Rice Baseball vanquished Vaqueros, exploding past UTRGV to earn a midweek during one of their busiest stretches of the season.
A wild pitch in the first inning gave Rice baseball an early lead in their midweek battle with UT Rio Grande Valley. With Mauricio Rodriguez on the mound, the Owls’ pitching staff put up a couple of early zeroes and then the bats took off.
Rice sent 14 players to the plate in the bottom of the second inning, which began with a leadoff home run from Connor Walsh. The whole host of Owls would rally behind him, driving in nine runs, four of which came by way of bases-loaded walks. Had it not been for a few strikeouts, the crooked number might have been even more significant, but the nine they did score would prove to be more than sufficient.
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Staked to a 10-0 lead, Rice was able to empty the bullpen and get work for several of their lesser-utilized arms to this point. Tyler Hamilton worked 2.1 innings and earned the win. Jack Ben-Shoshan, who made his Rice debut as an outfielder in 2022, made his first pitching performance, twirling a scoreless frame. Ryland Urbanczyk and Mark Perkins saw action too. Altogether, the staff allowed three runs, which is more than excusable when your own team puts up 14.
What it means | Midweek Mojo
It’s no secret the Owls’ early schedule has been absolutely brutal. Louisiana has been their “easiest” opponent so far, and they already own a four-game sweep of BYU and a weekend win over a ranked Campbell squad. Following those Ragin’ Cajuns up with a trip to Stanford and a three-game Texas-styled stretch at the Shriner’s Classic is about as challenging of an opening month as you could design.
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For that reason, it has become absolutely essential that Rice baseball wins these midweek games, especially those against unranked foes. A rematch with the Aggies at Reckling Park on Wednesday might be the exception, but the games against smaller programs need to be wins to keep the record headed in the right direction. Rice did that on Tuesday, improving to 5-7.
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