June 19, 2013
Rice pitchers Austin Kubitza and Zech Lemond have been named third team All-America honorees by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) the organization announced.
Kubitza finished his junior season at Rice with an 8-4 record and a 2.06 ERA. The right-hander from Colleyville, Tex., led Conference USA with 134 strikeouts in 109.1 innings and he held all opposing hitters to a composite .189 batting average. In his collegiate career Kubitza won 20 games and he moved into the Owls' career top ten for strikeouts (309). He was recently a fourth-round selection in the Major League Baseball draft by the Detroit Tigers.
Lemond took over as the Owls' stopper to begin his second year with the program and went on to set the new school record for saves in a single season with 14. He finished as the C-USA co-leader in saves while posting a 7-2 record with a 2.02 ERA. In 75.2 innings the sophomore right-hander from Houston (Waltrip High School) held opponents to a composite .207 batting average. The first team All-Conference USA reliever finished with 71 strikeouts and a 1.018 WHIP. In his second season at the Division I level Lemond eclipsed Rice's single season saves record that was held by eventual major leaguers David Aardsma and Tony Cingrani.
Under the direction of head coach Wayne Graham, Rice baseball has at least one all-America selection from a national organization (on either a first, second or third team) every year since 1993. In 2013 the Owls finished with a 44-20 record while advancing to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. Rice also extended its streak of winning or sharing a conference championship (from either the regular season or postseason tournament title) for the 18th straight season.