March 18, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - Louisiana Tech scored an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning but 25th-ranked Rice answered with five runs on six hits in the bottom half of the inning as the Owls took game one of the weekend series, 5-1, Friday night at Reckling Park.
Trevor Petersen posted a solid outing on the mound as he quieted the Rice bats through the first seven innings of the game. The right-hander tallied six strike outs while battling Austin Kubitza in a pitchers' duel.
With the game scoreless in the eighth, Mark Threlkeld slapped a 2-2 pitch into right field and proceeded to steal second base and moved to third on a passed ball. Alex Williams then worked a one-out walk off of Kubitza to put two runners on the corners.
With Joey Ford at the plate, Tech took a one-run lead as Threlkeld scored on a pitch in the dirt from Kubitza. However, the 6-5 freshman forced two-straight ground outs to end the scoring threat.
After Petersen walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom half of the inning and with his pitch count surpassing a season-high, the Bulldogs made the call to the pen to bring in Caleb Dudley to face Rice slugger and top-prospect, Anthony Rendon.
On an 0-2 pitch, Rendon singled to right field and Craig Manuel loaded the bases for the Owls with a bunt single to third base. The Owls then plated four runs on back-to-back two-run doubles from Michael Ratterree and Shane Hoelscher. Rice added to their lead with an RBI infield single from Chase McDowell.
Dudley (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and a walk in 1.0 innings of relief. Despite a solid outing on the mound, Petersen was credited with the no decision after tossing seven-plus innings, striking out six and walking three while allowing six hits and one earned run.
Rice (11-9) freshman John Simms worked a perfect ninth inning and struck out the side to close the game for the Owls. Kubitza (2-2) picked up the win after allowing one run on eight hits while striking out 10 batters in 8.0 innings of work.
Louisiana Tech (8-9) will send Mike Jefferson to the mound tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. as the Bulldogs will look to even the series at one game apiece.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 3-24 all-time against Rice...Tech has lost six-straight games against Rice... Tech has now lost seven straight games and 10-straight road games within the state of Texas...Louisiana Tech is now 2-7 on the season when allowing a big inning (four-plus runs)... The 119 pitches thrown by Trevor Petersen marked a season-high and the most since he threw 124 against Hawai'i on April 23, 2010...Mark Threlkeld has made 89 consecutive starts... Justin Gordey notched his fourth multiple hit game of the season... Austin Hedges (0-for-1) saw his five game hitting streak come to an end... Threlkeld and Kyle Roliard have now hit safely in four-straight games.