College Baseball Central Podcast: What I Saw- Rice Takes Two of Three from ECU

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.

About the Author

Joseph Healy
Growing up in Houston, Joe Healy was introduced to college baseball at a young age, and it was love at first sight. Like most good love stories, that love has only grown throughout the years. When he's not at the ballpark, he enjoys tacos, college football during the fall, and the spectacle that is American politics. He holds a B.A. in political science from Sam Houston State University and a Master's in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville.
  • Walter Greenberg

    Nice job, Joseph. Whatever transpired in the post-game lockerroom following Friday night’s late-inning meltdown, it just might have turned around the season. The team went from dead men walking to an energized and aggressive group for the first time this season.

    • Joseph Healy

      Thanks, Walt. The Owls certainly had a different energy about them on Saturday and Sunday, that’s for sure. It’s a big if, but if Salinas can throw anywhere close to as well as he did on Sunday for the balance of the season, the Rice rotation is in really good shape. The offense is still the big question mark, but that group at least showed some signs of life in the series, led by Proctor, Chandler, DiCaprio, and Dunlap.