Texas State Baseball will play out its fifth-straight road game Tuesday night at Reckling Park against Rice. The meeting will conclude the home-and-away series with the Owls and the Bobcats will look for a lift after a week of unsuccessful bouts on the field. First pitch is expected at 6:30 p.m.
The ‘Cats fell out of a solid second-place standing within the Southland Conference ranks to fifth place after suffering their first league-sweep of the season last weekend at SFA. The Lumberjacks held a 33-26 edge over Texas State in the hitting column and batted in 22 runs over the weekend, doubling the ‘Cats total.
The pitching staff fell behind with a 7.50 earned run average to SFA’s 4.67 ERA. Zach Tritz closed out Sunday afternoon with his third complete game of the season and rationed the foe to just eight hits and three runs, but the ‘Cats offense was halted in its final rally.
Texas State now stands at 24-22 overall and 14-10 in league play.
Adam Witek finished the week 6-for-13 showing and improved his batting average to .347 on the season. Witek notched multiple hits in game one and two and belted his second home run of the season in game three for a .462 batting average against SFA. Collectively, the ‘Cats are batting .318 and have a .488 slugging percentage.
Kane Holbrooks will take the mound Tuesday night. Holbrooks is 2-5 overall and has an 8.29 earned run average. The right-hander last pitched one week ago at Texas and has made eight starts so far this season. Holbrooks tossed a combined shutout against Texas-Pan American earlier this season and has 45 strikeouts to date.
Rice has won 14 of its past 15 contests and will enter Tuesday night 34-11 overall and 15-3 in Conference USA. The fifth-ranked baseball program took 2-of-3 from Central Florida last week and will have over a week’s rest entering Tuesday’s contest.
The Owls are batting .309 as a team and have knocked 141 extra-base hits, 39 of which are home runs. The team outscores opponents 340-207 and jump on the board first with a 49-26 run margin in the first inning.
The heavy bats are spearheaded by J.P. Padron. Padron will enter tomorrow’s contest on an 18-game hitting streak, boasting a second-best .357 batting average. Padron went 6-for-14 in the past week of play, including a 3-for-4 Sunday outing against UCF.
Rice will throw right-handed pitcher Bryan Price against the ‘Cats. Price has a 3.31 ERA and is 2-4 overall. In the hurlers 35.1 innings pitched, he has walked 15 batters and allowed just as many to score. Price has 42 strikeouts to date and holds opponents to a .234 batting average.
The Owls took the last contest at Bobcat Field 13-3 and own the all-time series 39-11.
The game will be broadcasted on 89.9 KTSW-FM and live stats will be available through the host school’s web-site, www.riceowls.com.
By AMBER ARTERBERRY
Assistant Sports Information Director