March 19, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - Derek Hamilton hit a one-out RBI single to left field in the fifth inning to give 25th-ranked Rice the go-ahead run and the Owls added two more runs in the inning to knock off Louisiana Tech, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park.
Mike Jefferson (1-1) was charged with his first loss of the season after allowing four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings of work. The southpaw fanned two but walked a season-high five batters on the outing.
Rice (12-9) scored in their first at-bat of the afternoon as Shane Hoelscher doubled down the right field line to score Daniel Gonzales-Luna who led off the game with a walk. The Owls added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning as J.T. Chargois singled up the middle, scoring Derek Hamilton.
Rice starter Chase McDowell had retired the first 12 batters that he faced in order prior to Alex Williams' leadoff double to the right field gap in the fifth inning. With one out, Clint Ewing sent a 3-1 pitch through the right side to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. Justin Gordey then evened the contest at two runs apiece with an RBI double to right that scored Ewing.
With the game tied, Rice called upon Tyler Duffey to stifle to the Tech rally. The Owls recorded the second out of the inning as Gordey was caught stealing and retired the side when Duffey fanned Austin Hedges, ending the scoring threat.
McDowell did not factor into the decision after allowing two runs on three hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Michael Ratterree led off the bottom half of the fifth inning with a single down the left field line but was thrown out on a frozen rope from Kyle Roliard after attempting to stretch his hit into a double. Hoelscher then doubled to left center before Michael Aquino flied out to center for the second out of the inning.
On a 1-2 pitch, Rice reclaimed the lead as Hamilton sent an RBI single to left. The Owls then added two more runs as Keenan Cook singled to left off of Will Alvis, scoring both Hamilton and Geoff Perrott.
The Rice relief pitchers retired 13 of the last 14 Tech batters and totaled seven strikeouts in a combined 4.2 innings of relief. Duffey (2-1) picked up the win while Tony Cingrani allowed just one hit in the ninth to record his first save of the season.
Louisiana Tech (8-10) will look to snap a seven game losing streak as the Bulldogs will send Jeb Stefan to the mound for a 1 p.m. Sunday start in the series finale with Rice.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 3-25 all-time against Rice ... Tech has lost seven-straight games against Rice... Tech has now lost eight straight games and 11-straight road games within the state of Texas... Mike Jefferson had a season-high five walks... Mark Threlkeld has made 90 consecutive starts... Kyle Roliard (five games) and Alex Williams (three games) both extended hitting streaks.