Chris Wallace hit two home runs in the finale against Rice on Saturday.
April 3, 2010
HOUSTON - Despite two home runs from Chris Wallace, the University of Houston lost the series finale to Rice, 8-7, in 12 innings Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park.
Wallace led the Cougars (12-14; 2-4 C-USA) on the afternoon, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
For the second consecutive game, Houston scored the opening run. Blake Kelso hit a lead-off double that rolled down the right field line before scoring on Caleb Ramsey's single to right field. A walk by Matt Murphy and a single from Joel Ansley loaded the bases for the Cougars. Taylor White then plated the second Houston run with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Ramsey.
The lead was short lived as Anthony Rendon hit a grand slam to right field in the bottom of the inning, pushing the Rice lead, 4-2.
Wallace then cut the Cougar deficit to one with a home run to lead off the second inning but once again the Owls answered, scoring two runs to lead UH, 6-3.
The Cougars continued to perform well at the plate, scoring a single run in the third inning. Ansley led off with a single through the left side and after advancing to second on a passed ball, he scored on a balk by Rice pitcher Doug Simmons.
On the mound, Matt Creel was able to hold the Owls scoreless through the next four innings. In a career-long five innings of action, Creel surrendered just two hits to the home team. Chase Dempsay entered the game in the seventh inning and pitched an inning of relief, setting up an eighth inning comeback for the Cougars.
In the eighth, Houston put two runners in scoring position with one out. Ansley reached on a fielder's choice and Dempsay hit a double to right field, putting the runners on second and third. Wallace then came to the plate with two outs and hit his second home run of the game over the centerfield fence, giving Houston their first lead, 7-6, since the first inning.
Rice knotted the score once again, however, in the bottom of the inning with a two-out RBI double down the right field line.
The two teams continued to go back and forth, with the score tied until Craig Manuel hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to secure the win.
Houston will return to Cougar Field April 6 for a mid-week match-up with Sam Houston State. Following the Tuesday game, UH will host a three-game series against No. 11 TCU on April 9-10.