The Rice baseball concludes its 2021 season on Tuesday night against Texas as the Owls look to pull off a momentous upset.
Rice baseball did not qualify for the 2021 Conference USA Baseball Tournament. With no postseason play on deck, the Owls have one final game before their season comes to an end. No. 5 Texas will be a formidable foe.
Times: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Disch-Falk Field
Radio: Stretch Internet Portal
How each team fared this weekend
Rice baseball (23-29-1) split a four-game series with Charlotte. The Owls came close to winning the series outright, but couldn’t capitalize on any of their extra-inning chances on Saturday evening.
Texas (38-12) was off last weekend and hasn’t played since a three-game weekend series at No. 3 TCU that ended on May 9. Texas won two of three, adding another impressive series win to their resume.
First baseman Ivan Melendez is one of the most productive hitters in the Big 12 and leads the Longhorns at the play with a .361 average. Alongside him, Mitchell Daly and Zach Zubia are the most consistent bats with Mike Antico providing a decent amount of pop in the middle of the lineup.
The Longhorns offense has been streaky outside of those bats, but it’s been enough to power the team to one of the most impressive seasons in the nation.
The pitching staff has been the heart and soul of this team. Pete Hansen leads the Big 12 with a 1.83 ERA in 10 starts. Ty Madden is fourth in the conference with a 2.27 ERA in 11 starts. The Owls likely won’t see either in a midweek game, but the Longhorns have plenty of other dangerous arms.
Cole Quintanilla leads the team with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.830 ERA. He’s the No. 1 option out of the pen. Tanner Witt and Aaron Nixon will be close behind. No matter who Texas sends to the mound on Tuesday, runs will be at a premium.