Owls end Tigers' season 5-4

Rice center fielder Tyler Henley led off the ninth inning with triple and scored on a single by Greg Buchanan to defeat the top-seeded LSU baseball team, 5-4, and advance to the NCAA Super Regional on Monday.

The Owls (44-17) will face the winner of the New Orleans Regional, either Tulane or Alabama, next weekend.

LSU saw its 2005 season come to an end with a 40-22 record.

Lance Pendleton (5-3), who played both right field and entered as a relief pitcher in the eighth inning, was the star of the game for the Owls. The junior was 3-for-3 at the plate with a run and an RBI, and he also got credit for the victory after throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Tigers' starter Jason Determann went 7 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on 11 hits, but left with the game tied at 4-4. Clay Dirks (10-4) was charged with the loss after relieving Determann in the eighth and allowing the game-winning run in the ninth.

For the sixth-straight time in the 2005 postseason, the Tigers fell behind to open a contest. This time, in the top of the second inning, Rice's left fielder Jordan Dodson hit his second home run of the season just over the right field wall. The two-run homer scored Lance Pendleton who singled with two outs.

Degerman struck out the side in the bottom of the first and allowed his first hit of the game, an infield single by Clay Harris, before retiring the next two batters to end the threat.

In the bottom of the third, the Tigers were able to push across two runs against Degerman. A pair of singles by Matt Liuzza and Bruce Sprowl was followed by a hit batter to load the bases for Blake Gill. Gill drove in LSU's first run with a sacrifice fly to right field before Patterson doubled to left center to score Sprowl from third.

With runners on second and third and one out, Nick Stavinoha's ground ball down the left field line hit the third base bag and allowed Jackson to score on the double.

LSU led 4-2.

Rice led off the top of the fifth with a double by Travis Reagan, Degerman's designated catcher, who picked up his fourth hit in 52 at bats this season after coming off surgery in December. After a one-out walk to Greg Buchanan, Josh Rodriguez' line drive down the left field line was snared by Jackson, who doubled-up Reagan at second to end the inning.

However, in the top of the sixth, the bottom half of Rice's lineup produced a run against Determann to narrow the gap to 4-3. No. 6 hitter Clay Reichenbach doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Pendleton.

One inning later, Reagan in the No. 9 hole hit his first home run of the season to tie the game at 4-4.

The Tigers chased Degerman in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out single by Gill and a walk to Patterson. Pendleton came in from right field to make his 17th relief appearance of the season and face Stavinoha.

The righthander struck out the LSU right fielder and got Clay Harris to ground out for the fourth time in the game.

Rice also chased the opposition's starter in the eighth inning, as Determann left after giving up a pair of one-out singles to Joe Savery and Reichenbach, and a walk to Pendleton to load the bases.

Dirks entered to face Dodson and forced a double-play ground ball to keep the game tied at 4-4 going to the bottom of the eighth.

Rice then turned the tables on the Tigers, coaxing a double-play ground ball to escape from a two-on, no-out jam. The Owls were aided by a botched sacrifice bunt by Liuzza that was caught by the catcher with no outs.

LSU went quietly in the ninth, as Pendleton struck out Jackson, forced Gill into a ground out to second and the ended the game getting Patterson to pop-up to left field.

Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team
P - Joe Savery, Rice
P - Josh Geer, Rice
C - Marty Dewees, Northwestern State
1B - Jordon Dodson, Rice
2B - Clay Harris, LSU
3B - Chris Jackson, LSU

SS - Josh Rodriguez, Rice
OF - Nick Stavinoha, LSU
OF - Ryan Patterson, LSU
OF - Lance Pendleton, Rice
DH - Blake Jones, Northwestern State
DH - Kevin Grauer, Marist
Most Outstanding Player - Nick Stavinoha, LSU

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