This is it, the final weekend of the regular season for CUSA baseball. The regular season title comes down to Rice and UAB. At 20-7, Rice sits one game ahead of UAB who is 19-8 in conference. Rice swept UAB earlier in the year so they would win any sort of tie-breaker. Southern Miss could tie Rice with three wins this weekend, but Rice holds the head-to-head tie breaker over them as well.
There are only two weeks left in the CUSA regular season and things are heating up atop the standings. As of now Rice sits in first place with 18 wins, but UAB is right behind them with 16, and Southern Miss is hanging in there with 15 wins.
The CUSA season is getting close the end and things are starting to shake up as you would expect with the Rice Owls atop the conference. However, the conference has been balanced and several teams remain in the mix for the regular season crown. With just three weeks left there will be some interesting matchups as some teams try to pad their postseason resume. Continue reading
Southern Miss (19-15, 8-4)-UAB (23-10, 9-3)
Southern Miss won their weekend series over MTSU last weekend, taking a big jump forward in the CUSA standings, but then they lost to SEC-foe Mississippi State 4-3 during the week. The offense is hitting a mediocre .243, while the pitching staff has a respectable 3.49 ERA. Conor Fisk has come on as of late for Southern Miss and now leads all starters with a 2.21 ERA, and he’s struck out 48 batters in 40.2 innings pitched. Continue reading
East Carolina (17-12, 6-3) @ #14 Rice (21-10, 9-3)
This matchup will feature one of the most anticipated matchups of the year as top pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman and Zech Lemond will square off on Friday night. ECU had won 7 games in a row before losing to N.C. State during the week. Rice is coming off a weekend series loss to MTSU and mid-week loss to Texas. These teams are 2nd (Rice) and 4th (ECU) in the conference in pitching so expect this to be a tight, low-scoring series. Rice is still dominating the conference despite its recent series loss, while ECU could prove a lot by picking up a couple of wins this weekend. Continue reading
#29 FIU (21-4, 6-3)-UAB (17-8, 4-2)
FIU is riding high after a weekend sweep of Marshall followed by a mid-week win over South Florida. The offense leads CUSA in average at .322 and 7.7 runs per game. That offense is led by Aramis Garcia who is hitting .413 with 26 runs scored, 5 home runs and 25 RBIs. The pitching staff also leads CUSA with an ERA of 1.79. Mike Franco is 4-0 on the season with an ERA of 1.16 to go along with 45 punch outs in 38.2 innings. Continue reading
FAU (14-10, 3-6)-Rice (19-6, 8-1)
Game 1 – FAU: 0 Rice: 2. WP – Lemond LP – Gomber SV – Ditman. Rice’s Zech Lemond struck out a career-best 12 batters in 8.1 innings, while giving up 6 hits and 3 walks. Austin Gomber went 8 innings for FAU, only giving up the 2 ER. Skyler Ewing was 1-3 with an RBI for Rice.
Game 2 – FAU: 1 Rice: 14. WP – Fox LP – Strawn. Blake Fox only allowed 1 ER in 6.2 innings. Ewing was 2-4 with a double, 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs. Shane Hoelscher for Rice was a perfect 4-4 at the plate.
Game 3 – FAU: 2 Rice: 3 (12). WP – Ditman LP – Mizelle. Matt Ditman came on in relief for Rice in the 8th inning and would go on to pitch 5 total scoreless innings, while striking out eight. John Clay Reeves was 2-4 with a home run for Rice, and Ewing drove in a pair. Continue reading
FAU (14-7, 3-3)-#16 Rice (16-6, 5-1)
Friday, 6:30 p.m. – (Austin Gomber vs. Zech Lemond)
Saturday, 1 p.m. – (Jeremy Strawn vs. Blake Fox)
Sunday, 1 p.m. – (Drew Jackson vs. Chase McDowell)
FAU is coming off a weekend series win over La Tech in which both teams combined to score 14 runs in three games. They did not play a mid-week game this week so their arms should be well-rested for Rice. On offense, they’re hitting .290 in 20 games, averaging just over 5 runs a game. The pitching staff has a combined 2.60 ERA in 180 innings with 171 strikeouts. Continue reading
Western Michigan (9-8)-Miami (Ohio) (8-9)
Friday, 6 p.m. – (Steve Laudicina vs. Seth Varner)
Saturday, 3 p.m. – (Chad Mayle vs. Nathan Williams)
Sunday, 1 p.m. – (Keegan Akin vs. Ryan Powers)
Western Michigan has been sizzling hot lately winning seven of their last eight games, including a series win over Butler last weekend. On the season the team is hitting .275, while averaging 4.8 points per game. The pitching staff is coming along nicely with an ERA of 3.79 in 145 innings with 116 strikeouts. Continue reading
#18 Rice (15-6, 5-1)-#29 FIU (16-4, 3-3)
Game 1 – Rice: 3 FIU: 2 (13). WP – Matt Ditman LP – Charles Cormier. Zech Lemond started the game for Rice and went 8 innings, only giving up 2 ER, while FIU starter Mike Franco lasted 7.1 innings giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on only 3 hits, while striking out seven. John Clay Reeves had 3 hits in the game, including a leadoff single in the 13th as he eventually came around to score the game-winning run. Continue reading