May 31, 2009

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Rogers, Rice Survive Against Xavier

By Allen Brown

Special to

HOUSTON - The Rice Owls (41-16) got a complete game from righty Jared Rogers (4-1) and scored in the first six innings of the game to breeze to a 12-5 victory over the Xavier Musketeers (39-21) in an elimination game Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park.

Rogers, who entered the game with a 7.24 ERA, yielded seven hits, one walk and five earned runs with seven strikeouts. Xavier scored two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings when the game was already out of reach and Rogers was seemingly fatigued.


Rice pitching coach David Pierce stated succinctly that, "Jared did a great job, he put us in a position to move forward (in the regional). We talked about him going nine innings in the bullpen before the game and that's exactly what he did."

Rogers was certainly aided by the Owls offense which struck early and often, tallying one run in the first, four in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, three in the fifth, and one in the sixth. Xavier coach Scott Googins pointed to the four-run second, which included a two-run double from Rice freshman Jeremy Rathjen and a Diego Seastrunk two RBI single, as the key inning in the game.


"We talked about trying to avoid the big inning (before the game).” Googins said. “That four spot in the second took the wind out of our sails."

The early run support also made Rogers more comfortable. As a result of the early run support, Rogers said, "I was just able to throw strikes and challenge the hitters." Overall, in regards to his success on the mound, Rogers stated, "I got my fastball working inside and out and I got a lot of ground balls." Rogers threw only five pitches in the fourth inning and only ten pitches in the fifth inning retiring all six batters.

Steven Sultzbaugh continued his recent hot hitting for the Owls as he hit solo homers to left field in both the third and the sixth and scored three runs in the game. Both Diego Seastrunk and freshman Anthony Rendon had three hits and three RBI for the Owls.

Bobby Freking finished his sensational regional with two more hits for the Musketeers who won one game and lost two in their first-ever regional appearance.