March 21, 2010
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego baseball team's ninth-inning rally fell one run short in a 9-8 loss to No. 14 Rice University Sunday afternoon in the series finale at USD's Cunningham Stadium. USD still claimed the three-game series by winning the first two games.
After the Owls (12-9) scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 9-6 lead, the Toreros (11-10) dug in and put on a ninth-inning rally. Tony Strazzara led off the inning by extending his hit streak to eight games with a single through the left side. Strazzara then moved to third when James Meador reached on a fielding error by the Rice second baseman. Victor Sanchez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Kalei Hanawahine grounded into a double play, which scored Strazzara, and moved Sanchez to second. Steven Chatwood then drove in Sanchez with a RBI single to centerfield, but that is as close as the Toreros would come as Bryan Haar struck out swinging to end the game.
The Owls got on the score board first as a Jeremy Rathjen solo home run got things started and gave Rice a 1-0 lead.
The Toreros answered back in the bottom half of the first inning, as they score two runs on two hits. With two ours, Meador got tings started as he singled through the right side and moved to second when Sanchez drew a walk. Austin Green then drove in the two runs with a triple to centerfield. Green then turned the corner at third and attempted a inside the park home run, but was thrown out at the plate, to give USD a 2-1 advantage.
After Rice tied the game in the top of the third inning on a Michael Fuda RBI single, the Toreros answered right back with a pair of runs in bottom of the third inning. Zack Kometani led off the inning with a single through the left side and he moved to second on a Kevin Muno sacrifice bunt. Strazzara then drew a walk, and Meador drove in Kometani with a RBI single through the left side, which also moved Strazzara to third. Two batters later, Green would drive in Strazzara with a RBI single to left field to give USD a 4-2 lead.
Rice would go on to scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to regain a lead at 5-4, but the Toreros would again respond, this time in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two runs on a Meador two-run single to give the Toreros a 6-5 lead, which set up the drama for the ninth inning.
Meador led the USD offense as he went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Green also enjoyed a great day at the plate, as he went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI.
Darrin Campbell (0-2) was saddled with the loss on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed four runs on three hits in 4.0 innings of work. Rice's Jared Rogers (2-1) was credited with the win as he allowed three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings of work.
The Toreros will return to action on Tuesday as they host UC Riverside in a 3 p.m. non-conference game at Cunningham Stadium.