April 29, 2005
Houston, Texas - Fresno State held on for an 8-7 victory against No. 15 Rice behind strong pitching by Matt Garza and timely hitting from the Bulldogs as the team jumped out to a seven run lead and held on in regulation. The first game marked a similar form, as the Owls started early, getting a 6-1 lead before a David Gomez homerun cut the lead to 6-4. Gomez was 2-for-5 on the day with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Fresno State threatened twice but couldn't recover from a big first inning by Rice, falling in the first game 6-4. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but only put one run across. The bottom half of the frame was where the damage was done, as a leadoff walk, three singles and a double gave Rice three runs.
Rice added more runs in the later innings, with two home runs. Both Joe Savery and Danny Lehmann hit solo home runs to help with the lead, and the Owls also pushed across a run in the fifth inning, starter Brandon Miller's last. Miller, making his first start since the Pepsi/Johnny Quik tournament, pitched 4.2 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs, all earned.
The Bulldogs brought the game within striking distance, as the team had their first pinch hit home run of the year. Chase Moore started off the seventh inning with a leadoff walk, and Ryan Overland followed with a double to right center, giving the Bulldogs two runners with no outs. Rice starter Josh Geer retired Todd Sandell, but David Gomez knocked a three-run homer to right to bring the score to 6-4 pinch-hitting for DeAndre Miller.
Cole St. Clair entered the game at that point for the Owls, closing out the inning and the game to get the save for Rice in game 1.
Fresno State was the team that got off to a good start in the second game. Matt Garza pitched very effectively for the Bulldogs, going 6.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out six batters to keep the score low.
The Bulldog offense did the rest of the job. The team started out the second inning with a good start when Beau Mills walked and David Gomez singled to give the Bulldogs runners at first and second. After a groundout from Kent Sakamoto moved the runners into scoring position, Chase Moore came through with a two run double to the Bulldogs the lead. Moore himself would then score on a Todd Sandell single to right center.
More runs for Fresno State came in the fifth inning. Kent Sakamoto started the scoring with his second home run of the year, a solo shot to left field. Ryan Overland walked, and two great bunts from Todd Sandell and DeAndre Miller loaded the bases as both runners beat out close plays at first. The Bulldogs then put it all together, creating a big inning as Chrisitan Vitters hit a two-run double, and Nick Moresi singled in two more to give the Bulldogs an 8-1 lead.
The Owls mounted a late rally however. With Matt Garza handing over the reins to Ryan Penn, Rice finally started to get on the board, scoring five runs on four hits. The rally started when Josh Rodriguez singled and Lance Pendleton doubled to start the inning. Penn then walked the next two batters before giving up singles to Travis Henley and Greg Buchanan. The Bulldogs got the next three outs, but not before a sac fly scored another run, making the score 8-6.
The Owls would score another run in the eighth inning, but Rudy Quinonez came in and closed the door on the game with a perfect ninth to notch his third save of the season and give the Bulldogs a split in the doubleheader.
Fresno State matches up with Rice again tomorrow in the series finale beginning at Noon Pacific.
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