<
>

Savery's single sends Owls into winner's bracket

6/18/2006

OMAHA, Neb. -- Rice led by two runs and pitcher Eddie
Degerman had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning against
Georgia. But when the Owls came to bat in the bottom half, Degerman
was out of the game and they found themselves down by two.

"The overall feeling was, 'There's no reason we should be
losing this game,"' Rice first baseman Joe Savery said. "It got
us in gear."

Savery's two-run single keyed a four-run rally that put the Owls
ahead again in a 6-4 College World Series victory Saturday. It was
the Owls' 38th win in 41 games.

Rice (56-11) advanced to a Monday game against Miami, which beat
Oregon State 11-1 Saturday night. Georgia (47-22) will play a
Bracket 2 elimination game Monday against the Beavers.

Degerman, a fourth-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals,
was bidding to become the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter at the
CWS in 46 years.

Degerman, who struck out nine, walked eight but held the
Bulldogs without a hit for 6 1/3 innings.

"It didn't really feel like a no-hitter with all the walks I
had," Degerman said. "I felt good out there. But at certain times
I was trying to do too much maybe, trying too hard, throwing too
hard."

Degerman walked Bobby Felmy and Jason Jacobs to open the seventh
before Ryan Peisel broke through with an RBI single up the middle.

With the no-hit bid over, it was an easy decision for Rice coach
Wayne Graham to take out Degerman, who threw 116 pitches.

"I'm not going to take history away from anybody," Graham
said. "I feel we've got a great bullpen, so I was not reluctant to
take him out."

Cole St. Clair came on, and Matthew Dunn hit a chopper down the
third-base line. Josh Rodriguez was far off-target with his hurried
throw to first, allowing Jacobs to score from second and tie it at
2.

Jonathan Wyatt's hard line drive off Rodriguez's glove gave
Georgia the lead and chased St. Clair. Joey Side greeted Bryce Cox
(5-1) with an RBI single to make it 4-2.

"We got exactly what we wanted," Georgia coach David Perno
said. "We got our big inning. We knew you're not going to nickel
and dime them. They have a quality staff and we knew we'd have to
strike and strike big, and we did it."

The Bulldogs were in position to score even more after loading
the bases with one out. But Cox struck out cleanup batter Josh
Morris and got Bobby Felmy to ground out.

Rice came back in the bottom half against Rip Warren (8-3) to
regain the lead with Brian Friday's RBI double, Savery's two-run
single and Jordan Dodson's RBI base hit.

"Just when you think they're down and out, they answered
everything we had," Perno said. "We got no-hit for a few innings
but we hung in there and got the big inning that we were searching
for and put ourselves in position. Tip your hat to Rice. They did a
great job coming back."

Warren, charged with four runs on five hits, came into the game
having allowed just one run in 10 1/3 innings in the NCAA
tournament. It was the most runs the senior left-hander had allowed
in 29 relief appearances this season.

"I just didn't think I made very good pitches," Warren said.
"For the most part they were up a little bit and didn't have any
action to them, and they hit them."

Georgia starter Brooks Brown, a first-round supplemental pick of
the Arizona Diamondbacks, held Rice hitless until Savery, who went
3-for-3, lined a ball into center in the fourth.

"The pitching today was great stuff, and the two teams were
able to put up 10 runs between them," Graham said. "That's a
tribute not only to the hitting ability but the tenacity of both
teams. Georgia fought us hard and the breaks kept going back and
forth."