April 3, 2011
HOUSTON – The No. 25 Rice Owls scored with two outs in the bottom of the 10th on a RBI double from Shane Hoelschner as the Marshall University baseball team dropped the series finale, 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.
Marshall (10-16, 1-5 C-USA) received a three-hit game from Nathan Gomez and a two-hit, two-RBI day from Kenny Socorro in the loss.
Rice improved to 201-11 overall and 4-2 league play.
The Herd cracked the scoreboard first in the first when N.Gomez knocked in Isaac Ballou with a two-out infield single to second. The lead would be doubled when Victor Gomez raced home on a wild pitch which was hucked by Rice starter Matthew Reckling.
The tides turned for Arik Sikula and company when the Owls put up a three-spot in the bottom half of the third. Sikula retired the first two batters, but the next six Owls in the lineup reached base, including a two-run base hit from Michael Fuda. The three earned runs by Rice snapped Sikula’s stretch of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. His streak total reached 23.2 innings.
Owning a slim 3-2 lead, Rice added a run in the fifth as the Herd traded a run for a 6-4-3 double play turned by the MU infield.
Sikula’s day ended after the fifth, as the senior allowed four runs on just three hits with a trio of strikeouts in favor of Aaron Blair. The freshman pitched two scoreless innings.
MU threatened in the in the seventh, loading the bases with one down. Rice reliever Tony Cingrani escaped the jam with a strikeout and pop up to keep the two-run lead intact.
N.Gomez and Steven Ross began the eighth with consecutive rocket singles to left and moved up a base thanks to a Cingrani balk. Following a strikeout, Socorro stroked a single back through the box plating two runs to knot the score at four all.
Anthony Rendon drew a one out walk and would eventual come around and score on the walk-off game-winner from Hoelschner. Ian Kadish logged 2.2 innings out of the pen and was saddled with the loss, dropping to 0-3 on the year.
Tyler Spurlin (2-0) picked up the victory tossing a scoreless 10th inning.
NEXT UP: Marshall’s game vs. Eastern Kentucky has been switched be played at Richmond, Ky., on Tuesday.