Rice Forces Deciding Game at Baseball Super Regional

    Enrique Cruz homers off UH pitcher Justin Vaclavik during Sunday's Super Regional game 2 in Houston.
    Enrique Cruz homers off UH pitcher Justin Vaclavik during Sunday's Super Regional game 2 in Houston.
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    June 8, 2003

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    HOUSTON - Rice jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first half-inning and never looked back in taking a 10-2 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Sunday during Game Two of the NCAA Super Regional at Reckling Park.

    That would be all the offense that Rice starter Jeff Niemann would need as he recorded his 16th consecutive win and improved to 16-0. The sophomore righthander struck out 12 in seven innings while holding the Cougars to only one run off four hits.

    The two teams now will meet in a deciding Game Three at 12:05 p.m., Monday at Reckling Park with the winner advancing to the NCAA College World Series.

    Travis Tully batted 2-for-4 with a double to lead the Cougar offense, which managed only four hits in the game. Michael Bourn batted 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in the losing effort.

    UH starter Brad Sullivan dropped to 6-8 after giving up five runs (four earned) off four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

    The Owls struck for the game's first runs in their first at-bat. Austin Davis plated two runners with a double off the center field wall and came around to score on the Cougars' second error of the inning for a 3-0 Rice lead.

    However, the Cougars struck for a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Michael Bourn walked to lead off, moved to third base on Travis Tully's single to right field and scored when Hyung Cho slapped the first pitch he saw from Niemann up the middle.

    Rice pushed its lead to 4-1 in the third inning after starting the frame with two hits and a walk with Matt Ueckert's groundout allowing Dane Bubela to score from third base.

    In the fourth, Craig Stansberry led off the fourth by blasting an 0-1 offering over the left field wall for a 5-1 Owl lead.

     

     

    Rice broke the game wide open in the sixth inning with three more runs, courtesy of Vincent Sinisi's three-run homer to left field, and added another run in the seventh on Paul Janish's solo shot. Enrique Cruz blasted a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning and make the score 10-1.

    Greg Buchanan's RBI-single to right center plated Sam Mitchell in the bottom of the eighth inning but that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the night.

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