Rice: Tacker doing the job in relief

By Jonathan Yardley - February 18, 2007

It’s 2-1 Rice as we head to the eighth inning. The middle innings were pitching, pure and simple. Long Beach State’s Omar Arif allowed a scratched run in the fourth inning on a pair of walks and a bloop single but retired nine Owls in a row before leaving in the bottom of the seventh. Arif allowed just three hits in 6.2 innings, and two of them were soft bloopers. Andrew Liebel, Friday’s winning pitcher, is on for the Dirtbags.

On the other side, righthander Ryne Tacker took over for Joe Savery after four innings and has four strikeouts in three innings. There have been no hits in the game since a bloop single by Adam Zornes in the fourth inning … and Long Beach pinch hitter A.J. Pinocchio – a member of my all-name team – just singled to center to open the eighth. Robert Perry followed with a sacrifice, putting Pinocchio in scoring position with one out. But Tacker settled down to retire Matt Cline on a grounder and strike out Kyle Morgan with a filthy change-up in the dirt. 2-1 Rice into the bottom of the eighth.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 04:21 PM on February 18, 2007

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