HOUSTON, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) – Looking for its fifth win in seven tries against No. 19 Rice at Reckling Park, the UCF baseball team was unable to extend that mark as it fell to the Owls, 5-1, in the Conference USA Championship Thursday evening.
Top-seeded Rice raced out into the lead in the first as it capitalized on a pair of hits and a sacrifice fly. The Owls would make it 3-0 in the third after taking advantage of a miscue in the field for the pair of two-out runs.
Following a pair of Rice runs in the top of the frame, UCF broke into the hit and score columns in the sixth as senior Ryan Breen led off the stanza with a single up the middle. Following a Tommy Williams walk and wild pitch to advance the pair, redshirt senior Erik Hempe notched his 38th RBI of 2013 with a sacrifice fly to right that would score Breen on a close play at the dish.
Redshirt senior LHP Chris Matulis made the final start of his UCF career as he went six innings and scattered seven hits with three earned runs, four walks and a strikeout. The Boynton Beach native would give way to rookie RHP Tyler Martin who retired the first eight batters he faced, and closed out the contest retiring nine-of-ten Owls.
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