Rice: same song, second verse...

By Amber Obermeyer - February 23, 2007

The left-handed relievers for both teams are faring just as well as did the right-handed starters.

But the Rice bats have helped, stranding a runner on third in each of the last two innings. In particular, neither Brian Friday nor Derek Myers could score Tyler Henley from third after Henley's leadoff triple in the bottom of the seventh. In the eighth, a failed bunt turned into a fielder's choice early in the inning, and Danny Lehmann lined out to end the inning.

Henley led off another inning with an extra-base hit, grounding the ball off of second base (literally) and into no-man's land in short right-center. With Henley on second (in the first inning), third (in the seventh), and second (in the ninth), Friday has two strikeouts and a fly out that did not advance the runner; I'm beginning to think that he, and perhaps Savery as well, should be dropped in the order. Granted, Graham does not have many better options right now, but at the very least, hitting lower in the order might take some of the pressure off.

Another savvy play from Florida Atlantic ended the Owls' threat--with Henley on third after a wild pitch, Florida Atlantic picked up on Rice's suicide squeeze sign (or perhaps just guessed correctly given Graham's propensity for bunting these days) and tagged Henley out at the plate. But yet another funny bounce off a base (first, this time) gave Rice's Jordan Dodson a "double," courtesy of some very generous college scoring. Florida Atlantic has brought on another lefty, Joel Schmal, to face Savery. We'll see if the highly touted Savery, who has too many clutch hits to count in his Rice career, will embarrass me for suggesting that he be dropped in the order.

Posted by Amber Obermeyer at 07:46 PM on February 23, 2007

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