Abe Gonzales got stronger as he reached what, for him, was uncharted territory: the eighth and ninth innings. His Rice teammates did the rest.

Gonzales allowed two runs in his first career complete game and the Owls had a season-high 22 hits in their 14-2 win over Alcorn State Friday night in the Houston Regional.

"It was a good night for us," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham. "Abe threw well for us. In fact, he was throwing as well in the ninth inning as he's ever thrown. For once, we got some hits in the opening game. I'm glad to see it."

Gonzales (8-2) allowed seven hits and struck out four for the Owls (42-19).

"I told myself to stay loose," Gonzales said. "In my mind I didn't ever think about not going the whole game. I felt like (going the whole game) is what I should do and what I could do. I tried to keep that mindset throughout the game, and I started to build confidence and feel stronger."

Michael Ratterree went 3 for 6 with two RBIs, and Ryan Lewis was 4 for 6 with two RBIs for Rice.

Rice, the No. 8 national seed, will play Baylor on Saturday, while Alcorn State (27-29) faces California in an elimination game.

The Owls scored twice in the second and third and bust the game open with four runs in the fifth off Alcorn State starter Steve Easter (8-6).

Derek Hamilton had an RBI single in the second and scored on an error to make it 2-0. After Angel Rosa cut the lead to 2-1 with an RBI single in the top of the third, Lewis upped the lead to 4-1 on a 2-run double in the third.

Anthony Rendon and Lewis each had RBI singles, and Ratterree had a two-run double in the inning. The Owls scored in six of the eight innings they batted, except the first and fourth, and every Rice starter had at least two hits except J.T. Chargois, who went 1 for 5. Rice stranded 16 runners.

Alcorn State, which was making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, added an Eduardo Gonzalez home run in the seventh for its other run. Rosa was 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Braves.

"I think we didn't play as well as we should," said Alcorn State head coach Barrett Rey. "When we should have made plays, and we didn't make plays. When we should have had timely hits, and we didn't have timely hits. We are capable of playing better baseball."

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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