Catcher Tyler Pearson's two-run double in the top of the sixth inning provided the winning runs as Rice defeated Sam Houston 5-2 in a non-conference baseball game at Don Sanders Stadium Wednesday night.
Rice (18-11) scored its five runs on nine hits and one Sam Houston error. The Owls were led by the plate by shortstop Derek Hamilton who went 3-for-5 with one RBI.
Mark Hudson led Sam Houston (17-10), going with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
SHSU opened the scoring in the third inning. Second baseman Ryan Mooney singled, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, center fielder Mark Hudson singled to left center field to score Mooney and give Sam Houston a 1-0 lead.
Rice bounced back in the top of the fourth as lead-off hitter Anthony Rendon walked, stole second base and scored on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Shane Hoelscher.
The Bearkats missed an opportunity in the bottom of the fourth inning as Rice starter Taylor Wall walked the bases loaded with one out. But relief pitcher Tyler Duffey struck out the next two SHSU batters to get out of the inning.
Center fielder Mark Hudson put the Bearkats back up by a run with a solo shot over the left field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Hoelscher picked up his second RBI of the evening with a single up the middle in the top of the sixth to knot the game again. Catcher Craig Manuel followed up with a two-run double off the right field wall to give Rice its first lead 4-2.
Derek Hamilton's RBI single gave the Owls a fifth run in the top of the eighth inning.
Bearkat starter Caleb Smith gave up one run and four hits in three and two thirds innings. Paul Spinn (2-2) took the loss in relief. Tyler Duffey (3-1) was the winning pitcher for Rice. Tony Cingrani picked up his second save of the season.
Sam Houston State returns to Southland Conference action when Northwestern State visits Don Sanders Stadium for a three-game weekend series. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets for all Sam Houston home athletic events are on sale now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets or at the SHSU athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone number is (936) 294-1729.