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Monday, November 29, 2021

Baseball

Silver Glove Series tied after Rice offensive outburst


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Coming off a series win against the Tulane Green Wave, the Cougars had a tough time Tuesday night against the Rice Owls. | Sarah Hoffman/The Cougar

In the second skirmish of the season, Rice was not content just to win the battle. The game turned into madness and by the end of the night, the Owls had 16 hits and 11 runs. The battle for the Silver Glove, which UH still holds, is tied at a game apiece.

From the beginning, it was Rice’s game. UH starting pitcher Aaron Garza lasted one out, surrendering five hits, four earned runs and giving way to four more UH pitchers before the night was done and the scoreboard said 11-0.

“Did that just happen?” joked Rice second baseman Ford Stainback. “I’m not sure we’ve beaten UH in about two years. It was about time we won a game.”

Stainback, along with every other Rice starter who had an at bat, recorded hits in the offense charge. The blitzkrieg of swinging was aided by two errors committed by the UH defense.

“It’s weird seeing the other team make errors.” said Stainback. “We’ve had some [errors] through out the season. It was good to be on the other end. This is a great turnaround going in to this weekend.”

The other end of the equation, Rice’s pitching, which had come off of a rough go of things against University of Alabama-Birmingham, held UH to two hits for the game, with junior righty Austin Orewiler and freshman Glen Otto combining to strike out 16.

Orewiler reached a new career high in strikeouts with 11 by using his fastball to set other pitches up.

In his office after the game, Rice head coach Wayne Graham seemed content with the outcome. The nature of the series, which survived conference realignment, can be competitive for the two schools that almost share a zipcode.

“We’ve done a lot of beating UH over the years, but we haven’t lately been playing well against them.” said Graham. “It’s nice to get that trend stopped because we’d lost four in a row to them.”

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