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Friday - March 31, 2006

Game 30: Texas at Oklahoma

I missed the first three innings or so. And, I got a couple of calls so wasn't able to follow the game too closely. No matter. The Horns still won, 2-0.

Texas scored their first run in the 6th:

They scored again in the 9th when Bradley Suttle hit a 2-out solo home run. His first home run as a Longhorn!

Kyle McCulloch threw the first 8 innings and got the win. He gave up 5 hits, threw 3 strikeouts, walked 3, and hit one batter. I think he threw over 120 pitches. Oddly, Adrian Alaniz pitched the 9th and got his second save of the year. He faced three: Rodriguez flew out to rf, Dunigan struck out swinging, and Kaiser struck out looking.

OU had at least one runner on every inning except the 9th. Wow. Drew Stubbs again made a couple of great plays in cf.

In the postgame interview, Coach Garrido said they left Kyle in past the 7th because he was throwing effortlessly and wasn't struggling. He added that the plan for now is to have Kenn Kasparek start tomorrow and give Adrian a "spa" day. Adrian should start on Sunday.

It sounded like a really good game. 'Wish I had ESPN-U. Alas...

Here's to another OU sweep! Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:15 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 29, 2006

Alumni news: Omar Quintanilla sent down

Quick note: The Rockies optioned Omar Quintanilla to minor league camp earlier today.

Posted by Joanna at 11:14 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 28, 2006

Alumni news: Dunn and Flores

Quick note: Scott Dunn and Jose Flores were assigned to minor league camp by their respective clubs (Angels and Indians).

Posted by Joanna at 9:46 PM | Permalink

Alumni news: More Halsey links

Two more links on the Halsey trade:

UPDATE. And, another:

Posted by Joanna at 9:48 AM | Permalink

Monday - March 27, 2006

Alumni news: Halsey traded

So, the news all through spring training was whether Brad Halsey or Claudio Vargas would be the 5th starter for the Diamondbacks. Come today there's news that Brad's been traded to the A's for Juan Cruz. So, now Brad's joining Huston in Oakland. Brad's being added to the A's 40-man roster. 'Sounds like Brad's sad to be leaving Phoenix. It must've been a bit of a shock. He was expecting to start for the Diamondbacks on Sunday when he got to the park. Instead, he was told to pack his bags. Wow. A few links:

UPDATE. Another article: A's send Cruz to Arizona for starter by Josh Suchon (insidebayarea.com). A couple of quotes:

Posted by Joanna at 1:06 AM | Permalink

Game 29: Oklahoma State at Texas

Wow. What a series. Texas did sweep, winning 8-7 today.

Frank Anderson made an odd decision that still has me wondering. He started Jordy Mercer, the everyday shortstop. Mercer really struggled, giving up one run in the 1st and three more in the 2nd. When the Cowboys sent Brae Wright in at the start of the home half of the 3rd, they sent Mercer to ss and gave up their dh. So Wright, who hadn't made a plate appearance all year but was pitching a pretty good game, ended up coming up to bat three times. He struck out all three times: twice to lead off an inning and once, with the game tied at 5, to end the inning (leaving the bases loaded). Anyway...the line:

RHE
OSU 103 010 101 - 7110
Texas 131 000 03x - 8122

Riley Boening pitched the first 6 but did not figure into the decision. He gave up 5 runs (1 unearned) on 6 hits, with 8 strikeouts, 3 walks (1 intentional), and 1 hit batter. Joseph Krebs went 2.2 and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits, with 1 strikeout, and 2 walks to get the win. Austin Wood threw to the last batter of the game and got him to fly out to rf to get his 3rd save of the year.

On the offensive side of things, Kyle Russell and Drew Stubbs were the heroes of the day. Kyle hit back-to-back home runs in his first two plate appearances. When he came up to bat the third time we wondered if he'd match J.D. Reininger's freshman performance from a few years ago at the Dell Diamond and get 3. Alas, it didn't happen. By the way, Kyle's first home run went over the lf fence against the right-handed starter; his second cleared the rf fence and came off the left-hander. In the bottom of the 8th, trailing 5-6, Drew Stubbs came up with runners at 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. He hit a towering shot over the lf fence. It was beautiful.

Horns win! Horns win! Horns winnnnnn!!! Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 12:45 AM | Permalink

Sunday - March 26, 2006

Game 28: Oklahoma State at Texas

Yesterday's game was ugly. Texas won 7-5. But, ugh. Texas left 13 stranded, 9 in scoring position. But, OSU walked 11. So, that stranded number is a little deceiving. By contrast, Texas walked 8. Oh, wait. Not much contrast, eh? Not pretty. Did I already say that? Drew Stubbs made a couple of really nice plays in cf. And, he hit a triple. But, was stranded at 3b after OSU walked the bases full. Ugly. I hope they Horns sweep today. I really really do.

Posted by Joanna at 11:43 AM | Permalink

Friday - March 24, 2006

Game 27: Oklahoma State at Texas

I'm really tired so am not gonna post much tonight. But, I do have to say that Kyle McCulloch pitched a great game tonight. I was so happy to see him put a good game together. He went 8 innings, gave up 3 runs (2 unearned) on 5 hits. Here's the cool thing: he struck out 12. While walking none. Of course, he did hit two. By my count, he threw 113 pitches. He'd thrown 103 by the end of the 7th so I was surprised, despite how well he was pitching, to see him back for the 8th. He got his 2nd win of the season and he really deserved it. Horns won 10-5.

Offensively, the Horns scored 10 runs on 16 hits. Everyone in the lineup got at least one hit. Multi-hitters: Jordan Danks went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple; Drew Stubbs went 2-for-4; Bradley Suttle (swinging from both sides) went 4-for-4 with a triple; and Kyle Russell went 2-for-4 with a double and a 2-strike home run against one of the OSU lefties. Cool.

And, "programming" note: the start time for tomorrow's game has been moved from 2pm to 1pm. That's for those of us that would like to watch the basketball game. Geaux, Horns! Beat the Tigers!

Posted by Joanna at 10:39 PM | Permalink

Statesman article

A nice article in today's Statesman: Texas searching for consistent play by Cedric Golden (Austin American-Statesman). A general assessment of how things are going so far for the Horns. Toward the end of the article, Randy Boone (who I've been wondering about) is mentioned:

Randy Boone did some long tossing on Wednesday and Thursday and hopes to return to the mound by next week. Boone had an MRI recently that revealed no structural damage in his right arm, according to Longhorns team trainer Eddie Day. Boone said he felt fine at Thursday's practice. His return could provide the bullpen with a dependable right-hander to join a group of young lefties.

Posted by Joanna at 12:34 PM | Permalink

Thursday - March 23, 2006

Running the stop sign

It's official. Drew Stubbs' did run past Tommy Harmon's stop sign in last night's game:

The truly funny thing about Tommy Harmon putting up the stop sign when Drew Stubbs (arguably one of the fastest players who's ever played for the Horns) is rounding third base is the contrast to when some poor hapless slow guy is in the same situation. Tommy Harmon cranks that right arm of his like there's no tomorrow and everyone knows, as the slow guy (Jeff Ontiveros comes screaming to mind, for some odd reason!) goes lumbering past the third base bag, that the guy's running dead. Yeah, I've heard the argument: the slow guy's best chance at scoring (especially if there's already an out in the inning) is to jar the ball loose in a collision at home or hope the throw's offline; with a fast guy standing at third, there are all kinds of ways to get him home. I'm not sure I buy that. I do know that I always feel sorry for the slow guy running from first base when the guy behind him hits a double and Tommy Harmon's coaching third.

Anyway, go Drew! Go Horns! Keep on beatin' the Owls! Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:07 PM | Permalink

Alumni news roundup

At the end of the article in the Statesman about last night's game, there's a note about Keith Moreland:

Texas radio announcer Keith Moreland has accepted a position as a roving minor-league hitting instructor with the Washington Nationals. The former Texas All-American was introduced along with former major-leaguers Dante Bichette and Darnell Coles by Nationals assistant general manager for player personnel Bob Boone, his former teammate with the Philadelphia Phillies. The 51-year-old Moreland said he will schedule his new gig around radio broadcasts for KVET-AM (1300) and his head coaching position at St. Stephens High School.

And, training camp news:

Several former Longhorns who've been in training camp in Florida and Arizona have been assigned to minor league teams over the last few weeks; among them: J. Brent Cox, Brandon Fahey, J.P. Howell, Ryan Hubele, Phil Seibel, and Taylor Teagarden.

As of this posting, Scott Dunn, Brad Halsey, and Omar Quintanilla are still listed on the active rosters of their respective MLB clubs. And, Curtis Thigpen is still in the Blue Jays' camp...but he's a non-roster invitee.

Posted by Joanna at 9:15 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 22, 2006

Game 26: Rice at Texas

Unbelievable. Nine in a row. Wow. Texas beat Rice again tonight. That makes nine in a row. Amazing. The line:

RHE
Rice 000 002 000 - 231
Texas 001 010 10x - 341

Riley Boening started and pitched a very good 5 innings. Through the first 5, he faced 18, struck out 2, walked 2, and kept the Owls hitless. Sadly, he started off the 6th with a walk. He then gave up a single to shallow cf followed by a bunt single to load the bases. He then got a double play (one run scored). Then, a single to 3b (game-tying run scored). The next batter worked the count full and, at that very late point, Riley was finally replaced (yes, with the count full to a batter) by Kenn Kasparek. Kenn completed the walk (charged to Riley) and then got the next batter to pop out to 2b. Inning over. As in Saturday's game, the coaches left the starter in one inning too long. Kenn got the win; he pitched the 7th (3 fly outs around one hit batter). Austin Wood threw a 1-2-3 8th (strikeout looking, strikeout swinging, and line out to 2b). Adrian Alaniz got his first save of the year as he threw a 1-2-3 9th (pop out to ss, strikeout looking, and ground out to ss). Defensively, the pitchers had a bit of help in the outfield. In the 3rd, Bradley Suttle made great grab to keep a ball from making it's way into cf and then made a perfect throw to 1b to get the first out. To end the same inning, Nick Peoples made an amazing catch of a line drive that nearly took his head off. Wow. In the 4th, Drew Stubbs made a long run toward the lf gap to rob Jordan Dodson of at least a single (if not a double); he very likely kept a run from scoring. And, on that single to 3b in the 6th, Nick Peoples did an amazing job just getting to the ball and keeping it from going into the lf corner. He then threw across the diamond and just missed getting the batter out. No, it wasn't an out...but it was still a great play.

And, how did Texas score? In the 3rd, Bradley Suttle led things off with a double to the rf corner. He moved to 3b on a great sac bunt by Preston Clark and scored on a squeeze bunt by Chais Fuller. In the 5th, Chance Wheeless singled to cf. Kyle Russell popped out to 1b on a bunt attempt. On the first pitch to Bradley Suttle, Chance stole 2b. He moved to 3b after tagging up when Bradley hit a fly ball to cf. He scored (unearned) as Preston Clark reached on an error by 3b. In the 7th, Drew Stubbs worked the count full and then walked. Carson Kainer (still working with a very very hot bat) doubled to the lf/cf gap. Drew took off and ran past Tommy Harmon (who seemed to have the stop sign on) and was beat by the throw from the outfield. But, the catcher could not hold onto the ball and he was safe. Carson moved to 3b on the throw but was stranded there.

So, Texas got the lead runner on 3 times. And, 3 times, he scored. Good show.

By the by...it was cold at Disch-Falk this evening. But we had a big crowd so it didn't feel as bad as it could've. The weird thing about it was that the temperature was 53 (keep in mind, it always feels about 10 degrees colder in the stands with the wind whipping around all that concrete and aluminum) at the start of the game and it did not drop at all throughout the 2 & 1/2 hours it took to play the game. Very odd. Anyway...

Good game. Go, Horns! Keep on beatin' the Owls! Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:34 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 19, 2006

Final game of Texas Tech series cancelled

Due to bad weather in Lubbock, the final game of the Texas Tech series has been cancelled. The game will not be re-scheduled. I really wish they'd won yesterday. Sigh...

Posted by Joanna at 1:01 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 18, 2006

Alumni News: Brandon Fahey

Brandon Fahey's making some noise in the Orioles' training camp. To wit:

Posted by Joanna at 9:46 PM | Permalink

Game 25: Texas at Texas Tech

Well...they got the game in. I almost wish they hadn't. You know what that means.

Texas lost 1-2. The line:

RHE
Texas 000 100 000 - 140
Texas Tech 000 001 70x - 270

Kyle McCulloch took the loss, dropping his record to 1-4. You gotta feel bad for him. And, you have to wonder about the decision to leave him in past the 6th inning with the way things have gone this season for Kyle. He pitched a great 5 & 1/3 innings. He was perfect through the first 3. He gave up a double in the 4th and a single in the 5th. He didn't walk anyone. In the 6th, the Red Raiders started hitting the ball pretty hard. He gave up a triple and a double to tie the game up before getting out of the inning. To that point, he'd thrown 82 pitches by my count. I was very surprised to hear the radio guys announce he was still in game as the home half of the 7th started. Yes, he'd had a great start. But, things had gone south in the 6th. Alas, he gave up a 2-pitch single to the first batter. He got the next two to ground out but then gave up two more singles before being replaced by Austin Wood. Austin got the last out of the inning and struggled a bit himself in the 8th (he walked two) but managed to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs. Sadly, the offense only managed to score one run. Thus, the loss.

The offense struggled so much because they ran into a red-shirt freshman (Miles Morgan) who pitched the game of his life. Going into the game, he was second in the Big 12 in number of strikeouts (45 Ks in 36.2 innings...for an average of 1.24 per inning). He threw 15 today. That's an obnoxious "Cat Osterman like" number. Yikes. He struck out everyone in the starting lineup at least once. He got Nick Peoples and Drew Stubbs three times. He didn't walk anyone. In the 8th, though, he hit the first two (pinch hitters Hunter Harris and Clan Van Hook) before getting Nick Peoples out on a sac bunt and striking out (of course) Chance Wheeless and Drew Stubbs to end the threat. The one run for the Horns came in the 4th. Drew Stubbs doubled and then stole 3b during Carson Kainer's at-bat. Carson struck out swinging. Bradley Suttle struck out looking. Kyle Russell singled (rbi). He then stole 2b but Preston Clark grounded out to 3b to end the scoring for the Horns. By the way, Morgan threw 130 pitches by my count in his complete game win.

Here's hoping things go the Horns' way tomorrow. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:06 PM | Permalink

Today's game

Bad weather in Lubbock (thunderstorms) has delayed the start of today's game. They're hoping to start at about 2:15 and get the whole game in. 'Hope they make it!

Posted by Joanna at 2:06 PM | Permalink

Game 24: Texas at Texas Tech

Carson Kainer continued his winning ways as he batted in 3 of the 4 runs it took to beat Tech last night. Wow. The line:

RHE
Texas 000 030 001 - 452
Texas Tech 000 100 200 - 361

As you can see from the line, the error bug bit the team again. But, they managed to stay focused and did what it took to win the game. Adrian Alaniz pitched the first 7 innings, giving up all the runs (only one earned) but got no decision. Austin Wood pitched a 1-2-3 8th for the win (taking his record to 3-1) and Kenn Kasparek pitched the 9th to get his 3rd save of the year. He threw 17 pitches so should be good for his start on Sunday.

Oddly, the wind was blowing in at Dan Law Field. I've never been to a game there but the radio guys spend a lot of time talking about the wind blowing straight out. It's home run city. But, not last night. Keith and Trey made quite a bit of that fact during the Texas half of the 5th noting that at least 3 of the balls hit by Texas would've been out of the park in more typical game conditions at Dan Law Field. Instead things went like so:

To that point, the Tech starter (A. J. Ramos) seemed to have the game well in hand. But, the Horns started hitting the ball all over and he was replaced in the 6th. Dustin Richarson went the next three for Tech and allowed only one base runner. Despite the tie, Tech decided to send their closer (Randy Gattis) in at the top of the 9th and he had a disasterous night. He hit Chais Fuller to start things off. Chais advanced to 2b on a sac bunt by Nick Peoples. Then, Gattis hit Chance Wheeless. He faced three and hit two. On 8 pitches. So, Tech sent Colt Hynes in. The first 6 or 7 pitches Hynes threw were balls. He walked Drew Stubbs and was well on his way to walking Carson Kainer when Carson hit a sac fly to rf (his 3rd rbi of the night). Bradley Suttle then grounded out. So, 1 run on no hits. Ugly. But, it was enough to win the game.

Whew. It's always good to get a win in Lubbock.

Posted by Joanna at 9:10 AM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 15, 2006

Game 23: Arizona State at Texas

Carson Kainer had a great night (3 runs, 3 hits, 5 runs batted in) as the Horns beat the Sun Devils 11-6. That score seems like it was a closer game than it really was. Take the 9th inning out of the equation and it wasn't even a little bit close. Alas, that 9th inning does count. The line:

RHE
ASU 000 100 005 - 682
Texas 023 005 10x - 11100

ASU seemed unable to find any reliable pitching. Actually, their second pitcher (Frank Mesa) struggled a bit when he came on in relief in the 3rd but then had a good 1-2-3 fourth...throwing 10 pitches. I was surprised to see him replaced as the home half of the 5th started. Anyway...

Texas got some nice pitching from Riley Boening (who started and got the win), Joseph Krebs, and Austin Wood. Joey Parigi came in at the top of the 9th and gave up 5 earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. In the post-game interview, Coach Garrido commented that the coaches had learned Joey's limits. He'd thrown 4 innings on Saturday and hadn't really recovered. He said it's always a good thing when you have the chance to learn the limits of your players.

By the way, there was a huge crowd at the game which was rather unexpected for a non-conference mid-week game. The announced attendance was over 6,500. It was a great atmosphere. Here's hoping the Horns take that feeling and start things out right in conference play this weekend in Lubbock. Hook, 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 9:10 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 13, 2006

Game 22: Long Beach State at Texas

'Twas a great day at the ball park. Sorry I didn't post about it sooner. After the game, I went grocery shopping. Then, I fixed a big pot of soup. Then, I took some of the soup to my best freind's folks' house. Then, I sat around playing Canasta until after 10. By the time I got home, I was too tired to write about the game. But, I've got a few minutes during my lunch break today so...here's the report!

Texas came back from the sadness that was Saturday's game to win (both the game and the series). The line:

RHE
LBSU 001 010 010 - 381
Texas 000 150 10x - 7130

Kenn Kasparek went 6 innings for the win. He gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Kyle Walker pitched the next 1.1 innings, giving up an earned run on 2 hits with a walk and a strikeout. Joseph Krebs (in his second appearance as a Longhorn) pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn his 1st career save at UT. He gave up only one hit, walked none, and struck out one. That one strikeout was the final out of the game. I always like watching our pitchers end a game that way. Especially when it follows a ground-rule double. Heh.

It was really nice watching the team figure a pitcher out. You could just see them getting better as the game went along. By that 5th inning, they were all in a groove. Vance Worley started for LBSU, went 5 innings, gave up 6 of the runs (all earned) and took the loss.

Highlights:

All-in-all, it was a great game. Nick Peoples continues to amaze with his abilities at 3b. The offensive tear he was on last weekend didn't last into this weekend, sadly. He still hit and scored...but he wasn't ripping the cover off the ball the way he did last weekend. It was great to see Chance Wheeless and Drew Stubbs hit the ball hard, though. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 12:58 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 11, 2006

Game 21: Long Beach State at Texas

Texas lost their first home game of the year this afternoon. Andrew Carpenter threw a great game for Long Beach State and that made all the difference in the world. Much as I hated to see the Horns lose, I got to see my friend Liz which was great. I sat with her down at her seats for the bulk of the game. It's always funny sitting in different seats. I've been sitting in the same seat at Disch-Falk for 15 years or so. I've gotten used to the angles and noises from there. When I sat with Liz down near the team's dugout today, everything just looked and sounded so different. You can hear the impact of the ball when a player gets hit by a pitch. There's a thunk. You can't hear that from my nose-bleed seats. You can pretty much make out what Tommy Harmon's yelling at the home plate ump. From my seats, you can tell he saying something. And, you can guess what it is. But, you can't hear the actual words. It was fun. Too bad the Horns lost.

The line, for those of you that care:

RHE
LBSU 030 020 000 - 570
Texas 200 000 100 - 380

Here's hoping the team can win the series tomorrow. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 9:47 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 10, 2006

Scoreboard improvement

Finally. They did something to improve the scoreboard. They painted the bottom part dark green. The lights now stand out and can actually be read. We didn't get a chance to see things in bright sunlight. But, wow. The improvement was amazing.

Sadly, the "player information" area for the visiting Dirtbags was simply awful. They used white and pale yellow lettering against a very light gray background. Yes, the white and yellow had a bit of a drop shadow making it stand out a bit against the background. But, please. Those of us in the stands had little hope of reading most of the info. In particular, the class ranking and home towns of the visiting players were little more than blurs at the bottom of the screen. C'mon, guys (or gals), I know you can do better than this. All it takes is a little tiny bit of forethought. If you want to use white and yellow lettering, use a dark background. If you want to use a pale gray background, though, you simply can't use pale lettering. And, for gosh sakes, just get rid of the drop shadow. Give us a break, will ya? Please???? Honestly, we would all appreciate it. Pretty please?

Posted by Joanna at 11:36 PM | Permalink

Game 20: Long Beach State at Texas

Oh. My. Gosh. That was fun!!! Texas won 4-3 on a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 9th by Hunter Harris. Wow.

The game was scoreless for the first 7 innings of the game and nuthin' much really happened. Through the 7th, LBSU stranded 6 (3 in scoring position); the Longhorns stranded 4 (2 in scoring position). Jaren Hughes pitched into the 9th for LBSU and got no decision. Likewise, Adrian Alaniz pitched into the 8th for the Horns without figuring into the decision.

In the top of the 8th, Matt Cline (2b) struck out. Robert Perry (cf) was hit by a pitch. Danny Espinosa (ss) reached on an error by Bradley Suttle at ss. On the play, Perry broke for 2b and Suttle shifted over to cover the potential throw from the Texas' catcher. Alas, Espinosa connected with the ball and it skid just past the 2b ump (possibly brushing against his leg). Suttle made a very nice play to get back to the ball. However, things turned sour when he decided to try to get the lead runner out by throwing the ball off-balance and twisting around to Brett Lewis at 2b. The ball went past Lewis into shallow rf and Perry made it to 3b; Espinosa safe at 1b. Evan Longoria (3b) quickly got behind 0-2 but battled his way to a full count and hit the 7th pitch he saw up the middle for a single (rbi). That's when Texas sent Austin Wood in to relieve Adrian. Brandon Godfrey (1b) also fell behind 0-2 but hit a 2-2 pitch into shallow lf to load the bases. Tito Cruz (c) then hit a sac fly to rf to score Espinosa. Kyle Russell made an effort to throw the runner out and it really did seem that the runner took off from 3b before Kyle caught the ball. But, on the appeal, he was ruled safe. Scott Bradley then hit a pinch-hit single to cf to score the 3rd run of the game for LBSU. Jose Hernandez hit into a 54 fielder's choice to end the LBSU half of the inning.

In the bottom of the 8th, Brett Lewis grounded out to 3b. Nick Peoples (I keep starting to write "Danny" instead of "Nick"...tsk tsk tsk) who had uncharacteristically grounded out to the pitcher and struck out twice in his first three at-bats, tripled off the top of the lf fence. That ball was awfully close to making it over the fence. But, not quite. Chance Wheeless grounded out to ss (rbi). Drew Stubbs struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the 9th, Austin Wood started off a bit badly by hitting the first batter who was sacrificed over to 2b and then moved to 3b on a ground out. But, the 4th batter of the inning grounded out to 3b to end the threat.

In the bottom of the 9th, things got very interesting. Heh. Carson Kainer did an amazing job to reach on a 7-pitch walk. Kyle McCulloch was sent in to pinch run and, with Kyle Russell due up, LBSU sent Donnie Hume (lhp) in to pitch. So, Texas sent Chais Fuller in to pinch hit. Chais was quickly down 0-2. The 3rd pitch was a ball. He fouled off the 4th and then watched the count go full. He then fouled off 3 more pitches. He finally got one to go into the field of play. Sadly, it was a pop-up to ss. So, that left Kyle at 1b with one out. Bradley Suttle (0-for-1 with a sac bunt, a strikeout, and a walk) sinlged to shallow cf. Kyle moved to 2b. Texas sent Clay Van Hook in to pinch hit. After the first pitch (a ball), Texas sent Bryan Herrera in to pinch run for Suttle. Clay walked on 5 pitches to load the bases. Still one out. LBSU sent Bryan Shaw (rhp) in. Preston Clark (hitting under .200 and 0-for-3 in his earlier plate appearances) hit a high-bouncing single over the first baseman's head. Thank you, astroturf. Kyle and Bryan scored. Clay moved to 3b. Runners at the corners. Game tied. Still one out. Who will pinch hit now? Texas sent Hunter Harris (the Sr. Hunter Harris...not the Fr. Hunter Harris) in to pinch hit. Hunter hadn't appeared in a game since early last year and came through in a big way. With the LBSU fielders pulled way in, he hit a 2-0 pitch through the left side to bring Clay Van Hook home to win the game. Wow.

The crowd made an amazing amount of noise in the 9th. And, I do think it helped rattle the LBSU pitchers a bit. The atmosphere was amazing. I had a great time. And, I'm looking forward to more tomorrow.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:24 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 7, 2006

Game 19: Texas at Rice

Eight in a row. With tonight's win, that's the Horns' win streak against Rice. 'Makes me think Rice has some kind of mental thing going on when they play Texas these days. Texas kept up with the offensive explosion this evening. And, for a change, played an error-free defensive game. Rice, on the other hand, made 5 errors. I missed the first couple of innings but got to hear the rest of the game. Texas won 9-5.

The line:

RHE
Texas 201 101 400 - 9120
Rice 010 002 200 - 595

When I turned my radio on I have to say that I was delighted to hear that Kenn Kasparek got the start for the Horns. I don't think I wrote about it here but I've told several people that he really needed to get back to being a starter. And, did he ever come through. I'm sure Kenn was willing to do what the team needed. He tried to do the bull pen thing. But, he sure does seem to be more suited to the starter role. I was puzzled at the decision by the Texas coaching staff. They seemed so determined to turn him into a closer but it just didn't look like it was working out all that well. But, I figured they knew better. After all, they see the kids all the time. I just see them from time to time for a few innings from a seat high up in the stands. But, I'm glad they've decided to change their minds on this issue. Welcome back to starter land, Kenn!

Kyle McCulloch came on at the start of the home half of the 7th in relief to earn his first save of the year. He looked a little shaky when he came out (giving up a couple of singles and a triple) but he settled down and sat the last seven he faced down in order.

Jordan Danks jammed a finger (or thumb...I didn't hear which) in the first inning diving back to 1b on a pick-off attempt (I think Rice got the out on the play). He came out of the game. Afterward, it was reported that it was dislocated and that he'd be day-to-day.

On the offensive side of things, Nick Peoples continued with his hot streak. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored and 2 batted in. Kyle Russell (Rice killer!) went 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 batted in. Bradley Suttle went 2-for-5 with a couple of runs batted in. Brett Lewis had a great night, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and 2 batted in.

As a bit of an aside, UNLV also kept up their offensive prowess today, beating Texas Tech 16-11.

In the post-game interview, Coach Garrido was in a very good mood. He cracked a couple of jokes (paraphrased):

The celebration refers, of course, to those two dropped fly balls that allowed 6 unearned runs in the Saturday and Sunday games at UNLV. And, he seems to agree with me that Kenn is much more comfortable starting than coming in from the bull pen. He said they hoped to have Kenn ready to start on Sunday against Long Beach State. After he was done joking around, Coach Garrido said they hoped to develop Kyle McCulloch and Adrian Alaniz into guys who could pitch two or three strong innings in relief on weekdays. He said he didn't like the idea of them pitching a relief inning or two on Friday and coming back to start on Sunday but he felt if they pitched a few innings during a Tuesday or Wednesday game, the team could shuffle the weekend starters around to accomodate the weekday reliever.

On the one hand, I like that idea. It'd be nice to have some pitchers you can really rely on regardless of the situation (starting, relieving, shutting the door). On the other hand, it sure makes me nervous when they don't use all their pitchers on a fairly regular basis throughout the season. It just doesn't seem prudent to be heading into the post-season without all of the pitchers having a decent number of innings under their belt. It worked out pretty well last year, though. So, I'm not gonna fret about it too much. Not for now, at any rate.

Posted by Joanna at 10:58 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 6, 2006

Alumni News: J. Brent Cox

'Just found a nice article about J. Brent Cox: Cox aiming to be Mo's heir apparent - Former Longhorns closer hopes to hook 'em early like Street by Mark Feinsand (MLB.com). Quote:

Cox's sidearm delivery has prompted comparisons to Jeff Nelson, who was an integral part of the Yankees' bullpen during their championship run of the late-1990s. Manager Joe Torre has been impressed with what he has seen from Cox, and he believes that he has what it takes to succeed once he arrives in the Majors.

"He's got the ability, being a sidearmer, to get left-handers out. That's a feather in your cap," Torre said. "He seems to have good makeup. He's very aggressive, he's young and he's learning."

The included photo is much less "bull-dog" than you'd expect. 'Looks like a sweet kid...not that determined guy we saw on the mound all the time. Heh.

Posted by Joanna at 10:59 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 5, 2006

Game 18: Texas at Las Vegas

Wow. This team is doing its level best to kill its fans. Whew. And, yikes.

Up 9-5 going into the bottom of the 9th, the Horns give up 3 unearned runs on an outfield error. For the second time in as many games. 3 unearned runs on a fly ball bouncing off an outfielder's glove. Yep, that really happened. In back-to-back games. I am not making it up. Reality really is stranger than fiction. If you threw that scenario into a movie, nobody would believe it. Because that sort of thing just does not happen. Just. Does. Not. Happen. Only, with this year's team, it apparently does. Wow.

Coach Garrido's post-game comments to Keith Moreland (as best I could catch them):

Catching fly balls is one of the easier skills in baseball. Or, at least, it used to be. The team clearly still has a lot of fundamental things to get done. Luckily, the things that are going wrong are the easiest things to fix. They are doing the hard things well...getting bunts down, etc. He was very impressed with Austin Wood's ability to overcome adversity and continue to pitch in the 9th. He commented that Austin kind of cracked a bit in yesterday's game when he felt he got a bad call from the home plate umpire. After talking to Coach Holliday today, he did not let the mistakes get him down and he responded well.

Texas won 9-8. Kyle Walker got the win. Austin Wood got the save. UNLV scored 8 runs on 8 hits. Yep. 8 hits. 8 runs. Texas helped UNLV by making 3 errors.

The line:

RHE
Texas 000 120 321 - 9143
Las Vegas 001 100 213 - 882

Highlights:

Here's hoping things go well at Rice on Tuesday. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 7:18 PM | Permalink

Comments from Coach Garrido

Here are Coach Garrido's comments in his discussion with Keith Moreland before the 3rd game of the UNLV series (as best I can remember them).

He said it may look like the pitchers aren't doing their job but that's not the case. He noted that the UNLV park is definitely a hitter's environment. It's got a hard infield, short fences, and wind blowing straight out. Even though it appears that the team is on a disasterous course, he feels good about this team. They responded admirably to the loss on Friday. He says the team is behaving the way it should be and things are going to be better. He says the leaders are learning how to be leaders and are responding to the situation. He says the players are starting to learn the value of the process. The team is developing now and he asks that the fans be patient and see how things are going when they've played their 40th game. He says if they're still doing things like being tentative in the 9th at that point, then there is a problem. But, he doesn't think that's going to be the situation.

Posted by Joanna at 3:10 PM | Permalink

Game 17: Texas at Las Vegas

I listened to the game on the radio and kept score. Again, things did not go well. The line:

RHE
Texas 322 002 200 - 8132
Las Vegas 130 003 002 - 9111

Things went back and forth a bit. But, when it came down to it, Texas could not shut the door. Keith Moreland commented on a couple of rules violations committed by UNLV. I wonder if anything will be done about them? He commented several times that the pitcher's mound is much higher than the rules allow. He said it looks to be about 24 inches high. The rules specify that it should be 15 inches high. He also wondered, in the top of the 8th, why UNLV had not turned the lights on because it was getting dark and you're not allowed to turn them on during an inning. But, in the bottom of the 8th, during play, the lights came on. He also commented on two separate occasions that UNLV pitchers had clearly balked and neither instance was called by the umps. Things that make you go hmmmm...

Anyway...on to the game.

Adrian Alaniz got the start and threw for 6 innings. He struggled quite a bit in the first two innings. He went 2-0 to the first three batters he saw and allowed an earned run. His defense backed him up well, though. But, that was just the first inning. In the second, he gave up a double to the first batter (Gailen). But, Gailen did have to fight for it. He was then bunted over to 3b. The third batter was hit by a pitch. The batter made no move to avoid the pitch, and in fact, seemed to turn into the pitch. The umpire did not rule in Coach Garrido's favor as he argued that fact, however. With runners at the corners and one out, UNLV tried a squeeze play. The runner from 3b did not get a good jump, though, and was thrown out by Adrian. Runners at 1st and 2nd with two outs. Adrian walked the bases full. The UNLV lead-off man came up and hit a pop fly to shallow rf. The runners were off at the crack of the bat without looking since there were two outs. Brett Lewis had a bead on the ball but Kyle Russell called him off. The ball hit the heal of Kyle's glove, and rolled toward rf. All three runners scored on the error. Batter safe at 1b on the error. Adrian then hit the next guy. But, he struck out the #3 batter to end the inning. The only batter to reach for UNLV in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th was hit by a pitch. So, Adrian seemed to settle down nicely. Alas, in the 6th, with two outs, he gave up 5 singles in a row. Austin Wood came on in relief to start the 7th. He gave up a single but that was it for the 7th and 8th. However, with a 1-run lead in the 9th, he could not shut the door. He coaxed a ground out from the first batter he faced, walked the next two, and gave up a game-tying rbi singled to the 4th batter he saw. Joey Pirigi came on with runners at 1st and 2nd and walked the bases loaded. He then gave up a single to end the game. Austin Wood ended up taking the loss. It was not pretty.

On the offensive side of things, Nick Peoples is still leading the way for the team. He went 4-for-5 with 4 singles, a walk, 1 run batted in, and 2 runs scored. Jordon Danks did great as well. He went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple, 2 runs batted in, and 2 runs scored. Late in the game, alas, the offense just couldn't get it done. Chance Wheeless and Nick Peoples both hit singles. They were both caught stealing, however. Odd. Very very odd.

Hopefully, things will be better today.

Posted by Joanna at 3:00 PM | Permalink

Game 16: Texas at Las Vegas

I missed most of the game. But, what I heard was not pretty. The line:

RHE
Texas 104 410 002 - 12133
Las Vegas 000 033 70x - 13111

Yep...Texas was up 10-0 going into the bottom of the 5th. But, they didn't hold on. The one good thing you can take away from it is that they didn't give up and almost came back in the 9th. But, it wasn't enough. And, frankly, it shouldn't have been neceessary.

Posted by Joanna at 2:19 PM | Permalink

Games 14 & 15: Villanova at Texas

Despite my cold, I made it out to the Villanova games last weekend. Texas looked good as they completed their sweep over Villanova.

A few notes about Saturday's game:

And, Sunday's game:

General comments:

Posted by Joanna at 2:13 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 4, 2006

News Roundup

Sorry I haven't posted in the last week or so. I've had a cold and just didn't feel up to it. I'm back, though, and will be posting several things this afternoon. To start things off...news links (don't forget about bugmenot.com if you don't want to register at these sites):

Posted by Joanna at 3:15 PM | Permalink

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