HOUSTON -- The Winthrop baseball team dropped its seventh straight game as it fell to Rice in the second game of the series 12-2 Saturday at Reckling Park.
The loss drops Winthrop's record to 3-12, while Rice improves to 11-6 with the win.
Catcher Eddie Rohan was the highlight of the day for the Eagle batters as he had two hits in three at bats, hitting his third home run of the year.
Pitcher Hamilton Bennett was tagged with the loss as he started the game for Winthrop, lasting 5 1-3 innings with eight runs (five earned) allowed on nine hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Mike Ritson and Cam Walters also took the mound for the Eagles in the game.
"Hamilton deserved much better than he got; I thought he threw very well today," said Winthrop coach Joe Hudak.
For Rice, Rick Hague stood out with his three hits in five at bats with two RBIs.
Rice starter Matt Langwell got the win as he worked seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.
Rice got off to an early 1-0 lead as it produced a run in the first inning. With two men out, Adam Zornes managed to get a double and scored behind a single by Aaron Luna.
Winthrop tied the game in the second inning. Third baseman Bryn Henderson was issued a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a single by Rohan. Outfielder Tony Brunetti then advanced both runners on a sac bunt and reached safely on a fielding error by the catcher, Zornes, leaving the bases loaded for outfielder Bennett Jordan, who grounded into a double play, which was enough to score Henderson.
The Owls retook the lead in the third inning, making it a 2-1 game. Jared Gayhart got a one-out single and moved to second on a single by Zornes. Both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch by Bennett. After Luna was intentionally walked, another wild delivery allowed Gayhart to cross the plate from third.
Rohan showed his power in the fourth inning as he hit a solo home run to deep left-center field to tie the game at two runs apiece.
A four-run bottom of the fourth was the turning point of the game as Rice jumped to a 6-2 lead. With Jordan Dodson and Diego Seastrunk on base via singles, Jimmy Comerota tried to move both runners as he laid down a bunt to Henderson at third. The Eagle third baseman fielded the ball and threw it quickly to first base, but the throw was off the mark and Dodson was able to score from second with Seastrunk reaching third safely. Derek Myers then scored both Seastrunk and Dodson as he came up with a three-run home run.
The Eagles committed some miscues, which proved costly in the fifth inning. J.P. Padron led off with a ground ball to shortstop Kevin Nolan, who threw it off the target, allowing Padron to reach safely. Rick Hague followed with a single to advance Padron to third and Seastrunk attempted a bunt to send the runner home. Bennett rushed to the ball and couldn't really quite get it off the ground as the run scored and he was charged with an error.
Rice stretched its margin to 8-2 in the sixth inning as Luna hit a one-out single to score Myers, who had walked and advanced a base on a single by Gayhart.
Rice picked up two runs for a 10-2 lead as Hague doubled to start off the eighth inning and scored on a double by Dodson. He then moved to third on a single by Seastrunk and crossed home plate on a groundout by Comerota.
A two-run homer by Hague increased Rice's lead to 12-2 in the eighth inning.
"We can't seem to be getting any breaks," said Hudak. "Their defense played great, but you look at the ballgame and we gave them six additional outs in three innings and that's when we lost the ballgame. We made errors and we gave them extra opportunities. Losses will happen when you give clubs like Rice those kinds of opportunities. We need to keep playing hard and keep believing in it."
The Eagles face the Owls again today at 2 p.m.
• Hudak announced the Eagles will be playing two extra games during their stay in Texas.
The Eagles, who are in Houston playing Rice in a four-game series, will travel about one hour to face Prairie View A&M for games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Prairie View is part of the Southwestern Atlantic Conference and made the NCAA Regional in 2007.
Both game times are set for 6 p.m. EST.