Rice Owls Club Baseball

Rice Swept by Texas A&M Corps Cadets
April 18, 2016, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Rice faced the Texas A&M Corps Cadets in Houston this past weekend in a three game series. The Owls needed to sweep to guarantee an appearance in the club baseball playoffs.

Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess) started the Saturday game. He pitched 5 strong innings, with Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) closing the final two innings. The Owls scored 6 runs in a gritty fashion with well-timed and well-placed hits from many members of the team. However, A&M took advantage of some lucky hits and errors to take the lead. Unfortunately the Owls comeback effort was not enough, and despite Weinberg’s massive rally cap and the tying run on second, A&M took the 8-6 victory. Devastated at the loss, many team members enjoyed the on-campus toga party a bit too much.

For the Sunday doubleheader, Daniel Russell (’19 Will Rice) started the first game. After a rough first inning, Russell settled in a pitched 6.1 strong innings. Perry Goldstein (’18 Wiess) relieved for the final .2 innings to keep the Owls within striking distance. After a hard-fought 6 and a half innings which included an extremely hard hit double by Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry), the Owls were down 10-7 going into the final half-inning. In this time of desperation, the rally turtle was born by Daniel Russell. After rituals and prayers to the rally turtle, the Owls scored two runs and loaded the bases. Perry Goldstein then hit a frozen rope to second that was smothered by A&M to lose the game. The rally gods had spoken. Rice lost 10-9.

Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) started the final game, going 1.2 innings. Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) relieved him, going into the 6th inning, with Daniel Weinberg once again closing the game out. As usual, the Owls kept the game within reach. The Owls nearly rallied for the lead about midway through the game with back-to-back Kenan Davis (’18 Lovett) and Chris Thomas singles followed by a Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan (’17 McMurtry) ground rule double. Unfortunately, convoluted substitution rules nullified this Rice effort. The Owls didn’t back down, with many threatening swings, including an impressive chip shot by Alex “Gibbers” Gardner (’18 Lovett) and threatening leadoffs by Peter Suzuki (’19 Martel) that led to about 10 pickoffs in one inning. The final half-inning once again saw Rice within striking distance. The Owls praised the rally turtle with more passion then they ever had before, yet still came up short. The Owls lost 8-6.

The weekend’s fungo golf course this weekend feature spacious fairways and small greens due to the nature of the baseball field. The first game of Saturday saw some new faces competing, with all of the top three players absent due to time constraints. Craig Broadman and Daniel Weinberg fought each other in a three hole playoff which ended on an amazing 2 shot hole for Daniel Weinberg to win. He is looking like a top fungo golf prospect for next year. The second game of the day saw Chris Thomas take victory with an extremely close final putt to win over Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry). Going into the final day of the tour, Pax had locked first place and Chris had taken a one game lead over the field. Perry Goldstein dominated the first course of the day, winning by three strokes to tie for second place. The last fungo golf game of the year again saw Perry dominate the field. He ends the tour in second place, with Pax in first and Chris in third. Next year’s tournament will begin in McKinney, Texas at the #WoodWars tournament.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 10 wins- 1st Place

Perry- 3 wins- 2nd Place

Chris- 2 wins- 3rd Place

Kenan, Travis, David, Sanjiv, Daniel Weinberg- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins.

Travis Guzzardo is our only senior leaving this year. We will miss him dearly. Fortunately, we will have a lot of talent next year and will hopefully make playoffs. Thanks for the great year everyone!

With the losses, the Owls are now looking to sweep finals next week.

Noteworthy- The rain gods seem to be angry with Daniel Russell’s prayer dance for them in the final game, leading to unprecedented storms in Houston the following day……Daniel Weinberg was especially glad to be on the baseball field Sunday morning for [redacted] reasons….According to team co-president Daniel Suzuki (’18 Hanzsen), Daniel Russell caught a “bajillion” pop-ups at catcher due to the extremely large backstop of the field…..Chris Thomas almost lost the title of third slowest baseball player on the team after failing to run out an easy triple, but redeemed himself by actually getting a triple later in that same game…..Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas along with Mr. and Mrs. Gopalkrishnan to providing snacks and drinks to the team throughout the weekend!



Owls Sweep Lamar!
April 11, 2016, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Owls traveled to luxurious Beaumont, TX this past weekend to face a much improved Lamar team at a prime baseball location next to a large chemical plant. After a brief game of fungo golf and a meeting with the umpires where they claimed Jacob Song’s (’19 Wiess) face was killing them, the team was ready to play some baseball. The Lamar pitcher claimed he blew out his elbow the week before and lobbed the ball into the zone, of which the Owls hitters took great advantage. The Owls crushed the ball throughout the game, highlighted by a home run by Chris Thomas (’18 Wiess), who proceeded to strikeout 6 times in a row after this game, en route to score 14 runs. Thomas also started the first game, going five innings with one run to pick up the complete game win 14-1.

The next game was started by Will Bower (’18 Duncan) who pitched 2 innings and gave up 4 runs. The Rice hitters didn’t get discouraged and climbed back to a 4-4 tie, with Sam Zapp (’18 McMurtry) hitting a grand slam to pull ahead 8-4. Henry Lanear (’19 Hanszen) relieved 3 innings and Daniel Weinberg (’19 Wiess) pitched the tense final two to help preserve Rice’s lead. The game ended 9-8 for another Rice win.

The Saturday games were very quick, so the Rice team had an entire afternoon available for their leisure. The team decided to go to Sonic for drinks/snacks then visit the greatest amusement center in Beaumont; Colorado Canyon. Three separate games of putt-putt golf were played in games more dramatic than the recent masters. Club alumni and coach Jake Hernandez (’15 Sid Richardson) had the best score of the afternoon, shooting two over par on the “Durango” course, while Travis Guzzardo (’16 Sid Richardson) and Chris Thomas won their respective groups. Thomas fended off Perry Goldstein’s (’18 Wiess) late charge with a few lucky bounces off rocks and clutch putting, maintaining par on the final holes to win, unlike Jordan Spieth in his recent performance. The worst performance of the afternoon was Daniel Weinberg’s 26 over par performance.

After dinner at a local Mexican food chain, the team played the wondrous sport of hockey late into the night. After exerting themselves so hard that a few team members felt sick to their stomach, the team made a late night trip to Waffle House™ to refuel for Sunday’s game. There we had a wonderful waitress named “Cristina Salesperson” who treated us so well that we decided to change the name of the group chat for her. On the walk back to the hotel, a kind stranger lingering outside of the Waffle House™ wished upon us “a busload of bitches.” What a nice guy.

The Owls arrived fresh and rejuvenated for Sunday morning’s surprisingly windy game, just to realize they had misplaced a bag full of the team’s gear. Fortunately, a virtuous stranger with a big truck showed up midway through the game to drop off the bag with all of the approximately $800 dollars worth of equipment intact. Sam Zapp started the game and went 5 strong innings, giving up 6 runs. Once again, the Rice bats were extremely hot, scoring 14 runs again, highlighted by Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan’s (’17 McMurtry) home run and Travis “Notorious OBP” Guzzardo’s 1.000 OBP on the day. The Owls won 14-7 after a 2 inning relief appearance by Daniel Weinberg to complete the sweep.

The fungo golf games over the weekend were just as exciting as the rest of the weekend. The first game involved a close battle throughout multiple baseball fields between Chris Thomas and Pax Kaplan-Sherman (’18 McMurtry). Pax tied the game on the final shot of the regular course, forcing a one hole playoff, which he won due to his superior driving capabilities compared to Chris Thomas and his tiny bat. The second and final game of the weekend featured a longer course than normal with some interesting obstacles, including a playground with children playing on it. Chris Thomas maintained a one hole lead over Perry going into the final hole, which he maintained due to an impressive drive. This was his first fungo golf win after three playoff holes against Pax. It is now a 6-way race for second place.

2015-2016 Fungo Golf Leaderboard

Pax- 9 wins

Kenan, Perry, Travis, David, Sanjiv, Chris- 1 win

Everybody else- 0 wins.

The Owls are now looking to seep the Texas A&M Corps Cadets to make the playoffs.

Noteworthy- After this game, Rice has 6 home runs on the year, a club record (I don’t actually know that I am just assuming that’s true)……..Craig Broadman (’19 McMurtry) actually could hit again with his new glasses…….…The Lamar first baseman/coach, who we nicknamed “touchy” due to his physical affection to our team and game of footsie with Will, claimed that Chris Thomas looked like rapper Lil’ Dicky without the beard, which was very inaccurate in my opinion………We also gave many of the other Lamar players nicknames including “Underarmour rat”, “Bunter Pence”, “Red Robin”, “13 shades of gray”, and “Buckwheat”.……. Apparently a few of the Lamar players were redshirting for the varsity team, to which Chris Thomas called bullshit, just to hear an unfortunately sad story about the politics of changing coaches……..Cristina Salesperson did not seem to like Pax Kaplan-Sherman. She nearly threw a knife at him. ………Additionally, after some of us at the Waffle House™  sneered at the prospect of sugar-free syrup, we learned Cristina Salesperson’s husband had type 1 diabetes………Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bower for supporting us this weekend and providing some drinks! Also if you are reading this we have your Styrofoam cooler.