Anthony Rendon roped four hits and drove in five runs as the 25th-ranked Rice Owls shutout the Marshall University baseball team, 9-0, on Friday night at Reckling Park.
Marshall (10-13, 1-3 C-USA) managed just four hits on the night as Isaac Ballou tripled, James Lavinskas lined a double and Rhett Stafford and Kenny Socorro each added singles.
Rice (19-11, 2-3 C-USA) received an impressive outing from ace Austin Kubitz (3-3). In the victory, the righty fired the first eight frames, allowing just three hits with a walk and six strikeouts, while keeping the Herd off the scoreboard. Jeremy Fant worked a scoreless ninth to record the team shutout.
Rendon finished a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles, five RBI and two runs scored as the slugger accounted for seven of the Owls nine runs.
Shane Hoelschner notched the first run of the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the second off Herd hurler Shane Farrell (2-1). The right-hander looked dominate in his first inning on the bump, catching two Owls looking. He was later lifted after logging the first four frames, giving up just the one earned run off three hits.
MU appeared to be in business against Kubitza (3-3) as Ballou and Lavinskas each reached to begin the fourth. Kubitza worked his way out of the jam with a fielder’s choice on an attempted sacrifice bunt from Victor Gomez and a line out double play to center off the bat of R. Stafford to keep the Herd scoreless.
The Rice bats woke up in the fifth, after Farrell departed, as the home squad crossed home five times to break the game open, 6-0. Highlighting the scoring outburst was a two-run double off the bat of Rendon as the Owls batted around off two different MU pitchers.