Rice blanks No. 2 Stanford
Stephens, Chargois combine for 1-0 shutout to avoid sweep
STANFORD, Calif. -- No. 4 Rice scored a run on six hits at No. 2 Stanford and the Owls' right-handed duo of freshman Jordan Stephens and junior J.T. Chargois made it stand up with a combined shutout effort in a 1-0 road victory against the Cardinal in the finale of a three-game weekend series Sunday afternoon in Stanford, Calif.
The Owl pitchers were exceptional on a day when any runs scored would be a high value. Coming off a seven-inning shutout effort against Tennessee last week at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park, Stephens fired another 6.2 scoreless frames against Stanford in his fourth career start. He allowed a base hit in his first inning of work, one in the second, and one his last inning while walking three and striking out two. Chargois relieved him in the seventh and kept the shutout intact for the final 2.1 innings. Stephens improved to 2-0 on the year while Chargois tallied his fourth save of the season.
"It felt really good today," Stephens said. "I felt I had a rhythm early. My slider was working and I had my fastball going pretty good. I have to keep pitching well. It was fun."
Rice logged the day's lone run in the top of the third. Christian Stringer was safe on a sharp infield single and Michael Fuda reached on a Cardinal fielding error with two away. Jeremy Rathjen followed with a base hit through the left side to score Stringer for a 1-0 advantage.
The Cardinal tried to rally for a run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Owls turned a key 5-4-3 double-play to avoid the danger. Stanford, which had averaged 14 runs per game in its previous Sunday games, left a total of six men on the bases against Rice.
Rice is now 13-4 overall. Stanford dropped to 13-2 on the season with its first home loss.
The Owls have closed out the recent rugged stretch of playing eight of the last nine games played away from home. Rice now begins a six-game homestand at Reckling Park on March 13 . The Blue & Gray hosts national power Arizona in a two-game midweek set on Tues.-Wed.