Rice: Triple play gets Owls off the hook

By Jonathan Yardley - February 16, 2007

Ever seen a 9-3-6-4-3 triple play? Neither had we until the fourth inning of this crazy game, which is still scoreless. Check it out ...

Rice’s Chris Kelley ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the third inning, allowing a walk and a seeing-eye single, but he got out of it with a chopper and a change-up that fooled No. 2 hitter Allen Woods.

It may be cold, but Reckling Park fans are enjoying a cloudless sky this afternoon. The field looks in its best shape since heavy rains made preseason practice difficult in early January. There are still a few brown patches and plenty of soft spots, but the grass – which could be replaced in a few years if Rice can raise the funds for FieldTurf – looks very vibrant.

Vance Worley looked at his best in the bottom of the third, striking out Tyler Henley with breaking stuff and burning two fastballs by Brian Friday before getting him with yet another curveball.

Bad start to the fourth inning for Kelley – consecutive ground-ball singles by Shane Peterson and Jason Corder have two on and nobody out. Surely Danny Espinosa is going to bunt here … Kelley spun toward second, and Espinosa appeared to be squaring around. He then swings away on the next pitch, chasing a curveball in the dirt. Cat-and-mouse here between Weathers and Graham, both in their 16th seasons at their respective schools. And the bunt has been taken off – Espinosa golfs one into the right-field corner.
Crazy play here. Chad Lembeck slid in the corner to catch the ball, and the first-base umpire signaled a fair ball and then an out. Though out, Espinosa ended up caught in a rundown (which didn't matter, since he was already out, but proceeded nonetheless), and both Long Beach State runners advanced a base. Rice then touched first and second bases, doubling off the confused runners and completing a triple play. After the umpires conferred, Rice ended up with a ridiculously complex triple play. The official scoring is going to go 9-3-6-4-3 for a triple play.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 06:11 PM on February 16, 2007

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