Rice got an RBI single from Andrew Dunlap and a bases-loaded walk by Cade Collins in the fifth inning Friday, giving the Owls the deciding runs in what became a 6-3 win over Marshall at the Conference USA tournament in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The loss eliminated sixth-seeded Marshall from postseason play and ended the Thundering Herd’s season with a 29-28 record. As the seventh seed, Rice (26-32) advances to play second-seeded Southern Miss on Saturday.
Marshall got on the board first Friday, when Tucker Linder singled to score leadoff man Erik Rodriguez. Rice answered with a pair of runs in the third, however, and put the game out of reach with another pair in the fifth.
Kendal Jeffries (3-4) got the win in relief for the Owls, throwing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball in which he struck out five and walked two.
Marshall starter Ryan Capuano (1-3) got the loss. Capuano lasted 4 1/3 innings, and was charged with three earned runs. He struck out four and walked five.
Power Lose Again: West Virginia failed to hold on to a 4-3 lead it had more than halfway through the game Friday night, as the Greensboro Grasshoppers scores four runs in the next three innings to get a 7-5 win at Appalachian Power Park.
The loss, which dropped the Power to 22-25 on the year, was the team’s sixth in a row. The club limps into the Memorial Day weekend to put a cap on what has been a miserable May. West Virginia is 6-18 since the start of the month.
West Virginia welcomes the Lexington Legends to Power Park for a four-game set that begins at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
On Friday, Onil Pena gave the Power a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo home run, and a Joseph Rosa RBI gave West Virginia a two-run lead heading to the fourth.
However, though Charlie McConnell stole home to break a 3-3 tie and give the Power the lead in the fifth, West Virginia’s bullpen could not make starter Clay Chandler a winner.
After tying the game in the sixth, Greensboro go a pair of runs in the top of the seventh off a Radolfo Castro RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Grant Koch issued by losing pitcher David Ellingson (1-2).
Will Gardner (1-0) got the win for Greensboro, pitching 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball.