by Andrew J. FerraroDaily Cougar Staff
In just over a week's time, the Southwest Conference standings have completely changed, and the No. 2 team in the nation is no longer the No. 1 team in the conference.
After sweeping the Cougars last weekend at Cougar Field, the Texas Longhorns are now in first place, awaiting the former league leaders, the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The Raiders fell from the top after losing two of three last weekend to the Rice Owls, who were previously in the cellar.
After taking a 4-0 lead in the first inning in game one of a double header Saturday, the Raiders committed three errors and surrendered three Rice homers by Lance Berkman, Bubba Crosby and Jacques Landry to squander the lead and lose 6-5.
Matt Miller, the SWC leader in strikeouts, pitched six innings, giving up five runs on five hits, walking three and striking out seven.
Tech reliever Jimmy Frush pitched well, but received the loss in his two-plus innings of work, giving up just one run on one hit, while striking out seven and walking no one.
Rice junior Shawn Onley pitched eight strong innings, but received a no-decision as he gave up six runs on five hits (just one earned run) while walking four and striking out nine.
Matt Anderson pitched the ninth inning for the Owls and received his fourth win of the season.
The Owls out-slugged the Raiders in game two as they pounded out 10 runs on eight hits, highlighted by Landry's 10th homer of the season.
Rice freshman pitcher Stephen Bess held Tech scoreless until the top of the fifth, when Tech catcher David Lidstrom hit his 11th homer of the year.
Jeff Shaddix relieved Bess in the bottom of the seventh inning and struck out the only batter he faced to preserve the 10-5 victory.
After sweeping Tech in the double-header, Rice finally succumbed to the Raiders Sunday, behind a strong pitching performance by Tech senior Ryan Brewer.
Brewer pitched the entire game, allowing just one run on seven hits, striking out just one and walking two.
With the two losses, Tech fell behind Texas and Texas Christian, who defeated Baylor in two of three games over the weekend in Fort Worth.
In game one of the double-header, Derek Lee of TCU out-pitched Kris Lambert in the Horned Frogs' 3-2 victory.
In game two, Frogs senior Flint Wallace held the Bears to just one run on five hits while walking three and striking out seven.
The Bears' only run came in the top of the fifth inning on a Marty Crawford solo shot.
"We got good pitching, and good defense," TCU assistant coach Donny Watson said. "We had guys in score position all day, and got them in with clutch hits.
"We're sitting in pretty good shape right now going into A&M," he said. "But considering how schizophrenic everybody is, I wouldn't be surprised if we all ended up at .500 by the end of the year."