March 28, 2012

Memphis, Rice, UAB, UCF previews

With Tulane beginning Conference USA play this weekend (the rest of the league started last weekend), here's a team-by-team breakdown of the Green Wave's league opponents. Up today: Memphis, Rice, UAB and UCF, the opponents in next four weeks. The second installment will cover East Carolina, Southern Miss, Houston and Marshall.

MEMPHIS (11-14)

Opening C-USA series: lost 2 of 3 at home to Rice

RPI: 126

Best win: beat Mississippi State (No. 31) 7-6

Worst losses: Dropped 2 of 3 to lower-division SIU-Edwardsville to start the year; dropped 1 of 3 to Siena, which is 3-19.

Common opponents with Tulane: Siena (2-1; Tulane 3-0) Louisiana-Monroe (0-2; Tulane 0-2)

Site of Tulane series: Memphis

Preseason CUSA ranking: seventh

Pertinent stat: Memphis has reached a regional only once since the creation of Conference USA, going 0-2 at the Nashville regional in 2007.

Skinny: The Tigers have lost four of their six series this season. They held Rice to two or fewer runs twice last weekend, losing the opener 1-0 and winning the finale 6-2 in between a 15-4 debacle. Senior outfielder Adam McClain is batting .402 but is primarily a singles hitter. Dan Langfield, who has the best earned run average on the team (2.40), walked six and hit two batters in a poor performance against Rice last Saturday.

RICE (19-8)

Opening C-USA series: won 2 of 3 at Memphis
RPI: 13

Best wins: Swept two from New Mexico State (RPI 16), beat Stanford (RPI 3) 1-0.

Worst losses: Split two with Grambling (RPI 194) and Lamar (RPI 170)

Common opponents with Tulane: none.

Site of Tulane series: New Orleans

Preseason C-USA ranking: first

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