Rice: Inexperienced pitchers square off

By Jonathan Yardley - February 17, 2007

Back at Reckling Park for game two in this series. Everybody's still talking about Rice's triple play yesterday and the Owls' .211 team batting average (and the need for more humor in this blog - I'll see what I can do). Long Beach State, on the other hand, is in good position to break Rice's home series winning streak but will send lefthander Shane Peterson to the mound today for his first appearance of the season ...

Peterson was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA last year as a true freshman, striking out 10 batters and walking nine in 13 total innings. He has never pitched more than three innings in a game, so the Dirtbag bullpen may get a workout today. Peterson is DHing for himself, so he can remain in the batting order if he is removed from the mound. If you're not familiar with that rule, you can go to the NCAA site to download the rule book and search for "designated hitter" ... it'll tell you way more than you ever want to know about the DH rule in college.
If Rice's pitching rotation can be considered a stack - with theoretical ace Joe Savery starting Sunday - then today's game gives Rice its biggest advantage. True freshman Ryan Berry, who has not allowed a run in two appearances totaling nine innings, will start for the Owls. Berry has become a minor cult hero at one dorm on the Rice campus, and its denizens like to chant his name between innings. We'll see if he can keep the magic going after beating Baylor one week ago.
Continuing our lefty / righty analysis, Long Beach State has included seven lefthanded batters in the lineup against Berry today. Rice, meanwhile, has loaded up with seven righthanded bats against Peterson.

As for the humor, we'll see what happens. Chances are increased if Long Beach State's A.J. Pinocchio gets in the game - he's just asking for one-liners.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 02:30 PM on February 17, 2007

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