May 13, 2006
HOUSTON -- Sophomore centerfielder Tyler Henley went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI to help the number one ranked Rice baseball team rally from an early 3-0 deficit and claim a 7-4 win over visiting Houston in front of a vocal crowd of 4,126 in the second game of the three-game Conference USA/Silver Glove Trophy series Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park. With the win the Owls evened the series 1-1, setting up the third and final game for the Silver Glove Trophy at 1 pm Sunday at Reckling Park.
After taking the opener on Friday night, the 14th-ranked Cougars were keen to deliver a series knockout Saturday with three-runs in the top of the first inning. Isa Garcia and Brad Lincoln collected back-to-back one-out singles and Matt Weston followed with his second homer of the series to clear the bases and a 3-0 lead.
Rice came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame and three more in the second. Henley led off the first with a double to left-center and he moved to third on a ground out to the right side. He scored on Josh Rodriguez' sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-1. The Owls took the lead in the second when Aaron Luna and Danny Lehmann led of with consecutive hits and Jordan Dodson drew a walk to load the bases. Henley knocked single into right field to score two and tie the game, 3-3. A sacrifice fly by Greg Buchanan scored Henley to give the Blue and Gray its first lead at 4-3.
The Owls were not finished scoring. Sophomore Joe Savery led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to right field. His fifth round-tripper of the year gave the Owls a little more room down the stretch. In the eighth, a Dodson walk, a triple by Brian Friday and a double by Rodriguez added two more to stretch the margin to 7-3.
Sophomore Bobby Bell started on the mound for Rice and settled down after the first inning to earn his seventh win of the season without a loss. Bell worked 5.0 frames and did not allow any runs on three hits after the first. He was relieved by Cole St.Clair in the sixth who closed out the came for his team-leading ninth save. The sophomore left-hander scattered three hits and two walks in 4.0 innings while striking out three. He surrendered one run in the ninth for a 7-4 final.
Rice improved to 41-10 overall and 18-2 in the conference. Houston fell to 35-18 on the season and 18-5 against the league.
The series for the annual Silver Glove Trophy as the city's collegiate champion concludes Sunday at Reckling Park. Rice has won each of the last five Silver Glove series dating back to 2001. First pitch is at 1 pm.