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Friday, September 21, 2018

Baseball

UH falls in first game of 2010 Silver Glove Series


The Cougars faced off with in-town rival Rice Tuesday and came away with an 8-2 loss thanks in large part to leaving too many runners on base and not capitalizing on scoring opportunities. | Daily Cougar file photo

The Cougars kicked off the 2010 edition of the Silver Glove Series with a matinee against the Rice Owls and got walloped 8-2.

After taking two of three against Santa Clara last weekend to improve to 2-4, Tuesday’s loss at Rice drops the Cougars back to three games below .500.

Against the Broncos, the Cougars scored 27 runs on 40 hits. UH did pound out 12 hits against the Owls (4-4), but they produced only two runs. Rice, on the other hand, turned its 10 hits into eight runs.

Most of UH’s damage at the plate came after Rice had taken control of the game, and head coach Rayner Noble said the 12 hits were an afterthought.

“We pretty much got 12 meaningless hits,” Noble said. “We’ve got to drive guys in when they’re out there. That’s our biggest problem.”

While UH’s offensive struggles may have been a new problem to deal with, its pitching remains an issue.

Righthander Mo Wiley started his first game of the season for the Cougars, and in the first inning, allowed Rice’s Michael Ratterree to reach third base before striking out Michael Fuda and Anthony Rendon to end the inning.

Wiley wasn’t bad in the second inning, despite serving up a solo homer to Rick Hague. He settled down to retire Chase McDowell, Abe Gonzales and Jeremy Rathjen in order. In the third inning, Wiley unraveled.

With one out, Ratterree hit a gapper to right-center for a triple, and Joel Ansley and Zak Presley misplayed the ball. Chad Mozingo followed with an RBI single, scoring Ratterree and giving Rice a 2-0 lead.

Fuda hit a shot off Wiley, which rolled to the third-base line, and Mozingo went to second. Rendon then walked to load the bases. McDowell followed with a single that plated Mozingo and Fuda to give Rice a 4-0 advantage.

Lefty Taylor Hammack relieved Wiley and walked Hague to load the bases with one out. Hammack got out of the jam by inducing a double play from pinch-hitter Steven Sultzbaugh.

“Wiley started out good, but then Rice started getting hits, and then he lost it,” Noble said. “He was one (of) our best bets to start. The pickings are a little slim right now. We have to learn to pitch.”

The Cougars couldn’t get to Rice starter Jared Rogers, who gave up only five hits and didn’t give up a run until the sixth inning when Caleb Ramsey’s RBI double cut UH’s deficit to 4-1.

The Owls, though, dealt another blow to UH in the bottom of the sixth. Hammack walked Hague and one out later, Rathjen hit a two-run homer to give Rice a 6-1 lead.

UH’s M.P. Cokinos answered with a solo shot in the top of the seventh to pull the Cougars within 6-2, but the Owls put up two more in the bottom half of the frame to much seal the win.

Both teams will participate in the Houston College Classic this weekend. UH’s first game will be against Missouri at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

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