Rice: The reverse jinx

By Jonathan Yardley - February 24, 2007


Never underestimate the reverse jinx. Not to hog this blog or anything, but Rice just put together a six-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning to go ahead 6-5. Here's how it happened ...

The inning began with a wind-blown double off the bat of Brian Friday. Diego Seastrunk singled and Joe Savery doubled to make it 5-1, but the rally continued without the benefit of another hit. A passed ball, a walk, an errant throw on what could have been a double play, a fielder's choice on which Nebraska did not record an out, another wild pitch, a walk, a hit batter to force in the tying run, and another wild pitch to score the go-ahead run gave RIce a 6-5 lead.

Got all that? Of course you do.

What an inning. It was not pretty in any way, shape or form, except for a Rice fan's view of the scoreboard. Nebraska's infielders were shaken on two different plays by runners darting off third base, First baseman Andrew Brown looked home and then threw wide to second, ruining what could have been a double play. Third baseman Jeff Tezak threw home when a double play would have ended the inning, and the runner on third scampered safely back to the bag.

The passed ball and two wild pitches against catcher Jeff Lanning didn't help either, especially the final one. With the score tied 5-5 and Dan Jennings on in relief of Charlie Shirek, a ball in the dirt bounced only a few feet away from Lanning, but he was slow to find it and track it down, and Rice's Chad Lembeck raced home just ahead of the throw with the go-ahead run. The ball literally did not leave the artificial turf that surrounds the home-plate circle, yet Lembeck scored from third. Crazy inning.

We'll see if the long inning fazes Rice reliever Matt Langwell at all and if the Rice bats can keep their magic going.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 03:46 PM on February 24, 2007
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