The No. 5 Rice Owls went on the road to Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville and defeated the No. 29 Sam Houston State Bearkats Tuesday night for what is sure to be an impressive Ratings Power Index (RPI) win for the squad late in the season.
Even with the five runs, the Owls didn't get the kind of offensive production they were looking for off those nine hits. Still, Owls junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Benak went a career-long 7 1/3 innings and gave up only three hits while striking out nine batters.
Sam Houston, the Southland Conference's most prolific hitting team, was pretty much helpless not only against the Owls pitching, but their overall defense as well. Rice head coach Wayne Graham had this to say about Benak's performance:
"Benak pitched a great game. He had three good pitches. He had the best change-up he's had this year."
"We weren't very lucky hitting," coach Graham added. "We got five runs, but we hit a lot more balls hard then that. It's a good RPI (Ratings Power Index) win, on the road."
Owls second baseman Christian Stringer went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in the win.
Read more about Owls and Bearkats baseball at SB Nation Houston.