Rice evens series vs. Stanford
Reckling posts 6.0 shutout innings to help Owls tie series
HOUSTON -- Rice scored seven early runs and rode a solid 6.0 shutout innings on the mound by junior starter Matthew Reckling on the way to a 7-1 victory against Stanford before a crowd of 4,107 fans on Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park on the Rice campus in Houston.
With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, the Owls rallied for four key runs off the 13th-ranked Cardinal. Jeremy Rathjen led off with a walk and stole second base, but Stanford looked to be working out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
Geoff Perrott was hit by a pitch and true freshman Derek Hamilton followed with an RBI single to center to open the scoring at 1-0. Ryan Lewis singled to score Perrott and a Stanford error on the same play allowed the runners to advance an extra station. The Owls stretched the margin to 4-0 on a single by Michael Ratterree that scored Hamilton and Lewis.
Though early in the contest, the 4-0 lead would prove to be more than enough room for Reckling on Saturday in his new role as one of the Owls' regular starters. The local standout from Kinkaid kept the Cardinal off the scoreboard for a career-long 6-0 innings. He scattered four hits and two walks while striking out four. Reckling (1-0) faced 24 batters in the six frames and retired the last six men he faced.
Reckling welcomed the Owls' early run-support, but the Rice offense wasn't quite finished. The Blue & Gray added another three runs in the bottom of the third for a 7-0 advantage. Anthony Rendon led off with a single and hits by Michael Fuda and freshman Shane Hoelscher loaded the bases. Perrot drove in a run with a ground-out and Hamilton singled to left to plate two more.
Two games into the season Hamilton has provided a spark on both sides of the ball. The Lake Jackson, Texas, native is now a combined 4 for 5 with three RBI and two runs scored.
The Cardinal continued to fight and struck for their lone run of the game in the seventh. Austin Wilson slugged a homer to left field to make the score 7-1. Stanford also threatened for runs in the eighth before the Owls worked out of danger.
Sophomore Tyler Duffey pitched the final inning for Rice and retired the side in order. The former Bellaire High School star looked sharp in posting a pair of strikeouts.
After a Stanford win in the opening game of the series on Friday, the three-game weekend set is now knotted-up at one-game each heading into the series finale Sunday.