No. 6/7 Rice Eliminates Baseball from Houston Regional, 12-5
May 31, 2009
HOUSTON - The Xavier baseball team ended its record-breaking 2009 campaign with a 12-5 loss to No. 6/7 Rice Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park, having been eliminated from its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. the 2009 Atlantic 10 Champions end the season with a 39-21 overall mark, a school record for wins in a season.
Rice (41-16) recorded a single run in the top of the first playing as the visiting team at its home stadium. Back-to-back singles put a runner at first and third for the Owls and Anthony Rendon singled in Rick Hague to give Rice the early 1-0 lead.
Xavier answered with a run in the bottom of the frame as senior Billy O'Conner led off with a single out to center and then stole second. Junior Drew Schmidt took a base on balls and both were moved over by a sacrifice bunt from junior Neil Lindgren. With sophomore Ben Thomas at the plate, a wild pitch got away from the catcher and O'Conner safely touched home to tie the game at one apiece.
In the second, Rice used four hits to put up a four-spot. Steven Sultzbaugh and Jimmy Camerota were both knocked in on a double by Jeremy Rathjen and Rathjen was singled in by Brock Holt. The next Owl batter went down swinging but, after stealing second, Holt was brought home on another single. The following inning brought in two more, including a solo shot to left by Sultzbaugh. The Owls held the 7-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the third.
Owl designated hitter Diego Seastrunk launched a solo homer over the left field fence in the fourth and Rice notched three more in the fifth off two walks and two doubles. In the top of the sixth, Sultzbaugh lead off for the Owls, going yard for the second time in the contest. Rice had the commanding 12-1 lead after five and a half.
Musketeer senior Sean Farrell made the best of his last collegiate at-bat, sending his second home run of the season over the right field fence in the eighth for two RBI as he brought Schmidt home with him. In the bottom of the ninth, the Musketeers out up two more as senior Jack Bonnikson collected an RBI with his ground out and sophomore Ryan Bellamy's sac fly out scored Freking to end the game with Rice on top, 12-5.
Sophomore Ben Thomas (5-2) took the loss for the Musketeers after throwing 2.1 innings. He gave up seven runs on nine hits and tallied one walk and one strikeout. Sophomore Brian Muransky tossed 1.2 innings of relief while senior Brett Greenwell threw three complete innings of middle relief, giving up one run on three hits. Senior Joe Kohler and freshman Josh Deeg each added one inning of relief as well.
Jared Rogers (4-1) tossed a complete game in the win for Rice. He gave up five runs on seven hits and struck out seven while walking only one.
The Xavier athletics department would like to congratulate the baseball team on a great 2009 season and to wish all eight senior team members good luck and best wishes!