Rice Edges Baseball in 11 Innings
March 20, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - Austin Davis lifted a lead-off home run in the 11th inning, and Rice later added an insurance run as the fourth-ranked Owls took a 3-1 win over the seventh-ranked University of Houston baseball team on Wednesday at Cougar Field.
Eric Arnold later added a sacrifice fly in the extra frame as the Owls won their third straight game over UH to win the 2002 Silver Glove Series and their second straight win in as many nights. On Tuesday, Rice captured a 7-3 win at Reckling Park.
The Cougars (15-7), ranked No. 7 in the latest Baseball America poll, dropped their third straight game and competed in their first extra-inning affair of the season. It was also the first extra-inning game for UH since a 4-3 win over UAB in 11 innings on April 8, 2001.
Sophomore infielder Hyung Cho extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the seventh inning. It's the longest hitting streak by a Cougar slugger since Aaron Melebeck and J.P. Woodard embarked on 15-game streaks from March 4 to April 4, 2000.
In a game that featured 24 hits, pitching was the name of the game as the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie after nine innings. A season-high eight Cougar pitchers combined to hold the Owls to only one run through the game's first 10 innings, while three Rice hurlers limited UH to eight hits and one run on the night.
Rice reliever David Aardsma improved to 5-0 after tossing 3.0 innings of shutout ball while scattering three UH hits. UH reliever Gene Flores dropped to 1-2 this season after allowing three hits and two runs in 0.1 innings.
Chris Kolkhorst and A.J. Porfirio, the 1-2 hitters in the Rice lineup, each went 4-for-5 with Porfirio adding an RBI, as the Owls rapped out 16 hits in the game. Arnold, Davis and Paul Janish also added two hits apiece for Rice.
Crain gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead when he blasted his third home run of the season down the right field line to lead off the fifth inning. The score would stay that way until the seventh inning when Porfirio's RBI-single to left field plated Dane Bubela and knotted the game at 1-1.
The Owls threatened to end the game before the extra innings, putting runners on first and second in the ninth inning with only one out. However, Crain forced Arnold to hit into a ground-ball double play, ending both the threat and the inning.
In addition to his hitting numbers, Crain also pitched 2.0 innings of shutout ball, extending his consecutive inning scoreless streak on the mound to open the season at 14.0 straight innings.
UH threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Crain laced a two-out double down the right field line, but the Boulder, Colo., native was thrown out at third base after a successful relay throw from Davis in the outfield and Arnold at second base.
The Cougars will now prepare to play host to No. 35 Tulane in a three-game Conference USA series at Cougar Field, starting at 7 p.m. Friday. The series features the top two teams in C-USA in each of the last five seasons.