Rice baseball returns to action with a second pair of midweek which begin on Tuesday at Reckling Park against Lamar.
Matt Bragga admitted the wear and tear of so many games in such a short span of time was getting to his team. He said the squad still has “a lot of learning to do” and admitted “this group needs practice time.” Rather than rest, they’ll turn around and play two midweek games once again following the series loss to Oklahoma over the weekend.
Lamar (6-9) had had struggles of their own. The Cardinals were swept at home by SFA in their first Southland Conference series of the season over the weekend. They will return to conference play this coming weekend, as will Rice, but first a midweek tilt between the two southeast Texas clubs.
Rice won both 2018 meetings by scores of 6-2 and 2-1. Here’s how the first meeting of 2019 sets up.
When and Where
Addison Moss got his first start of the season last Tuesday against Houston, earning the win after five innings of two-run ball. He made a brief relief appearance against Oklahoma but should be fresh enough to throw against Lamar.
The pitching situation for Lamar looks much less certain. Three different hurlers have seen midweek starts this season with Taylor Rich the only man going further than three innings. He started their Sunday game against SFA, though, so a combination of arms will most likely be trotted out at Reckling on Tuesday.
Colleveitly, the Cardinals pitching staff isn’t too scary. AJ Ozorio-Brace and Austin Smith have been effective out of the pen, but a collective 4.04 ERA with 72 walks in 12 games bodes well for Rice, who won’t be facing one of their top weekend arms.
Names to know from the plate
Getting Reese Durand out will be the chief test for the Rice pitching staff. The freshman outfielder has hit safely in nine of his 11 appearances, picking up three triples on 13 hits. He’ll look to set the table for power hitters like Anthony Quirion and Robin Adams.
The bottom portion of the order hasn’t been productive to this point and that’s cost them opportunities to put up crooked numbers. Just once has Lamar scored more than six runs in a victory.
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