HOUSTON --The Winthrop baseball team completed a four-game series at Rice as the Owls downed the Eagles 9-1 Monday evening in Reckling Park.
Monday's defeat was Winthrop's ninth straight as its season record moves down to 3-14, while Rice improves to 13-6 on the year.
First baseman Eddie Tisdale picked up two of Winthrop's three hits on the game, while pinch-hitter Tony Brunetti got the lone RBI of the day for the Eagles.
Right-hander Wade Newman started the game as he made his first ever appearance in Garnet and Gold as he lasted 2-3 of an inning. Newman was on a short pitch count as he is rehabbing from an arm injury.
Left-hander Billy Tinsley, usually a starter, relieved Newman in the first inning giving up three runs on two hits, one walk and three strikeouts as he pitched 2 1-3 innings. Owen Reid had a long relief appearance as he pitched 3 2-3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
Matteo D'Angelo finished the game on the mound for Winthrop as he struck out three of the five batters he faced, giving up only one hit.
Rick Hague was the highlight of the Rice offense as he hit two home runs, driving in six on the day.
Owl starter Mike Ojala earned the win as he worked 6 innings allowing three hits and no walks, while fanning nine batters.
After Newman gave up a one-out hit to Chade Mozingo and issued two-out walks to Aaron Luna and Adam Zornes, Tinsley relieved him with the bases loaded and Hague sent a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a grand slam, opening a 4-0 lead for Rice in the first.
Hague would hit his second homer of the game in the fourth inning as he also scored Zornes, who was on base via the walk. After Reid produced two fly outs, Jimmy Comerota was given a walk and stole second. He then scored on a single by Jared Gayhart as the Owls stretched the lead to 7-0.
The long-ball scoring continued for Rice in the fifth as Luna picked up a solo jack off Reid, changing the scoreboard to 8-0.
Winthrop had a good chance to get on the board in the sixth inning as outfielder Billy Froehlich and catcher Eddie Rohan both struck out with the bases juiced after second baseman Aaron Bonomi got hit with one out, Tisdale singled and Nolan also got plunked.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Rice managed to score one more run for a 9-0 margin as John Hale got hit by Reid and moved to second as Hague walked. He then scored on a single by J.P. Padron.
The Eagles manufactured a run in the ninth inning to set the final score as pinch-hitter Rand Baughman led off with a walk and pinch-hitter Bryan Bogue advanced him on a groundout. Pinch-hitter Sean Sullivan was able to reach safely and Baughman advanced to third as Comerota could not stop the ground ball. Brunetti drove Baughman home as he reached on a fielder's choice.
"We got beat by a much better club," said Winthrop coach Joe Hudak. "We got to work ahead in the count. They had nine runs on seven hits. When you play good clubs and you play good hitters, and you get behind in the count, you'll get hammered. We've good some good players, but to compete against a club like Rice, we almost need to play perfect ball. You can't give them extra opportunities, and that's what we did all series."
The Eagles return to action on today as they travel about 45 minutes to face Prairie View A&M at 6 p.m.
WINTHROP (3-14) AT PRAIRIE VIEW A&M (10-4)
• When: 6 p.m. today, 6 p.m. Wednesday
• Where: Nelson Wolff Stadium, Prairie View, Texas
• Tickets: Available at the box office
• On the Web: None
• On deck: Winthrop hosts Wagner in the first of a four-game set at 6 p.m. on Friday.
JUNIOR 2B AARON BONOMI
Bonomi is hitting .283 and has started 14 of 16 games.
Did you know?
Bonomi has his last name tattooed across his shoulder blades. The process took about four hours and he did it while playing at Southeastern (Iowa) Community College.