Owls hit a bump in the road

rice logo2.gifThe Rice Owls quest for a second NCAA baseball championship took a detour Wednesday night as the Oregon State Beavers used a career-performance from young starter Daniel Turpen — who had only started one prior game all season — to defeat the Owls 5-0 and set up another game with the Owls this evening to determine which team will face North Carolina in the best-of-three championship series that begins on Saturday night in Omaha.
As noted earlier here, winning the College World Series is usually all about pitching depth, and so Wednesday’s loss provides a clear advantage to North Carolina in the championship series. Regardless of whether Carolina faces Rice or Oregon State, the Tarheels will have the better-rested pitching staff for the championship series. On the other hand, both Rice and Oregon State will use their aces in tonight’s elimination game (television by ESPN2) — Rice’s Eddie Degerman and Oregon State’s Dallas Buck — which will effectively limit their availability in the championship series.
One concern for Rice coach Wayne Graham is that the Owls’ bats have suddenly gone quiet in Omaha. One of the best hitting teams in college baseball, the Owls have now gone 14 straight innings without a run. If that trend doesn’t change, the Owls will likely submit to the old baseball adage “when you don’t hit, you sit.”
Update: Baseball can be such a cruel game. After mashing the ball for virtually the entire season, the Owls’ bats remain asleep as they lose the elimination game to OSU, 2-0.

2 thoughts on “Owls hit a bump in the road

  1. Oregon State is a strange team. Many of us thought UH was denied a regional by a less-deserving Oregon State team (because of geography), but OSU’s really had a much stronger run than I would have expected.

Leave a Reply