HOUSTON - Now entering his 24th season at the helm of the Rice baseball program, Owl head coach Wayne Graham welcomed back 17 returning lettermen from last year's team that earned a 20th-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament to the start of the fall training program on Monday (Sept. 29.
The Owls return five offensive starters in the batting order and eight veteran pitchers who helped lead the 2014 team to a 42-20 record and to both the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. Under the direction of coach Graham, Rice baseball has won or shared a conference regular season or tournament title in each of the last 19-straight seasons.
Ten of the 13 newcomers on the team are freshmen from the high school ranks and three new players are joining Rice as transfers.
After a brief period of conditioning and drills, Graham divided the team for a Blue-Gray scrimmage. The Owls have only a short time to train before taking the field for a pair of fall exhibitions that have fast become a fan-favorite the last few years. Rice hosts longtime foe Tulane in a fall exhibition at Reckling Park on Oct. 11 (Sat.). On Oct. 18 the Blue & Gray welcomes state-foe Lamar in the second of the free exhibitions.