Rice: Owls extend their lead

By Amber Obermeyer - April 17, 2007

Designated hitter Aaron Luna busted out of a mini-slump (he was one-for-nine last weekend against Houston) with a clutch two-out double to give Rice a 4-1 lead (since narrowed to 4-2).

Earlier in the inning, Pat McCrory struggled with his command, walking J.P. Padron (who scored on a Brian Friday groundout) and Tyler Henley, both of whom eventually came around to score. But Garrido, who has a notoriously quick hook, left McCrory in to face Luna (after intentionally walking Savery), who made the Longhorns pay for their slight.

But Kyle Russell, who is surprisingly slight in stature, belted a solo home run in the top of the sixth to pull Texas to within two runs at 4-2. No shame in that for Chris Kelley, though, since Russell averages a home run every other game.

Kelley entered the season projected to be the Owls' best starter (at least until Joe Savery regained his arm strength), so his solid 4.04 earned run average has been something of a disappointment. But on the biggest stage he has pitched on all season, he brought his best stuff, striking out seven in six innings while allowing just four hits.

Posted by Amber Obermeyer at 09:35 PM on April 17, 2007

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