West Virginia left fielder Jacob Rice is coming home. A former Tulsa Union star as a three-year starter, Rice is in his first season in Morgantown, having detoured through the University of Arkansas, then Eastern Oklahoma State a year ago.
For the Mountaineers, Rice is enjoying a strong season, batting .327 with two home runs, 12 doubles, 24 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
What's it like coming back to Oklahoma as a Mountaineer?
“It's pretty cool. Growing up, I never thought I'd play baseball at West Virginia. I always thought I'd play in Oklahoma, so it's nice coming back when you're that far away.”
Are you expecting a welcoming committee?
“I should have a pretty good group coming out to watch the games. Family, friends are coming, somewhere close to 20 in all.”
So how did you wind up at West Virginia?
“I started out at Arkansas. Didn't work out there. Went to Eastern. I just took a visit and liked it there and decided I wanted to play there.”
How have you adjusted to being so far from home?
“It's definitely different up there, but I think I've adapted to it pretty well and I like it a lot.”
What's been the best part of your season so far?
“Probably the highlight for the season was beating Oklahoma. Growing up, I was always an OSU fan, so I didn't really like OU much. It was pretty cool beating them two out of three.”
What will the emotions be like playing against OSU this weekend?
“I definitely want to beat them, of course. My parents went to OSU, but hopefully they'll be wearing West Virginia gear in the stands.”