Baseball

Owls Thump ODU In Opener, 9-0

April 6, 2018

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Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (jsully@rice.edu)

HOUSTON – Sophomore starter Matt Canterino posted another sensational home start and the Owl offense amassed 18 hits for the second time in as many games to pace the Rice baseball team to a 9-0 shutout Conference USA victory over visiting Old Dominion in the opener of a weekend league series Friday evening at Reckling Park.

Like he had done two weeks before against Western Kentucky (March 23), Canterino was dominating. In fact, his pitching line vs. ODU was identical to his WKU outing where he went on to be named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week. The right-hander from Southlake, Texas, tied his WKU career-high working a total of 8.0 innings where he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out 11 batters. Canterino's third win this season was also his third game this year with double-digit strikeouts, and the seventh time to reach double-digit Ks in his career.

Canterino was able to relax and control the game thanks to some run support that turned into an offensive avalanche by game's end. Rice quickly went to work scoring twice in the bottom of the second inning and once more in the third on five total hits with a pair of ODU walks.

It was still a close contest after the Owls scored a run in the seventh for a 4-0 advantage. Rice then exploded for five runs in the eighth to stretch the margin to 9-0. The team batted around in the inning and finished the game with the same lofty 18-hit total it reached Tuesday against Sam Houston. The Owls also matched the season-high with five doubles and was a combined 10-for-25 (.400) when batting with runners on base.

Individually, true freshman Justin Collins tallied new career-highs in RBI (4) and hits (3). Chace Sarchet registered his fourth three-hit game this season and the Owls welcomed the return of Dominic DiCaprio to the lineup. The junior captain played for the first time in a month and went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer.

Rice improved to 13-19 on the season and 3-7 in C-USA league play. Old Dominion is 10-18 overall and 3-7 in conference.

The series continues Saturday (March 10) starting at 2 pm. Sunday's series finale is slated to begin at 12 noon at Reckling Park.

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