Baseball: No. 1 UT Takes Third Straight From Rice

HOUSTON, Texas -- Pitchers Randy Boone, Buck Cody and Kyle Yates combined on a six-hit shutout and junior Seth Johnston collected a career-best four RBI to lead No. 1 Texas (20-2) to a 5-0 shutout victory over No. 3 Rice (11-4) in front of a season-best 4,207 fans, which marked the 10th largest attendance in stadium history, at Reckling Park on Tuesday, Mar. 9.

Notably, while the win marked Texas' fifth shutout of the 2004 campaign and upped the Horns' current win streak to nine games, it also handed Rice its first shutout since May 11, 2002, versus San Jose State (5-0).

With two outs and none on in the top of the first, Texas put three runs on the board to jump out to a 3-0 lead after Curtis Thigpen (Forney, Texas/Forney) extended his current hit streak to 10 games with a double to left center, Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas/ Creekview) walked and Johnston connected on his team-leading fourth home run of the year. Looking to counter, Rice managed to put runners on in each of the first four frames, but Boone worked out of a pair of two-on, no-out jams in the second and fourth innings to keep the game 3-0 in favor of Texas. Rice starter Philip Humber, meanwhile, limited the Horns to one hit over the next five innings while striking out nine to send the game to the seventh with the same score.

In the top of the seventh, after two quick outs, Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas/Atlanta) sent a 1-0 offering over wall in left center field to establish a 4-0 UT advantage. One inning later, the Longhorns loaded the bases with no outs courtesy of three straight walks before a Johnston sacrifice fly pushed Texas on top by a score of 5-0. On the other side of the ledger, the Owls were held to only one hit over the next four frames by Cody, who came on in the fifth and tied his individual game career mark for strikeouts with three, to move the contest to the bottom of the ninth with UT maintaining a five-run lead. Yates then came on and retired the side in order to cap off the shutout victory for Texas. While Boone, who made his third start of the year and allowed only five hits over four innings while fanning a career-high five, earned the win in a declared start, Humber, despite a 100-plus pitch performance, shouldered the loss.

Paving the way for the Texas offense on the evening were five different Longhorns who each registered one hit, including Johnston, who drove in four of UT's five runs while also scoring once, and Stubbs, who connected on his third home run of the year. Meanwhile, Rice was led by Chris Kolkhorst and Adam Morris, who each tallied a pair of hits on the evening.

Up next, Texas returns home to Disch-Falk Field to open a three-game series with Eastern Michigan on Friday, Mar. 12 at 2:30 p.m.


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