After kicking off conference play on the road against FAU, Rice baseball returns home to Reckling Park for their first CUSA home games against UTSA.
The 9-12 UTSA Roadrunners opened conference play last weekend as well, dropping two in a three game series at home against Middle Tennessee. Winners of two of their last three after a midweek victory over Houston Baptist, they’ve begun to build some much-needed momentum. Rice, on the other hand, has lost five in a row and is looking to get back on track at home this weekend.[/swpm_protected]
Rice took two of three from UTSA last season at Roadrunner Field. Matt Canterino and Addison Moss both picked up wins, locking up a series win before the home team was able to snag the final game on Sunday. Both of those familiar faces will be available for Rice in this series. Here’s a closer look at their competition:
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday – 6:30 pm: Matt Canterino (1-3, 2.40) vs Karan Patel (0-3, 2.08)
Saturday – 2:00 pm: Evan Kravetz (1-1, 5.40) vs Slater Foust (3-1, 1.52)
Sunday – 1:00 pm: Jackson Parthasarathy (2-3, 3.75) vs TBD
The top two pitchers in the UTSA rotation have locked down their spots. Both Patel and Foust have been excellent this year, achieving sub 2.10 ERAs in two different fashions. Patel has racked up 32 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. Slater hasn’t produced as many whiffs, but his .224 batting average against is fourth best in CUSA among pitchers who have registered 100 or more at bats against them.
The Sunday starter could be one of five or six guys. The job has rotated throughout the young season and a Johhny whole-staff approach seems more likely.
Out of the pen, Zach Zeller and Cameron Carver have both seen runs of some success. If the Roadrunners need a big out, though, Zach Griggs will probably be the first call. He’s allowed two hits in 6.2 innings pitched this season with eight strikeouts and zero extra base hits allowed.
The Roadrunners have been decidedly average from the plate and will bring a lineup that’s slightly top heavy. Dylan Rock leads the way, batting .400 with nine doubles, second most in Conference USA. He’s an on base machine (.489 OBP) and leads UTSA in RBI (14), runs (18) and walks (12). Bryan Arias and Bryan Sturges are each hitting better than .300.
Collectively, this is patient team at the plate, walking 3.9 times per game compared to 6.4 strikeouts per contest. That’s one of the best marks in Conference USA, significantly better than Rice who strikes out 9.7 times per contest.