Bulldogs Travel To No. 25 Rice
March 17, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - Louisiana Tech (8-8) will conclude their eight game road tour through the state of Texas with a three-game set at 25th-ranked Rice beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. CT at Reckling Park. The series will conclude with two matinee games slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Bulldogs will send Trevor Petersen to the mound Friday evening looking to snap a six-game losing streak and a nine game losing streak in games played inside the state of Texas.
Mark Threlkeld leads Tech with a .365 batting average, belting seven doubles and three home runs for a total of nine RBI on the season. As a team, Tech is hitting .274, posting 151 hits and 100 runs scored.
Rice (10-9) has faced a difficult schedule to start the season posting a 10-9 record with a team batting average of .266 and a staff ERA of 4.37. The Owls are led by defending national player of the year, Anthony Rendon. The junior 3B is touted as one of the top-ranked prospects for the 2011 draft and is currently hitting .343 on the year.
Dave Nitz will return to the airwaves on Friday night to provide play-by-play commentary of the Bulldogs showdown with the Rice Owls. Fans can listen in Ruston on ESPN 97.7 or log on and listen via LA Tech All-Access on www.LATechSports.com, the official home page for Louisiana Tech Athletics.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
Rice returns 23 letterwinners from a 2010 squad that posted a 40-23 record with an appearance in the Austin Regional. Of the returning letterman, the Owls are led by junior all-American and defending player of the year, Anthony Rendon, who is projected as a possible first pick in the upcoming MLB draft.
Last season, Rendon hit .394 while hitting 26 home runs and driving in 85 runs to lead the offensive attack for the Owls. Despite Rendon's power in the middle of the lineup, the Rice offensive has gotten off to a slow start, hitting .266 as a team with 172 hits and 105 runs scored.
Freshman Austin Kubitza anchors the front of the Rice rotation, posting a 2.03 ERA in four appearances this season. Despite his 1-2 record, Kubitza has allowed only three walks while striking out 26 batters in 26.2 innings of work.
As a staff, the Rice pitchers own a 4.37 ERA while striking out 163 batters and allowing just 59 walks. However, opposing teams are hitting .297 against Rice pitchers and have posted 11 home runs to begin the season.