The 2020 Rice baseball is off to a tough start, making the Owls weekend road trip to UC Irvine an important series. Here’s how both teams stack up.
A three-game sweep at the hands of the Texas Longhorns was not how Rice baseball wanted to start their season. Even in defeat, the Owls showed promise. Now it’s time to take those glimmers of hope and turn them into wins. Getting revenge over the Anteaters, who swept the Owls at Reckling last season, would be the perfect place to start.
Times: Friday 8:00 p.m. | Saturday 8:00 p.m. | Sunday 3:00 p.m.
Venue: Fowler Park at Cunningham Field
Radio: Stretch Internet Portal
How each team fared this week
Rice baseball (0-3) was swept by Texas in a weekend series. Inclement weather forced a midweek game against Sam Houston to be postponed.
UC Irvine (1-3) won their Saturday game against Fresno State, dropping the series 2-1. They also lost their midweek game, falling to San Diego 9-1 on Tuesday.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday | Alex De Leon (0-0, 0.00) vs Trenton Denholm (0-1, 4.76)
Saturday |Blake Brogdon (0-0, 0.00) vs Peter Van Loon (0-0, 6.75)
Sunday | Roel Garcia (0-0, 0.00) vs Cole Van Den Helder (0-0, 10.12)
UC Irvine Pitching
The Anteater pitching staff had a rough first week to the season. Ace Trenton Denholm should be expected to rebound. The right posted a sub 2.00 ERA last season, throwing at least eight innings in six of his final nine games including to complete-game victories.
The rest of the staff had equally challenging starts. Dylan Riddle is the only reliever to make multiple appearances without allowing an earned run. Newcomers Josh Ibarra and Jacob King could be called upon if there are signs of trouble.
UC Irvine Hitting
Left fielder Jake Palmer is UC Irvine’s top bat and leadoff man. After hitting .307 last season the junior picked right up where he left off, hitting .389. And that’s after an uncharacteristic 0-3 night in the midweek drubbing by San Diego. First baseman Damla and right fielder Nathan Church have been consistent this season.
Center fielder Mike Peabody, who finished second to palmer in on base percentage last season, has gotten off to a slow start. He hit cleanup last time out. Don’t let his .142 batting average fool you.