The Rice baseball team has gotten used to hosting its NCAA regionals, so when the Owls got slapped with a #2 seed after an up-and-down season and sent up to Austin, some eyebrows were raised. Forcing two traditional powers like Rice and UT-Austin to face off so early in the tournament almost seemed unfair.â†µ
Turns out, all of that hand-wringing may have been a little premature.â†µ
The Owls were blanked on Friday by Louisiana-Lafayette starter Zach Osborne, putting them in the losers bracket of the Austin regional. Rice will have to win four straight baseball games over a span of three days to advance. That starts with a Saturday match-up against Rider, who lost 11-0 to the host Longhorns.â†µ
Pitching depth has been an Achilles' Heel for this year's Rice team, so a quick start in the first round of the post-season was key. Frankly, I don't think they have the arms to dig themselves out of this hole.