Top-Ranked Rice Defeats Herd 12-0 Saturday

May 20, 2006

Box Score

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The No. 1-ranked Rice Owls hit four home runs, posting three multi-run innings, to defeat the Marshall Thundering Herd 12-0 Saturday at Appalachian Power Park in front of a season-high 1,749 fans.

Marshall (22-30, 6-18 C-USA), which clinched a spot in the Conference USA Baseball Championship Friday, earned the seventh seed and will face No. 2 Houston Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. (EDT).

Rice (46-10, 22-2 C-USA), the C-USA regular season champion, ran its winning streak to six games to end its regular season slate.

Rice starter Craig Crow (7-1) earned the victory, scattering five hits while striking out five batters in five innings. Owls reliever Joe Savery allowed one run, while striking out four batters over the final two innings.

Herd starting pitcher Jeremy Slone (Jr./Paintsville, Ky.) suffered the loss, allowing nine runs on 11 hits in three innings of work. Slone (3-7) struck out two batters, while walking three. Reliever Nick Wolle (Jr./Coatesville, Pa.) allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts in four innings.

Rice's Josh Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI. Adam Zornes went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while three other hitter enjoyed multi-hit performances.

Six different Herd players recorded a hit, including the top three hitters in the Marshall lineup.

Slone got himself into a jam in the opening inning, allowing the first three batters to reach base. However, Slone retired the next three batters to keep the Owls off the scoreboard in the first.

The Herd suffered a similar fate in the bottom half of the first. Chris Monaco (Sr./Tucson, Ariz.) led off with a single to right field. After Monaco stole second base, he advanced to third on Adam Frederick's (Sr./Franklin, Pa.) single to right field. But, like the Owls, the final three Herd batters were retired to end the inning.



Marshall had a second opportunity to score in the ensuing inning. With one out, the Herd had runners on the corners. Brent Mason (Sr./Sherwood, Ark.) attempted to steal home, but was thrown out in a run down at third base. Aaron Levinson (Sr./Seattle, Wash.) then grounded out to end the inning.

Rice broke the scoreless tie in the third inning, posting six runs on five hits to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Greg Buchanan led off the inning with a solo home run down the right field line. Two batters later, Rodriguez hit the Owls' second home run of the inning - a two-run shot to left field - to give Rice a 3-0 lead.

Jordan Dodson later plated Savery on an RBI sacrifice fly for the fourth run. Zornes then drove in two runs with a two-RBI single to left field, capping off the six-run frame.

The Owls added three more runs to its lead in the fourth inning. The first four batters each recorded a hit, including a lead-off double by Rodriguez. Aaron Luna's RBI single to right-center field scored Rodriguez. Danny Lehmann then plated Savery with an RBI single. Luna later scored on Tyler Henley's RBI sacrifice fly.

The Herd threatened in the bottom half of the sixth inning. With two outs, Marshall was able to load the bases, rattling Savery. However, the Owls reliever forced Levinson to ground out to the shortstop to end the inning.

Rice scored three more runs in the seventh inning on two home runs to take a 12-0 lead.

The Marshall Thundering Herd, which enters its first Conference USA Baseball Championship as the No. 7 seed, will face second-seeded Houston (36-19, 18-6 C-USA) Wednesday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). The C-USA Baseball Championship, which is hosted by top-seeded Rice, will be held May 24-28 at Reckling Park in Houston, Texas.

Rice 12, Marshall 0 (May 20, 2006 at Charleston, W.Va.)
Rice................ 006 300 3 - 12 16  1      (46-10, 22-2 C-USA)
Marshall............ 000 000 0 -  0  6  1      (22-30, 6-18 C-USA)
Pitchers: Rice - Craig Crow; Joe Savery(6). Marshall - Jeremy Slone; Nick Wolle(4).
Win-Craig Crow(7-1)  Loss-Jeremy Slone(3-7)  T-2:16  A-1749