Rice baseball knew it would be a hard task to fight through the losers bracket, but the Owls are still punching, knocking off Marshall to keep their season alive.
Facing elimination from the Conference USA Baseball Tournament for the second day in a row, Rice topped Marshall to keep their season alive. The win over Marshall on Friday followed a 4-3 win over Louisiana Tech on Thursday, the first save for the Rice bullpen in a week’s time after repeated bullpen failures.
Little separated these teams the first time around with Marshall winning on walk-off hits in three consecutive games. The Owls would take a 1-3 finish against the Thunder Herd if that one win kept their season alive. They got their wish, beating Marshall 6-3.
As opposed to their previous CUSA Tournament games, there was no early start for Rice against Marshall. The Owls were blanked in the top of the first inning and fell behind on a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first.
With Kel Bordwine on the mound (instead of Jackson Parthasarathy who threw 1.2 innings against Lousiana Tech), Rice rallied. Doubles from Aaron Beaulaurier and Bradley Gneiting allowed Rice to tie the game 1-1 in the third. Pitches later, a misfire on a throw down to second let Gneiting scamper home for the go-ahead run.
Bordwine put together a strong outing, allowing three runs in 4.1 innings. Kendal Jefferies picked up where he left off finishing things off with 4.2 strong innings with no runs charged to his account.
Marshall would threaten on multiple occasions, but Cade Edwards delivered much needed breathing room with a 2-RBI single in the eighth to extend the score to 6-3. The bullpen held on, once again, and Rice stayed alive.
Up Next | Southern Miss, Saturday – 9:00 AM
Tomorrow will test the resiliency of the Rice pitching staff. It’s going to take a Herculean effort from someone to come out of the loser’s bracket and reach the Conference USA Baseball Tournament Championship Game. Rice will have to beat Southern Miss twice to survive and advance. A second “if necessary” game would follow at 4:00 PM.