The Rice Owls beat the Texas Longhorns 6-3 on a St. Patrick's Day Tuesday night before a record crowd at Reckling Park. Official attendance was announced at 6,193.
Any win against Texas is a good one. For Owl fans the game was all shamrocks and pots of gold - Longhorn fans however were left grumbling unpleasantries over their beer about leprechauns -namely in the form of umpires.
A disputed call in the bottom of the 7th inning went the Owls way, and set off a heated exchange between Horns' Head Coach Augie Garrido and third-base umpire Danny Moscarro. The controversial call was a ruling that Texas Russell Moldenhauer had trapped a line drive off the bat of Rice's Anthony Rendon, scoring Chad Mozingo from second. However, the call was overturned and the catch was granted. The run would stand however as umpires also determined that Mozingo had tagged after the catch before rounding third to score. The entire UT team felt Mozingo didn't come close to tagging, and thus the heated objections from the boys in burnt orange.
Regardless, the Owls went up 6-3 at the time, which would be the final outcome.
Rice got a strong pitching performance from its staff, including a stellar start from a name quite familiar to Rice Baseball - Matthew Reckling. The freshman from Houston Kinkaid pitched 4 strong innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 run. His grandfather is T.R. Reckling, who played at Rice in the '50's. The Reckling Family have been huge supporters of Rice Baseball, and of course the stadium bears their namesake.
The Owls also got solid pitching from releivers Matt Evers and Jordan Rogers. Abe Gonzales came in to retire UT 1st Baseman Brandon Belt in the 8th; then regular Friday starter Mike Ojala came in to close things out from the 7th inning on. Ojala had volunteered to pitch innings - he struck out 4 of the 5 batters he faced to notch his first save.
At the plate, several Owls hit the ball well.
Nearly all of the top of the lineup; Brock Holt, Rick Hague, Chad Mozingo, Anthony Rendon, and Diego Seastrunk - all had 2 hits apiece, Rendon being the exception with 1 hit. Hague also had the big hit of the game with a 2-run bomb off Longhorn starter Austin Dicharry in the 5th that also scored Brock Holt. Steven Sultsbaugh and Craig Manuel were also 2-for-4 on the night.
The Rice win runs their record to 14-3 on the year. They play the University of Houston Wednesday night on the UH Campus in game 2 of the Silver Glove Series. First pitch is set for 6:30.