Rice baseball welcomes their return to the friendly confines of Reckling Park, but their weekend matchup with Southern Miss looms large.
It’s hard to believe, but May baseball is already upon us. The calendar is turning quickly and more than just the hot corner is heating up. The Rice baseball regular season schedule is winding down, but before it concludes in its entirety, the Owls have another ranked C-USA opponent to battle. Southern Miss enters the weekend 26-13 and ranked No. 23 in the D1 Baseball Top 25.
How each team fared this week
Rice baseball (17-23-1) split a weekend series with UTSA in San Antonio, their second series matchup with the Roadrunners this season. The Owls held a 2-0 upper hand but were unable to slam the door in the final two games to earn their first series win of the season.
Southern Miss (26-13) took three of four games from Western Kentucky, winning their third conference series of the season. The Golden Eagles have earned at least a split in each weekend of conference play since they opened things up with a series loss to Louisiana Tech at home.
Friday | Roel Garcia (1-3, 5.36 ERA)
Saturday 1 | Mitchell Holcomb (4-4, 7.35)
Saturday 2 | Blake Brogdon (2-5, 6.14)
Sunday | Brandon Deskins (2-4, 4.24)
Southern Miss Pitching
The Southern Miss pitching staff has been the gold standard in Conference USA this season. The Golden Eagles lead the league in ERA, thanks in large part to the contributions of a potent quarter of starting pitchers. Hunter Stanley (5-1, 2.51 ERA), Ben Ethridge (4-1, 2.88), Walker Powell (6-2, 3.20) and Drew Boyd (2-2, 4.41) have been superb.
Southern Miss Hitting
When the pitching is that good, the offense doesn’t have to be top of the line to win ballgames. There have been outbursts here and there, but this lineup largely relies on the big bats of Gabe Montenegro and Charlie Fischer. Montenegro leads the team with 50 hits and a .338 batting average whereas Fischer leads C-USA in on-base percentage and sports a heft 1.1116 OPS.