The contest was played before 2,668 fans at Reckling Park where the two teams met in last year's NCAA Regional first round.
Catcher Craig Manuel and center fielder Steven Sultzbaugh each went 2-of-3 with run-scoring doubles to lead Rice (8-4). Manuel's two-run double followed by Sultzbaugh's run-scoring two bagger sparked a five run second inning for the Owls.
Sam Houston (3-10) totaled seven hits while Rice produced nine. Anthony Fazio (2-1) was the winning pitcher, limiting Sam Houston to three hits in five and two thirds innings. He struck out four Bearkats.
Andrew Massey (1-2) was the losing pitcher for Sam Houston as the Bearkats' starter. Justin Jackson, Jacob McMurtry, Will Murray and Michael Burchett each pitched in relief.
Sam Houston begins Southland Conference play Friday as the Kats take on UT-Arlington in a three-game road series.
The Bearkats return home one week later to host a league series with Texas State at Don Sanders Stadium.
Tickets for Bearkat baseball home games are on sale now on-line. Fans also may purchase tickets at the Sam Houston 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. Ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.