Rice Eliminates Louisiana 9-1

Rice Eliminates Louisiana 9-1

Mike Ojala threw a five-hitter for his first career complete game and Rice eliminated Louisiana from the NCAA Austin Regional on Sunday with a 9-1 victory.

Mike Ojala (6-2), who retired 12 straight batters at one point, struck out nine and gave up only one walk.

Ojala was making his 34th career start and his 10th this season after undergoing ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction last June. As he regained strength in his right elbow and reclaimed the dominant form he flashed before tearing the ligament midway through his junior season, Ojala began lobbying Graham to let him go the distance.

The Ragin' Cajuns (38-22) had only three runners reach second base in the game, with Chad Keefer scoring their only run.

Coach Robichaux commented on Ojala's performance:
"Their guy (Rice RHP Mike Ojala) did an exceptional job today going wire-to-wire, especially keeping us out of their bullpen for tonight's game. We gave up four runs off two hits. That is what really did us in. Those were two big hits they got--the double, which cleared the bases, and then the next base hit. After that, we got the game under control, but the damage had already been done. You cannot let a good team build that kind of lead. You have to give Rice a lot of credit."

Rice's fourth inning outburst started with back-to-back, one-out singles from Michael Fuda and Steven Sultzbaugh. Then with both runners going on contact, Jimmy Comerota singled through the left side to score the first Owls' run off Cajuns pitching.

An RBI double by Chad Mozingo and sacrifice fly from Rick Hague stretched the Rice lead to 3-0.

The big blow came three at bats later with the bases loaded when Diego Seastrunk ripped a bases-clearing double upping the lead to 6-0.

Louisiana would score its only run off of Ojala in the seventh inning. Chad Keefer was hit by a pitch and Alex Fuselier followed with a double to center field moving Keefer to third. Tyler Frederick followed with a groundout to shortstop to allow Keefer to score from third.

Taylor Hubbell took the lose for the Cajuns, spoke about the fourth inning:

"A couple ground balls here and a couple ground balls there, and we are out of the inning, but you set out each inning just trying to get your three outs as fast as possible to get your team off the field, and I let things get away from me a little bit. I put them in situations where their coach could get things going. You just try to give your team a chance to win, and when you get out of control like that, you just try to get it under control as fast as possible. One thing led to another, and it just kind of got away."

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