Rice Baseball improved to 8-8 on the season, taking all three games against Houston Christian, some in thrilling fashion.
FRIDAY | Rice 5 – HCU 1
Parker Smith held Houston Christian to one run in five innings on Friday night, putting Rice baseball in a prime position for a series-opening win. Matthew Linskey took the baton and delivered what was probably his best outing of the year, tossing four scoreless frames with five strikeouts to earn his first save.
With those two hurlers keeping the Owls’ opponent at bay — HCU scored just one run in nine innings — the Rice offense was handed an easier assignment. In the second, Paul Smith drove in the first run via a sacrifice fly in the second to put Rice in front. In the third, Drew Holderbach tripled to drive in what would become the game-winner, stole home a few moments later then added another insurance run with an RBI single in the fifth.
SATURDAY | Rice 14 – HCU 12
If Friday was for the pitchers, Saturday was for the bats. Rice delivered the first crooked number, taking a 7-2 lead after three innings, but HCU would continue to chip away. The Huskies big break came in the top of the seventh with a three-run home run to left field giving the visitors a 10-7 lead. It would not be enough.
The HCU pitching imploded an inning later. Rice batters walked five times in the inning and were hit by pitches twice. Rice collected one hit, a single by infielder Ben Royo, but scored seven runs to take a 14-7 lead. HCU would give Rice a scare in the ninth, but couldn’t overcome the deficit, allowing Rice to secure the series win.
SUNDAY| Rice 7 – HCU 6
Rice starter Mark Perkins worked around a hit batter in the first inning before running into trouble with the back half of the lineup in the second. Houston Christian took a 2-0 lead following a pair of doubles in the inning, then doubled their advantage to 4-0 on a two-run homer from their nine-hole hitter.
JD McCracken who keep the Huskies off the board for the next several frames as everyone awaited the awakening of the Rice offense, which came via a six-run bottom of the sixth, highlighted a trip of two RBI singles to put Rice in front. HCU would tie the game in the seventh with a home run off Krishna Raj before Rice went ahead for good in the bottom of the inning on a bases-loaded hit by pitch. Converted outfielder Jack Ben-Shoshan got the win on the mound.
THREE FOR THE ROAD
Rice baseball notched a series sweep, taking all three games against Houston Christian, led by former Rice great Lance Berkman. Here are a few takeaways from the weekend.
1. Are we putting labels on things or not?
ON DECK | at Baylor (Tues), at UAB (Fri-Sun)
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