No. 18 Rice Outlasts SFA in Extras
March 19, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Michael Acquino hit a RBI single in the bottom of the tenth to give the No. 18 Rice Owls a 3-2 win over the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks baseball team Tuesday night at Reckling Park in Houston, Texas.
Brett Higginbotham (0-2) took his second loss of the season, allowing the game-winning run. The run-scoring single was the only hit the Hutto, Texas, native allowed in an inning and a third. The loss spoils a strong outing from SFA (9-11) starter Justin Choate. He allowed just one run, on six hits, in the no decision against the Owls (15-7). Kevin Bishop and Cass Ingvardsen also pitched in the game.
Hunter Dozier tied the game for SFA in the bottom of the ninth, belting his third home run of the season, in a one-for-three performance. The `Jacks were held to six hits, in all, as no SFA batter recorded a multi-hit game.
After Owl starter John Simms retired the side to open the game, Leon Byrd hit a leadoff homer over the right field wall to get Rice on the board in the bottom frame. Following a double to left center from Ford Stainback one batter later, Choate retired nine of his next ten batters before the `Jacks got on the board.
In their second time through the lineup, SFA tied it 1-1 on a sac fly from Ricardo Sanchez. Simms retired all nine `Jack batters in order, across the first three innings, before Matthew Dickey tripled to center field to open the top of the fourth. Dozier would also reach base in the frame, on a wild pitch after a strikeout.
The tie would span the next two innings, until Rice utilized two sac bunts and a wild pitch to plate one in the bottom of the seventh. Geoff Perrott, who entered for Hunter Kopycinski, singled to left center to open the inning for the Owls, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch allowed Perrot to move up to third, Rice retook the lead on Stainback's sac bunt.
Dozier's homer in the top of the ninth sent the game into extra innings, before Rice scored one in the bottom of the tenth to edge SFA 3-2. A two-out walk to Keenan Cook and stolen base put the winning run in scoring position for the Owls. Cook ended the game, one batter later, coming around on Aquino's single through the right side.
The `Jacks next travel to Thibodaux, Louisiana, for a three-game series against Nicholls, March 22-24, to open Southland Conference play.