Owls Face No. 1 LSU Friday Night On ESPN In NCAA Super Regional
First Pitch 6 PM
June 4, 2009
6:05 pm on ESPN: (6) Rice at (1) LSU
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4:05 pm on ESPN: (6) Rice at (1) LSU
KTRU Radio (91.7 FM) Listen Here
6:05 pm on ESPN2: (6) Rice at (1) LSU
KTRU Radio (91.7 FM) Listen Here
(Internet features activate at game time.
The sixth-ranked Rice baseball team, 43-16 on the year and the 2009 Conference USA champions, face No. 1 ranked LSU on the road in Baton Rouge, La., in the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament Friday-Sunday (June 5-7). The start times for the best-of-three series are 6:05 pm (Friday), 4:05 pm (Saturday), and 6:05 pm Sunday (if necessary). The winner of a Super Regional advances to the College World Series starting June 13 in Omaha. The 2009 NCAA tournament field, which started with 64 teams, is now down to just 16 after regional action wrapped up last weekend. Six of the top eight national seeds of the 2009 tournament are still playing and hosting Super Regionals.
All Super Regional Games On ESPN Stations
ESPN and its affiliates are scheduled to broadcast every Super Regional game. Rice's first two Super Regional games (Friday and Saturday) will air on ESPN, and ESPN2 on Sunday (if necessary). Clay Matvick and analyst Kyle Peterson have the call from the new Alex Box Stadium... A minimum of 45 hours of Super Regional television will be provided by the family of ESPN channels, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. As many as 15 national broadcast windows could appear on the three ESPN networks from June 5-8... Rice has already had three games nationally televised this year.
Last Week's Winners Advance
Last week in its home regional at Reckling Park, Rice won its opening-round game over Sam Houston State but then had to come out of the losers' bracket after falling to Kansas State in a one-run contest on day two. The Owls defeated Atlantic 10 Champion Xavier and then out-scored KSU by a combined total of 21-4 in its final two games to claim the regional title... LSU showed why it is the NCAA Tournament's No. 3 national seed, coasting through its home regional with three-straight wins to remain a Super Regional host.
Audio Broadcasts Listen On KTRU The Rest of the Season
Every Rice baseball game for the rest of the season will be broadcast live on the radio in the Houston area on KTRU (91.7 FM). Every Rice game is also broadcast live on the Internet at RiceOwls.com and KTRU.org. Veteran broadcaster J.P. Heath has the Rice call the rest of the season.
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.
National Ranking Update Rice No. 6 In Three Polls
At press time the latest polls from Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) had the Owls as the No. 6 team in the nation. Six different polls all have Rice in the Top 7. The 2009 national ranking roll call is as follows...
Baseball America 6th
Collegiate Baseball 7th
USA Today/ESPN Coaches 7th
PG Crosschecker.com 9th
Why so high? The polls are paying attention, that's why. Rice is 11-4 against ranked teams, including five wins against foes that were in the Top 10 at the time. Two wins were against teams that were rated No. 1 in the nation at the time (Texas A&M and Texas). The Owls have also played and defeated a host of quality opponents that received bids to the 2009 NCAA Tournament - Super Regional teams Texas (twice), East Carolina (twice) and Southern Miss (three times), as well as NCAA dancers Baylor, Washington State and Cal Poly... A closer look at the team's 16 losses is also in order. Two of the losses were on the road on the opening weekend of the season against a Cal Poly team that was ranked among the nation's Top 25 teams for most of the season and earned an eventual NCAA bid. Three other losses were to (then) nationally-ranked Texas A&M, San Diego and East Carolina, and another three were to `09 NCAA Tournament teams Oral Roberts, Texas State and Sam Houston State. Six of the team's losses were by a narrow two (or fewer) runs... Rice was also without its top two pitchers, Ryan Berry and Mike Ojala for the better part of five weeks but still was a full 20 games over .500.
15-Straight NCAA Appearances
Rice is making its 15th-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship, the fourth-longest active streak in Division I. Here is a look at the longest active streaks of going to "The Dance":
37 Miami (Fla.)
32 Florida State
18 Cal State Fullerton
15 Rice Owls
Some Quick Super Regional/NCAA History
The Owls are in a Super Regional for the ninth time (1999, 2001, '02, '03, '05, `06, `07, `08 and `09). Cal State Fullerton, Rice, Florida State and Miami (Fla.) are tied for the most Super Regional appearances (9) since the current format was adopted in 1999. Rice is a combined 13-7 in super regional games. The Owls have been to the College World Series seven times (1997, '99, 2002, '03, `06, `07, `08), including six since the start of Super Regionals.
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 18th season at Rice... In the March 20 win over Southern Miss (4-3) in Hattiesburg, Coach Graham reached another career milestone. He won his 800th game at the helm of the Rice program... He is now 830-315 with the Owls (506-109 at home, 247-162 in road games and 76-45 at neutral sites). His Rice winning percentage is .725, the best in school history. Another way of looking at Graham's .725 win percentage is that it is the equivalent of a major league team winning 117 games in a single year - then winning 117 games a year for 17+ years in a row... Graham's record against LSU is 7-3 (2-0 home, 5-0 away, 0-3 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; ninth year), David Pierce (Houston, 1988; seventh year), Patrick Hallmark (Rice, 1995; fourth year)... The program's "new dads" coach the bases on game-days: Taylor coaches at third base this year while Hallmark coaches at first base.
1,405 Wins A Baseball Odyssey
Wayne Graham owns 830 career wins at Rice, but his career victories tally to 1,405 when you include his 11 years at San Jacinto North College where he won five national championships. Graham's overall collegiate record is 1,405-428 in a 28-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 76 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 17+ years since 1992 when Graham was named the head coach, the Owls have won 826 games. It's only taken Graham 17+ years to accomplish essentially what it took the program more than three-quarters of a century to do before he got here.
The NCAA-opener last Friday (May 29) with Sam Houston State was Rice's 100th game in the NCAA Tournament, including Regionals, Super Regionals and the College World Series. All of Rice's previous NCAA Tournament games have been under the direction of Coach Graham. His record in the "The Dance" is 70-34.
When Facing The Best
Rice is 11-4 in games against nationally-ranked opponents. The Owls have out-hit the ranked foes by 50 points (.297 to .247) and maintained a 3.40 ERA in those 15 games against the country's elite teams.
We Know Who's Dancin'
If you need any authoritative insight on the 2009 NCAA bracket just ask Rice. The Owls have played 25 games against 12 different teams in this year's NCAA Tournament. The Blue & Gray is 16-9 against one-fifth of the 64-team field.
15 With 42
Rice clinched its 15th-straight season with at least 40 wins. It's an accomplishment to be sure, but limiting it to just 40 wins short-changes it a little bit. The Owls have in fact won at least 42 games a year in every season since 1995. (Rice is now striving to get to 45 wins in 12 of the last 13 years.)
Rendon Named National Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball TUCSON, Ariz. -- Already an All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon was named the same publication's 2009 Louisville Slugger National Freshman of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday from its headquarters in Tucson, Ariz... Rendon has had a sensational debut season at the Division I level. He became the first player in Conference USA history to be named both the league Player of The Year and Freshman of The Year in the same season. Rendon leads the league in home runs (19) and slugging percentage (.688) and he is tops on the team and among the C-USA's best in batting average (.384) and RBI (70). The Houston native from nearby Lamar High School has scored 57 runs, with 13 doubles and he has been walked 31 times for a .458 on-base average. Rendon has also stole nine bases and played outstanding defense at the demanding hot corner... Rendon is the Owls' first National Freshman of the Year since Joe Savery, an eventual first round draft pick by Major League Baseball, in 2005.
Last weekend six Owls, Diego Seastrunk (C), Brock Holt (2B), Rick Hague (SS), Anthony Rendon (3B), Steven Sultzbaugh (OF) and Taylor Wall (P) and were selected to the NCAA All-Houston Regional team on vote of the attending media. Wall was named the Regional's Most Outstanding Player after firing a dramatic complete game three-hit shutout against Kansas State (in an elimination game for Rice).
Previous Rice Outing Owls Top K-State 13-4 Monday (June 1)
HOUSTON -- Junior Jimmy Comerota and sophomore Michael Fuda both had four hits, and three other players had three each, to key a 20-hit Rice attack and lift the Owl baseball team to a 13-4 victory over visiting Kansas State in the championship game of the NCAA Houston Regional Monday evening (June 1) at Reckling Park... Rice tied its season-high in hits to help send the team into the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament... The Blue & Gray started Monday's hit parade early and jumped on the scoreboard for a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Brock Holt led off with a double to left-center and scored on an RBI single by Rick Hague. Walks to Diego Seastrunk and Steven Sultzbaugh loaded the bases. Hague scored on a sacrifice fly by Fuda for a 2-0 lead... Kansas State came right back with the longball in the top of the second. Wildcat third baseman Jason King knocked an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall. His seventh homer of the season cut the lead in half. The Wildcats tied it up in the third inning. Adam Muenster singled into right-center and both Carter Jurica and Nick Martini were hit by a pitch to load the bases. Justin Bloxom reached on a fielder's choice to plate Munster that made the score 2-2... The Owls exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth on six hits, a walk and KSU fielding error to break the game wide open. Fuda opportunistically hustled for a run from second base after the Wildcats lost the handle on the ball following a bunt base hit by Comerota. After RBI singles by Holt and Hague scored two more, Seastrunk blasted a three-run homer to right field. His seventh round-tripper stretched the margin to 8-2 after four... That would be all the lead reliever Matthew Reckling would end up needing on the way to his second win of the season. The freshman from Houston came out of the bullpen in the third for starter Mark Haynes and proceeded to pitch 4.0 solid frames. Reckling scattered three hits and a walk while striking out three... Rice was not quite finished on offense. Fuda singled to start the fifth inning and three-consecutive base hits by Comerota, Jess Buenger and Holt pushed Rice into double-digits and a 10-2 advantage... Kansas State fought back for a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Muenster led off by reaching two bases on a Rice error. He went to third on a ground out and scored on a double to right by Bloxom. Jason King followed with an RBI single that made it 10-4... Rice got one of the runs back in the bottom of the frame. Comerota started it off with his third base hit of the night and he moved to scoring position on Daniel Gonzales-Luna's sacrifice. He scored his third run of the night on a double by Hague and the Owls were up 11-4. Four more hits and two runs in the eighth paved the way to a 13-run, 20-hit game. Owl pitchers Jordan Rogers and Ryan Berry worked the final 2.1 innings to keep Kansas State in check... The Wildcats' fantastic year came to an end with a 43-18-1 record. Rice improved to 43-16 overall and now has at least two more games to play in 2009.
Rendon Named A National Semifinalist For Two Top Awards
Rice true freshman Anthony Rendon has been named a national semifinalist for two of college/amateur baseball's top awards. The Owls' young star from nearby Lamar High School is one of the 16 national semifinalists for the 2009 Dick Howser Trophy as the top college player and he was one of 30 national semifinalists for the for the 2009 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award as the nation's premier amateur player (now down to five finalists)... The Howser Trophy is awarded from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the College Baseball Foundation. The Golden Spikes Award has been presented by USA Baseball for the past 31 years... Rendon has had a sensational debut season a the Division I level, leading Conference USA in home runs (19) and leading the team in batting average (.384), RBI (70), hits (91), slugging percentage (.688) and on-base average (.458). He's also among the team leaders in runs (57), doubles (13) and steals (9).
Rendon Headlines C-USA Honors
On the eve of the 2009 Conference USA Baseball Championship Anthony Rendon became the first player in C-USA history to be named Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season, headlining a lengthy list of Rice award winners announced by the league office on May 19 in Hattiesburg, Miss... A total of seven Owl players were recognized for their success on the diamond the day before taking the field in C-USA's annual week-long championship tournament. All the award winners, including Rendon with two of the top honors the league can bestow, and Ryan Berry (first team starting pitcher) were selected on a vote of the league's head coaches, sports information directors and a media representative from each city. Rick Hague (inf), Chad Mozingo (of), Mike Ojala (starting pitcher) and Jordan Rogers (relief pitcher) were named to the C-USA second team while Rendon and Taylor Wall (sp) were named to the league's all-freshman squad.
Comerota Named To C-USA All-Academic Team
IRVING, Tex. - Rice junior first baseman Jimmy Comerota has been named to the 2009 Conference USA All-Academic Baseball Team, the league announced Monday (May 18) from its headquarters in Irving, Tex... The C-USA all-academic team consists of student-athletes with a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or better and are a starter or key reserve for their team. The members were voted upon by the league's sports information directors... Comerota is making a second-consecutive appearance on the C-USA All-Academic Team as an economics and sport management major with a 3.26 GPA. The junior infielder has started all but three of the Owls' games this season and maintained a .295 batting average with 51 runs scored. He has 11 steals, a .383 on-base average and shares the team lead with 11 sacrifice bunts. Comerota was a 2008 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VI Second Team honoree and is a three-time C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll member.
Here's Who's Hot
Junior centerfielder Steven Sultzbaugh is 22-for-his-last-44 (.500) with two home runs, two triples and two doubles for an .773 slugging percentage. He's been walked five times for a .551 on-base percentage and scored 14 times in the Owls' last 11 games... True freshman Anthony Rendon enters his first NCAA Super Regional with a recent .415 batting average (17-of-41), but a particularly heavy slugging pace over the last 10 games. In that time the young star from Houston's Lamar High School has smashed three home runs, two doubles and a triple for an .732 slugging percentage. Rendon has also been walked seven times in the last 10 games for a .500 on-base average... In his last six games junior first baseman Jimmy Comerota is 9-for-22 (.409) with seven runs scored, a triple, a steal, a sacrifice bunt and the game-winning RBI in the Owls C-USA Championship win May 24 at Southern Miss... Sophomore left fielder Michael Fuda is in a sensational 18-for-45 stretch, hitting .400 with four doubles for a .489 slugging percentage. Fuda has driven-in eight of his 18 RBI this season in the last 10 games... Shortstop Rick Hague has enjoyed back-to-back weekends where he is 16-for-41 (.390) with two walks for a .419 on-base percentage. Hague also had four doubles, a stolen base, two sacrifice bunts and has scored 11 times in nine games... Junior second baseman Brock Holt has been hitting at a .373 pace (22-of-59) over the last 13 games. In that time Holt has two home runs and two four for a .575 slugging percentage. He has also driven-in 14 runs and scored 17 times in the last 13 games... Junior switch-hitter Diego Seastrunk had a productive couple of games where he is 13-for-36 (.361) with two home runs, six walks, 13 RBI, eight runs scored and a sacrifice fly.
The Fuda Fighter, Learns To Fly
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise the second half of the season has been the play of sophomore left fielder Michael Fuda. Fuda began the year hitting .120 in limited duty, but was inserted into the starting lineup around the start of conference play and responded with a lofty .373 batting average for all games and 23 runs scored in 20 C-USA starts. His slugging percentage in the second half of the season has been a steady .542. Not only does Fuda share the team lead in doubles the second half of the season (10), he has been sensational in the outfield. In addition to tremendous range, the Katy, Tex., native has recorded five defensive assists by throwing-out runners on the basepaths.
"O" The Places You'll Go
Junior Mike Ojala was sidelined from April 18 to May 9, but has now started four times and increased his work-load in consecutive outings against UCF (May 10), UAB (May 16), Houston (May 22) and Sam Houston State (May 29) in the NCAA Regional. "O" was in control against Sam Houston State and pitched 7.0 innings for his longest outing since the March 12 win over San Diego. In the four starts since his return, Ojala allowed just four earned runs in 19.2 innings for a 1.83 ERA. The Kingwood, Tex., star has held opposing hitters to a .230 batting average and struck out 17 in the 19.2 frames. The C-USA coaches saw enough of him to select him second team all-conference.
Against The Wall
Freshman starter Taylor Wall has been in Owls' weekend rotation since the season began at Cal Poly, and the first-year player now leads the staff in starts (15), innings pitched (94.0) and strikeouts (77). A Houston prep star from Westside High School, Wall has continued to improve over the course of the 2009 season. He has averaged 6.0 innings in his 15 Div. I starts and he's held opposing batters to a composite .237 average. Wall also finished second in the conference for strikeouts in C-USA games (47). His most-recent outing was an eye-opening complete game three-hit shutout against nationally-ranked Kansas State in the Owls home regional where he was named its Most Outstanding Player. Before that he had a terrific 5.2 innings in front of a rowdy road crowd at Southern Miss (May 24) in the C-USA Championship final. He left with a 4-0 lead but his teammates in the bullpen couldn't hold it for him. Only four days before, Wall pitched a brilliant 7-inning complete game shutout in the opening round of the C-USA Tournament against heavy-hitting Marshall. Wall has pitched very well in several starts, but hasn't had the same offensive and defensive support that the other Owl pitchers have enjoyed. Consider that the Rice offense has hit 24 points lower (.323 to .299) and averaged fewer than five runs per game in 12 of his 15 starts. That's not all. Rice's slugging average is 90 points lower (.507 to .417) and the team's fielding average is 14 points lower (.974 to .960) in Wall's starts than when other pitchers start on the hill. It is fair to say the young freshman could have a much better record than 7-5 with a little more hitting and fielding support. The other coaches in the conference saw his talent and easily voted him to the 2009 C-USA All-Freshman team.
A Berry, Berry, Welcome Return
Rice junior right-hander Ryan Berry was sidelined for more than a month before returning to duty on April 29 (vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). Since then 2009 first team all-conference honoree has been sound and solid in eight appearances overall, going 3-1 in five starts and earning one save. Berry has maintained a 2.03 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 40.0 total innings since his return. The standout from Humble, Tex., has held opposing hitters to a composite .224 batting average with one complete game in the C-USA Tournament. He fired a two-hitter against UAB and also threw the final inning in the championship game to earn his first career save in his (then) 51st career appearance at Rice. He started against Kansas State on May 30 and pitched the final 2.0 frames against the Wildcats two days later.
Both of Rice's seniors on the roster, Jordan Rogers and Jess Buenger, walked in the University's formal graduation ceremony on May 9 to pick up their respective degrees. Buenger, a .350 career hitter against C-USA opponents, graduated with a degree in Sports Management. Jordan Rogers is 8-3 with a team-leading seven saves. Give yourself a prize if you can guess Rogers' Rice major (answer at the end).
Their Country Is Calling
Sophomore shortstop Rick Hague and freshman third baseman Anthony Rendon are two of the first 17 invitees named to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials to be held in Cary, North Carolina, June 15-24. The duo will have a chance to represent their country as members of Team USA in games against international competition later this summer. USA Baseball, the United States' governing body for international baseball competition, announced the first 17 of 36 eventual invitees to the 2009 National Team Trials. The Trials will be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The invitees will compete for a spot on the final 22-man roster to be announced on June 24. The most-recent Rice Owl to play for Team USA was right-handed pitcher Ryan Berry in the summer of 2007. Berry went 2-1 in seven appearances for the United States, including the Pan American Games held in Brazil.
Owls Add 11th Signee
The Rice baseball program has added another signee for the spring semester to go along with the existing ten-player signing class who will join the team for the 2010 season... The signee is Anthony (Tony) Cingrani of South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois. Cingrani is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound, left-handed pitcher who helped SSC to a 32-19 record this season. He went 5-4 on the mound for the Bulldogs with a 3.51 ERA in 69.0 innings of work. Cingrani averaged 12.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and maintained a 2.8-to-1 strikeouts to walks ratio. A native of New Lenox, Ill., Cingrani was a prep standout at Lincolnway Central High School. South Suburban College is the same program that produced 1994 Rice standout and current Houston Astros pitcher Tim Byrdak... Cingrani joins the current Rice signing class that includes pitchers Chris Anagnostou, Jon Thomas Chargois, Tyler Duffey, Jeremy Fant, Will Gray, Kevin Hahn, Chase McDowell and Tyler Spurlin, along with infielder Michael Ratterree and outfielder Will Maxwell. The signees officially enroll at Rice in the fall of 2009. Their first baseball season with the Owls would be in the spring of 2010.
Freshman Home Runs
Rookie Anthony Rendon hit a home run May 24 against Southern Miss in the C-USA Championship game for his team-leading 19th homer of the season. The blast broke his own Rice school record for most home runs hit by an Owl freshman. Rendon already passed MLB draft pick Aaron Luna (who had 16 homers in his freshman year of 2006) and sits at the top of an impressive list of Owl freshman home run leaders. The group includes Luna (a ninth-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals last summer) and Jose Cruz, Jr., who had 13 homers as a freshman in 1993 and went on to play a dozen years in the major leagues. The fourth-place Owl on the frosh homer list, Bubba Crosby, ended up (like Cruz, Jr.) being a first-round pick in the draft who reached the major leagues. Vincent Sinisi hit 11 round-trippers in his redshirt freshman season in 2002. A year later Sinisi helped lead the Blue & Gray to the NCAA National Championship... Rendon has twice hit two home runs in a single game. Here are the Rice frosh leaders for four-masters.
1. Anthony Rendon 19, 2009
2. Aaron Luna 16, 2006
3. Jose Cruz, Jr. 13, 1993
4. Bubba Crosby 12, 1996
5. Vincent Sinisi 11, 2002
Rice Single Season Home Runs
Anthony Rendon set the Rice freshman home run record, but it's also the seventh-most by a Rice player in a single season and the most homers by any Owl since Jason Gray hit 20 in 1999. The rookie needs only one more home run to tie Gray and Lance Berkman (20 as a sophomore in 1996) for fifth on the school's single season list. Right now Berkman's single-season school record of 41 homers in 1997 appears to be safe for another year!
Cooled By A Draft
A total of 11 Owls were selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball amateur draft, including junior right-hander Bryan Price as a first-round supplemental pick (the 45th player taken overall)... Bryan Price was taken by the Boston Red Sox organization in the supplemental round, the so called "sandwich" round between the draft's official first and second rounds. He was the first pitcher taken by the Red Sox, the defending World Series champions. Price was also the 13th right-handed pitcher taken overall. Six Rice juniors and four seniors were drafted last June... The total of eleven drafted players was three-off the Owls' school record of 14 draftees the team had taken in 2007.
Rnd Player Pos MLB Team
1A Bryan Price RHP Boston Red Sox
7 Cole St.Clair LHP Los Angeles Dodgers
7 Adam Zornes C San Diego Padres
9 Aaron Luna OF St. Louis Cardinals
11 Matt Langwell RHP Cleveland Indians
12 Jared Gayhart OF Detroit Tigers
18 Bobby Bell RHP Toronto Blue Jays
21 Lucas Luetge LHP Milwaukee Brewers
24 Chris Kelley RHP Washington Nationals
29 Jonathan Runnels LHP Los Angeles Dodgers
44 J.P. Padron 1B Washington Nationals
Six Owls In "The Show" This Season
Congratulations to six former Owls who made the Opening Day rosters of major league teams. The Rice alums on the 09 rosters were David Aardsma (Mariners), Lance Berkman (Astros), Tim Byrdak (Astros), Philip Humber (Minnesota), Paul Janish (Cincinnati) and Jeff Niemann (Tampa Bay).
97th Season Since The Start; 94th Season On The Field
The 2009 season marks the 97th 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 2009 season is, however, only the Owls' 94th 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.
Jordan Rogers graduated with a degree in Classical Studies/Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations. Now that's a Rice student!