Rice: Linebackers on the mound

By Jonathan Yardley - February 24, 2007

Relievers from both teams have slowed the respective offenses, with Matt Foust showing impressive stuff for Nebraska and Matt Langwell getting slightly better results for Rice.

Foust has been very impressive since coming on to quell a two-run Rice rally in the fifth. He has reached 93 mph with has fastball and shown a hard slider around 86 mph. Rice did touch Foust for a run in the sixth inning, including absolute ropes by freshman third baseman Diego Seastrunk (double) and Joe Savery (triple). Seastrunk was 2-for-4 with a homer yesterday out of the No. 7 spot and is 2-4 today hitting in the No.3 hole. He's a 5-10, 180-pound switch hitter from Channelview HIgh School east of Houston. Seastrunk has also successfully handled the swirling wind on several pop-ups, as has Nebraska's Jeff Tezak. On the mound, Foust (6-3, 223) and Rice's Langwell (6-2, 225) both have formidable bodies and would not look out of place on a football field. Foust is a junior from Overland Park, Kansas, and College Station resident Langwell transferred to Rice from Sam Houston State this year.

Rice appears to have found its bats, pounding out 11 hits so far, including several that have been hard hit over the last few innings. The Owls have also been aggressive on the basepaths, stealing a pair of bases and advancing on three wild pitches and a passed ball.

Speaking of pitchers with good stuff, Wayne Graham has just called upon Ryne Tacker to get the final six outs for Rice. Lefty Bobby Bramhall pitched three innings yesterday, and righty Jared Gayhart started in left field and was removed for a pinch hitter. Tacker is a candidate for a midweek starting role but has appeared only in relief so far, dominating to the tune of an 0.55 ERA in 16.1 innings.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 04:35 PM on February 24, 2007

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