HOUSTON – The 2014 version of Rice Owl baseball loaded the bus on Monday knowing they had continued a tradition. Being the ones to break a string of 19 straight conference titles was just simply unacceptable.
“It’s definitely nerve-racking, but at the same time it’s fun,” pitcher Blake Fox said.
“When you have that kind of run it’s about a lot of things,” head coach Wayne Graham said. “You have to have some luck to do that.”
Head coach Wayne Graham says each team he’s had at Rice carried it’s own identity and this year’s group is no different.
“This has been one of the most persistent team I’ve ever,” Graham said. “Instead of whining they look to ways to solve the problem.”
The Owls have continued to win despite having to deal with major injuries to the pitching staff. They lost ace Jordan Stephens for the season back in February and closer Zech Lemond also missed time before returning to the mound this past weekend.
“The next guy up was kind of the mentality that everyone had,” pitcher Matt Ditman said. “Everyone came out and did the job like the guy before him.”
Now the question becomes, will the Owls host a regional at Reckling Park? They’ve done it 10 times in the last 13 years, in fact, Rice and UH could both play at home in round one, something which has never happened.
“I think it’d be great to have two here,” Graham said. “There’s no reason not to.”
Games still need to be played, why not add CUSA Tournament Championship trophy to the already crowded mantle.
“We’re very happy to have a string like that and we want to keep it going,” Graham said.