Rice baseball handed their cross-town rivals their fifth consecutive loss, edging Houston in the first game of the annual Silver Glove Series.
The good times kept rolling for Rice baseball, who earned their third consecutive win over a Texas team on Tuesday. In a game bumped forward a few hours because of weather concern, Rice handed rival Houston a 5-3 defeat in front of their own fans.
Trei Cruz opened up the scoring in the second with a two-run double down the left field line. Bradley Gneiting followed, driving in Cruz to stretch the advantage to 3-0. Houston battled back, scoring a pair of runs in the third one of which was unearned by way of an infield error. Up 3-2 in the seventh, Rice tacked on two more runs on a single from Andrew Dunlap followed by a groundout by Dominic DiCaprio.
Houston would get one run back in the eighth, but was only ultimately able to manage two hits and one run on the bullpen combination of Jackson Tyner and Kendal Jeffries. It was Jeffries who earned the save, his second on the season.
1. Defending the city
The Silver Glove series has gone back and forth between Rice and Houston over the last several years. The same team hasn’t won the series in consecutive seasons since 2014 and 2015 (Houston), but that came on the heels of the Owls dominating the Cougars for the better part of two decades.
Winning the first of three doesn’t guarantee Rice the series, the Owls won the opener in 2018 before dropping the final two contests. But it does give this team an added boost of momentum in a game that meant a lot for players in both dugouts.
Victories over Baylor, TCU and Houston mark the longest winning streak of the season for Rice. Dating back to last Tuesday, the Owls have won four of their last five. The same team that was swept at Reckling Park against UC Irvine seems to have vanished overnight.
The 2019 Rice season has been a tale of two parts. A win over Sam Houston on Wednesday would bring the team back to .500 on the year. If they can keep things going with a strong weekend against Oklahoma the Owls’ rough start will be officially in the rearview mirror.
3. Addison Moss looks A-OK
Evan Kravetz has made the sudden disappearance of Moss from the weekend rotation seem somewhat of a non-event, but there’s a reason he and Matt Canterino were billed as a 1-2 punch this offseason. Since returning to the mound, Moss has looked sharp. Tuesday was his first start of the year, and it went it off without a hitch.
Moss threw five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and three hits and striking out one. The outing was his longest of the year thus far, ending in his first win. Coach Bragga will soon have a hard decision to make. What do you do when you have four weekend starters and three games to pitch them? How things play out will be interesting, but having an extra bullet in the chamber is good for this team in the long run.
ON DECK | vs Sam Houston (Wed), vs Oklahoma (Fri – Sun)
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