HOUSTON -- Sam Houston State threw a scare into nationally ranked Rice, falling to the Owls by a narrow 3-2 margin Tuesday night in a non-conference game.
The Bearkats battled down to the last out in the top of the ninth. Braeden Riley singled and Bobby Verbick doubled to put runners on second and third. With two out, the Owls intentionally walked Nick Zaleski to load the bases. Mark Wyatt flew out to center field to end the game.
Sam Houston State totaled eight hits and took advantage of seven bases on balls given up by Rice pitching.
Rice opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning as Adam Zornes singled, moved to second on a walk, was sacrificed to third, then tallied on a sacrifice fly by Chad Monzingo.
Sam Houston tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third as Ryan Weber walked, Braeden Riley singled, and Bobby Verbick was intentionally walked to load the bases. Nick Zaleski drew a walk to score Weber.
Three walks in the bottom of the third cost the Kats as Rice added two runs to go up 3-1.
Todd Sebek walked in the fifth inning and scored on a Verbick double as Sam Houston cut the margin to 3-2. But the Bearkats could not get a run across in the final four innings as the Owls escaped with the narrow victory.
Brent Powers started for the Kats, giving up all three runs and drawing the loss. Zac Baker came on to pitch four-and-two thirds of scoreless ball. Casey Springer pitched the final inning and one third.
Sam Houston State continues non-conference action Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. game against the Centenary Gentlemen at Don Sanders Stadium..