A long flight to Hawaii following by a 17-inning game would probably tire out most college basketball teams.
The No. 13 Owls (4-2) may be tired, but it didn’t show on the field Saturday as they downed Hawaii 3-1.
After an amazing 16 innings of scoreless baseball, the Owls scored two runs in the top of 17th inning Friday night to win the marathon 2-0. Both teams returned to Les Murakami Stadium for a Saturday afternoon tilt that also didn’t feature much offense.
Starters Jordan Stephens for Rice and Connor Little for Hawaii each pitched five innings of shoutout baseball.
Ford Stainback led off the top of the sixth inning with a double. He advanced to third on a bunt by Shane Hoelscher and then crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly hit by Christina Stringer. Stainback finished the game with three hits.
Hawaii (0-6) finally got on the board in the seventh on a ball hit by Adam Hurley. Rice centerfielder Leon Byrd had trouble handling the ball, which allowed Conner George to score the tying run.
To start the eighth, Hoelscher hit a lead off double and advanced to third on a flyout. Keenan Cook was up next and he hit a grounder to Rainbows third baseman Pi'ikea Kitamura, who elected to go home to try to get Shane Hoelscher at the plate. The ball was too high and it went over the catcher’s head. Shane Hoelscher scored and Cook wound up at second. He scored two batters later on a single by pitch hitter Connor Teykl.
The 3-1 lead was plenty for Stephens, who set the Rainbow hitters in order in the eighth and ninth innings. Stephens (1-1) pitched a complete game, giving up one run on five hits. He walked one batter and struck out 10.
Rice will play Hawaii twice more in Honolulu. Sunday’s game is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. CST. Fans can watch the game online by going here.