Rice baseball came from behind to beat Incarnate Word on Tuesday night, courtesy of a walk-off home run from Braden Comeaux.
Weekend pitching woes followed Rice baseball into one of their rare midweek games of the 2021 season. Their opponent, Incarnate Word, came out swinging, piling on 10 runs in their first three innings. Trailing 10-3 midway through the third, Rice pitching had been shelled for 43 runs in its last 18 innings, rolling up to a collective ERA north of 20. The situation was dire.
Stunned, but not stumped, Rice slowly began the process of digging out of the chasm. The Owls scratched across two runs in the home half of the third, two more in the fourth and another pair in the fifth. By the time the sixth inning rolled around, a blowout had turned into a contested game.
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Rice went three-up, three-down in the seventh and stranded the basis loaded in the eighth. Trailing by three as they entered the ninth, the bats delivered. A double from Cade Edwards cut the deficit to one before Guy Garibay evened the score with a single up the middle.
Once trailing by seven runs, the Owls could sense the momentum had flipped. Rice put two men on in the 10th, setting the table for senior Braden Comeaux who came through. He walloped the ball over the left field fence, putting the exclamation point on the come-from-behind win.
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What it means
The pitching staff is going to face a lot of scrutiny in the coming days, but there is something to be said for the quintet of Alex DeLeon, Dalton Wood, Guy Garibary, Micah Davis and Josh Larzabal who limited Incarnate Word to one run in their final six innings. They provided some much-needed good news on that front.
That said, if there were ever a must-win midweek game in April, this was probably it. In the thick of the toughest part of their schedule, snapping a losing streak in thrilling fashion was exactly what the doctor ordered.
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Rice baseball will hit the road this coming weekend to take on Old Dominion, ending a five-game homestand. This is the Owls’ second C-USA road series of the season. The Owls had previously played at Middle Tennessee in early April.