Cody Crouse picked the wrong night for one of his best outings of the season.
FIU’s starter pitched a complete game and allowed only two earned runs, but Rice’s Jon Duplantier was even better, hurling 8 1/3 shutout innings as the 14th-ranked Owls blanked the host Panthers, 2-0.
Crouse’s complete game was the first of his career. He scattered 11 singles across the nine frames, walking three Owls. Crouse did not strike out a batter, but induced 17 ground-ball outs.
The Owls (29-14, 16-6 Conference USA) scored single runs in the second and third, and that was enough support for Duplantier, who allowed only three hits and struck out eight.
Glenn Otto relieved Duplantier with one out in the bottom of the ninth and got the final two outs.
FIU (22-25, 9-13 C-USA) had two men reach base in the same inning only once against Duplantier. That was in the sixth, when Austin Rodriguez and Kolby Follis notched consecutive one-out singles, but Eddie Silva bounced into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.