The opening stretch of home games at Reckling Park for Rice baseball continues Wednesday when the Owls welcome Arizona to Houston.
Winners of a four-game series against UMass Lowell over the weekend, Arizona will head east to play a set of four games in Texas. Their first matchup will is Wednesday night at Reckling Park against Rice before traveling down the road to play a three-game weekend series against Houston.
Rice and Arizona aren’t strangers on the diamond. The two teams met in the 2015 and 2016 season. Rice won the first series in Tucson 2-1. Arizona answered back the following year, taking the return series 2-1 in Houston. This is the second midweek game for Rice this week, who fell to Texas in a water-logged Tuesday night contest.
When and Where
Rice has thrown several arms through four games and has options Wednesday night against Arizona. If coach Matt Bragga opts to give starter Addison Moss a few more days of rest the Owls could turn to one of their arms out of the pen to toe the rubber against Arizona.
Zach Esquivel and Kendal Jeffries both started games at various points throughout the 2018 campaign. Evan Kravetz, who pitched well in lieu of Moss on Saturday, could be bumped up to a midweek role in anticipation of the return of the Owls’ second ace.
Arizona hasn’t named a starter either. The Wildcats’ bullpen saw mixed results against UM Lowell. No reliever managed better than four strikeouts while walks were prevalent. Both Cameron Haskell and Randy Abshier have picked up saves. Rice could see either of them, or both, if the game stays close in the late innings.
Names to know from the plate
The top half of the Arizona order features some of the most dangerous hitters Rice will see in the early portion of their schedule. Leadoff hitter Cameron Cannon and second man Matt Frazier each collected eight hits during their opening series, scoring a combined 19 runs between them. Following right behind them will be Ryan Holgate who blasted three home runs and 12 RBI in his first four games.
Like Texas on Tueday, Arizona has plenty of talent in their lineup. The Owls had best be ready on the mound for another tough midweek test.
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