No. 4 Rice Edges Bulldogs, 6-5
March 27, 2004
HOUSTON, Texas - Philip Humber struck out 13 over eight innings to lift fourth-ranked Rice to a 6-5 win over Fresno State Saturday at Reckling Park.
The Bulldogs dropped their fourth straight, falling to 12-18 overall and 0-2 in the WAC while the Owls improved to 19-6 on the season and 7-1 in conference play.
Humber (5-1) scattered four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks to earn his fifth win of the year. In addition, he struck at least one batter in each of his eight innings including a pair in five of the frames. The double digit strikeout total marked the 16th time this season the Owl pitching staff had accomplished the feat.
Fresno State freshman outfielder Nick Moresi socked a solo home run to right field with one out in the third to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. The homer was Moresi's second of the year. Sophomore outfielder Richie Robnett hit his team-leading 14th double of the year to open the fourth and came around to score on a wild pitch to extend the Bulldogs' advantage to 2-0.
Rice outfielder Austin Davis clubbed a two-out two-run homer in the fourth to knot the game at 2-2. Robnett put the Bulldogs back in front on a two-out run scoring single in the fifth.
The Owls plated four runs in the seventh capped by a two-run single by outfielder Lance Pendleton to take a 6-3 lead. Pendleton was 3-4 with two RBI to lead the Owls at the plate. Adam Rodgers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the tying run and Chris Kolkhorst scored on a wild pitch to give the Owls the lead for good.
Bulldog senior infielder Ryan Haag scored on a passed ball in the eighth to trim the deficit to 6-4. Haag also tallied one of his three hits on the day in the ninth with a two-out run scoring single to cut Rice's lead to one. Robnett, who had a game-high four hits, then singled Haag to third but Owls' reliever Josh Baker induced David Gomez into a fielder's choice to squelch the rally and notch his third save of the year.
The series concludes Sunday at 11 a.m. PST.
Fresno State 001 110 011 - 5 10 0 No. 4 Rice 000 200 40x - 6 10 0B. Miller, Quinonez (5), Girazian (7), Griffin (7), Garza (7), and Marcelli; Humber, Baker (9), and Reagan. W- Humber (5-1). L- Quinonez (2-6). S- Baker (3). Hrs: FS: Moresi (2); Rice: Davis (4). T: 3:03. A: 3111.