April 7, 2004
HOUSTON - Kevin Roberts went 3-for-5 with a home run and double to lead an offensive attack which pounded out 10 hits, but it would not be quite enough as No. 4 Rice took a 4-3 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Wednesday at Cougar Field in Game Four of the annual Silver Glove Series.
With the win, Rice won the Silver Glove Series for the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time in the seven-year history of the Series.
After Rice (25-6) jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the first four innings, the Cougars (12-19) chipped away with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and threatened for more in the seventh and eighth but were unable to get some key hits. In the ninth, Roberts blasted a solo home run - his second of the season - to left field, but Rice reliever Jeff Niemann struck out the final two batters to end the game.
Rice starter Josh Baker improved to 5-2 after striking out a career-high 14 batters while allowing two runs off seven hits in 6.2 innings of work. Niemann collected his first save after holding the Cougars to one run off three hits with three strikeouts in the final 2.1 innings.
UH starter Shea Hancock dropped to 0-2 after allowing four runs off four hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts through the first three innings. However, the Cougars remained in the game from solid relief outing from Matt Farrington, who struck out a career-best seven in 4.1 shutout innings.
In addition to Roberts, the Cougars were led by Stuart Musslewhite, who went 2-for-4 with a home run.
Chris Kolkhorst and Adam Rodgers each went 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Owls.
The Cougars continue their season this weekend with a three-game, Conference USA series against Charlotte at Cougar Field this weekend. The series begins with 7 p.m., games on both Friday and Saturday and wraps up at noon, Sunday.
All three games can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling the action. Friday's game also will be available on KAXF 88.3 FM. Fans can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
The Owls grabbed the lead in their first at-bat with a two-out rally. After Lance Pendleton drew a walk, Adam Rodgers plated the runner with a double down the left field line.
Rice used another two-out rally in the third inning to push their advantage to 2-0. Chris Kolkhorst slapped a single to left field and stole second to move into scoring position. After moving up on a passed ball, Lance Pendleton blasted a double off the center field wall to plate Kolkhorst.
The Owls doubled their lead in the fourth inning with back-to-back RBI-singles from pinch hitter Clay Reichenbach and Kolkhorst.
The Cougars cut into that lead in the fifth inning with a single run. Jake Stewart led off with a single up the middle and moved all the way to third base on Kevin Roberts' double down the right field line. Stewart then scored the Cougars' first run of the game on a wild pitch from Baker.
In the sixth inning, UH put another run on the scoreboard when Stuart Musslewhite blasted an 0-1 offering from Baker over the left field wall.
The Cougars threatened to tie the game in the seventh after walking the bases, courtesy of and error and back-to-back walks. However, Niemann's first strikeout ended the threat.