Rice Blanks K-State, Forces Monday Final

HOUSTON, Texas – Rice’s Taylor Wall threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout and the Owls scored multiple runs in the fifth and eighth innings to force a Monday regional final in an 8-0 victory Monday evening at Reckling Park.


The Wildcats (43-17-1) only advanced three runners into scoring position all evening as they had no answer for Wall. The Cats were only able to spray three singles, reach on an error and force one walk, while the left-hander struck out four batters in his 116-pitch performance.


In the meantime, Wall received an equally impressive performance from his offensive teammates as Anthony Rendon, Steven Sultzbaugh and Michael Fuda recorded two hits apiece. Rendon and Chad Mozingo drove in a pair of runs, while Jess Buenger hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning.


Adam Muenster, Justin Bloxom and Rob Vaughn were each 1-for-3 for the Wildcats.


Kansas State starting pitcher Todd Vogel (4-2) shut down Rice (42-16) in the first three frames, but surrendered a run in the third and three in the fifth to take the loss. The senior allowed six hits and walked three in 4.1 innings.


Rice was able to grab the game’s first run in the top of the fourth when one-out singles by Diego Seastrunk and Rendon put runners on first and third. Mozingo followed with a single up the middle to put the Owls up by one.


The Owls extended their lead to five in the fifth inning as Fuda recorded an infield single and was then sacrificed over to second. Following a walk, which chased Vogel from the game, Rick Hague doubled to right field off Wildcat reliever Evan Marshall to drive in one run. The Cats then elected to intentionally walk Seastrunk to load the bases for Rendon. However, the freshman delivered a two-run single into right to make the score 4-0.


With runners on first and third and still just one out, Mozingo hit a chopper to Carter Jurica at second, but was unable to turn the double play, allowing the fifth Rice run of the inning to cross the plate.


Buenger’s pinch-hit at-bat extended the lead in the eighth with his first home run of the season.


Kansas State will face Rice on Monday in the 2009 Houston Regional final with a 6 p.m. first pitch at Reckling Park. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher.