Rice baseball and Houston each emptied their respective bullpens on Wednesday night, but the Cougars’ staff lasted one inning longer.
Things couldn’t have gotten off to much more of an inauspicious start for Rice baseball on Wednesday night against Houston. A leadoff single was followed by another single, neither struck particularly hard. Back-to-back walks put Rice in a 1-0 hole before Guy Garibay’s diving snag turned the tide and kept Rice in the game.
Rice would then fight back from 2-0 and 4-2 deficits to tie the game. A smattering of relievers combined to hold the Houston offense at bay, with two of the Cougars’ first five runs scored on wild pitches with two outs remaining in the inning.
Mark Perkins came on in relief shortly afterward and kept the Cougars’ run total at five, giving the Rice offense a chance. The Owls squandered a bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth but cashed it in during the ninth, forcing extra innings.
Ultimately it was Tom Vincent who got his bell rung in the 12th, ceding three runs before ceding the mound to Garet Zaskoda, the 20th pitcher of the game — Houston would throw No. 21 in the bottom of the inning — as the game ticked past the four-hour mark. Houston went on to win, clinching the Silver Glove series victory.
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“It stinks to be on the losing end of a game like this. We were very competitive, it just seems like there’s there’s one thing that happens, or two things, four things today that happened that makes life difficult for us and we end up having to talk about not winning again. It’s getting annoying,” head coach Jose Cruz Jr. said.
“I mean, I know we’re close. [We’ll] just keep showing up, keep grinding, keep game planning like we are and just have faith that things are going to turn around.”
Cruz singled out the wild pitches, errors and missed RBI opportunities as key moments that turned the course of the game.
The Owls won’t have much time to lick their wounds. They hit the road tomorrow for a three-game tilt with UTSA before returning home where they’ll face Houston again in one of two midweek games.
ON DECK | at UTSA (Fri-Sun)
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