Rice Owls Club Baseball


Wood Wars 2014 wrap-up
November 2, 2014, 11:03 pm
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The Owls traveled north to the suburbs of Dallas for the annual Wood Wars wood bat tournament in McKinney, Texas this past weekend. With a 16-team field, the tournament had some strong competition as always. Rice faced off against Texas Tech, TCU and Texas State and held its own against them.

In the first game on Friday afternoon, the Owls struggled at the plate against eventual tournament runner-up Texas Tech, and lost 9-0 in a game that was closer than the score would indicate. Freshman Chris Thomas went six innings on the mound in his first game with the team. The Swing-it Hitters Challenge didn’t go much better for the Owls on the scoreboard, but the players in the stands certainly enjoyed the proceedings.

Day two of the tournament was more successful for the Owls. In game two, Rice beat TCU 4-3 behind a solid start on the mound from senior Oscar Turner, and a clutch late-inning performance from freshman Kenan Davis, who tripled and scored the go-ahead run, and closed out the game on the mound.

In game 3, senior Jake Gildan started on the mound against Texas State, and completely dominated the Bobcats in five innings of shutout ball. However, the Owls couldn’t hold their 2-0 lead in the late innings, falling 4-2.

Overall it was a successful weekend for the Owls, and the team’s performance at this tournament gives hope for a strong season in the spring.



Owls drop doubleheader to LSC
September 28, 2014, 10:33 pm
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Rice played a doubleheader against LSC-Montgomery on Saturday, losing both games. While the result wasn’t what the Owls were hoping for, they were able to accomplish their goal of getting everyone who showed up some game experience and reps in games that won’t count for the conference standings.

Returning players Oscar Turner and Jake Gildan started the two games, each pitching three innings. The games marked the first appearances with the team for the freshmen, and also served as the coaching debuts of club baseball legends Alex Kendall and Daniel Kaplan.

It was clear from the games that the team has some kinks to work out before the regular season, but there is ample time to do so. Perhaps most notably, newly retired player Luis Jarma will need to improve his ability to play walk-up songs, and everyone was a little bit rusty at fungo golf.

The Owls next play at Wood Wars Oct. 31-Nov.2 in McKinney, Tx.



2014/15 Season Preview
September 17, 2014, 5:05 pm
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The Owls look to rebound from a disappointing 2013/14 season and claim their third division title in four years. With the top ranked recruiting class on espn.com, the Owls are poised for success this year. Tim Kurkjian has described this year’s team as one of the best he’s ever seen, and was especially impressed with the number of two-sport stars on the team, who have already proven their mettle in both baseball and “hockey.” With the team’s great crop of young talent and location in Houston, Sports Illustrated has decided to feature a cover story proclaiming the Owls to be the 2017 world champs.

Now for some real news:

NCBA DII District VII has undergone a massive overhaul and now looks like this:

South Division – Rice, TAMU CC (Defending NCBA DII World Series champions), LSC Montgomery, TCU, Lamar, UHD

Central Division – Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, Central Missouri, Arkansas, Missouri S&T

North Division – Indiana State, Illinois, St. Louis, SIU-Carbondale, WashU, Murray State

Three division winners and one wild card make the conference tournament.

The 2014/15 Rice Club Baseball officers:

President: Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan

Vice-President/Treasurer: Jake Gildan

Fall 2014 Schedule:

9/27 – @ LSC Tomball (DH)

10/31-11/2 – Wood Wars Tournament (McKinney, Tx)



Rice wins season finale against LSU
April 27, 2014, 8:25 pm
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After losing the first two games of the series, Rice beat LSU to finish the 2013-14 season on a positive note. The Owls made their second trip to eastern Louisiana in three weeks, and the travel may have had a factor as the Owls dropped the first game 4-1. Senior Daniel Kaplan, in the final start of his Rice Club Baseball career, pitched decently but took the loss as the bats lay dormant. Also, in the pregame fungo golf tournament, many players had below average showings while Oscar Turner dominated the field.

Game two had a different feel, but the same result, as the Owls lost 10-6. Oscar Turner started for Rice and pitched into the sixth inning, before All-Star senior catcher and infielder Alex Kendall made his first and last appearance on the mound for the Owls, striking out the last batter of the inning on a hit-by-pitch the batter swung at. The Owls climbed out of a 6-0 hole to get within one at 7-6, but couldn’t quite get over the hump as LSU pulled away.

The Owls finished the disappointing 2014 campaign with a rousing 12-4 win over LSU. Starting pitcher Jake Gildan played the role of stopper for the second time this season, pitching the first complete game of his career for the victory. In an efficient showing on the mound, Jake threw 91 pitches and didn’t walk anyone in 7 innings of work. At the plate, the Owls finally lived up to what they are capable of, scoring 12 runs, their highest output of the season. In the final at-bat of his illustrious and decorated career, Alex Kendall hit a three-run double that nearly cleared the wall for a grand slam. Jake Gildan gave himself some run support with a two-run double, and Brody Weinrich had three RBIs as well.

Notables: Rice finished the 2013-14 year at 7-12 (5-7 District VII East)… Jake Gildan started and earned the win in both of Rice’s conference wins that weren’t by forfeit. As a result, the author of this prestigious publication has unbiasedly nominated him for Rice Club Baseball pitcher of the year… Chris Brown and John Stretton have retired as coaches of the team, and we thank them for their time and support. Alex Kendall and Daniel Kaplan are reportedly already in contract talks with team officials about becoming the coaches next season… We’d also like to thank Ryan Monahan’s parents for supporting us and providing the team with food and drinks at nearly every game this season, no matter the location.



Rice takes one of three from Tulane
April 14, 2014, 2:33 am
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The Owls traveled to New Orleans this weekend to play Tulane, and won one of three games. The series loss eliminates Rice from postseason contention for just the first time in three years.

In game one, Oscar Turner started on the mound and pitched 6 strong innings as the Owls built a 4-0 lead. However, in what has been a recurring nightmare for the Owls in 2014, the last three outs once again proved to be the toughest. Tulane rallied in the bottom of the 7th off Oscar and game two starter Jake Gildan to walk off, 5-4.

Game two had a different feel as the Owls brought out the bats early and jumped on Tulane for eight runs. Jake Gildan started on the mound, and pitched 5 solid innings to earn the win, with a final score of 8-2. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Owls.

After a rousing round of fungo golf, Mike Vatcher started game three for the Owls in a 4-2 loss. An early 1-0 lead for the Owls wasn’t enough, as the hitting wasn’t there. Tulane broke open a 2-2 tie with two in the sixth to take the series win. Jacob Hernandez had a solid series as well.

While Rice has taken a detour off the Road to Paducah in 2014, the Owls have one remaining conference series against LSU in Baton Rouge in two weeks and look to finish the season on a positive note.



Rice swept by Spring Hill
April 6, 2014, 7:59 pm
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In a tough tripleheader, the Owls lost all three games to conference opponent Spring Hill College. In game one, after a shaky start from Daniel Kaplan, Jake Gildan led the way on the mound with 2.2 scoreless innings, and at the plate with a 3-4 afternoon. In a managerial decision that will be debated on the radio talk shows all week, scheduled game 2 starter Mike Vatcher came in with a 7-6 lead and one out in the 7th, but couldn’t hold the lead, and the Owls lost 10-7 in 8 innings. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless reportedly were already weighing in on the subject.

Vatcher recovered well in game 2, shutting out the Badgers through 6 innings, with just one run of support from the offense. However, like in game one, the Owls couldn’t hold their one run lead in the 7th inning, and lost 4-1 in 8 innings.

Game three was shortened to five innings because of rain, and Oscar Turner’s solid outing on the mound was derailed by poor defense from the Owls. Trailing 4-3 in the final inning with runners on second and third with one out, the game ended on a double play as the tying run was thrown out at the plate to end it on a very questionable call by the umpire.

While all three games were losses, the Owls remain optimistic because of how close each game was. Rice plays Tulane in New Orleans next weekend, and must do well if they want to three-peat as division champions.



Series against LSU postponed
March 17, 2014, 4:47 am
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Rice’s series against LSU, which was scheduled for this past weekend, was postponed due to heavy rain in Baton Rouge. The series has been rescheduled for April 26th and 27th. Rice next plays new conference opponent Spring Hill College on April 5th and 6th.




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