Rice snaps Arizona's win streak at 8

BY foxsports • March 14, 2012

HOUSTON - Eighth-ranked Rice (13-4) scored four runs in the first and went on to a 5-1 victory over No. 6 Arizona (13-3), snapping the Wildcats eight-game winning streak on Tuesday night.

In the first inning, the Owls did what Arizona was unable to do all game long: string hits together. Rice sent nine men to the plate and scored four runs on five hits off starter Lucas Long. Michael Ratteree and Rathjen delivered run-scoring doubles, J.T. Chargois singled in another run, and Shane Hoelscher collected an RBI on a fielder's choice.

The Wildcats put runners on base throughout the game and out-hit the Owls 9-8, but the were unable to mount a serious rally. Arizona left nine runners on base, 1 for 12 hitting with runners in scoring position.

Arizona finally scratched a run across in the eighth inning when Seth Mejias-Brean drove in Alex Mejia. Mejias-Brean went 2-for-3 with a walk, and Mejia was 3 for 4 with a double, Arizona's only extra-base hit.

Long (2-1) pitched five-plus innings and was charged for the five earned runs on seven hits. Tyler Hale took over in the sixth inning and gave up just one hit while recoring the final nine outs for the Wildcats.

Andrew Benak (3-0) threw 5.2 innings of scoreless ball for the Owls to earn the victory.

Arizona will try to split the two-game mid-week series on Wednesday. The Wildcats will send junior left-hander Vincent Littleman to the mound.