Rice’s Hall of Fame Baseball Coach Wayne Graham has won games in any number of ways, but Tuesday night was different, if for no other reason than the big round number it signified. Graham attained his 1000th career win when the Owls rallied with two runs in the bottom of the 11th for a 4-3 come from behind victory over Texas State at Reckling Park.
Graham has a career record of 1,000-401 in his 34 years as a college coach, including the last 23 with Rice. His career winning percentage of .714, would be the equivalent of a major league team winning 116 games a year.
“It was a good win considering we had a multitude of flaws tonight,” Graham said. “But we didn’t quit.”
The 77-year old Graham seemed more interested in moving past the milestone.
“I just wanted to get that out of the way so that we can think about more important things,” he said.
But for a man who has led his team to 18 consecutive conference championships and 19 straight NCAA appearances, the number still had a special meaning.
“It’s great,” he offered. “Like I have said several times before, it means I was able to keep a job for a long time. I am glad Rice still has faith in me.”
Graham’s crowning moment was Rice’s 2003 National Championship.
The Owls will host the Houston Cougars in a non-conference game Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Reckling Park.
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