In these short posts, we’ll go into a little detail about each of Tech’s Biloxi opponents. The thought is to give you an idea of how Tech matches up against each squad. We’ll start with the oppening round match-up: Rice.
Tech and Rice played a three-game series in RustVegas (are the cool people still calling it that?) back in March. Tech won each game handily: 8-2, 7-3, and 6-4. Advanced data analytics tells us if this trend continues, today’s game will end in a 5-5 tie.
During the regular season series, Tech was able to hold Rice to 3 runs/game, 6 hits/game, and 2.67 walks/game, far below Rice’s season average. Meanwhile, Tech had 7 runs/game and 12.67 hits/game, both above Tech’s average. So both Tech’s offense and defense were more dominant against the Owls than most teams the Bulldogs faced.
How Rice Can Beat Tech
Honestly, it was difficult to find any statistical category where Rice
and Beans matches up well against the Dawgs. Neither of Rice’s two statistical “strengths,” hits (78th) and walks (83rd), are weaknesses for the Bulldogs. Tech ranks 66th in the country at hits allowed and 10th in college baseball at walks allowed.
That being said, it is baseball. Anything can happen. Rice’s 82 year old coach Wayne Graham might have some eligibility left and decide to start himself at pitcher and throw a perfect game. Or at the minimum, with Rice’s knack for getting hits and walks, the Owls should be able to get some men on base. The issue will be getting those runners across the plate.
How Tech Can Beat Rice
Since Tech beats Rice in basically every overall statistical category, let’s focus on an
ouch-y odd one: getting hit by pitch. Tech ranks 5th nationally at getting pitchers so mad that they pelt them with baseballs. Rice has hit 50 batters on the year, about average in C-USA. Tech may need to get a few ice packs ready in the dugout.
Dawgs eat Rice. Louisiana Tech is the better team, and are on a bit of a hot streak after taking 2/3 from USM in Hattiesburg and sweeping ODU.