June 26, 2007
Steady as ever, the Rice Owls baseball program had another fantastic season in 2007. Consider the following:
56-14. Rice's 56 wins was the second-highest win total in the nation this season.
Final Ranking/NCAA Tournament Finish
Third in the nation (for the second year in a row)
Final Statistics (html & pdf)
On the web
The baseball talent-rich state of Texas produced seven Division I teams that earned a bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Rice was the last school from the state of Texas still playing.
Fifth Time To Reach 50-Win Plateau; 13-Straight Seasons With 40+ Wins
Rice reached the 50-win plateau again, the fifth time the Owls have posted 50 or more wins since 1999. Rice finished with its fourth-highest win total (56) in school history. The 56 wins passed the final win total of the 2002 team that reached the College World Series, but trailed the 2006 squad by three. The Owls also clinched their 13th-straight 40-win season. In fact, limiting it to just 40 wins shortchanges it a bit. Rice has won at least 42 games a year in every season since 1995. The team has also won at least 46 games in 10 of the last 11 campaigns.
13th-Straight NCAA Appearances
Rice made its 13th-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship, the fifth-longest active streak in Division I. Here is a look at the longest active streaks:
35 Miami (Fla.)
30 Florida State
16 Cal State Fullerton
13 Rice Owls
Head Coach Wayne Graham Reaches Career Milestones
Three-time national coach of the year and Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Graham won his 700th game at Rice on March 17. On May 11 he won his 1,300th career game as a collegiate head coach. His career record at Rice is 740-284.
Big Omaha Crowds
In four CWS games the Owls played before a total of 93,874 fans, an average of 23,418 per contest at Rosenblatt Stadium.
National TV Exposure
Each of the College World Series games and super regional games at Reckling Park were televised nationally on ESPN stations. The Owls had 12 games nationally televised this season.
Team Grade Point Average
3.077 for the Spring semester while the team was in season; 3.010 for the 2006-07 school year
Individual Honors & Awards
Ryan Berry (National Freshman Pitcher of the Year by Collegiate Baseball; second team, American Baseball Coaches Association; third team, Collegiate Baseball)
Bobby Bramhall (second team, Rivals.com)
Aaron Luna (third team, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)
Joe Savery (first team, consensus)
Ryne Tacker (third team, Collegiate Baseball)
Ryne Tacker (second team)
Brian Friday (third team)
Ryne Tacker (first team)
Brian Friday (first team)
Danny Lehmann (second team)
Joe Savery (Most Outstanding Player)
Wayne Graham (Keith LeClair Coach of the Year)
Joe Savery (Player of the Year, first team INF./second team P)
Ryne Tacker (Pitcher of the Year, first team)
Ryan Berry (Freshman of the Year, first team)
Brian Friday (first team)
Jared Gayhart (second team)
Aaron Luna (second team)
Aaron Luna (Most Valuable Player)
Ryne Tacker (Most Outstanding Player)
Jordan Dodson (Most Outstanding Player)
Rice Owls Selected In The 2007 Major League Draft
Player Pos. Round Team No. Pick
Joe Savery LHP/1B 1st Philadelphia 19
Brian Friday SS 3rd Pittsburgh 97
Cole St.Clair LHP 7th Cleveland 227
Tyler Henley OF 8th St. Louis 262
Danny Lehmann C 8th Minnesota 272
Bobby Bramhall LHP 18th Milwaukee 551
Adam Zornes C 24th Cleveland 737
Jonathan Runnels LHP 29th Toronto 895
Chris Kelley RHP 34th Arizona 1030
Ryne Tacker RHP 34h Oakland 1046
Scott Lonergan RHP 37th Boston 1127
Chad Lembeck OF 44th Colorado 1303
Travis Reagan C 45th Washington 1327
Kyle Gunderson RHP 48th Washington 1396
12-Straight Conference Titles
Rice won the C-USA Tournament championship with a big 16-8 road win over East Carolina on May 27, just a little more than two weeks after clinching the regular season title on May 11 with a home win over Tulane at Reckling Park. The championship is the team's 12th in a row dating back to 1996. Rice won nine-straight Western Athletic Conference championships in baseball from 1997-2005, as well as the final Southwest Conference Tournament crown before that league disbanded (1996). In addition to winning seven WAC regular season titles, Rice was also a perfect 12-0 in winning three WAC tournaments in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
39 Home Series Wins In A Row
With the Super Regional series sweep of Texas A&M (June 8-9), Rice has won 39-consecutive home series at Reckling Park. The home streak, which includes both regular season and NCAA super regionals, dates back to April of 2001. Rice played Texas A&M only two times in the Super Regional, but twenty-five of the 39 series wins have been 3-0 sweeps.
29 Home Conference Series Wins
The Owls have also won 29-straight home conference series, including 21 by a three-games-to-none margin. The last time Rice lost a three-game regular season series at home was a Western Athletic Conference set against Nevada in April of 2001, two-games-to-one.
Conference Series Streak
The Owls have won 25-consecutive conference series, home and away, dating back to March of 2005. The Memphis series was the 14th time the Owls notched a 3-0 sweep during the streak. The Blue & Gray has won every C-USA series since joining the league a year ago.
The 37-of-39 Stretch
From March 30 to June 17 of the 2007 season, the Owls won 37 of 39 games.
Rice's College World Series/NCAA Tournament Update
* The Owls played in the College World Series for the sixth time in 2007, with previous trips in 1997, '99, 2002, '03 and '06. The team went 2-2 to finish tied for third in the country.
* Rice is 10-11 in 21 CWS games. The team won its first Series game in 1999, a 7-2 victory over Oklahoma State.
* The baseball program won the school's first national championship in a team sport in its venture to the CWS in 2003, defeating Stanford in the final series two games to one.
* The Owls' all-time record in NCAA Tournament games is 60-31 (.659).
* Rice has been to seven super regionals (1999, 2001, '02, '03, '05, '06 an '07). Only Miami (Fla.) has been to more super regionals than Rice since the current format was adopted in 1999. Florida State has also been to seven. Rice is a combined 11-7 in 18 super regional games.
New Players Joining The Team Next Season (2008)
Ten of the newest Owls have been admitted to school and will join the baseball program in time for the 2008 season. Eight from the high school ranks and two from junior college. Seven are from the state of Texas and four are from the greater Houston area. The full signee list is as follows:
Name, Pos B/T Ht.-Wt. Hometown (Previous School)
Carmen Angelini, Inf., R/R, 6-1, 185, Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
Matt Evers, P, L/L, 6-2, 195, Houston, Tex. (Stratford HS)
Rick Hague, Inf., R/R, 6-1, 185, Spring, Tex. (Klein Collins HS)
John Hale, C, R/R, 5-8, 170, Houston, Tex. (Lamar HS)
Lucas Luetge, P, L/L, 6-3, 180, Industry, Tex. (San Jacinto, JC)
Chad Mozingo, OF, L/L, 5-11, 180, Spring, Tex. (Klein)
Nick Natale, OF, R/R, 6-1, 170, Livingston, N.J. (Seton Hall Preparatory)
Joseph Paylor, OF, R/R, 5-10, 170, Hillcrest, Tex. (Hillcrest HS)
Jordan Rogers, P, R/R., 6-3, 190, Dayton, Tex. (San Jacinto JC)
Garrett Tinsley, C, R/R, 5-10, 180, Fort Myers, Fla. (Fort Myers HS)