May 6, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team dropped its series opener to the Rice Owls, 8-2, Friday night at Cougar Field. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 22-24 on the season and 9-7 in Conference USA action.
In his third start of the year, junior Jared Ray pitched 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits with five strikeouts. He pitched three solid innings to open the game but gave up four runs to the Owls in the fourth inning and the Cougars were never able to recover. Sophomore Dakota Dill pitched two innings of relief. He gave up one run on three hits with a strikeout. Sophomore Travis Jenkins and freshman Dustin Fuerst pitched the final 1.2 scoreless innings.
At the plate, junior Codey Morehouse led all Cougars with a 2-for-4 performance, a double and a run scored.
After what was shaping up to be a duel on the mound through the first three innings, Rice put runners on first and second with back-to-back singles to open the fourth inning. Anthony Rendon would reach base on an error by sophomore Chase Jensen, allowing the runner to score from second base to put the Owls up 1-0. Craig Manuel's fielder's choice put one out on the board but J.T. Chargois would score from third base. Michael Ratterree gave the Owls a 4-0 lead with a two-run home run to left field.
Houston would cut the deficit in half with two runs in the fifth inning. Morehouse led off the inning with a single and freshman Landon Appling put two runners on base with a single up the middle. Senior Ryan Still moved the pair into scoring position with a groundout in the infield and Ramsey allowed Morehouse to score with a single to shortstop. Appling would then pull the Cougars within two, 4-2, scoring on sophomore M.P. Cokinos' groundout to third base.
With the Cougars starting to gain some momentum, the Owls quickly took back control of the contest with three runs in the sixth inning. Rendon drew a walk to lead off the inning before scoring on Ratterree's double to left field. Ratterree would then put the Owls up 6-2 on Ryan Lewis' RBI single and Derek Hamilton closed out the inning with an RBI sacrifice fly.
Rice would close out the contest, scoring a run in the eighth inning on Hamilton's RBI single to left field.
The series against Rice will continue at 3 p.m. and conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday. The remaining two games of the series will air on Comcast Sports Southwest (Channel 129). Saturday's contest will air live only in the Houston area and on tape delay at 7:30 p.m. in all other markets.