Late Surge Leads No. 18 Rice Past Baseball, 7-3

Ivan De Jesus reached base in all five plate appearances on Sunday

May 5, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB baseball team held a 3-2 lead after five innings, but No. 18 Rice responded, scoring five unanswered runs to take Sunday's series finale, 7-3, on Sunday morning  at Young Memorial Field.

The victory for Rice (31-15, 11-7 C-USA) gave the visiting Owls the series as the two clubs split the previous two meetings entering Sunday. The loss dropped the Blazers to 18-31 overall and 4-14 against Conference USA squads.

The Blazers built up a 2-0 lead scoring single runs in the first and second innings on Harry Clark and Ivan De Jesus two-out RBI singles.

The Owls knotted the score at 2-2 by scoring single runs of their own in the third and four frames, thanks to a RBI ground out by Leon Byrd and solo homer by Michael Ratterree.

In the last of the fourth, the Blazers rebounded plating a run on a RBI single by Tyler Hamby to take 3-2 lead. UAB was able to load the bases with one out in the inning, but unable to capitalize on scoring opportunity.  The Owls escaped  by getting a lucky bounce on a John Frost fielder's choice to gun down a potential run and ground by Ryan Prinzing.

"The play that almost typifies the season to me was when John Frost with the bases loaded hits a ball 100 miles per hour and it hit the pitcher's foot and did not deflect. I've never seen that," head coach Brian Shoop said. "The ball just stayed right on the mound and Rice was able to throw us out at the plate. "

Rice knotted the score at 3-all, when Michael Aquino connected for a solo blast to left in the sixth.

In the eighth, the Owls were able to break it open scoring three times, and added an insurance run in the top of the ninth RBI triple from Geoff Perrott to take the game and the series from the Blazers.

Lefty Blake Fox (6-0) pitched great in relief, going 4.1 innings, yielding only two hits and two walks with three punch outs.

James Naile (4-5) was hit with the loss.  The righty allowed four runs off six hits in 3.2 innings on the mound.

De Jesus did his job in the leadoff spot, reaching base safely in all five plate appearances. The junior outfielder went 1-for-1 with a single, run scored, one RBI, three walks and a hit by pitch.

Aquino and Perrott each recorded three hits in the win for the Owls.