#8 Owls hooked by Horns in Austin, but rebound to sweep CUSA foe Marshall
Rice is now 5-1 in Conference USA play
Rice put together yet another solid week posting a 3-1 record. After falling to a very good Texas team, the Owls bounced back to sweep a weekend series against C-USA opponent Marshall.
Rice @ Texas
This game didn’t turn into the offensive battle that it had the potential to, but instead was a back and forth battle that the Longhorns got the better end of, winning 6-4.
Sophomore Kyle Russell got things started for Texas in the fourth inning, launching his 16 th home run of the year, a record for Longhorn sophomores.
Rice quickly answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. First baseman Joe Savery singled up the middle with two outs. Chad Lembeck was up next and he reached on an error by Russell. Savery and Lembeck would each then score on a subsequent throwing error by Russell.
Texas grabbed the lead back in their half of the fifth, scoring two runs, highlighted by an RBI double from Chance Wheeless. The Longhorns would post three more runs in the game, and though Rice put up 2 runs in the seventh it wasn’t enough.
Owl starter Chris Kelley went 4 innings giving up three earned runs while striking out five batters, but took the loss and fell to 0-2 on the season. Texas’s Austin Wood improved to 4-0 thanks to 5.2 innings without allowing an earned run.
Marshall @ Rice – Game 1
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Berry came to play on Friday in Rice’s series opener against Marshall. The right hander threw a complete game, allowing just one run on five hits, while striking out ten batters. It was the first time an Owl pitcher had gone the distance on the mound since June of 2005. With the win, Berry improved to 4-1 on the season.
Berry ’s performance alone was enough to put Rice in position to win, but the Owl bats came alive just to make sure. Rice pounded the Thundering Heard pitching staff for 13 runs on 16 hits, led by four batters with at least three hits.
Joe Savery went 4-6 from the plate, while driving in three runs and scoring three times himself. Junior catcher Danny Lehman had a career night with the bat driving in five runs on three hits, and fellow junior Brian Friday knocked a pair of doubles to get in on the action.
Marshall starter Jeremy Sloan felt the brunt of the Owl offensive explosion, allowing 7 runs in 4 innings and falling to 1-2 on the year.
Marshall @ Rice – Game 2
A rain delay pushed back the first pitch by nearly four hours, but that didn’t stop Rice from picking up a second straight win against Marshall, winning the second game of the weekend series 5-3.
The Owls scored all five runs in the first two innings and that would be all it took for Rice to come away with the win. After Chad Lembeck reached first on a single and Jordan Dodson on a fielders choice, Rice put on the double steal moving the runners ahead to second and third. Both runners would come in to score after Joe Savery reached first on an error.
Second baseman Jess Buenger launched a two-run home run in the second, Buengers third round tripper of the season, and that would be enough for Rice.
Starter Matt Langwell improved to 3-1 on the year for Rice despite allowing five hits and walking five in 5.1 innings of work. Despite plenty of base runners, Langwell only allowed two earned runs.
Marshall @ Rice – Game 3
The bats came alive again as Rice completed the sweep of Marshall, winning 12-6 in the series finale. The win improved the Owls to 5-1 in conference play this season.
Junior Jordan Dodson led the way at the plate driving in four runs on a two-run home run and a two-RBI single. For Dodson it was his sixth home run of the season, which ties him with Aaron Luna for the team lead.
For Rice the key was a seven-run second inning. Everything went wrong for Marshall in that inning, including a wild pitch that scored a run, and a bases loaded walk that forced in another. After the forced in run, shortstop Brian Friday singled up the middle scoring two more runs. By the time the inning was over Marshall starter Adam Dobies had been knocked out of the game, and the Owls had posted seven runs on just four hits thanks to four walks issued by Dobies.
Rice got help on the mound as well, with starter Joe Savery throwing seven solid innings, striking out seven and not allowing an earned run. Savery improved to 4-1 on the season.
Up Next for the Owls...
Rice will be at home on Tuesday against Prairie View A&M (7 p.m. CT) before hitting the road for a three-game weekend series at No. 22 East Carolina.
Marshall will start a six-game road trip with match-ups against Louisville on Tuesday and Ohio on Wednesday. Then it’s on to Lynchburg, VA. for three games with Liberty.