March 19, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first three innings and added insurance runs late in taking a 7-3 win over the seventh-ranked University of Houston baseball team on Tuesday at Reckling Park.
The Owls (19-4), ranked No. 4 nationally, took a 2-0 advantage in the Silver Glove Series - the annual regular-season series between UH and Rice - after winning 4-0 on Feb. 12 and won their fourth straight game over the Cougars.
The two teams meet again at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cougar Field in Game Three of the Series. That game is a makeup from Feb. 26, when freezing weather swept through the South. Fans can hear the games on KGBC Radio 1540 AM or through the Internet at www.kgbcradio.cc.
Sophomore outfielder Gabe Lucas went 3-for-4 with a double and run to tally half of the Cougars' six hits on the night. Sophomore DH Hyung Cho extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to lead off the sixth inning, giving him the longest hitting streak by a Cougar slugger since J.P. Woodward and Aaron Melebeck both embarked on 15-game streaks from March 4 to April 4, 2000.
Rice starter Jeff Niemann improved to 4-0 after scattering three hits and two runs with four strikeouts in 5.0 innings. Reliever Wade Townsend earned his fourth save of the year after 4.0 innings of three-hit ball.
UH starter Austin Faught dropped to 0-1 after allowing 11 hits and seven runs in a season-best 6.2 innings of work.
The Owls struck for two runs in their first at-bat on Eric Arnold's sacrifice fly to right field and Vincent Sinisi's RBI-single.
UH catcher Chris Snyder cut that lead in half when he led off the second inning with a solo shot over the left field fence, his third home run of the season.
Rice pushed its advantage back to two runs, thanks to two Cougar errors and a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning, and added two more runs in the third inning on Paul Janish's two-out, two-RBI double down the left field line.
The Cougars struck again with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Lucas led off the fifth inning with a double to left field and eventually scored on Michael Bourn's infield groundout. In the sixth, Cho led off with a single up the middle, moved to second base on a wild pitch from Townsend and scored on Stuart Musslewhite's double down the right field line to trim the Rice lead to 5-3.
Rice pushed its lead back to four runs in the seventh inning on Arnold's two-out, RBI-double to right field and Sinisi's second RBI-single of the night.