The Rice baseball enters the weekend fresh from one of their best weekends of the season. Here’s how the Owls stack up with visiting Southern.
It was a good weekend for Rice baseball, who won three of four in a multi-team event. It was the first time Rice has won three games in any weekend span since they swept a three-game series from Louisiana Tech in April 2019. Tuesday’s one-sided loss to Texas State cooled the Owls’ momentum, but they’ll have fresh arms and ready bats for the upcoming three-game slate.
This series marks their final weekend tune-up before Conference USA play begins the following weekend. The Owls will then host UTSA in a four-game series. But first, a look at how Rice matches up with Southern. Originally scheduled for a Saturday doubleheader, the series will now be a more traditional three game affair.
How each team fared this week
Rice baseball (8-8) took both games against Northern Illinois and split a pair of games against Kansas State. They lost their midweek game against Texas State.
Southern (5-10) lost three of their last four, dropping their most recent weekend series with Prairie View A&M (whom Rice beat 10-0) as well as a midweek game against Lamar.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday | Blake Brogdon (1-2, 6.52)
Saturday | Roel Garcia (1-1, 3.86)
Sunday | Mitchell Holcomb (2-1, 5.59)
Willhelm Allen is their definitive Friday night guy. He owns a 5.30 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched across four games. He’s not going to go deep, and with a .304 batting average against and only 14 strikeouts, Rice should be able to get some hits off of him.
Larry Barabino has been the go-to guy out of the bullpen. He’s allowed two runs in 9.1 innings with eight strikeouts. Walks have been his nemesis though. He’s surrendered seven on the season. The staff as a whole owns at 5.52 ERA almost a full point higher than the Owls.
The offense hasn’t been much better than the pitching. Southern has a team average of .233 shared by 20 different hitters. They do have a fairly consistent core led by Bubba Thompson (.271 avg, 16 hits, 10 runs) and Zavier Moore (.246 avg, 14 hits, 8 runs). While they might lack truly elite hitters, they have a smattering of guys who have shown flashes and can put the ball in the gap for an extra-base hit.