Seventh-inning homer lifts Rice
Fuda carries Owls past Prairie View with game-winning blast
HOUSTON -- Michael Fuda led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo home run to break a 2-2 tie as Rice defeated Prairie View A&M, 3-2 during the first day of the NCAA Houston Regional.
Rice starting pitcher John Simms went a season-long seven innings, giving up two hits and one earned run while striking out seven, also a season best. Reliever Tyler Duffey did not give up a hit while striking out three in two innings of work to pick up his seventh save of the year.
Colby Hines’ two-run double in the top of the second gave the Panthers an early lead.
Hines’ drive to right centerfield came after Evan Richard walked and Stef Hernandez got onboard via an error. Hernandez hit a grounder toward shortstop Ford Stainback and got onboard when the Rice infielder dropped the ball and made a late throw to second for the potential force.
The Owls would get one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning.
Shane Hoelscher led off the second with a walk before Michael Aquino singled. Geoff Perrott then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners before Stainbeck’s sacrifice fly to right field drove in the Owls’ first run.
An inning later, Rice would tie the score, 2-2.
J.T. Chargois reached on an error and with two outs, Michael Ratterree belted a triple to deep centerfield to drive in a run.
The Owls, who left 11 on base during the night, stranded two runners in both the fourth and fifth innings. Rice was retired in order in the sixth to bring Fuda to the plate to start the seventh.