Feb. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Rice

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Through two games of its season-opening series with Stanford, Rice must consider the number seven anything but lucky.

On the heels of an implosion by their bullpen in the seventh inning on Friday night, the Owls blew a two-run lead by allowing 11 runs in the seventh inning on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Cardinal 14-5 at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Owls (0-2) trailed throughout after senior righthander Jared Rogers surrendered a two-run home run to Stanford designated hitter Christian Griffiths in the second inning. But after they finally chased Stanford lefthander Scott Snodgress in the top of the seventh, the Owls surged ahead on the strength of a three-run home run by freshman second baseman Michael Ratterree. That 4-2 lead was short-lived, however.

Rice junior righthander Boogie Anagnostou (0-1) walked the first batter he faced in relief of Rogers, retired eight Cardinal in succession, then abruptly ran into trouble in the seventh. The first four Stanford batters reached base, with Cardinal catcher Colin Walsh sending Anagnostou to the bench with a two-run triple to right that put Stanford up 6-4. That was only the beginning of the carnage, for the Owls needed five pitchers to record three outs, with a trio of errors contributing to the 11-run outburst. By the close of the frame Stanford (2-0) led 13-4 as it sent 17 batters to the plate against Anagnostou, Anthony Fazio, Matt Evers, Andrew Benak and Chase McDowell. Fazio and Evers did not record an out in the seventh, much like Doug Simmons and Benak in the opener.

Danny Sandbrink (1-0) was the beneficiary of the explosion, earning the victory despite allowing home runs to Ratterree and Anthony Rendon. McDowell was one of five Owls to make their Rice debuts, joining lefthander Holt McNair, catcher Geoff Perrott, Anagnostou and Fazio.