June 4, 2017
A quick summary as we prepare for the Owls’ fourth game in three days!
After dropping the Baton Rouge Regional opener to Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) 12-6 Friday night, the Owls paid the Lions back Sunday afternoon by beating them 9-5 and eliminating them from the NCAA Tournament.
The Owls will have a short rest before playing unbeaten Baton Rouge Regional hosts Louisiana State University (LSU) at 8 tonight. Rice (2-1) will need to beat LSU (2-0) twice in the double-elimination format, once tonight and again Monday to advance to the NCAA Super Regional. Addison Moss will get the start against LSU.
The Lions took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but Rice bounced back with a five-run third inning, which was capped by Dane Myers‘ three-run home run to dead center to give starting sophomore pitcher Kendal Jefferies a little room to work with against SLU.
However, SLU answered quickly in the top of the fourth inning when Taylor Schwaner hit a two-run home run. Like Myers’ homer, Schwaner’s was a 400-plus foot shot to center field, which cut the Rice lead to 5-3.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Charlie Warren doubled to right center. Two batters later, Ford Proctor singled to right and scored Warren, which brought the tally to 6-3 and ended Lions’ starting pitcher Carlisle Koestler’s day.
The Owls tacked on a run in the fifth inning to make it 7-3. With the bases loaded, two outs and a 3-2 count, Addison Moss’ grounder was bobbled for an error at second base and scored Tristan Gray from third.
SLU did not go away quietly, though. In the top of the sixth inning, Schwaner doubled and was then driven in by another hard-struck ball by Carson Crites, making it 7-4. Jefferies was quickly lifted but had given Coach Wayne Graham 5 1/3 innings’ work, something the Owls needed desperately if they are going to make a run at winning the regional. Myers came in from third base to pitch, and Jeffreries slid over to take the hot corner.
Trading runs seemed to be in fashion, as the Owls added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ford Proctor singled and later scored on a fielding error, making it 8-4.
The Lions’ Ryan Byers made it 8-5 in the top of the seventh inning by hitting a one-out Myers pitch over the right field wall.
That would end the Lions’ scoring for the game. Rice added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, as a Myers double drove in Chandler from first to make it 9-5 and the final score.
Coach Graham addressed the media after the game, watch by clicking below. If the YouTube player is not appearing in your browser, click here.
The weather could be an issue tonight. Watch the game at 8 p.m. on
ESPN3.com the SEC Network and follow along on Twitter @RiceBaseball.
A good sighting by university photographer Tommy LaVergne today: Alum Chris Blache, recently featured in Rice Magazine for his Mississippi River boat pilot work, was in attendance rooting on the team today. Read the story here (page 36).