In the midst of a rough stretch, Rice baseball hopes for a rebound win in their second midweek bout with Lamar this season.
Rice had another forgettable weekend on the road, falling in three straight games to Western Kentucky. The Owls missed an opportunity to climb higher in the conference race, but will take every opportunity they can get to find their rhythm as the regular season winds down. Perhaps playing a familiar opponent will give Rice a needed confidence boost.
Lamar gave Rice a scare earlier in the season, running out to a 5-1 lead at Reckling Park. The Owls remained calm, answering the Cardinals’ rally with an 11-0 run to put the game on ice. Here’s what to expect in the final installment between these two teams this year:
When and Where
Projected pitching matchup – Drake Greenwood vs Erik Key
Kel Bordwine, who had been the go-to man in midweek games for Rice this season, has seemingly done enough to warrant his inclusion in the leaky Rice bullpen. He appeared in Sunday’s series finale against Western Kentucky, making a midweek start on Tuesday unlikely. That leaves Drake Greenwood, one of the other most prominent midweek hands, to toe the rubber. Greenwood is 0-2 on the season with a 9.27 ERA.
Facing him will be Lamar righty Erik Key, owner of an 8.59 ERA with no official decisions in six appearances. He’s thrown 6.1 innings this season with three strikeouts and 10 walks. In their first meeting with Rice this season, Lamar used six pitchers while Rice used four. This will likely be another night with many pitching changes for both sides.
Names to know from the plate
First baseman Anthony Quirion and center fielder Reese Durand did the majority of the damage for Lamar against Rice earlier this season. Those two combined for five hits, two runs and four RBI. As good as both have been this season, they both rank outside the top six hitters for the Cardinals.
Second baseman Logan Berlof owns a team-best .356 batting average paired with a gaudy .420 on base percentage. The most dangerous of them all, though, is JC Correa. The brother of Astros’ shortstop Carlos, the younger Correa is working to make his brother proud. JC has 20 extra base hits this season, eight of which have come via home runs.
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