I appreciate the honor very much," said coach Graham. "At a time like this you think about who helped get you there. The players who have performed well to allow you to have some success, but also my wife and family who have had to make a lot of sacrifices to make it possible for this to happen. I'm very grateful for everyone who has been involved... "It's a great honor to be associated with the other members of this Hall of Fame class," coach Graham added. "They are great baseball-people with a love and talent for the game."... Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan said Graham's induction is well-deserved... "Wayne Graham's accomplishments throughout his career are obviously worthy of a place in the College Baseball Hall of Fame," Greenspan said. "His accomplishments at San Jacinto were legendary on their own merits and in his 21 seasons at Rice, he has created an exemplary program that has been dominant on the field and in the classroom." A National Board Member of the College Baseball Foundation, Greenspan noted that Graham's legacy continues to grow. "The 2012 Rice Owls are again among the best teams in the nation, adding yet another chapter to an amazing career."... Graham has long-been an example of coaching excellence, but he's far from finished.
Probable Rice Pitchers
Wayne Graham announced the Owls' probable starting pitcher for Tuesday night's game against Stephen F. Austin as redshirt junior Andrew Benak (5-2, 3.00). The Rice starters for the remaining games this weekend will be announced by Coach Graham at a later time.
Andrew Benak has looked sound and solid this season, and he was fantastic in his outing at Marshall (April 15). The Houston native shut out the Herd with a new career-longest outing of 6.1 innings to earn his fifth win of the season. He scattered four hits with no walks while striking out nine, holding 25 Marshall batters to a composite .190 batting average. On Feb. 22 vs. New Mexico State, his first start of 2012 and only the fifth start of his collegiate career at the time, Benak dominated the NMSU hitters with 10 strikeouts in 5.1 innings. The 6-foot-5 right-hander scattered just two singles and did not walk a batter for his first win of the season. He struck out every batter in the lineup at least once and had one stretch of striking out 9-of-14. A week later against crosstown rival Houston (Feb. 28) he allowed an earned run on three hits over 5.0 innings while striking out four. On March 6 against Texas State he struck out 10 in 6.0 innings while allowing just one run on four hits and two walks. Against nationally-ranked Arizona (Mar. 13), Benak kept the explosive Wildcats off the scoreboard for 5.2 frames (and pick up his third win of the season). He averages 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings and has maintained a 3.4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio... Benak is a redshirt junior who has been sidelined for most of the past four years. It's been a long time in coming but now that he's finally healthy for the first time since a standout prep career at Langham Creek H.S., Benak has quickly made up for lost time. His outings in the 2011 fall training program were the first indication that a healthy Benak could prove to be a different pitcher that the one Rice (and opponents) had seen before. The lesson in Benak's comeback story is that Rice baseball (the coaches and his teammates) never gave up on Andrew Benak, and perhaps of equal importance is that Andrew Benak never gave up on Andrew Benak.
SFA announced its starting pitcher as junior right-hander Brett Higginbotham (2-2, 4.68).
20-Straight 30-Win Seasons
Rice has reached the 30-win plateau for 20-straight seasons. Only four other schools in the country have longer active streaks of having won at least 30 games: Miami-Fla. (41 years), Clemson and Cal State Fullerton (both 37 years), and Georgia Tech (29). Rice was the first of those teams to 30 wins in 2012.
Previous Outing: Rice Defeats Houston 8-2 Sunday To Keep Silver Glove Trophy
HOUSTON -- Seven Owls combined for 12 hits to pace the No. 6 ranked Rice baseball team to an 8-2 Conference USA victory over crosstown rival Houston in the final game of the C-USA weekend series Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park... Rice claimed the weekend series with the Cougars two-games-to-one, and the season-long set between the crosstown foes 3-1 to retain the coveted Silver Glove Trophy for the 12th year in a row. Like the big rivalries in college football, the city of Houston's top two college baseball programs play for an annual trophy (the Silver Glove) as part of their annual series. Rice has won 14 of the 15 series with Houston since play for The Glove began in 1998... The Owls went right to work Sunday to leave no doubt the Silver Glove would be staying on South Main. In the bottom of the first inning the Blue & Gray loaded the bases on a pair of hits and a walk. Junior outfielder Michael Ratteree delivered a two-out RBI single deep in the hole at shortstop for a 1-0 lead... Houston came right back for a run in the top of the second. Jonathan Davis drew a leadoff walk and scored on a two-out single by Price Jacobs... Rice quickly returned serve with a two-out rally in the bottom of the frame. Ford Stainback singled to left and advanced to second base on a throwing error from a failed pick-off attempt. Christian Stringer drove him home with a base hit to make it 2-1... The Cougars tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Davis again drew a leadoff walk and moved to scoring position on John Cannon's sacrifice bunt. Davis went to third on a Rice wild pitch and scored on an RBI sac bunt by Zack Gibson... The Owls took the lead for good with two runs in their half of the fourth. Stringer led off with a single and alertly hustled for an extra station on a UH fielding error in the outfield. Stringer was in scoring position, but it turns out he didn't need the extra base. Jeremy Rathjen blasted a two-run home run to left for a 4-2 Owl advantage. The long-ball was Rathjen's ninth of the season and the 24th of his collegiate career... Rathjen then added his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth. He helped give Rice a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the sixth where Houston attempted one more rally. The Cougars had two men in scoring position with two away in the top of the sixth, but Rice made a move to the bullpen for reliever Tyler Duffey. The junior right-hander ended the UH threat on four pitches with a dramatic strikeout... Rice delivered the knockout punch with three more insurance runs in the seventh to make the score 8-2. The big blow was a two-out double to left by Ryan Lewis to score two runs. Lewis then scored on an RBI single by Michael Fuda... Duffey continued to hold Houston in check the rest of the way. He finished with 3.1 scoreless innings of starter John Simms, allowing just two singles and two walks while striking out three. Duffey earned his fourth save of the season and was named to the annual All-Silver Glove Series team... "Duffey's got heart," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "He's a true competitor."... "I think we looked better today and hopefully we will continue to look better and continue to hit better with runners in scoring position," coach Graham added... Rice was well-represented on the all-series team, including versatile junior J.T. Chargois as the Most Outstanding Player. Not only did Chargois hit .375 and lead all series players with six hits, as well as four RBI and a .474 on-base percentage, he also pitched 3.0 innings where allowed just three hits while striking out five... Other 2012 all-series honorees included: C-John Cannon (UH), INF-Landon Appling (UH), Christian Stringer (Rice), Ford Stainback (Rice), Shane Hoelscher (Rice), OF-Michael Pyeatt (UH), Michael Ratterree (Rice), Jeremy Rathjen (Rice), P- Jordan Lewis (UH), John Simms (Rice), Andrew Benak (Rice), Wild Card (tie)- Austin Pruitt (UH) and Tyler Duffey (Rice)... Rice improved to 33-13 overall and 13-5 in league play. For their efforts the Blue * Gray gained a share of first place in the C-USA standings with UCF... "We've been starting slow this week, but we finished well." Ratterree said. "We're not in bad shape."
The Inaugural Caray Cup Competition Is Under Way
Rice fans can still make the final call to pick the winner of the first annual Caray Cup. Last week local media members sang the baseball classic Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the seventh inning stretch of three different Rice home games. Now that each performance has concluded, videos of each one have been posted on the Rice Owls Athletics Facebook page for fan voting. The performer with the most "likes" during the voting period will be crowned the 2012 Caray Cup champion. The champion will be presented the first annual Caray Cup trophy after he throws out the ceremonial pitch before the Owls take on UAB on Saturday (May 12). Then, during the 7th inning, the champion will sing his winning rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Along with the winner, one lucky voter of the winning performance will win four tickets to a suite at Reckling to enjoy the game with the Caray Cup winner. Voting will take place on the Rice Owls Athletics Facebook page from Monday, May 7 through Thursday, May 10. Winner will be announced on Friday, May 11.
Vote for the Caray Cup Winner on the Rice Owls Athletics Facebook page.
Here's Who's Hot
Junior outfielder Jeremy Rathjen got offensive to play his way onto the all-Silver Glove Series team over the weekend. In three weekend games against the Cougars Rathjen went a combined 5-for-10 with a home run and five RBI. He scored twice, stole a base and drew a walk, but Rathjen also unselfishly had three sacrifice flies and a sac bunt... It's a little bit harder to follow the next one because there was a big nine-day exams break right in the middle of it, but over the last six games junior outfielder Michael Ratterree is a combined 9-for-19 (.474) with two home runs and a double for an .842 slugging percentage. The Houston native has six RBI, scored five runs and stole two bases in his last six games, but he has also drawn an eye-opening seven walks and been hit by a pitch for a .630 on-base average... Not only is J.T. Chargois a candidate for the Stopper of the Year, he has provided a key offensive presence at the plate that helped earn the Most Outstanding Player honors for the Silver Glove Series. In his last seven games Chargois is now 12-for-27 (.444) with two doubles, five RBI, three runs scored, four walks and a hit by pitch for a .515 on-base percentage... Over the last five games junior second baseman Christian Stringer is 8-for-his-last-20 (.400) with five walks and a hit by pitch for a .519 on-base average. He's scored four times and driven-in four runs over that stretch... Keep an eye on junior first baseman Ryan Lewis. Last week the veteran went 4-for-12 with a home run and a double for a .667 slugging percentage. Lewis has five RBI and four walks in the last four games.
Chargois Named To Watch List For National Stopper of the Year
WICHITA, Kan. - Rice junior J.T. Chargois has been named to the midseason watch list for the annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, presented to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, the NCBWA announced... Chargois notched his Conference USA-leading eighth save of the season with a dramatic shutout inning of work to close out Rice's thrilling 5-4 upset of No. 2 ranked Texas A&M on April 17 on the road in College Station. The right-hander from Sulphur, La., struck out both of the final two batters of the game to stop an Aggie rally with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth inning. Chargois has also posted saves against Stanford, Tulane, Texas State, Marshall, New Mexico State and Dallas Baptist (twice). He has maintained a 2.40 ERA in a total of 30.0 innings over 20 appearances and held all opposing hitters to a composite .1204 batting average... Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relation contacts and more than 90 nominations were received. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released June 6 prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition. The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2012 College World Series... Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006, Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007, Georgia's Joshua Fields topping the field in 2008, San Diego State's Addison Reed grabbing the honor in 2009, Texas' Chance Ruffin earning the honor in 2010 and Texas freshman Corey Knebel winning it last season... The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year. For more information on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, contact Tami Cutler at Wichita State at 316-978-5559 or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1300.
Did You Know?
The Owls are 28-0 when leading after the seventh inning. Credit some solid late-inning work by the Rice bullpen, including relievers Tyler Duffey, John Simms, Taylor Wall and J.T. Chargois, as a few of the key contributors to the team's success.
Record At 46 Games
Rice is 33-13, the team's best record through 46 games since an identical ledger in 2009. That 2009 Owl squad began the year 33-13 on the way to a 43-18 season that included the C-USA Tournament Championship and NCAA Regional Championship.
Solid In C-USA Action
Since its first Conference USA baseball campaign in the spring of 2006, Rice's regular-season record in C-USA league games is now 127-35 (.784).
Seven For The Show
Seven former Rice players began this season on major league rosters. The 2012 list includes Lance Berkman (Cardinals), Tim Byrdak (Mets), Philip Humber (White Sox), Lucas Luetge (Mariners), Jeff Niemann (Rays), Joe Savery (Phillies) and David Aardsma (on the Yankees' disabled list).
The C-USA Favorites
IRVING, Tex. - With four preseason all-conference honorees the Rice baseball team was picked to finish first in the league in the annual Conference USA head coaches' poll, the C-USA office announced on Jan. 26. Rice returns 22 experienced lettermen to the roster in 2012, including eight returning starters in the field and a host of veteran pitchers. The Owls have a highly-touted group of incoming freshmen players making their Division I debut this season. The Owls were ranked sixth in Baseball America's preseason poll and seventh by Collegiate Baseball.
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Rice (8)
2. UCF (1)
3. East Carolina
4. Southern Miss
(first place votes in parentheses)
2012 CONFERENCE USA PRESEASON BASEBALL AWARDS
(as selected by C-USA's head coaches)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
D.J. Hicks, UCF (Junior, Designated Hitter/Pitcher)
P Kevin Brandt Sr. East Carolina P Austin Kubitza So. Rice
P Dillon Napoleon Sr. UAB RP Tyler Duffey Jr. Rice
C Jeremy Schaffer Sr. Tulane
C Zach Wright Sr. East Carolina
IF Chase Jensen Jr. Houston
IF Darnell Sweeney Jr. UCF
IF Corey Thompson Sr. East Carolina
IF Jacob Wilson Sr. Memphis
OF Kameron Brunty Sr. Southern Miss OF Jeremy Rathjen Jr. Rice
OF Michael Ratterree Jr. Rice
OF Ronnie Richardson Jr. UCF
DH/UT D.J. Hicks Jr. UCF
Nation's Top Win Percentage From 1999 To 2011
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 the nation's top win percentage. Here's a closer look at the country's winningest programs from 1999 to 2011: (This list does not include any 2012 results.) Team, Wins-Loses-Ties (Pct.)
Rice, 635-221-0 (.742)
Florida State, 651-227-1 (.741)
Oral Roberts, 561-224-0 (.715)
Texas, 614-247-1 (.713)
Coastal Carolina, 573-234-0 (.710)
North Carolina, 589-246-1 (.705)
Cal State Fullerton, 579-244-0 (.704)
Arizona State, 531-224-1 (.703)
South Carolina, 612-261-0 (.701)
Miami, 565-246-3 (.696)
Wichita State, 598-276-0 (.684)
Georgia Tech, 551-255-1 (.683)
LSU, 558-276-5 (.668)
Clemson, 566-288-1 (.663)
Nebraska, 527-268-2 (.662)
Tulane, 532-275-2 (.659)
Stanford, 527-274-2 (.658)
East Carolina, 519-271-0 (.657)
Notre Dame, 511-271-5 (.652)
Coll. of Charleston, 487-279-0 (.636)
Florida, 517-300-2 (.632)
TCU, 498-290-0 (.632)
Southern Miss, 503-296-0 (.630)
Alabama, 508-300-0 (.629)
Virginia, 498-294-2 (.628)
Postseason Streak At 17-Straight, Looking For 18
The Rice baseball program has made 17-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Baseball Championship, which ranks as the fourth-longest active streak in the country. Miami (Fla.) made the field for the 39 consecutive years, extending its own record, followed by Florida State (34) and Cal State Fullerton (20). Rice's 17-straight NCAA Tournament appearances is tied for the seventh-longest national postseason streak in Division I history (with LSU, 1989-2005).
Conference Championship Streak At 16-Straight, Looking For 17
Rice has won or shared a total of 16-straight conference championships (including either regular season or conference tournament titles) dating back to 1996. The streak covers the Owls' membership in three different leagues beginning with the Southwest Conference, to nine seasons in the Western Athletic Conference (1997-2005) and six Conference USA titles in as many years. In 2011 the Blue & Gray tied for the C-USA regular season co-championship (with Southern Miss) before winning the tournament title in late May.
17-Straight 40-Win Seasons
Rice has clinched 17th-straight seasons with at least 40 wins. `Forty' wins actually short-changes the feat a little. The Owls have secured at least 42 wins in 16 of the last 17 years.
Welcome Back Rice Baseball Alumni
Over 100 Rice baseball lettermen, from as far back as the 1940s to the recent College World Series teams, were on hand Feb. 4 at Reckling Park as the Rice Owls baseball program celebrated its rich heritage with its biennial Alumni Weekend... A host of former players, many still playing professionally and some who were in the major leagues in 2011 like Joe Savery and Lance Pendleton, came home to Reckling Park to renew friendships and see old teammates. There may have been a little rain, but it was a fun day for all. Check out the video of the Baseball Alumni Fan Fest here
Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion dynamo out there, Rice is 14-5 in its all-white uniforms, 6-3 in the pinstripes, 2-0 in blue tops with white pants, 9-2 in all-gray and 2-3 in blue tops with gray pants.
Rice wraps-up the lengthy 11-game homestand at the end of the weekend. After hosting the Lumberjacks, the Owls welcome C-USA foe UAB to Reckling Park on May 11 (Fri.). Start times against the Blazers are set for 6:30 pm on Friday, 2 pm on Saturday and 1 pm on Sunday. The Blazers have been one of the toughest opponents for the Blue & Gray the last few years.
2012 C-USA Championship Tickets Now On Sale
IRVING, Texas - Tickets for the 2012 Conference USA Baseball Championship presented by Trustmark are on sale now. The eight-team tournament will be held Wed., May 23-Sun., May 27 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss., the home of the Mississippi Braves, class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves in suburban Jackson, Miss. This will be the second-straight year that the C-USA Baseball Championship will be held at the neutral site... Tournament ticket packages include seats for all 13 games and are available in four different price ranges. Club seating is $120, dugout level seating is $100, field level seating is $80 and general admission seats are just $60. Tickets can be ordered through C-USA school ticket offices or by calling 1-888-BRAVES4. For complete details on the championship, please visit ConferenceUSA.com.... Trustmark Park, which opened April 18, 2005, has capacity for nearly 7,500 fans. There are 5,500 chair-back seats in the reserved seating areas. The grass berm beyond the outfield walls has room for an additional 2,000 general admission customers... The Farm Bureau Grill, beyond the right-field wall, is a full-service restaurant and there are nine baseball-themed concession stands that offer a wide variety of ballpark treats. Twenty-two luxury suites that seat between 16 and 20 fans are equipped with hardwood floors, a bar, flat screen TVs, refrigerator and sliding doors that open up to two rows of outdoor seats. The ballpark also includes a picnic pavilion in left field, 150 closed-circuit monitors positioned around the park televising the game and two merchandise shops... The 2012 Conference USA Championship will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play. Those eight will be split into two four-team pools (or pods), with the winner of each pod playing in a single championship game. Teams will be assigned pods based on seed, which will be determined by the order of finish in regular-season conference play... Each team will be guaranteed to play three games. Teams in each pod will play two teams in its pod and one team outside its pod. The team with the best composite record in each pod will advance to the championship game. Two-way ties in a pod will be broken by head-to-head play. In case of a three-way tie, the highest seed will advance... Game times are 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the championship game slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The championship game will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.