Top-Ranked Rice Edges Texas Tech 9-6 In Minute Maid Classic|
Feb. 13, 2004
LUBBOCK, Texas - Top-ranked Rice scored three runs in the top of the ninth to erase a 6-6 tie and held on to defeat Texas Tech 9-6 on Saturday night in the Minute Maid College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The win drops Texas Tech to 3-1 on the season while Rice improved to 1-0 as the game was the season opener for the defending national champions.
Rice jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third when shortstop Paul Janish hit a three-run home run over the left field wall. Janish' three-run homer was set up by a single by Lance Pendleton and a walk by leadoff hitter Chris Kolkhorst.
Texas Tech scored its first run of the game in the bottom half of the third when catcher Cooper Fouts scored on a throwing error by Rice second baseman Josh Rodriguez. Fouts led off the frame with a walk and then scored when Rice failed to turn a double play on a ground ball hit up the middle by first baseman Josh Brady.
Rice pushed its lead to five (6-1) by scoring three runs over the next two innings as the Owls scored two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Austin Davis notched the second home run of the evening for the Owls when he led off the fifth with a solo home run to right field.
Just when things seemed out of reach, junior left fielder Michael Mask got the Red Raiders back in the game he powered a three-run home run that went sailing 396 feet over the left-center field wall.
Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Texas Tech continued its rally off Rice reliever Josh Baker. Junior right fielder Madison Edwards led off the frame with a single to right-center and pinch hitter Jacob Jones and shortstop Cameron Blair drew walks to load the bases. Second baseman Jose Delgado delivered in the clutch lacing a two-RBI double into left field that plated Edwards and Jones, tying the score at 6-6.
Rice loaded the bases in the top of the ninth inning and a one-out double play failed for the Red Raider defense and the Owls went on to score three runs in the inning to take a 9-6 lead. Texas Tech drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth but Baker retired the final two batters to end the game.
Josh Baker earned the win for Rice and improved to 1-0 after pitching the final two innings of the game allowing two earned runs on two hits with two strikeouts. Steven Thomas (0-1) suffered the loss for Texas Tech in relief as he gave up one earned run in two innings of work.
Texas Tech returns to action on Saturday afternoon as the Red Raiders will take on the Houston Cougars in its second game of the 2004 Minute Maid College Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.