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Future Bombers Heating Up So Much That They Are A Danger To Themselves and Others

Mother Nature finally took a look at the calendar and brought the expected spring warmth to the country, but future Bombers continued to sizzle like the summer heat is upon us.

Jess Buenger and his Rice Owls continued to surge, taking a midweek matchup from the powerhouse Texas Longhorns before sweeping Central Florida in a weekend series. Buenger started and registered a hit in all four games, even batting cleanup in the finale on Sunday. For the week, he went 6-for-16 (.375) with 3 runs and 3 RBI. Buenger’s average for the season has climbed to .315, good for third on the team. He has now climbed inside the top 25 hitters in Conference USA on the strength of 11 multiple-hit games.

Ryan Weber continues to demonstrate his prowess – and his versatility. The Temple shortstop had a big part in both of the Owls wins this past week, at the plate and in his new role as occasional closer. On Wednesday, Weber went 3-for-4 and added a walk, scoring twice. He crossed home as part of a seven-run rally in the Temple eighth that gave the Owls a 9-7 comeback win over Bucknell. After dropping the first two games of the weekend series to Atlantic 10 rival Xavier, Weber stepped up again to rally Temple to victory. At the plate, he went 1-for-3 and drove in two with a pair of sacrifice flies. And with a tenuous 8-7 lead heading into the ninth, head coach Rob Valli turned to Weber to close out the game. The future Bomber delivered a scoreless frame to salvage a conference win and notch his second save of the season. Weber’s season average is a stout .342 with 31 runs and 23 RBI, to go along with a 2.08 ERA on the hill.

Joseph Towns and UT-Tyler had more of the same this week, mixed in with a little bit of the unexpected. On Tuesday, the Patriots pounded Southwest Assemblies to the tune of 18-0, racking up 12 runs in the first inning. Towns was a contributor to the carnage, going 1-for-3 with a walk, 2 runs scored and a pair of RBI. But then the unexpected happened: On Friday, UT-Tyler traveled to Louisiana College and dropped their first decision of the season, ending a 40-game unbeaten streak dating back to last season. The Patriots bounced back to sweep a Saturday doubleheader, in no small part because of Towns. In the three-game series, he went 4-for-11 with a double and two runs scored. On the season, Towns remains an offensive juggernaut, batting .396 with 39 runs scored and 35 RBI.

On the mound, Missouri’s Scooter Hicks continues to see regular action out of the bullpen. Hicks appeared in three of the four Mizzou games last week, posting a pair of scoreless outings. He bounced back from a tough outing on Friday to throw 1.2 shutout innings against Baylor on Sunday. He was the first Tigers pitcher to not allow a run in Sunday’s series finale, holding Baylor at bay and setting the stage for a Mizzou comeback. For the season, Hicks has a 3-0 record and 1 save and a 2.30 ERA in 12 appearances.

Elsewhere, Texas A&M first baseman Darby Brown fought through a recent injury to go 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in Friday’s Big 12 victory over Oklahoma State. Brown’s average for the season is a solid .327. Duke freshman Will Currier pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning against Maryland in an ACC contest on Friday.

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