Rice Baseball offered little resistance in a Tuesday night road loss to Baylor, falling back below .500 on the season.
From the first Baylor batter, it was clear Rice baseball was going to be in for a long evening. A fly ball to left field was misplayed, initially ruled an error before later being revised as a leadoff triple. Regardless of how it was scored, a triple from the two-hole hitter on the next at bat put Rice behind early. Baylor would score two more runs in the first, pushing Rice into a 3-0 deficit after one.
Last Time Out: Rice Baseball shows growth in HCU sweep
The second inning was more of the same. Rice was kept off the scoreboard and Baylor strung together more hits, this time a double followed by three consecutive singles to score a pair of runs. Up 5-0, the Bears leaned on their pitching staff the rest of the way with an insurance run added in the eighth. Rice was limited to two hits, and no runs in a quiet road loss in Waco.
What it means | Neither length nor strikes
Rice baseball hasn’t really gotten length out of any starter aside from Parker Smith. Given the number of arms the staff is working to break in, that might not be proof in itself of a problem, but those short stints combined with poor performances are alarming. And the damage they’ve done is unquestionable.
Tuesday’s starter, Mauricio Rodriguez, went two innings and allowed five runs. His season ERA has climbed to 8.83. He’s been roughed up in three of his last four starts, only finding success against UTRGV, but even that was limited to four innings.
As exhibited on Tuesday, the Rice offense is not yet good enough to routinely overcome massive early deficits. They did so against Louisiana in the Sunday game. They did it again against Houston Christian this past Sunday. Those were the exceptions. More often than not, it’s bad news. If Rice baseball can’t sort that out and avoid the implosions, it’s going to be a long season.
ON DECK | at UAB (Fri-Sun)
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