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Owls Host Blazers In Final Regular Season Home Games

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May 10, 2012

  • PDF of Rice's latest pregame release
  • VISIT the Rice Baseball Ticket Page
  • GREAT Promotions this season at Reckling Park
  • LISTEN to all Rice games via the Internet audio home page

    May 11 (Fri.) 6:30 pm; Rice vs. UAB
    Title Sponsor: Holiday Inn Houston, 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 Host UAB In Final Home Series of Regular Season
    The No. 5 ranked Rice baseball team, 33-13 overall and tied for first place in Conference USA with a 13-5 league record, closes out its current homestand with a three-game C-USA weekend series against UAB on May 11-13. Game times against the Blazers (27-23, 7-11 C-USA) are slated for 6:30 pm on Friday, 2 pm Saturday and 1 pm Sunday at Reckling Park. Not only is the weekend series the final games of the homestand, they are also the Owls' final home games of the 2012 regular season.

    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:

    Poll This Week Last Week
    Baseball America 5 6
    PerfectGame.com 6 6
    USA Today/ESPN 6 8
    NCBWA 6 8
    Collegiate Baseball Magazine 8 9

    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 1,853 - 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 946-374 with the Owls (571-134 at home, 285-188 in road games and 90-52 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .717, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .717 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 weekend's opponent is: 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.

    1,520 Wins • A Baseball Odyssey
    Wayne Graham owns 946 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,520 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,520-487 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 pitchers to face UAB are the right-handed trio of senior Matthew Reckling (7-1, 2.38), sophomore Austin Kubitza (4-3, 3.44) and sophomore John Simms (4-0, 2.78), respectively.

  • A year ago veteran Matthew Reckling was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2011 June draft, but the 6-foot-4 right-hander returned to Rice for his senior season. The Owls are glad he did because he has been lights-out in 2012. This year Reckling is 7-1 with a 2.38 ERA. He has struck out 85 in 72.0 innings and held opposing hitters to an austere .172 batting average. Reckling averages 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings and earlier this year he fanned a career-high 13 in a single game. The former Kinkaid star has already been named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week three times, including a brilliant complete game one-hit shutout effort against East Carolina (April 20). Reckling's next start would be his 32nd as an Owl. His all-time Rice record in 60 career appearances is 14-5, and he is the career strikeouts leader among active players with 228.
  • There was a steady stream of preseason honors for Austin Kubitza, a third team 2012 preseason All-America selection by both Collegiate Baseball magazine and the College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). In 12 appearances this season, including 11 times as the starting pitcher, Kubitza is 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA. He's struck out 42 batters in 52.1 innings of work. The Colleyville, Tex., native has held all opposing hitters to a composite .223 batting average. So far in 2012 Kubitza has faced a rugged slate of opponents that includes five teams coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance, including Stanford, Texas, East Carolina, Florida International and Dallas Baptist. In his last six starts the right-hander has maintained a 1.17 ERA, held hitters to a .186 average and struck out 22 batters in 30.2 innings.
  • John Simms has been tabbed for a second-consecutive start after making his first start of the season last weekend (May 6) at home against Houston. Simms was inserted into the starting role against the Cougars after a series of quality relief outings. He worked 5.2 frames against UH, scattering three hits and three walks while striking out four. Overall Simms is 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA and has held all opposing hitters to a composite .204 batting average. The Woodlands, Tex., native owns 45 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Simms has been steady in his C-USA outings and he was sensational with season-long 6.0 innings of three-hit relief on the road against No. 2 ranked Texas A&M (Apr. 17)... The right-hander is not new to the starter's role. A year ago the standout from College Park HS was in fact the first Owl freshman to start on the mound on Opening Day since eventual first round major league draft pick Joe Savery earned the honor in 2005. Among a host of steady freshman starts was his 7.0 innings against Houston on May 8 where he allowed four hits and a walk while striking out four on the way to his third win of the season... Simms earned high school All-America honors at College Park and he was selected in the 2010 Major League draft by the Washington Nationals. He declined the pro offer and went on to pitch for the United States 18 & Under National Team over the summer of 2010. He enrolled at Rice in August and proved to be one of the top pitchers during the fall practices.
  • UAB announced its weekend starters as senior right-hander Michael Busby (3-3, 3.99) on Friday and junior right-hander Ben Bullard (5-5, 2.92) on Saturday. The Blazers' Sunday's starter will be announced at a later time.

    Battling The Blazers
    Rice may lead the all-time series vs. UAB 15-7, but it's the Blazers that have won seven of the last 12 games between the two schools dating back to the 2008 C-USA Championship tournament held in New Orleans, La. UAB has in fact defeated Rice three-straight times and won 4-of-5, including the most recent game played at Reckling Park in 2010 by a score of 8-5.

    Walk This Way!
    As a team the Owls are third in the conference with 216 walks, but there's more than one way to "walk" on a college campus. Rice Baseball and the Athletics Department would like to acknowledge some special seniors who will make a walk of a different kind on Saturday, May 12. Five seniors in the baseball program, Michael Fuda, Ryan Lewis, Craig Manuel, Jeremy Rathjen and Matthew Reckling are scheduled to participate in the University's graduation ceremony that morning. The 2012 commencement ceremony was the 99th in school history.

    Previous Outing: Rice Blanks SFA 6-0 Tuesday Night At Reckling Park
    HOUSTON -- The Rice baseball team combined seven shutout innings on the mound from junior starting pitcher Andrew Benak with some steady offensive pressure for a 6-0 victory over visiting Stephen F. Austin Tuesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston... When Rice opportunistically opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second inning after a SFA fielding error, that would be all the room Benak and the Owl bullpen would need on the night. The junior right-hander worked into the eighth for the first time in his career, scattering seven singles and a walk while striking out eight. He and relievers Zech Lemond and Matthew Reckling teamed to keep the Lumberjacks off the scoreboard for the team's seventh shutout of the season... "That's exactly what we want him to do," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "They are a pretty good hitting ballclub. I thought (Benak) did a good job."... The Rice staff may have needed only minimal support, but the Owl offense posted runs on the scoreboard in four of the first six innings. In the bottom of the third sophomore Shane Hoelscher hit a one-out single, moved into scoring position with a stolen base and came home on Christian Stringer's two-out base hit... J.T. Chargois led off the fourth with a walk and Jeremy Rathjen followed with a bunt for a base hit. Junior Michael Ratterree knocked a Lumberjack pitch over the left field wall for a three-run homer and a 5-0 lead. The shot was Ratterree's sixth of the year, but also his third round-tripper in the last week... The Owls stretched the margin to 6-0 in the sixth with a solo home run by Michael Fuda. The Owls have clubbed a total of nine homers over the last eight games... Pitcher's certainly like the offensive support. With an already high level of confidence in the Owl hitters, Benak focused on fine-tuning his own performance... "The last couple of outings I haven't had exactly the command I want with (my slider), being able to throw behind in the count, ahead in the count, whenever I want," Benak said. "Tonight we were able to get ahead of most of the batters on the night and get some early outs in each inning... Rice was in control when Benak took the mound to start the eighth, but SFA continued to fight. The Lumberjacks hit back-to-back singles and drew a walk to start the inning. Benak received a spirited round of applause from the 3,332 fans at Reckling Park when he was lifted from the game for Lemond out of the bullpen, but there was still the matter of SFA having the bases-loaded with no outs... It was certainly a high-pressure situation for the Owl freshman, but Lemond coolly struck out the first two batters he faced. He then worked out of the jam by getting the next SFA hitter to fly out to short right field. Reckling worked a quick 1-2-3 top of the ninth to close out the win..."Zech went in there and really picked (Benak) up, he was great," coach Graham said. "That was a great-level relief performance. He's a good pitcher now, he's going to be a great one."... Rice improved to 34-13 on the season with the team's third-straight win. The Lumberjacks moved to 19-29 overall.

    Rathjen Named To National Academic All-District Team
    Junior right fielder Jeremy Rathjen has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District VII First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced. CoSIDA's annual all-academic teams recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. Not only is Rathjen batting .351 this season with a team-leading nine home runs and 33 RBI, he has maintained a 3.52 grade point average as an Economics major in Rice's accelerated curriculum. As a first team all-district honoree, Rathjen now has a chance to be named to the Capital One Academic All-America which will be announced later this month.

    Manuel Named To Final Watch List For John Bench Award
    Senior Craig Manuel was named one of 63 players on the national watch list for the annual Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com as the country's top Division I catcher. Manuel has played in 45 of the team's 47 games with 37 starts. The Owls' standout from Satellite Beach, Fla., is batting .266 for the season with a steady .358 on-base percentage. Manuel owns nine games and has proved to be clutch situational hitter, going 4-for-6 when batting with the bases-loaded. He's an outstanding defensive catcher who has been error-free in the field and thrown-out 12 runners attempting to steal a base. The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission will name the award's national semifinalists on May 16.

    Chargois Named To Watch List For National Stopper of the Year
    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.

    Here's Who's Hot
    Junior outfielder Jeremy Rathjen got offensive to play his way onto the all-Silver Glove Series team vs. Houston last weekend, and he stayed hot Tuesday against Stephen F. Austin. In his last four games Rathjen is a combined 6-for-13 (.462) with a home run and five RBI. He scored three times, stole a base and drawn two walks, but Rathjen also unselfishly had three sacrifice flies and a sac bunt. It took Sports Center's No. 2 play of the night to rob him of an extra-base hit on Tuesday night... 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 seven games junior outfielder Michael Ratterree is a combined 10-for-23 (.435) with three home runs and a double for an .870 slugging percentage. The Houston native has eight RBI, scored seven runs and stole two bases in his last seven games, but he has also drawn an eye-opening seven walks and been hit by a pitch for a .581 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 eight games Chargois is now 13-for-30 (.433) with two doubles, five RBI, four runs scored, five walks and a hit by pitch for a .514 on-base percentage... Over the last six games junior second baseman Christian Stringer is 9-for-his-last-23 (.391) with seven walks and a hit by pitch for a .516 on-base average. He's scored four times and driven-in five runs over that stretch... Keep an eye on junior first baseman Ryan Lewis. The veteran is now 5-for-16 (.313) with a home run and a double for a .563 slugging percentage. Lewis has five RBI, four walks and two stolen bases in the last five games.

    Did You Know?
    The Owls are 29-0 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 47 Games
    Rice is 34-13, the team's best record through 47 games since an identical ledger in 2009. That 2009 Owl squad began the year 34-13 on the way to a 43-18 season that included the C-USA Tournament Championship and NCAA Regional Championship.

    Solid In C-USA Games
    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 spring. 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
    5. Houston
    6. Tulane
    7. Memphis
    8. UAB
    9. Marshall
    (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)

    PITCHER OF THE YEAR
    Austin Kubitza, Rice (Sophomore, Right-hander)

    ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
    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.

    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. (now 42 years), Cal State Fullerton (now 38 years), Clemson (37 years) and Georgia Tech (now 30 years). Rice was the first of those teams to 30 wins in 2012.

    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 15-5 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.

    On Deck
    After Rice wraps-up the lengthy 11-game homestand this weekend (May 13), the Owls are back on the road until at least May 26 - and possibly one more day to May 27. Rice is scheduled to play four road games next week (May 15-19) at Sam Houston State and UCF, before heading to Pearl, Miss., for the C-USA Championship from May 23-27. Note that pool play at the C-USA Tournament is May 23-26 and the event's championship final is set for May 27 (Sunday)... The May 15 game at Sam Houston State is set for 6:30 pm at Sanders' Stadium in Huntsville. Tex.

    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.

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