Baseball Rally Falls Short in Series Opener
Feb. 15, 2005
HOUSTON - Josh Rodriguez's suicide squeeze in the top of the 10th inning lifted No. 10 Rice to a 7-6 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Tuesday afternoon at Cougar Field in the first game of the annual Sterling Bank Silver Glove Series.
After Brian Friday laced a one-out triple into the gap in right center, Rodriguez fought off a high-and-inside pitch from UH reliever Brad Lincoln and laid the bunt down in fair territory as Friday raced in from third base to score the eventual game-winning run.
The loss spoiled an impressive comeback for the Cougars, who rallied from a 4-0 deficit after the first four-and-a-half innings. It was the first extra-inning game for the Cougars since falling 12-7 to Texas Tech in 11 innings on Feb. 14, 2004, during the second day of the Minute Maid Park College Classic. With the loss, UH dropped to 1-3 overall, while Rice improved to 4-1.
Junior outfielder Travis Tully tied a career high with four hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games dating back to last season and added a pair of RBIs to lead the Cougars in the losing effort. Making his collegiate debut, freshman second baseman Bryan Pounds went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs and RBI.
Rice catcher Danny Lehmann went 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, two runs and two RBIs for the Owls, who outhit the Cougars 9-8 and took advantage of three two-out, two-run homers. Friday also went 2-for-5 with a run.
Rice reliever Danny Pendleton earned the win and improved to 1-0 after holding the Cougars to only one hit in two shutout innings of relief. UH senior reliever Gene Flores was impressive out of the bullpen but dropped to 0-1 after giving up one run off two hits with a strikeout in 3.1 innings of work.
The Cougars continue their season as they play host to non-conference rival Pepperdine in a three-game series at Cougar Field this weekend. That series begins at 7 p.m., Friday, continues at 2 p.m., Saturday and wraps up at 1 p.m., Sunday.
Fans should note that Saturday's game time was moved up earlier in the week to its current time of 2 p.m.
All three games can be heard live on the radio or over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also follow the action by clicking on the "Gametracker" link at www.UHCougars.com.
After Rice took advantage of two-run homers in the second and fourth innings from Lehmann and Tyler Henley, respectively, the Cougars grabbed the lead in the fifth inning with five runs off four hits. Mark McGonigle led off with a single to right field and moved into scoring position on a balk. After a groundout, hit batter and Pounds' single loaded the bases, pinch hitter Matt Farrington drew a one-out walk for the Cougars' first run.
Stewart then blasted a double into right center to score Pounds and Stephen Whalen to pull the Cougars to within a run, and Tully laced a two-run single to right field to give UH its first lead of the game.
The Owls answered in the next half-inning when Pendleton blasted the final home run over the wall in right center. However, the Cougars knotted the game at 6-6 in their next at-bat when Pounds blasted a towering solo shot over the wall in left field. The score remained that way until the 10th inning.