In the fourth installment of the “What I Saw” podcast, I covered Rice’s series victory over the visiting East Carolina Pirates.
ECU took the opener 10-1 before Rice captured the final two games by scores of 7-2 and 4-1.
Over the course of the three-game series, there were a number of momentum and storyline swings. After the Friday game, in which Rice looked listless, you had to wonder if this was just going to be a lost year for the Owls. They had been struggling for much of the year, and saying that scoring runs had been a problem would be a massive understatement.
Then, they came out and played well offensively on Saturday. They scored a couple of runs early, had a big inning along the way, and continued to add on, eventually pounding out 12 hits. Then, on Sunday, it looked like that was little more than an aberration, as they were held scoreless, and mostly hitless, through 7.1 innings against ECU starter Jimmy Boyd before Andrew Dunlap hit a monster home run, chasing Boyd from the game, and Ford Proctor broke the game open later that same inning with a three-run triple.
In the end, it feels like Rice may have turned a corner. After the two wins, there seems to be a different energy in the Owls’ dugout. After the games on Saturday and Sunday, every Rice player I spoke with raved about the positive attitude in the locker room and spoke confidently about this series being just what they needed to catapult them into conference play.
For ECU, this series loss shouldn’t send panic through Greenville. After Sunday’s game, Cliff Godwin admitted as much, saying that if you would have told him that his team would be 11-5 coming out of the Rice series, he probably would have taken it. They played a clean series, particularly when it comes to defense, but Rice just got some timely hitting and some fantastic pitching in the last two games of the weekend.
Check out the podcast for more of my extended thoughts on the series that was at Reckling Park.
Thanks for listening.