Closing In On Rice-Texas State

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Spent most of a glorious afternoon with head in the clouds at The Reck, watching The OG and Co. instruct the Owls as they began the third week of intrasquads. Miss any interesting news?

The Owls will hold their first and only exhibition at 1 p.m., Sunday against Texas State, and the live chat will be in full effect. Come join the party and be sure to tell a friend or two, for we'll discuss the team, project who will hit where and sort through pitching roles. There will be some play-by-play and analysis for those souls who won't be at The Reck for Owls-Bobcats.

As for today, the bad news first: Fr. RHP/OF Tyler Spurlin took a line drive (clocked at 105 mph off the bat of Michael Fuda) off the right elbow and immediately left the game. He was in a sling afterward and scheduled for an x-ray. Results should be available Wednesday. Spurlin has allowed 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits and nine walks over 10 2/3 innings (5.06 ERA) with three strikeouts. He is batting .300 with seven runs, four RBIs and six extra-base hits.

Fr. RHP Tyler Duffey logged four perfect innings by attacking the strike zone with impunity. Unlike Spurlin, who was hamstrung by a sloppy defensive performance, Duffey kept his defense active by working quickly and throwing strikes. His appearance was the most impressive on the mound, but it wasn't the only noteworthy pitching outing. Doug Simmons (3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks) continues to prove that his sudden effectiveness isn't a fluke, wielding a devastating change-up plus nimble footwork and reliable leather on the bump.

If Sr. RHP Jared Rogers keeps his mechanics and maintains his health, he will solidify the weekend rotation. His fastball bores down and in on righthanders, and his assortment of breaking balls and off-speed pitches are equally effective when controlled with confidence.

Sr. OF Steven Sultzbaugh continues to smack the ball hard, as does Jr. SS Rick Hague. Sr. C Diego Seastrunk showed signs of emerging from his slump with a two-run homer off Spurlin and an RBI double off Fr. RHP Chase McDowell. Soph. OF Jeremy Rathjen also found a groove, delivering three singles and a well-struck fly ball that produced a loud out to left field.

It wasn't a great day behind the plate for reserve catchers Craig Manuel and Geoff Perrott, but it is the third of five weeks of fall ball. Attention is starting to wane and an exhibition is needed.

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Obviously this is going to be a busy day for you, but any word on Spurlin?

At Ease: Spurlin is fine aside from the soreness and baseball stitch marks. No fracture, which is excellent news. And I don't know how busy I am going to be considering we're all in a bizzaro holding pattern. Sounds like another leisurely afternoon at The Reck is in the cards. The world on that side of campus is without strife. - MK

The rock that is the Reck.

Thanks for the update, that's good to hear.

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