Rice: Kelley off to a good start, Wood hit hard

By Amber Obermeyer - April 17, 2007

Rice's Chris Kelley struggled in his previous start against Texas, but he looked very good in the top of the first inning tonight.

Kelley retired the Longhorn side in order, getting Jordan Danks and Chance Wheeless to strike out and a pop-up from Kyle Russell in a nine-pitch at bat.

The Texas lineup has left-handed hitting batters in the first five spots (including one switch-hitter) against the right-hander Kelley; Rice has just two left-handed hitters, regulars Tyler Henley and Joe Savery, in the line-up against the Longhorns' Austin Wood (who allowed no earned runs in five-and-two-thirds in the teams' March meeting).

For the Owls, Henley lined Wood's first pitch of the day into center field, and Texas' Preston Clark appeared to get a slow jump on the ball because of the very soggy grass in center. He dove for the ball and missed, and Henley (who has excellent speed) legged out a triple. Wood escaped the inning allowing just one run, but two of the outs were hit to the warning track, indicating that the Owls may have figured him out.

And finally, an update on which coach is going to drive me the craziest: Wayne Graham has taken an early lead. After a triple, a warning-track out, a hard-hit single by Brian Friday, and a stolen base, Savery--the Owls cleanup hitter, for goodness sakes!--bunted (foul) on the first pitch. It's a pretty sad statement about a team's power when its cleanup hitter tries to lay down a bunt in the first inning.

Posted by Amber Obermeyer at 08:15 PM on April 17, 2007

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