HOUSTON – Sam Bumpers had two hits on Wednesday evening, but unfortunately for the Lamar baseball team, the rest of the line-up was not as effective as the Cardinals fell 6-1 to No. 18 Rice at Reckling Park.
Vidrine is also 12th in the country in walks and first in the Southland with 21.
Lamar as a team ranks 22nd in the country in walks with 111 in 25 games.
17 of LU’s 33 players are newcomers, and 15 are junior college transfers.
30 Cards hail from the state of Texas, including six from Southeast Texas and one from Beaumont.
LU will play 33 games at home this season, including the first 12.
25 of LU’s games are scheduled vs. Texas opponents, including a home-and-home series with perennial powerhouse Rice.
LU vs. Rice
Rice is 19-6 this season and ranked in the top 10 of this week’s Baseball America poll. The Owls have won seven in a row and 10 of the last 11 with the only loss coming by a 2-1 scoreline in 10 innings. The team will be playing Houston on Tuesday.
Wednesday will mark Rice’s eighth midweek game of the season. All of the games this season have been vs. Texas opponents, and the Owls have won five of them to this point. The only loss came vs. Sam Houston State last month.
Rice has played three games vs. Southland Conference opponents, splitting a pair vs. Sam Houston State and winning earlier this month over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Last year, Rice posted a 44-20 record en route to a trip to a Super Regional vs. NC State, where they were knocked out in a record 17-inning affair.
This is Rice’s 23rd season under the direction of Wayne Graham, who surpassed the 1,000-win mark for the university earlier this season.
The Owls were tabbed as the Conference USA favorite in the annual preseason coaches poll, earning 12 of a possible 13 first place votes. They also had four players named to the preseason team.
Wednesday will mark the 123rd all-time meeting between Rice and LU. The Owls hold a the series lead with a 76-46 advantage.
Last season, the Cards dropped both games to the Owls, beginning with a 9-8 10-inning loss in Beaumont. In the Reckling Park encounter, Rice won in 6-1 fashion.
Last season marked the first since 2009 that the two sides did not split the season series.
LU and Rice first met in the 1952 season opener in Houston, which was the first baseball game in Cardinal history. The Owls won the game 2-1, and would win five more times of LU’s opening three seasons before the program was discontinued in 1954. The series was re-started in 1972, and a year later, then-rookie head coach Jim Gilligan guided the Cards to a 5-4 win in Houston, the first-ever for the team over Rice.
Since the series re-booted in 1972, the two sides have met at least once every season except for 1993.
Rice is one of 32 schools that Lamar has played from the state of Texas. Overall, the Cards have experienced a strong record of success against their home state, posting a 643-513-2 mark and winning 55.5% of the games they’ve played. This season, LU is 4-3 vs. the state with wins over Texas-Pan American, Houston and Prairie View A&M. Last year, the Cards went 14-7 in games vs. Texas foes.