Feb. 24, 2010

Courtesy of RiceOwls.com

HOUSTON - Senior catcher Diego Seastrunk went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and his first home run of the season to help pace a 13-hit Rice attack, but the Owl baseball team was defeated by visiting Lamar 13-7 in the team's home-opener Wednesday (Feb. 24) evening on campus at Reckling Park.

Lamar jumped on the scoreboard for four runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. The Cardinals added two more four-run frames on ten hits. Lamar improved to 4-0 on the young season while Rice dropped to 0-4.

Lamar's Anthony Moore led off the game with a double and scored on an RBI single by Ryan Meade. Walks helped load the bases and Pablo Salinas knocked a triple to bring the runners home for a 4-0 advantage.

The Cardinals came back with another run in the top of the second, but Rice answered with two in the bottom of the frame. Seastrunk, Steven Sultzbaugh and Chase McDowell stroked consecutive singles to plate the Owls' first run. Jimmy Comerota followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the margin to 5-2.

Lamar added four more runs in the fourth on three hits and a walk. The big blow was a three-run homer to left by Clayton Farhat. Rice played some longball in its half of the fourth. Seastrunk blasted a solo homer to right-center to make the score 9-3.

Rice chipped away for two more runs in the sixth. Anthony Rendon and Michael Fuda started it off with back-to-back singles and Seastrunk drew a walk to load the bases for McDowell, a true freshman in his first career start. The standout from College Station, Tex., lined a pitch through the left side for his second hit of the night and third RBI of the contest.

The Cardinals came right back with four runs in the seventh on a hit, two walks, a hit batsman and a fielding error to make the score 13-5. Rice pushed across one run in both the eighth and ninth. Fuda doubled and scored on an RBI single by Sultzbaugh for the first score. Rendon singled-home Rick Hague for the final tally in the ninth for a 13-5 final.

Owl freshman J.T Chargois was the sharpest of seven Rice pitchers on the night. The right-hander from Sulphur, La., fired 2.0 shutout innings without allowing any hits and registering two strikeouts.

The Owls next host a talented group teams at the annual Rice Invitational Tournament, this Friday through Sunday (Feb. 26-28) at Reckling Park. Rice is joined in the tournament by Elon, Nebraska and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for three full days of round-robin action.