Rice: Huskers in control

By Jonathan Yardley - February 24, 2007

It's only the fourth inning, but Nebraska looks in complete control of this game. The Cornhuskers knocked out Ryan Berry in the second inning and have twice ended Rice innings by turning double plays.

Berry gave up two singles and a pair of two-out walks in the second inning, forcing in a run. Sam Houston State transfer Matt Langwell came in to end the inning and has stemmed the tide for the moment. A 5-0 lead, however, appears all but insurmountable - Rice has only scored five runs in a game four times this year, including games against Central Missouri and Dallas Baptist.

Charlie Shirek ran into trouble in the second inning against Rice DH Jess Buenger. The switch-hitter fouled off nine consecutive two-strike pitches in a 13-pitch at-bat before singling to right-center, putting two runners on with one out. Shirek then fell behind Jared Gayhart 2-0, but a 4-6-3 double play got him out of the inning.

The clouds have all but disappeared for the moment at Reckling Park, and it's a warm afternoon in the mid-70s. That's right, mid-70s. I love Texas in February. The wind has stuck around, however, playing tricks with infielders on pop-ups most of the afternoon. Rice's Brian Friday just led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a pop-up to left field that dropped well in front of leftfielder Andy Gerch, who had retreated almost to the warning track. After a single and a double, Rice is to within 5-1 and has two runners in scoring position.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 03:20 PM on February 24, 2007

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