Rice baseball looks to rebound from a pair of midweek losses with a second straight weekend series win. Next, the Owls take on UC Irvine at home.
The UC Irvine Anteaters head east to Texas to play their first weekend series away from home this season. The fringe Top 25 club took two of three from Washington on opening weekend before falling to San Diego State on the road on Tuesday. Their record sits at 2-2.
Rice enters the series 2-3, losers of the past two games to a pair of college baseball powers, first Texas and then Arizona. The winner of this series will leave the weekend no worse than .500, an important distinction with so many high-caliber non-conference games still to play for both squads.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday – 6:30 pm: Matt Canterino (0-0, 0.00) vs Andre Pallante (0-1, 3.86)
Saturday – 2:00 pm: Evan Kravetz (0-0, 0.00) vs Tanner Brubaker (0-0, 1.59)
Sunday – 1:00 pm: Jackson Parthasarathy (1-0, 0.00) vs Trenton Denholm (0-0, 4.50)
UC Irvine Pitching
So far the knock on weekend starters Pallante, Brubaker and Denholm has been their longevity. None of the trio made it through the sixth inning. They’ve each been effective in shorter bursts, but if continued short outings will put added pressure on their bullpen, which has performed well up to this point.
Taylor Rashi will be the anchor on the back end. The senior righty is the only UCI pitcher to allow no hits or walks in multiple appearances. His five strikeouts are two shy of the team lead, but he got them in two innings compared to Denholm’s four frames.
Michael Frias and Ryan Johnston will see action out of the pen. John Vergara, if he can find the zone, has the potential to be dangerous against a Rice team which has proven susceptible at the plate so far this season.
UC Irving Hitting
Like Rice to some extent, UC Irvine has left plenty of opportunity at the plate. Third baseman Brandon Lewis has had the best start on the team so far, but aside from his two home runs, he’s only reached base on two other occasions. From a batting average perspective, Second baseman Brendan Brooks leads the team with a ,286 clip, but he’s only managed four hits on the young season.
Nobody in this lineup is particularly fearsome, but they have proven to be relatively patient at the plate, sometimes to a fault. The team has reached base 17 times via the walk, but have accumulated 42 strikeouts in four games. Shortstop Christian Koss is the chief offender, whiffing seven times in 14 appearances.
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