#5 Rice Owls host Texas, UCF this week
After a 7-game road trip Rice returns to Reckling Park for a 5-game home stand. Tuesday will bring Texas to town in a rematch of top-10 teams, and a weekend series with Central Florida waits as well.
Texas @ Rice
The Longhorns come into Tuesday’s rematch riding a 3-game sweep of Texas Tech from this past weekend. Texas outscored the Red Raiders 21-5 including a 10-1 win on Saturday. The Texas bats have continued to be red hot; they are batting .328 as a team with 45 home runs and an average of 7.4 runs per game. Most impressive have been sophomores Bradley Suttle and Kyle Russell. Suttle leads to team in batting with a .405 average to go along with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs. Russell has been the teams biggest power source slugging 20 home runs and driving in 51 RBIs while batting .357.
Southpaw Austin Wood is expected to get the start for Texas in Tuesday’s game. Wood is 4-0 on the year with a 3.88 ERA; it will be his sixth start of the season. Wood was the starter a couple of weeks ago when these two teams met and through 5.2 shutout innings in picking up the win.
Texas @ Rice Prediction:
There is too much offensive firepower for even the Owls solid pitching staff to handle; Texas earns the win.
UCF @ Rice
Central Florida has split their last four games, losing 2 of 3 to Southern Miss but knocking off Florida in a non-conference game. As a whole the Golden Knights have struggled this season, posting an overall record of 18-19, 1-8 in C-USA play.
Junior Tyson Auer and sophomore Kiko Vazquez have been the bright spots in an otherwise mediocre batting order. Auer is leading UCF in batting for the second straight season with a .357 average and has wreaked havoc on the base paths stealing 17 bases on the year. Vazquez has provided some pop in the order hitting 5 home runs and driving in 28 RBIs to go with his .325 average.
The pitching staff has been fairly consistent from top to bottom. Jaager Good has been the top starter posting a 3-3 record with a 3.19 ERA. The junior has struck out 41 batters over 53.2 innings of work. Sophomore Justin Weiss has been stellar out of the bullpen, going 3-0 with 5 saves, only allowing 8 runs in 23 innings of work.
UCF @ Rice Prediction:
The Golden Knights have struggled tremendously in C-USA play so far, and three games against Rice is not the cure for the slump. Rice will continue its stellar play and sweep the series.