May 13, 2013
VISIT the Rice Baseball Ticket Page
PROMOTIONS this season at Reckling Park
LISTEN to all Rice games via the Internet audio home page
Rice University Baseball Parking Information
PDF of Rice's latest pregame release
May 14 (Tue.) 6 pm; Rice at Texas State
GameTracker (activates at game time)
May 16 (Thur.) 6:36 pm; Marshall at Rice
Game televised by FOX College Sports
GameTracker (activates at game time)
All times listed are Central Time. Internet features activate at game time.
Rice Plays at Texas State Tuesday Night
The Rice baseball team, 33-17 overall and ranked No. 20 in the nation in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll, plays its final road game of the regular season on Tuesday (May 14). The Owls travel to San Marcos to face longtime state rival Texas State at the Bobcat Ballpark. First pitch is slated for 6 pm. Earlier this season Rice defeated Texas State at Reckling Park by a score of 4-3.
Owls Return Home Thursday To Host C-USA Foe Marshall; Weekend Series Marks Six-Straight Games at Reckling Park
Rice resumes Conference USA league play beginning Thursday (May 16). The Owls host a Marshall squad that is battling to remain in Houston and play next week in the upcoming C-USA Tournament, also at Reckling Park (May 22-26). Start times against the Thundering Herd are set for 6:36 pm on Thursday, 6:30 pm on Friday and 1 in Saturday's series finale. With three games against Marshall and another three pool play games in the C-USA tournament, Rice has six-straight games at Reckling Park through May 25. That could be a very good way to build momentum heading into national postseason play.
It's T.V. Time on Fox College Sports
Thursday's opening game of the Marshall
series has been selected for a TV broadcast. Fox College Sports, a leader in televising
collegiate competitions across the country, is bringing the Rice-Memphis clash to the nation. Broadcasters Darren Sutton (play-by-play) and former major leaguer Preston Wilson (commentary) have the TV call Thursday night. Last week the same broadcast duo did the Rice-Memphis game live from Reckling Park.
Live Stats On GameTracker
Links to live play-by-play text and statistics from every game are posted on RiceOwls.com. Look for the GameTracker links on the Rice Athletics front page, the weekly series preview, the baseball schedule page.
Audio Broadcasts - Catch Every Rice Baseball Game On The Web
Every Rice baseball game this season will be broadcast live around the world on the Internet at RiceOwls.com. Tune-in to the pregame show 15 minutes before each game's first pitch. Fans attending the games, home or away, can now listen to the Rice broadcast at the stadium where the team plays via an FM proximity transmitter. The FM frequency for the in-stadium broadcasts at Reckling Park is 99.7 FM. Proximity broadcasts for away games will be announced prior to that game. J.P. Heath returns as the voice of the Owls this season. For some selected home games he will be joined in the Rice broadcast booth by either 2003 national champion letterman Enrique Cruz or "Jimmy Baseball," aka Owl letterman and new R Association Director Jimmy Comerota.
Watch Most Home Games On OwlVision All Access
Most home games at Reckling Park 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 at RiceOwls.com.
97th Season on the Baseball Diamond
Rice Owl baseball made its debut in the spring of 1913, just one semester after the school (then The Rice Institute) opened its doors for higher education in the fall of 1912. The 2013 season is, however, only the Owls' 97th 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 1,893 - 1,506 - 9.
National Rankings Update Owls In The Top 25 of Two Polls
The Owls are represented in a pair of different polls across the country. Here's a closer look at the latest national rankings:
Poll This Week Last Week
NCBWA 20 17
USA Today/ESPN 22 18
Head Coach Wayne Graham
Four-time national coach of the year and 2012 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Graham (Texas, 1970) is in his 22nd season at Rice. The 2013 campaign marks his 33rd year as a collegiate head coach... He is now 986-397 with the Owls (591-145 at home, 304-195 in road games and 91-57 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .713, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .713 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 115 games in a single year... Graham's record vs. this week's opponents is as follows: 44-10 vs. Texas State (31-6 home, 12-4 road, 1-0 neutral); 21-2 vs. Marshall (8-1 home, 11-1 road, 2-0 neutral)... Under Graham, the Owls clinched another postseason bid in 2012, making 18-straight seasons for Rice to earn an NCAA appearance. The Blue & Gray has advanced into the NCAA tournament in 1995-96-97-98-99-00-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10-11-12. The 2003 bid culminated with the Owls' first national championship... Rice played in the 1994-95-96 Southwest Conference tournaments (winning the final league title in `96), won the 1997-98-99 WAC tournaments, shared the 2000 WAC title with San Jose State before winning the 2001-02-03-04-05 titles outright. He won (or shared) C-USA regular season crowns in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 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, `10 and `11... Rice has seven appearances in the NCAA College World Series under Graham (1997, `99, `02, `03, `06, `07, `08)... Graham has led the Owls to number-one rankings for seven weeks during the 1999 season, for six weeks during the `01 campaign, two weeks in `02, six weeks in 2003 (the last of which established some staying power), three weeks in 2004, 12 weeks in 2006 and five weeks in `07... Graham's San Jacinto Gators dominated the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., in the 1980s, winning five national titles in six years (1985-86-87, 89-90)... The Austin American-Statesman named Graham its SWC Coach of the Year in `95 after he led the Owls to their first NCAA tournament appearance... Collegiate Baseball was especially cognizant of Graham's efforts at San Jac. He was named the newspaper's Coach of the Decade for all levels in the 1980s after winning those five junior college national titles, and CB tabbed him the NJCAA Coach of the Century... He was named the 2007 Division I college Coach of the Year by FieldTurf... One of the few current collegiate coaches to have played in the major leagues (N.Y. Mets in 1963, Philadelphia in 1964), Graham is aided by assistant coaches Patrick Hallmark (Rice, 1995, Brown College; eighth year), Clay Van Hook (Texas, 2008; second year) and Scott Shepperd (Concordia, 2007; first year)... On game days Van Hook coaches at third base while Hallmark coaches at first base.
1,560 Wins A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 986 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,560 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,560-510 in a 32-year coaching career that began in 1981.
Probable Rice Pitcher
Wayne Graham announced the Owls' probable starting pitcher for the Texas State game would be freshman right-hander Kevin McCanna (3-1, 4.29). Rice's weekend rotation for the Marshall series will be announced by coach Graham at a later time.
Kevin McCanna was solid in his previous outing at Louisiana Tech (May 8) and has been rewarded with a second-consecutive midweek start. At La Tech, McCanna worked 6.0 innings before leaving the game with a comfortable 11-2 lead. The rookie from The Woodlands High School allowed just two runs on seven hits to the Bulldogs while tying a career-high with five strikeouts. He made his first career start at Hawaii (Feb. 24) and later started Sunday series finales against Harvard at home and East Carolina on the road. McCanna registered a career-best outing against the Harvard Crimson, allowing just one hit and two walks in a season-long 7.0 innings for his first collegiate victory. He's been a dependable option in ten appearances out of the bullpen, maintaining a 3.38 ERA and holding hitters to a composite .159 batting average in a total of 18.2 relief innings. A 2012 draft pick by the San Diego Padres, McCanna has held all opposing hitters to a .197 average in his debut season of Division I baseball.
Texas State announced its starting pitcher as junior right-hander Scott Grist (5-2, 4.48).
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 145-46 (.759).
Here's Who's Hot
Junior leftfielder Keenan Cook is batting an eye-opening .455 (15-for-33) with seven runs scored and five RBI over the last nine games. He's also drawn three walks for an even .500 on-base percentage. Cook's .455 hitting pace over this nine-game span is a full 77 points higher than the next closest Owl... Sophomore shortstop Ford Stainback is 11-for-his-last-27 (.407) with a double and five runs scored. He also has drawn two walks for a .448 on-base percentage.
Previous Outing: Owls Blank Past Memphis Sunday 1-0
HOUSTON - The Rice baseball team scored the lone run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Owl pitching duo of John Simms and Zech Lemond made the margin stand up for a 1-0 Conference USA victory over visiting Memphis in Sunday's series finale at Reckling Park... For the third time in as many days of the weekend series, Rice and Memphis were deadlocked in scoreless duel in the first half of the contest. The Tigers were looking to be the first on the scoreboard, but Owl senior right fielder Michael Ratterree came up with a big defensive play in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs and runner on second base, Drew Griffin lined a base hit into right. The Tigers rounded third and hustled to home plate, but Ratterree made a sensational run and throw to get the runner and for the third out of the inning... The Owls put a run on the board two innings later. Senior Christian Stringer led off with a single, and alertly sprinted into scoring position after a long fly-out to left-center field by Ratterree. With two-away, junior Shane Hoelscher punched a base hit into center that scored Stringer for a 1-0 lead... It was a narrow margin to be sure, but also all the room Simms and Lemond would need on the day. Simms worked into the seventh inning in his eleventh start of the season. The junior right-hander from The Woodlands, Tex., scattered five hits and a pair of walks with six strikeouts in 6.2 frames... With a runner on base and two away in the seventh, Rice head coach Wayne Graham went to the team's saves leader out of the bullpen. Lemond ended the Tiger seventh with a strikeout and retired a total of sixth straight midway through the ninth. Memphis continued to battle with a two-out base hit by Keaton Aldridge, but Lemond quickly closed out the game. The Houston native struck out two in 2.1 innings for his eleventh save of the season, a mark tied for the third-highest single season save total in school history... "(John and Zech) saved the day in a game when we only had one run," coach Graham said. "It was a great combined pitching effort on a day when we needed it... "We wanted to hit better today than we did the first two games of the series," coach Graham added. "We didn't do that so much today, but we did do the most important thing and that is win the game... "Obviously Mike's throw to get the runner at home was critical, but so was the ball he hit that was deep enough to get Stringer to second base," coach explained. "I thought Mike really hit the ball well all four times today. It's just one of those things where he hit the ball well, but didn't have anything to show for it on the final stat sheet."... Rice improved to 33-17 on the season and 12-9 in C-USA league play. Memphis dropped to 32-20 on the year and 14-10 in conference.
The Long Haul
Rice's 2-0 win in 17 innings at Hawaii on February 22 is tied for the third-longest game in C-USA history. It was the most innings played since Cincinnati and Kentucky played 17 in 1999. Here's a look at the longest contests in the league by the number of innings:
22.0 Houston vs. Baylor 2-21-99
21.0 Memphis vs. Evansville 3-7-99
17.0 Cincinnati vs. Kentucky 5-5-99
17.0 Rice vs. Hawaii 2-22-13
16.0 UCF vs. Monmouth 3-9-08
16.0 Houston vs. Memphis 4-23-06
16.0 Cincinnati vs. USF 4-22-00
Six FOX Games This Season
HOUSTON - Six Rice games this season are FOX television games, either on Fox College Sports of Fox Sports Net. Rice's six FOX games are as follows:
March 28 (Thur.) Fox Sports Net; Rice def. Tulane 4-2
April 12 (Fri.) Fox College Sports; UCF def. Rice 5-1
April 16 (Tue.) Fox College Sports; Rice def. Texas Tech 11-2
April 20 (Sat.) Fox Sports Net; Rice def. Houston 4-0
May 10 (Fri.) Fox College Sports; Memphis def. Rice 6-3
May 16 (Thur.) Marshall at Rice, 6:30 pm - Fox College Sports
The Owls have already had a number of its games on TV this season. All three games from the Astros Foundation Classic at Minute Maid Park were televised taped-delayed. In February three of the Owls' games played at Hawaii were televised lived throughout the 50th state.
Rice 13th In Average Home Attendance
Through 25 home games Rice has averaged more than 3,200 fans at Reckling Park. The Owls are 13th in the nation in average home attendance. Here are the latest national attendance leaders (by home average).
1. LSU 10,811
2. Arkansas 8,335
3. Ole Miss 7,996
4. South Carolina 7,423
5. Mississippi State 7,346
6. Texas 5,793
7. Clemson 4,752
8. Florida State 4,618
9. Texas A&M 4,541
10. Florida 3,511
11. TCU 3,500
12. Hawaii 3,317 8
13. Rice 3,274
Rice Also 18th In Total Home Attendance
Rice baseball has drawn almost 82,000 fans for 25 home games. That's also the 18th highest attendance total in the country.
Winning Is Always In Fashion
For the fashion dynamo out there, Rice is 13-6 in its all-white uniforms, 4-3 in the pinstripes, 7-5 in all-gray, 5-1 in blue tops with white pants and 4-1 in blue tops with gray pants.
Postseason Streak At 18-Straight, Looking For 19
The Rice baseball program's 18-straight appearances in the NCAA Baseball Championship is the fourth-longest active streak in the country. Miami (Fla.) has made the field for the 40 consecutive years, extending its own record, followed by Florida State (35) and Cal State Fullerton (21). Rice's 18-straight NCAA Tournament appearances is the sixth-longest national postseason streak in Division I history.
18-Straight 40-Win Seasons
Rice has clinched 18-straight seasons with at least 40 wins. `Forty' wins actually short-changes the feat a little. The Owls have secured at least 41 wins in 17 of the last 18 years.
Conference Championship Streak At 17-Straight
Rice has won or shared a total of 17-straight conference championships (including either regular season and/or conference tournament titles) dating back to 1996. The streak covers the Owls' membership in three different leagues beginning with the Southwest Conference (1996), to nine seasons in the Western Athletic Conference (1997-2005) and seven Conference USA titles in as many years... In 2012 Rice won the C-USA regular season championship on the last day of the league's 24-game schedule. The Owls and UCF were tied for first in the C-USA standings heading into the final game of the season. The Blue & Gray clipped the Knights 5-2 to welcome the program's 17th championship to the family.
Rice Since 1999
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 one of the nation's top win percentages over the last 14 years. Here's a closer look at the country's winningest programs from 1999 to 2012. These totals do NOT include games played in 2013:
Team Wins-Loses-Ties (Pct.)
Florida State 701-244-1 (.742)
Rice 676-240-0 (.738)
Coastal Carolina 615-253-0 (.709)
North Carolina 635-262-1 (.708)
Oral Roberts 599-249-0 (.706)
Texas 644-269-1 (.705)
South Carolina 661-281-0 (.702)
Arizona State 567-244-1 (.699)
Cal State Fullerton 615-265-0 (.699)
Miami 601-269-3 (.690)
Wichita State 633-301-0 (.678)
Georgia Tech 589-281-1 (.677)
LSU 605-294-5 (.672)
Stanford 568-292-2 (.660)
Tulane 570-295-2 (.659)
Nebraska 562-291-2 (.658)
Clemson 601-316-1 (.655)
East Carolina 555-295-1 (.653)
Notre Dame 542-298-5 (.644)
Florida 564-320-2 (.638)
Owls In "The Show" This Season
The Owls' list of major league players for 2013 includes Lance Berkman (Rangers), Tony Cingrani (Reds), Philip Humber (Astros), Paul Janish (Braves), Lucas Luetge (Mariners) and Jeff Niemann (Rays), Anthony Rendon (Nationals) and Joe Savery (Phillies).
Rice Tops Texas State Monday in 12 Innings, 4-3
The Rice baseball team rallied for the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning and scored the game-winner on Christian Stringer's hit in the 12th for a 4-3 victory over visiting Texas State Monday night at Reckling Park in Houston.