Rice Downs Lumberjacks
May 4, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - The No. 21 Rice Owls scored five runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 9-1 win over Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday at Reckling Park.
Rice (29-16) all-American Anthony Rendon broke open the game with a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the seventh as part of a four-RBI night to lead a 11-hit attack for the Owls. The Lumberjacks (30-14) managed seven hits of their own, led by a 2-for-3 night from Hunter Dozier, but finished just 4-for-14 with runners on base, and 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position for the night.
Freshman Kevin Bishop took the loss in his first collegiate start for SFA, allowing five runs in just 2.2 innings. Owl starter Taylor Wall earned his first win of the season, despite exiting after just 2.2 innings of work on his own due to an injury.
The `Jacks had their opportunities to do some damage early on, putting runners on base in each of the first three innings before loading the bases with nobody out for the top of the lineup in the top of the fifth off of reliever Jeremy Fant; however, he got Bryson Myles to ground into a run-scoring double play before striking out Garrett Smith to end the best rally opportunity of the night for the Lumberjacks.
SFA took advantage of the midweek game to get six arms on the mound with the Owls only doing damage against two of them as Cody Priest, Colton Eubanks, Chase Wier and Alex Moshier all finished with scoreless outings.
Rice jumped all over Bishop in the first inning, swinging at each of the first eight pitches that he threw and getting singles from each of the first three hitters, including a run-scoring hit from Rendon to put the Owls on the board. Michael Ratterree followed with an RBI ground out and Rice took a quick 2-0 lead after an inning.
The Owls added another run in the second inning on an RBI double from Keenan Cook, and pushed the lead to 5-0 with two more in the third on RBI from Craig Manuel and Shane Hoelscher.
SFA finally scratched the board with it's lone run of the night in the fifth, but two innings later the Owls put it away with a four-run sixth inning that included Rendon's double.
From there the Owls turned it over to it's bullpen, who allowed just two singles in the final four frames to close it out.
The Lumberjacks will jump back into conference play on Friday when it opens up a three-game set with Sam Houston State at Jaycees Field.