Can Texas Baseball Get off to Good Start in 2017?

Texas Baseball Looks to Begin a New Era in 2017.

Texas Head Coach David Pierce addressing media before first official day of practice.

Texas Longhorns

2016 Record: 25-32

2016 Conference Record: 10-14

Next Opponent: @ Sam Houston State 2/22


Location: UFCU Disch-Falk Field, Austin, TX

Time (CT): Friday 6:30 PM, Saturday DH 3 PM (Game 2 30 minutes after Game 1, Sunday Noon

Rice Owls

2016 Record: 38-24

2016 Conference Record: 19-10

Next Opponent: vs. Dallas Baptist 2/21

Home Team Player to Watch

RHP Morgan Cooper

After an up and down season last year that was also one coming off of Tommy John surgery, Cooper is poised for a strong 2017. Just like how 2016 ended, Cooper will be the ace and Friday night starter for Texas. The biggest thing for him will be consistent command of all four pitches. Luckily for him, Rice isn’t going to be a big power team. But Cooper is going to have the ability to set the tone for the weekend and the season. With it being a four-game series, the Horns will need Cooper to get 6-7 innings on Friday night.

Away Team Player to Watch

Dane Myers

Dane Myers is looking to make a splash for the Owls this year not just at the plate but also on the mound. Last year, Myers hit .264/.385/.363 with 2 HR and 21 RBI. On the mound, he was 1-2 with a 6.68 ERA in 31 innings out of the bullpen. But Myers added 10-15 pounds of muscle in the offseason and that translated to fall practice. Myers was said to be up to 92-93 on the mounds and had added notably more power to his offensive game. With Willy Amador and Glen Otto most likely not available for the weekend, Rice will need a big shot in the arm from Myers on the mound. At the plate, he’ll be relied upon with Charlie Warren and Ford Proctor to lead the offense.

Projected Pitching Matchups

Friday: RHP Morgan Cooper (3-5, 4.03 ERA in 2016) vs Dane Myers (1-2, 6.68 ERA in 2016)

Saturday (GM 1): RHP Kyle Johnston (3-2, 3.72 ERA in 2016) vs Ricardo Salinas (9-2, 3.31 ERA in 2016)

Saturday (GM 2): RHP Blair Henley (Freshman) vs Rice TBD

Sunday: Texas TBD  vs Rice TBD

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