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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Baseball

Rice leads Cougars with walk-off over Cardinals


Rice_Ian

With Rice’s walk-off RBI, the 18-7 Cougars have won 10 come from behind games this season and are now riding a 10-game winning streak. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

After Ian Rice was mobbed by his teammates for his game-winning RBI in No. 15 UH’s 6-5 win over Lamar, his teammates saw fit to splash him with the contents of a Gatorade cooler in the middle of his post-game press conference.

Caught by surprise but never ceasing to smile, the junior catcher soldiered on during his time with the media, completely wet.

“That felt horrible,” said Rice, joking about his drenching.

His thoughts on his game were decidedly happier.

“The pitcher threw me three curveballs in a row,” Rice said. “When I got to a 3-1 count, I knew he was going to throw me a fastball, so I was sitting on it,” Rice said. “I was trying to hit the crap out of the ball.”

His moment under the lights seemed unlikely to happen, as Lamar had a 5-0 lead going into the eighth inning until UH was able to produce a series of hits and took advantage of the walks issued by the Lamar pitchers.

Putting together six runs in three innings of work, Houston was able to move to 18-7 and gain momentum going in to conference play against Central Florida.

“I thought we were pretty resilient,” said UH head coach Todd Whitting. “Through the entire game, I never felt like we quit. If you have that mentality, you’re going to have the ability to win some games.”

Rice, who was 1-5 with two RBI for the game, noted the same philosophy.

“In the beginning of the game, we came out with not a lot of energy, but we picked up toward the end,” Rice said. “I think we scraped together and played hard in the last three innings.”

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