Rice: Longhorns v. Owls, part two

By Amber Obermeyer - April 17, 2007

I present to you, loyal slog readers:

All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Rice-Texas Baseball Rivalry But Were Too Afraid to Ask.

Or, about the last five years of it, at least.

2001: Rice and Texas renew the rivalry that had been dormant since 1998, with the Owls taking two of three games. The Owls lose a super regional at Nebraska, and the Longhorns lose a regional at Stanford.
2002: Texas beats Rice twice during the regular season and rides superb pitching performances from Justin Simmons and Huston Street to a victory where it really counts--Omaha. The Longhorns go on to win their fifth national championship.
March 2003: Wade Townsend touches 98 on the radar gun in the eighth inning, and Rice wins the game in the bottom of the 10th courtesy of a Chris Kolkhorst double off the untouchable Huston Street.
June 2003: Rice and Texas are again in the same half of the bracket at the College World Series. In the teams' first meeting, Rice cruises to a 12-2 victory. My mom, a Rice athlete during the dark days for Rice athletics, is eternally elated. (Yes, we were there.) Texas advanced through the losers' bracket for a rematch, but Justin Ruchti stayed down on a slider from the invincible Huston Street for a walk-off single that put the Owls in the championship series against Stanford, which Rice won for its first-ever national championship in any sport.
February 2004-present: In some truly bizarre, and almost always extremely close, games, Texas wins an odds-defying 10 straight (I'm an economist, remember? The normal distribution is God-like to me.) against Rice, although none of those meetings were in the post-season. Example from the 2006 Astros College Classic: Down 3-1 through seven innings, the Owls tie the Longhorns in the top of the eighth and take a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, but Texas wins in the bottom of the ninth when Kyle Russell hits a walk-off home run into the Crawford Boxes. The Longhorns' latest win came in a 6-4 game in Austin three weeks ago.

So there you have it. I'm biased, but I think it's the best rivalry in college baseball, and I'm thrilled to be able to cover it tonight.

P.S. I may have been born in the mid-1980s, but I do know the origin of the "All you ever wanted to know..." reference. Just in case you were wondering.

Posted by Amber Obermeyer at 06:29 PM on April 17, 2007

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