Rice prevails in Friday night pitching duel over LA Tech

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HOUSTON – On a night that saw both starting pitchers toss through seven innings, it was the Rice Owls that prevailed over the visiting Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, 3-1, on Friday evening from Reckling Park in front of 3,879.

LA Tech (28-14, 12-7 C-USA) saw yet another brilliant start from senior RHP Matt Miller (5-1). The Tech captain hurled his sixth consecutive quality start, pitching all eight innings, while striking out a career-best 12 (previous high was 10). Miller consistently stayed ahead of Rice hitters throughout the evening, allowing just three hits through eight complete innings.

Rice plated three off the right-hander starting with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth from third baseman Braden Comeaux. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Owls struck for two more after a sac bunt scored Trei Cruz, who previously plated the second run of the game via a triple to straightaway center field.

Meanwhile, Miller’s counterpart, Matt Canterino (6-4) pitched seven shutout innings, while striking out 10 and walked just one. The right-hander allowed six Tech hits, including three consecutive innings that saw the leadoff man reach, but worked around some tight spots throughout.

Tech got its only run of the evening on a solo leadoff home run from senior third baseman Tanner Huddleston, off of Rice closer Kendal Jeffries. However, the Rice reliever pitched the final two innings, allowing just the one run, while picking up his fourth save of the year.

Huddleston led the Bulldogs with the only run of the game, and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Mason Mallard also collected a pair of base knocks, as Tech outhit the Owls 9-3 on the evening.

Tech and Rice will return to action in game two of the weekend set, scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon from Reckling Park.

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