Arizona Baseball defeated 24th ranked Rice, 8-1, on Friday night, to make a winner of new head coach Jay Johnson in his Wildcat debut.
Pitcher JC Cloney struck out nine Owls over seven innings and allowed just one run. Arizona got on the board first in the second inning when Cody Ramer singled in two runs. Tristan Gray provided the only scoring for Rice with a solo home run.
It was the first time since 2008 that the Wildcats opened up on the road.
Johnson took over for the retired Andy Lopez, who coached Arizona since 2002 and helped the Widlcats win the College World Series in 2012.
The season opening win is the first of thirteen games in eighteen days to begin the season for the Wildcats, who are now 21-2 on opening day since 1994.