Rice: Scoreless after the second

By Jonathan Yardley - February 16, 2007

Not much to speak of in the early going except superstitions and scouting reports. We're scoreless after the bottom of the second, but read on to see how Long Beach State likes to live up to its nickname.

Long Beach tried to open the game with some trademark small ball, but Rice catcher Danny Lehmann threw out Robert Perry trying to steal after Perry opened with a bloop single to right. The caught stealing even came on a breaking ball. The DIrtbags also have one of those alternately appealing/annoying superstitions where they tap their caps and yell with a 2-2 count and two outs in the inning. I would call it a California thing, but UT does it too, so go figure. For the record, the Dirtbags do not follow this superstition when pitching.

Long Beach sophomore righthander Vance Worley was slightly more impressive than Rice starter Chris Kelley in the first inning - Worley worked at 90-92 on the radar gun and showed serviceable breaking stuff. Kelley, a junior transfer from San Jacinto, does not throw quite as hard - usually topping out at 90 mph - but tends to induce a lot of ground balls with offspeed pitches. Kelley elevated a pitch to Beach shortstop Danny Espinosa, but he just missed the pitch and sent a fly ball to right field that had no chance against a stiff wind.

Rice has made two outs on two pitches in the bottom of the second - guarantee you Danny Lehmann takes the first pitch from Worley now ... called strike. Lehmann eventually worked an eight-pitch walk to keep Worley's pitch count up. It stands at 31 after a called third strike to Aaron Luna.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 05:41 PM on February 16, 2007

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