The Rice Owls and Texas A&M Aggies took the field at Minute Maid Park for a Saturday night showdown. A crowd of just under 14,000 witnessed what can only be described as a dominating performance by Rice starter Ryan Berry. Berry threw a complete game two hitter while striking out twelve Aggie hitters. Berry’s stellar performance overshadowed a solid performance from Aggie starter Alex Wilson. The junior right hander pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out seven.
Rice touched Wilson for a run in the top of the first when Chad Mozingo tripled to deep right center field and later scored on a wild pitch. The score would remain 1-0 in favor of Rice until the top of the fourth inning. It was then that Rick Hague was hit by a Wilson fastball and scored with a two-out triple by Steven Sultzbaugh. The 2-0 Rice lead would hold as Berry grew stronger as the game wore on. He would strike out nine batters over the game’s final four frames.
It was the Ryan Berry show all night. The only two Aggies who managed hits were Brodie Greene with a single in the sixth and Brooks Raley with a two-out double in the ninth. Caleb Shofner also reached base after being hit by a pitch in the second inning. Berry never faced multiple base runners in a single inning, and the Aggies only reached second base twice in the game.
Rice threatened to bust the game open in the top of the fourth. After Sultzbaugh’s triple to score Hague from first, back-to-back walks to Doug Simmons and Craig Manual gave loaded the bases for Brock Holt with two outs in the inning. Wilson regrouped by inducing a groundout to first base to avoid any major damage.
The game was a classic pitcher’s duel with solid defense by both squads. The teams combined for six hits on the night (two for Texas A&M and four for Rice), and neither committed an error in the field. Berry took the win for the Owls, and Wilson suffered the loss for the Aggies.
Both teams hit the field on Sunday for their final games of the Houston College Classic. Rice will face off against Baylor at 2:30 P.M., and Texas A&M will take on the hometown Houston Cougars at 6 P.M.