Since splitting its opening series, the Rice baseball team has lost three of the last four games it has played. The Owls lost against Dallas Baptist University last Tuesday, falling 8-4 in their home opener, and then lost two out of three against Southeastern Louisiana University in a three-game weekend series.
The Owls have had trouble on the defensive end, already totaling 13 errors over only eight games. These errors have been costly and have led to 15 unearned runs this season. As a whole, Rice is letting its opponents score an average of almost six runs per game.
On offense, the Owl bats have shown sparks of improvement, most notably in their second game against Southeastern Louisiana when they scored 15 runs. In that game, six different players for Rice had two or more hits. Junior outfielder Ryan Chandler hit a grand slam in the third inning, and Rice came right back in the fourth inning to pad on six more runs. Freshman infielder Brad Gneiting continued his offensive production by hitting two doubles in the game, one of which brought in three runs for the Owls. Rice scored no fewer than four runs in each of its four games this week but failed to keep its opponents below five runs.
Currently, sophomore catcher Dominic DiCaprio leads the Owls with a .545 batting average and nine RBIs. Freshman pitcher Addison Moss leads all Owl pitchers with a 1.80 earned run average and junior pitcher Ricardo Salinas has a team-high 12 strikeouts.
Rice will look to sharpen up its play heading into a three-game weekend series against Pepperdine University. The first game of the series is at Reckling Park this Friday at 6:30 p.m.