Rice Baseball hit their way past Sam Houston on Tuesday, sweeping the early season series against the Bearkats.
Through three innings, the early season rematch between Rice baseball and Sam Houston was tracking to be a mirror image of the teams’ first meeting last week. That prior contest was a pitcher’s duel featuring one run combined between both teams until the bottom of the ninth inning. That’s how things were looking through three innings on Tuesday night with both teams deadlocked at zeroes. Then the bats woke up.
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Manny Garza opened the scoring with a 2-RBI double in the fourth. Aaron Smigelski added one more RBI via a hit-by-pitch before Benjamin Rosengard delivered a grand slam, staking Rice to a 6-0 lead. Sam Houston would get three runs back in the bottom half of the inning after JD McCracken loaded the bases, but the Bearkats couldn’t keep up with the Owls’ newly awoken offense.
Sam Houston would score one more run from that point onward, a solo shot in the seventh off Rice reliever Matthew Linskey. He gave way to Krishna Raj and Ryland Urbanczyk who shut the home team out in the final two innings to secure the win.
What it means | Runs!!!
After scoring 11 runs in their last four games, the Rice bats generated 11 runs in nine innings on Tuesday night. Nathan Becker got into the action with his first hit of the season. Smigelski drove in not one, but two runs as a hit batsman. Altogether, eight of the Owls’ nine starters reached base. Several, did so multiple times.
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One midweek performance does not a season make, but it’s a positive early indicator. Rice didn’t score double-digit runs last season until a March 15 game against SFA. They’d scored two runs or fewer eight times to that point. Rice has been held to two or fewer runs twice this season, but the early spikes cannot be ignored. The offense is going to be better.
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