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Marshall baseball falls at Rice

May. 17, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HOUSTON -- The Marshall Thundering Herd baseball team struck quickly against No. 20 Rice, getting two runs in the first inning Thursday at the Owls' Reckling Park.

Unfortunately, the Herd couldn't get any more across the plate in its next eight at bats, while the Owls scored three in the bottom of the second inning, and one more in the bottom of the eighth to defeat the Herd, 4-2.

Rice's Michael Ratterree hit a solo home run in the second, while Michael Aquino came home after hitting a double.

Marshall escaped multiple jams on the defensive side in the late innings, but couldn't produce any offense to speak of.

Wayland Moore got the start for Marshall and went 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. Marshall's bullpen, while allowing plenty of runners on base, was able to limit the damage after that.

But the Herd went three up and three down at the plate in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Designated Hitter Alfredo Brito reached first on a single in the sixth inning, but was left stranded.

Austin Kubitza went eight innings for the Owls, giving up seven hits and two runs while striking out seven and only allowing one walk. Rice closer Zech Lemond came on in the top of the ninth and earned his 13th save on the season.

Marshall (20-31, 6-15) remains ahead of UAB in the Conference USA standings by one game, with the Blazers going down to Tulane 15-3 Thursday, meaning the Herd has a spot in the C-USA tournament for now.

The Herd faces the Owls Friday night at 7:30, and again Saturday at 2 p.m. to close out the regular season.

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