Ever since the news broke that Ryan Berry and Mike Ojala would be out for awhile for the Owls due to muscle tightness the cry from the fans have been the same: We just have to win. Win dirty, win ugly, win any way neccessary, as long as we get the W.
And that’s what Rice has been doing. There have been times when it hasn’t been pretty. Time where we’ve given up 6 unearned runs in an inning. Times where we’ve loaded the bases with 0-1 outs and brought no one home. But, there have been times when it’s just been a pure joy to watch. When we light up their pitchers. When our defense gets our pitcher out of a jam. When we got long innings or desparately needed outs from unexpected sources.
The Rice Owls have come together. And they are winning. Since the series at USM, where Berry and Ojala both pitched last, Rice is 5-1. They won a hard fought 12-inning game against Lamar. Rallying late to score 2 runs to end the game after having held the lead for most of the game. In the home conference opener, we lost the first game, before rebounding to take the second two. This past Wednesday night the Owls rallied from two 6 run deficits to win the game 11-8. The offense has been putting together the runs when neccessary. We’ve been turning the crucial double-plays. We’ve gotten quality pitching from Abe Gonzales, Travis Wright, and Jared Rogers. All of our hitters have come together to get multiple hits in every game, or execute the sac flys and bunts to get the scores.
And tonight, in the opener against Tulane, it all came together. Rice won 11-3. Jared Rogers was dominating in 7.1 innings on 100 pitches. Mark Haynes and Andrew Benak closed it down well. The offense tallied up 7 stolen bases on 7 attempts. The batters continually pounded the ball, with Chad Mozingo, Anthony Rendon, and Daniel Gonzales-Luna all going deep tonight. (Side note: This was DGL’s first career home-run at Rice) They also showed patience, with 5 walks drawn.
The team has heard the cry from the fans. At times, it hasn’t been pretty and at times it has been a beautiful sight to behold. The 2009 baseball team is truly living up to the Rice cheer: Rice fight, never die. People were worried about how having the Friday and Saturday starters, who have been so dominant, out, would affect the Owls. And they have shown that they aren’t giving up. Cheers to the boys, and, best of luck for the next two games against Tulane.