May 18, 2006
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - No. 1 Rice used back-to-back six-run innings Thursday to break open a close game in defeating the Marshall baseball team, 26-6, at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va. The Owls then added nine runs in the ninth inning to cap off their offensive explosion.
Chris Monaco (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) singled three times for Marshall, while Rich Russell (Sr., Toronto, Ontario.) reached base twice and knocked in three runs. Aaron Luna went 3-for-4 with six runs scored and six runs batted in for Rice, while Tyler Henley went 3-for-5 with six RBI.
Marshall starter Brian Chrisman (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) was plagued by four walks in his three innings. Chrisman (3-7) allowed five earned runs and six hits while striking out three. Rice ace Eddie Degerman (10-1) earned the win, firing six innings while allowing a season-high four runs and eight hits, while walking three and striking out eight. Kurt Pessa earned his first save by tossing the final three innings.
Rice (43-10) struck first with two runs in the second inning, taking advantage of four walks and a hit batsman, with Henley and Derek Myers each walking to force in runs.
The Owls added three runs in the third inning on a two-run single by Luna and an RBI single by Jordan Dodson.
Marshall (22-27) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, as Russell drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Aaron Levinson (Sr., Seattle, Wash.). The run came with no outs, but Degerman struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
Marshall added another run in the fourth inning. Brit Vincent
(Jr., Bowling Green, Ky.) led off with a walk and advanced on a single by Adam Ptacek
(Sr., Assaria, Kan.). Levinson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Monaco grounded into a double play to bring home Vincent and Adam Frederick
(Sr., Franklin, Pa.) grounded out to end the inning.
Rice compiled a six-run fifth inning to get some breathing room. The big blow of the inning was a three-run homer by Henley off Marshall reliever Jimmy Stanley (Fr., Lexington, Ky.). The Owls followed it up with another six-run inning in the sixth, highlighted by a Brian Friday grand slam off Chris Cummings (Sr., Huntington, W.Va.).
The Owls added nine runs (three earned) in the top of the ninth inning, with the big blow coming from Luna, a grand slam.
Marshall tallied two runs in the ninth on a Brendan Murphy (Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn.) run-scoring single and a Matt Helm (So., Downingtown, Pa.) sacrifice fly.
The three-game continues at 2 p.m. Friday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-THE-HERD or logging on to www.herdzone.com. All three games of the series are part of doubleheaders with the West Virginia Power. One ticket is good for admission to both games.