Rice baseball faces another of Conference USA’s best this weekend on the road against Old Dominion. Can they surprise the Monarchs?
Still in search of their first series win of conference play, Rice baseball won’t find an easier road ahead of them this coming weekend. The nationally-ranked Old Dominion Monarchs have no intention of falling from among the top teams in the conference standings when the Owls come to town for a four-game set.
How each team fared this week
Rice baseball (14-18-1) was swept for the first time this season, falling in all four games against No. 14 Louisiana Tech at Reckling Park. Rice kept the first two games close, but was outslugged in the final half of the series. The Owls got back in the win column on Tuesday, walking off Incarnate Word in a thrilling 27-run affair.
Old Dominion (24-6) had an impressive winning streak snapped in the final game of their weekend series against Florida Atlantic. Entering the Sunday finale, they’d won 10 consecutive C-USA games. Old Dominion had a midweek against with Virginia postponed.
Friday | Blake Brogdon (2-5, 5.71)
Saturday 1 | Roel Garcia (1-1, 4.65)
Saturday 2 | Mitchell Holcomb (4-3, 6.05)
Sunday | Brandon Deskins (1-4, 5.08)
Old Dominion Pitching
The Monarchs have been dominant on both sides of the ball, but their starting pitching might be the best contingent of any team in the conference. Three of Old Dominion’s four weekend starters (Hunter Gregory, Nick Pantos and Ryne Moore) rank inside the top eight in ERA, all coming under below 2.60. None of the three have been charged with a loss. That’s somewhat to be expected given their combined 132-to-27 strikeout to walk ratio.
Old Dominion Hitting
The bats have been equally impressive. Second baseman Carter Trice is second in C-USA with a .381 average. His .752 slugging percentage is first in the league. The lineup surrounding him has been similarly potent. The Monarchs enter the weekend with a collective .300 team average and 54 home runs, 10 more than any other team in Conference USA.