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Sunday - April 30, 2006

Game 46: Texas at Texas A&M

Texas won another close one today. The line:

RHE
Texas 203 000 001 - 690
Texas A&M 211 000 100 - 581

It looked like the talk Coach Garrido had with the team after yesterday's game had an immediate effect. The Horns scored 2 in the top of the 1st. But then they gave up 2. So, I wasn't sure what was going on!

Adrian Alaniz started for the Horns but struggled (giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits with one walk and one strikeout) and was replaced after he gave up a double to the lead-off batter in the 3rd. Kyle Walker replaced Adrian and pitched a pretty solid 4 innings (no runs, 1 hit, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts). Joseph Krebs went in for the 7th and did not do as well. He walked the first batter he saw and gave up a single to the next. So, Randy Boone came in and threw the remainder of the 7th and the 8th (giving up only one hit...and getting credit for the win). Austin Wood threw a perfect 9th (two strikeouts and a ground out to ss) for his 7th save of the year. Woo hoo!

Offensively, the Horns didn't get as many hits as they did yesterday but they put them together more efficiently. Which is, I think, one of Coach Garrido's complaints about the way the team played yesterday. Anyway, it was a good win. Here's hoping they sweep tomorrow! By the way, I am taking the afternoon off and will be in the stands. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:56 PM | Permalink

Saturday - April 29, 2006

Game 45: Texas at Texas A&M

Whew. After the Aggies jumped out to a 3-run lead in the 4th, things were looking a bit bad. But, Drew Stubbs hit a 3-run homer to tie things up in the 5th. The team added single runs in the 6th and 9th to win 5-3. Hook 'em!

Kyle McCulloch started and threw 7 innings for the win. He gave up 3 runs (1 unearned) on 5 hits (3 doubles) with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk. By my count, he threw 115 pitches. Randy Boone came in for the 8th. He struck out the first batter, got the next to fly out to lf, and gave up a 6-pitch (2-2 count) double to the third. Joseph Krebs then came in and struck the 4th batter out looking to end the inning. Austin Wood had a 1-2-3 ninth (ground out to 1b, pop fly to 2b, and fly ball to cf) to get his 6th save of the season. All-in-all, a very good outing by the pitching staff.

Texas in the field. In the first, Kyle walked the 2nd batter who then stole 2b where he was stranded. In the second, Boggs reached on a 1-out single up the middle. Josh Stinson then popped out to 3b (foul). On the play, Boggs took off on a hit-and-run. He didn't catch the 3b coach signaling that he should return to 1b in time and, on a very alert play by Nick Peoples, was thrown out by barely a foot or two at 1b to complete the double play. In the third, the Aggies went down in order. The fourth was not pretty. Salazar struck out to start things off. Colligan then doubled down the 3b line. Hale followed that with a double down the 1b line. From the replay, the ball looked foul but the camera angle sucked. And, there was no umpire on the 1b line because of the ridiculous fact that the Big 12 uses 3-umpire crews for conference games so it was ruled fair by the home plate ump. Colligan scored. Jackson then grounded out to 3b (Hale had to stay at 2b). A great play by Nick to get to the ball. Chance Wheeless had to go up the line to catch the throw from Nick but tagged the batter out. Boggs then came up and doubled down the 1b line (Hale scored). Three hits in the inning...all of them just down the lines (and, frankly, I think one of them was foul). Pretty amazing. Alas, with two runs in, the defense fell apart. Josh Stinson worked the count full and sort of half-heartedly swung at the 7th pitch of the at-bat but tried to hold up. However, it hit the edge of Preston Clark's glove and made it all the way to the wall. Preston chased down the ball and threw to 1b, trying to get Stinson out after he took off on the passed 3rd strike. The throw was off, though, and Boggs made a play for home while Bradley Suttle caught up with the errant ball and threw home. Kyle didn't cover the plate on the passed ball and Preston couldn't get back in time. The run scored all the way from 2b. It was not pretty. Kyle then got Stouffer to fly out to cf.

The Aggies only got two more runners aboard in the final 5 innings of the game.

Offensively, the Horns responded well to their poor play in the fourth and scored 3 in the fifth. Although, they did need a bit of help from the Aggies to get the opportunity. Kyle Russell singled up the middle. Chais Fuller then reached on an error (and fielder's choice) by the Aggie starter (Jason Meyer, who ended up with the loss). Chais tried to bunt Kyle over but hit the ball a bit too hard. Meyer fielded quickly and tried to get the lead runner rather than the sure out at 1b. His throw pulled the ss off the bag. Or so ruled the official. It was a close play. Error charged to the pitcher. Nick sac bunted the runners over (very nice bunt down the 3b line). Chance hit a come-backer to the pitcher who made a great play to stop the ball. He dropped it but recovered quickly and threw to the catcher who held on to get Kyle out as he tried to slide into home. On the play, Kyle held up when he saw the pitcher stop the ball and then broke hard for the plate when he saw the ball fall to the ground. But, a perfect throw from the pitcher to the catcher was the 2nd out of the inning. Kyle should've returned to 3b after he hesitated. Drew Stubbs came up, though, and hit a monster shot over the rf fence to tie things up. Carson Kainer and Preston Clark reached on back-to-back singles but were unable to score as Brett Lewis hit into a fielder's choice to end the Texas half of the inning.

UT scored one in the sixth: Kyle reached on a 1-out single and stole 2b. On the steal, the Aggies had him picked off (he left 1b at the pitcher's first movement but the pitcher threw to 1b instead of to the plate). The first baseman threw high to the ss covering 2b and Kyle reached safely. Chais then struck out. Nick doubled to the lf corner (rbi) but was stranded there when Chance grounded out to 2b.

The Horns scored an insurance run in the 9th: Chance singled through the right side (I thought it was an error by the second baseman but the announcers said it was ruled a single). Carson reached on an error by 3b. The third baseman was probably thinking about turning the double play. Instead, he booted the ball and both runners were safe. Preston singled to the cf/rf gap (rbi). Brett flew out to rf and Bradley grounded out to 2b to end the scoring for Texas.

Preston did a great job at the plate today, going 4-for-5 with 1 run batted in. Drew went 2-for-5 with the 3-run homer. On his last at-bat in the 9th, he just missed hitting an in-the-park homer. The left fielder (Infante) charged hard on a ball that Drew lined to lf. Infante dove forward and just made the catch. If he'd missed it, the ball would've rolled to the wall and Drew might well have scored. Alas, it did not happen. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit today as the team combined for 14 hits.

Coach Garrido spoke with the team for at least 30 minutes after the game ended. He never made it out to have his normal post-game conversation with the radio guys. Despite the fact that the Horns won the game, it did not appear to Craig Way that the coach was happy with the team's performance. Interesting. It's definitely true that that 3rd A&M run absolutely should not have scored. But, other than that, frankly, the Horns actually looked pretty good. It's very odd that the coach didn't come out...or send one of the other coaches out to do the interview. Strange.

Ah well...here's to another win tomorrow. Hook 'em!

UPDATE. According to the box score on the TexasSports.com site, the single by Chance in the 9th was, in fact, ruled an error. So, that means everyone but Chance had at least one hit as the team combined for 13 hits. Chance did reach and score in the 5th, though.

Posted by Joanna at 8:15 PM | Permalink

Alumni News: Scott Dunn

The Devil Rays acquired Tyler Walker from the Giants. To make room for him on their 40-man roster, they designated Scott Dunn (claimed off waivers from the Angels about a month ago) for assignment. The team has 10 days to trade, release, or waive Scott. Or, Scott could accept an assignment to the minors. Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said he spoke to Scott about working on his fast ball and getting more consistency in the strike zone. I'll let you know if/when I hear more.

Posted by Joanna at 2:20 PM | Permalink

Friday - April 28, 2006

1st game of Aggie series postponed

Due to expected severe storms this evening, the teams decided to postpone today's game. It's now scheduled for Monday at 2pm (link). After that awful hail storm in San Marcos last weekend, I was really contemplating not even going to tonight's game. Or, at the very least, I was thinking about leaving early to avoid being out in the storms after the game. I'm glad I don't have to make that decision now. Although, we can no doubt look forward to a lovely storm-free evening in light of the change!

Posted by Joanna at 5:03 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - April 26, 2006

College Baseball Hall of Fame

The Longhorns have two in the inaugural class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame: Brooks Kieschnick and Cliff Gustafson. Hook 'em!

See the College Baseball Foundation page for more. I'd link directly to their story but, sadly, just about everything on their site is in PDF format, rather than good ol' html. Anyway, here's a complete list of inductees:

Hmmm...maybe I will go to Lubbock. Heh. Not very likely. But, if by chance I happen to be driving through some day, I will make an effort to stop in at the new HoF.

Posted by Joanna at 6:23 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - April 25, 2006

Game 44: UT-Pan American at Texas

Texas scored a couple on the first inning, gave up 3 in the 2nd, scored 6 more in the bottom of the 2nd, gave up 3 more in the 5th and that was the end of that. Whew. Kenn Kasparek started and had an interesting outing. He went 4.1 innings so wasn't involved in the decision. He gave up a single to the first batter of the game on the first pitch of the game. The runner was moved to 2b on a sac bunt and 3b on a ground out to ss. The fourth batter struck out swinging, though, to end the threat. In the second, the Broncs combined to hit for the cycle. The first batter doubled, the second homered, the third tripled, and the fourth singled to drive in the third and last run of the inning. The next batter advanced the runner on a sac bunt and the next flew out to cf. The last batter of the inning flew out to the warning track in rf. On the play, Kyle Russell made an incredible adjustment to catch a ball that was blown about 20 or 30 feet off its original track by a stiff wind from the north. Oh yeah. The weather. It was 73 at the start of the game and the wind was blowing hard and mostly in from lf. It would change directions from time to time and blow more across from lf to rf or in from cf. But, mostly it just blew in from lf. The temperature dropped to 66 by the end of the game. I was not expecting the "cold" temps and was not dressed for it. I was not the only one. The crowd, by the way, was very small. It was much more typical of a mid-week crowd in February than late April. There was a group of kids (about 100 or so) that sat in the upper part of the stadium on the 3b side. They made a lot of noise, had a lot of fun, and did a good job of entertaining us for the last few innings of the game. Anyway, back to the game...

Kenn went 1-2-3 in the 3rd and 4th and seemed to be coasting along nicely. In the 5th, after getting ahead 0-2 and then taking the count full, he gave up a double to the first batter. The next popped out to 3b. He then gave up a single and another double to get chased from the mound. Keith Shinaberry came in and got the first batter he faced to ground out to 2b. The next batter singled in the 3rd run of the inning and the next grounded out to 3b (a great play by Nick Peoples...back at 3b today). Keith went 1-2-3 in the 6th. Joseph Krebs did the same in the 7th. Texas did something really odd in the 8th. Joseph went out for his warm-up throws. UT-Pan Am announced a pinch hitter and as he stepped into the box, Coach Holliday walked out to the mound and pulled Joseph in favor of Randy Boone. I don't think I've ever seen a team do that before. Weird. Randy threw yet another 1-2-3 inning. Austin Wood came on for the 9th and struck out the first two batters he faced. The third reached on an error by Chance Wheeless. The next lined out to 3b for the final out of the game. Whew.

On the offensive side of the fence, Texas scored early and then fell asleep at the plate. Good thing they scored early. In the first, Drew Stubbs singled and moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Nick. Carson Kainer grounded out to 2b (moving Drew to 3b). Chance then doubled to the rf corner (rbi). Hunter Harris walked and Bradley Suttle singled (Chance scored on the play). Kyle Russell (back in rf today) struck out swinging to end things. Texas sent 10 to the plate in the 2nd. Preston Clark hit a 9-pitch double. Chais Fuller bunted safely to put runners at the corners. Drew Stubbs then hit a home run over the rf fence (3 rbi). Nick singled through the left side. Carson doubled to the lf corner (rbi). UT-Pan Am finally pulled the starter (Dane Mason). Chad Linder came in and Chance reached on an error by 1b. Hunter reached on a 6-4 fielder's choice (rbi). Bradley hit a ground rule double (runners at 2b and 3b). Kyle hit a sac fly to lf (rbi). Preston, who started it all, ended things by striking out. Texas got runners aboard in the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th but was unable to follow through. In the 4th with Chance aboard, Hunter hit into a 4-6-3 double play. In the 5th, after Kyle reached on a single, UT-Pan Am sent Aaron Guerra in and he struck Preston and Chais out to end the threat. In the 7th, with Brett Lewis (who reached on a pinch-hit single) aboard and one out, Bradley grounded out and Kyle struck out. UT-Pan Am ended the 8th with an unassisted double play by their second baseman.

It was a weird game. The weather made things uncomfortable. The small crowd. The screaming kids in Section 111. The offensive explosion in the 1st and 2nd innings followed by nothing. The defense giving up 3 runs in two different innings sandwiched around five 1-2-3 innings. It was just weird. And, I'm glad it's over. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:34 PM | Permalink

Monday - April 24, 2006

Game 43: Nebraska at Texas

Texas was shut out 0-6 at San Diego in their second game of the year. It happened again today. This time the loss came at home to Nebraska. The main difference in the game seemed to be on the mound. Johnny Dorn pitched a great game for the Huskers. He had some help in the field but, for the most part, the pitching just did the Texas batters in. Texas only got one baserunner on through the first 5 innings. Dorn threw a very low 54 pitches in that span. In the 6th, behind by 6, Texas mounted their first real threat of the day. Preston Clark (who was the only player with any real success at the plate today, going 3-for-3) reached on a high pop single to shallow rf. The ball fell between the first and second basemen. Preston, trying to make something happen, made a play for 2b. But, the first baseman quickly retrieved the ball and threw to the ss at 2b for a quick out. Clay Van Hook then grounded out to 2b for the 2nd out. Drew Stubbs came up and doubled to cf. Nick Peoples (who struck out in his first two at-bats) walked on 6 pitches. The runners successfully completed a double steal on the first pitch to Carson Kainer. Alas, Carson grounded out to 1b to end the threat. In the 8th Texas mounted their second threat. Preston singled again and advanced to 2b on a passed ball. Clay walked on 7 pitches. Nebraska finally replaced Dorn at this point. Bird came in and struck Drew out. Texas announced Kyle Russell as a pinch hitter and Nebraska then turned to Herr. So, Texas sent Brett Lewis in to pinch hit. Herr picked Clay off at 1b. He caught Clay napping. Clay didn't expect Herr to be throwing to 1b since Drew was at 2b and he was not in a typical steal situation. There goes that whole "mental thing" rearing its ugly head again. Brett Lewis then grounded out to 2b. So much for the rally.

On the defensive side of things, Texas gave up a run in the first and another in the second. Remember the mental thing? With a runner at 1b and one out in the 3rd, Nebraska decided to bunt. Adrian Alaniz made a nice jump and got to the ball fairly quickly. But, he bobbled it slightly. If he'd fielded cleanly, he would've had a perfect double play ball. But, he didn't. He threw to 2b anyway rather than to 1b for the sure out. He actually still had a slim chance of getting the lead runner but he threw to Bradley Suttle who was off the bag rather than Chais Fuller who was on the bag. Texas got out of the inning without giving up a run. But...just barely. And, only thanks to a great running catch by Drew in cf. After struggling in the first three innings, Adrian settled down and had two very nice "3-up, 3-down" innings. Sadly, in the 6th, he gave up two quick singles. Nebraska then sac bunted the runners over. So, Texas did my (sarcasm alert) favorite thing. They intentionally walked the bases full. The number 9 batter in the Nebraska line-up then doubled down the lf line to clear the bases.

The officiating stunk up the place again. But, realistically, the Horns just didn't seem to have their heads in the game. They let the bizarre strike zone get to them. It was yet another ugly game. Texas has been lucky to win quite of few of those throughout the year. But, not today. I'm suddenly a little nervous about the Aggie games in College Station next week. I hope the team figures things out. I do remember having doubts at this point last year. Maybe this year's team will also find their center and win when it matters down the line. By the way, they're now in 2nd place in the Big 12 (behind Nebraska). OU is in 3rd. And, the rest of the teams are well back of the top 3. For the moment.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 12:05 AM | Permalink

Sunday - April 23, 2006

Game day photos

I somehow managed to put 50 photos from yesterday's game online: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, and Page 5.

Posted by Joanna at 8:02 AM | Permalink

Saturday - April 22, 2006

Game 42: Nebraska at Texas

Well. It was not a good day for Texas baseball fans. It was not a good day for the Texas baseball team. Nebraska won 7-5. I thought today would be a good day to take some photos since the game would be on TV and if I missed anything, I could see it later. Alas, TimeWarner here in Austin changed the broadcast channel at the last moment and my TiVo did not get the change. The weasels. So, I ended up with Poker and Spurs basketball. How unfair is that? Ah, well.

Jennie and I got to the game fairly early so I took some photos before things got started. It was awfully hot in the sun, though, so I changed my mind about taking photos. I went back to my car and grabbed my scorebook before the game actually started since there was no way I was gonna be hanging around in the sunny aisles taking photos. When I got back into the park, I saw my pal Liz who has a couple of seats behind the Texas dugout. And, she was alone. So, I ended up sitting with her. And, the view was pretty good. So, I kept score and took photos. All from a lovely spot in the shade. And, I do think I got some fairly nice ones. So, that's some small consolation. More on that later.

Riley Boening ended up getting the start and he did quite well for the first four innings. He had several really nice defensive plays to back him up. In the 1st: Nimmo grounded out to 2b. Jaros reached on an infield single and advanced to 2b on a throwing error. Wehrle then lined to ss. Jaros broke for 3b on the play and was thrown out (6-4) before he could get back to 2b (double play). In the Texas half, Chance Wheeless and Carson Kainer singled but were stranded.

In the 2nd: Buckman walked (8 pitch plate appearance). Gorsett reached on a fielder's choice (6-4...a really nice play by Chais Fuller). Brown was hit by a pitch. Then, another double play. Christy hit a sharp grounder to 1b. Chance fielded the ball and threw to ss. Chais then threw to Riley covering 1b for the 2nd out. Two innings, two double plays. Cool. In the home half, the assault on the Nebraska starter (Watson) continued. Brett Lewis and Bradley Suttle both singled to start things off. Chais then hit a pretty sac bunt down the 3b line to move the runners up. Clay Van Hook then reached on a 6-5-4 fielder's choice (rbi, Brett scored). On the play, the ss threw to 3b to catch Bradley. Bradley broke back for 2b and got into a rundown. Clay saw what was happening and scampered safely to 2b. Nick Peoples singled up the middle to score Clay. On the throw in to the plate, Nick moved to 2b. Chance singled to rf and Tommy Harmon made an error that doesn't got recorded in the box score. He started that arm of his cranking and got Nick thrown out at the plate. The right fielder got to the ball quickly and made a perfect throw to the catcher. The throw beat Nick to the plate by 3 or 4 steps. Nick tried to slide under the catcher's tag but had no chance. Not a good decision on Coach Harmon's part.

In the 3rd: Opitz hit a shallow fly ball toward the lf/cf gap. It really looked like it was going to fall in between ss/lf/cf. But, somehow, Chais managed to run back hard and grab the ball over his shoulder. Spectacular. Mort struck out swinging. Then, Nimmmo hit another "lobby" ball more toward lf. Again, Chais made a stab at the ball and made another great over-the- shoulder catch. Very very pretty. In the home half, Drew Stubbs grounded out to 3b. Carson walked. Preston Clark doubled and moved Carson to 3b. Brett hit his second single of the day to plate both runners. Bradley singled (runners at the corners) to chase the starter. Shirek came on and got Chais to hit into a 3-6-3 double play.

In the 4th: Jaros flew out to cf. Wehrle popped out to 3b. Buckman singled past ss. Gorsett hit a high fly foul ball on the right side. Nick made a very long run to grab the ball at the last second. Yet another amazing play. It really looked like Texas could do no wrong defensively. Alas, that was before they got into the 5th. In the home half of the 4th: 3 up, 3 down.

In the 5th: Brown singled and moved to 2b on a wild pitch. Christy singled to drive Brown in. Opitz grounded out to 2b (Christy moved to 2b). Mort singled moving Christy to 3b. Nimmo walked (on 8 pitches). Good-bye Riley. Hello, Kenn Kasparek. Sigh. Jaros walked (5 pitches, rbi). Wehrle singled up the middle. On the rather routine play, Drew let the ball bounce under his glove and it rolled to the wall. Nick backed him up but the bases were cleared and Wehrle ended up at 3b. Good-bye, Kenn. Hello, Kyle Walker. Kyle got the first batter he saw to ground out to ss. Chais looked the runner at 3b back before making the throw to 1b. Good job. Again. By Chais. He had a really good game today. The next batter singled to plate Wehrle. Brown struck out swinging to end the misery. In the home half, Texas got a couple on but left them stranded.

The 6th and top of the 7th were fairly uneventful. In the home half of the 7th, Chance reached on a ground rule double. Drew singled (Chance moved to 3b). On the 3rd pitch to Carson, Drew broke for 2b and was caught stealing. Only, he wasn't. Bad call by Bill Davis, who did a pretty bad job behind the plate last night. He's one of the worst Big 12 umps (if not the worst) and it's always painful watching a game in which he's officiating. Sadly, Texas suffered as a result of him being on the field. Anyway. On the next pitch, Carson struck out swinging. But, it was a wild pitch that made it all the way to the backstop. Chance scored from 3rd and Carson was safe at 1b. Preston then hit a high fly ball to lf. I thought it was going out but the left fielder caught it right at the wall. Sadly, Carson had lost track of the number of outs. (He had, after all, just made the 2nd out of the inning when he struck out. Only, he didn't since he'd reached on the wild pitch. Sigh.) He was almost to 3b by the time the ball was caught and was throwing his helmet toward the dugout before realizing that Nebraska was about to get a double play. Which they did by throwing the ball back in to 1b. I was close enough to clearly see the confusion on his face. If he'd known there was only one out, he would've waited to see if the left fielder was going to catch the ball; he would not have assumed the home run. Another mental mistake by the Horns.

In the 8th, Nebraska nearly duplicated the run Texas scored in the 7th. Buckman reached on a double. He moved to 3b on a sac bunt. The next batter struck out. Then, with two outs, Opitz struck out swinging but the pitch went wild and Buckman scored from 3b while Opitz reached 1b safely. I do think that's the first time I've ever seen two teams score on wild pitch 3rd strikes in the same game. Amazing. By the way, Kyle walked the bases loaded before striking out Jaros to end the inning. Texas went down in order in the bottom of the inning (on 8 pitches).

Austin Wood went in for Texas in the 9th and sat Nebraska down in order. Texas actually got two on in the bottom of the 9th but Carson was called out on strikes (looking) to end the game. Yet another apparent bad call by the home plate umpire. I saw Hunter Harris (who was at 2b at the time of the call) indicating that the pitch was about a foot outside from his vantage point at 2b.

It's sad to lose a game this way. The team was really "on" for the first 4 innings and then just seemed to lose its focus. And, the officials stank up the place. That, my friends, is a very very bad combination and will not win many games.

I'll be back later with photos.

Posted by Joanna at 11:11 PM | Permalink

Game 41: Nebraska at Texas

Texas beat Nebraska 6-2 last night. The Horns had the game well in hand for most of the game. It would not be the 2006 team, though, if we didn't have just a wee bit of excitement. Kyle McCulloch started and pitched a very nice 7 innings. He allowed one run on 7 hits (6 singles, 1 double) with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks. Randy Boone pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. And, then the fun started. Austin Wood came on for the ninth. The first batter he faced (Opitz) battled away but finally grounded out to 1b on the 9th pitch he saw. Jaros doubled down the lf line. Sullivan flew out to lf. Then Mort had another marathon at-bat. He singled the 9th pitch he saw up the middle. Runners at the corners. Two outs. Brown (pinch-hitting for Nimmo) walked on a 5 pitches to load the bases. Christy then singled to rf (rbi). Bases still loaded. Still two outs. Tying run due up. So, Texas sent Adrian Alaniz in. Wehrle (one of three Nebraska batters batting over .380 coming into the game) popped up to 3b to end the game. Whew. In the post-game interview, Coach Garrido said the decision on whether or not to start Adrian in today's game would be made this morning. Adrian only threw 4 pitches so, hopefully, he'll be good to go.

Texas played error-free which was great. They started Nick Peoples in rf and Clay Van Hook at 3b. Otherwise, things were about as they usually are. Offensively, Texas jumped to a 1-run lead in the 1st and just kept building on it. Nick Peoples went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Drew Stubbs went 1-for-3 with 2 walks and a run scored. Carson Kainer went 2-for-3 with a double, a sac bunt, 3 runs batted in, and a run scored. Chance Wheeless went 0-for-3 with a sac fly (1 rbi). Bradley Suttle went 0-for-3 with a walk. Kyle Russell went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Brett Lewis (pinch hitting in the dh spot for Kyle in the 7th) singled (1 rbi) in his only at-bat. Preston Clark went 0-for-4 (too bad). Chais Fuller went 1-for-4 with a run batted in. And, Clay Van Hook was perfect on the day at the plate; he went 2-for-2 with a double, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.

I was very confused by one ruling in the 7th. Drew had reached on an infield single. Carson hit a very high pop-up to 2b but the officials did not call the infield fly rule. The Nebraska second baseman missed the ball and Drew (a few feet off 1b) broke for 2b. The second baseman picked the ball up and tossed to the shortstop at 2b for the force out. Carson was safe on the fielder's choice. I thought that Carson should've been called out automatically and Drew should've been at 1b. I looked the rule up, though:

Infield Fly: A fair fly ball (not including a line drive or an attempted bunt) that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second or first, second and third bases are occupied before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who is positioned in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. The ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk. If a declared infield fly becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.

So, since there was only one runner on, I guess the infield fly rule did not come into play. You really do learn something new every day. Heh.

I do think Nebraska should've been charged with a second error in the 8th. Clay came up to bat with one out and hit a fly ball to shallow cf. The Nebraska center fielder (Nimmo) charged the ball and dove to make the catch. He missed the ball and the right fielder had to retrieve the ball and throw it in. Clay easily reached 2b and was credited with a double. If Nimmo hadn't left his feet, though, Clay would've had to hold at 1b. So, I think it should be a single and E8. But, that's just a quibble.

Ah well...Texas continues to lead the Big 12 and winning yesterday was great. I hope the winning ways continue today. The game's on TV so if you can't make it out to Disch-Falk, tune in. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 9:42 AM | Permalink

Wednesday - April 19, 2006

National Upset Day?

Why didn't they warn us that yesterday was National Upset Day? Here are some headlines regarding yesterday's games 'round the country:

Why weren't we warned???

UPDATE (Apr. 20). It continues: Furman Stuns No. 6 Clemson 5-4 Wednesday. So, that's two "gotchas" for Clemson this week. I sure am glad Texas didn't have to play another mid-week game!

Posted by Joanna at 7:10 PM | Permalink

Jordon Street to undergo surgery

There's a short note at the bottom of the Statesman's article about yesterday's game stating that "UT sophomore left-hander Jordon Street is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today." That's it. Nothing about recovery time or how long he's been bothered by the knee. If I had more info, I'd give it up!

UPDATE. It looks like he'll be out for the rest of the season. Too bad. Good luck on a quick recovery, Jordon!

Posted by Joanna at 6:16 PM | Permalink

Some great photos

Sam, of the Blue Cats & Red Sox blog, has some really nice photos from a couple of Michigan baseball games that you need to check out: Michigan vs. Ohio State (last weekend) and Michigan vs. Oakland University (a couple of weeks ago). Her photos are great and the commentary had me laughing several times. If you like the photos, be sure to check out the flikr galleries linked in the posts. By the way, one of my very favorite photos is in the flikr gallery...not linked in either post: our batboy. I like that photo as much for the caption as anything else. Good stuff.

Sam may have inspired me with these great shots. I just may have to break down and give up keeping score at one of our upcoming games and just take a bunch of photos. We shall see.

By the way, big time hat tip to Brian at Big Ten Hardball for the pointer to Sam's blog.

Posted by Joanna at 6:13 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - April 18, 2006

Game 40: Texas at UT-San Antonio

I missed the start of the game (I was working). And, didn't listen very closely to the mess that was the rest of this evening's game. Texas lost 10-14. They did a few things right and had a bit of bad luck. But, for the most part, they just didn't play well. On the other hand, UT-San Antonio took advantage all game long. So, they got the win.

That's the second loss in-a-row to a Southland Conference opponent. The Horns really need to stop doing this sort of thing. As things stand now, they're very unlikely to get a top national seed when the post-season comes around. Which means we likely won't be seeing a Super Regional in Austin. Again. This team. Ugh. They're killing me.

Ah well. Here's hoping they come back with a vengence this weekend against the Cornhuskers. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 9:59 PM | Permalink

Coach Garrido to miss today's game

Coach Garrido did not have a good doctor's checkup so will miss today's action in San Antonio (link). He's apparently suffering from dehydration. I wouldn't be surprised if the team isn't doing a number on his heart as well. As my friend Esther noted, they're doing a number on ours...it must be hell on the coach! I do hope he feels better soon. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:17 PM | Permalink

Game 39: Baylor at Texas

I can't believe I didn't post about Saturday's game on Saturday. I just forgot about it. I got an email message yesterday asking about it and meant to post last night but got side-tracked. Ah well...here I am! I have to admit that with the distance of time, the game's a bit of a fog to me and I don't have my score book handy so I'm going by memory. Texas won 5-4 and completed another Big 12 sweep! Excellent. Texas scored first. Then had to come back. Then had to come back again. Luckily, they stayed ahead at that point. Kyle McCulloch got the win on a rather short 5-inning outing. Kenn Kasparek pitched some relief, as did Kyle Walker. So, all the Kyles on the team got to play. And, Austin Wood picked up another save.

The scariest part of the game came in the bottom of the 7th. I'd just gone down to say hi to my friend Liz so was closer to the action than usual. Jordan Danks was on 1st (I think he walked). He took off as Drew Stubbs hit a ball on the lf side of the field. For a second, it looked like the ball would be caught in the air so Jordan turned sharply back toward 1b. But, he twisted his ankle and fell awkwardly. He was nearly to 2b so just lunged at the bag and collapsed...in obvious agony. After a few minutes, he was helped off the field by Chance Wheeless and Kyle Russell. Turns out he's having surgery today (link). He's got a fractured right ankle and will have some pins inserted into his ankle during the operation. He'll probably miss about 6 weeks and hopes to be back in time for the Big 12 tournament.

Posted by Joanna at 6:11 PM | Permalink

Saturday - April 15, 2006

Game 38: Baylor at Texas

Sorry I didn't post last night but I was too tired by the time I got home to do much of anything but collapse in my bed. The good news is that the Horns won 8-6. The bad news is that Baylor scored 6 on Adrian Alaniz in 3.1 innings and chased him out of the game. The game seemed to go on forever. But, I think it wasn't much longer than usual. It started almost an hour later than we're used to so it's not surprising that it would end at 10:30. The breaks between innings probably lasted 20 seconds longer than usual due to the TV coverage. The home plate ump (Wes Hamilton) did not help things at all by having a very very narrow strike zone which led to a lot of full-counts on the batters. It wasn't a consistent strike zone, though, which made you feel bad for the pitchers. We had to wait with bated breath all night long after every pitch to see what he'd call, unless it was 2 or 3 feet outside the zone. If it was anywhere near the strike zone, we'd just have to wait. And, we'd be surprised at the call at least half the time. Frustrating.

Anyway, a few random observations...

Ah well... Here's to getting a sweep this afternoon!

Posted by Joanna at 10:05 AM | Permalink

Thursday - April 13, 2006

Game 37: Texas at Baylor

I missed the first few innings and wasn't very interested in the game until the 8th inning. I then started paying attention. Steve Smith was thrown out of the game at the end of said 8th when he went out to argue the called strike that ended the inning. The crowd then proceeded to boo very loudly after every pitch the home plate ump (Randy Bruns) called for Kyle Russell who led off the 9th for the Horns and drew a 5-pitch walk. Baylor then changed pitchers and the crowd calmed down ever-so-slightly. Kyle went on to score, giving the Horns a 2-run lead.

Alas, Baylor came back to tie things up in the bottom of the 9th. Honestly, the 2006 version of the Texas baseball team is going to be the death of me. In the bottom of the 9th, with the game tied, Baylor had the go-ahead run at 3b with 1 out but failed to score that vital run. Again, in the bottom of the 10th, the Bears were in the same situation and, once more, the Horns worked their way out of trouble. I tell you...heart failure pending. Any game now.

The 11th proved rather uneventful as Texas went down in order. Baylor almost did the same. They did walk one but then he was picked off. So...an exciting end to the inning but, overall, not much point of playing the 11th. If you ask me.

In the 12th, Carson Kainer (3rd batter) was hit by a pitch. But that was it. The others went down with barely more than a whimper. Wouldn't it have been nice if they'd just gone ahead and won it in the 9th? Yep. It woulda.

In the bottom, Baylor got runners at 2b and 3b with one out on a throwing error. Then the Horns intentionally walked the bases full. Austin Wood struck out the next batter. Despite the deafening chant from the crowd. And, the next. I'm telling you. Heart failure. Imminent. You think I'm kidding, don't you?

Okay. So, the team is playing 7 games in 8 days. And, now they're into their extra 1/2 game. Was this really necessary?

Top of the 13th. Bradley Suttle singled to lead things off and was bunted over to 2b. He then moved to 3b on a passed ball. But, he couldn't score when Preston Clark hit a bloop single. He had to wait to see if the ss would catch the ball. He didn't but it didn't get far enough away from him to allow Bradley to score. No mind. Hunter Harris pinch hit for Chais Fuller and singled to drive Bradley in and move Preston to 3b. The Horns ended up stranding runners at 2b and 3b.

In the bottom of the 13th, Austin Wood continued on the mound for the Horns. The first batter flew out to cf. The second batter struck out (career high 7 strikeouts for Austin Wood). The final batter flew out to shallow rf.

Oh. My. Goodness. Texas wins 7-6. Wow.

Coach Garrido's comments (paraphrased):

This was the most difficult game we've played all year. We didn't play smart and didn't play well but our will-power and strength-of-character carried us through. We flipped the game around and took it away from them in the 2nd half. [...] Wood pitched a magnificent game in short relief. You can fix things as you go along but can never build that kind of will-power. [...] Hunter Harris has come through for us time and time again in that situation.

When I first sat down at the computer in the top of the 9th to write about the game, I thought the post would be very very short. I was gonna write about the team coming back to win after getting an insurance run in the 9th. And, how the Baylor faithful would no doubt blame the loss on that called 3rd strike in the bottom of the 8th. (Will they still do that?) I was gonna talk about being rather confused at the decision by the Horns to not start Kyle McCulloch or Adrian Alaniz. But, who has the energy for that sort of thing after 4 (I wrote "5" last night...that's how tired I was...I couldn't subtract 9 from 13 correctly) extra innings of heart-stopping play? Not me. Nope. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:44 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - April 12, 2006

Game 36: UT-Arlington at Texas

I can't believe I forgot to post about the game when I got home last night. Well, I take that back. I can believe it; I was tired. But, anyway...

Texas lost 3-6. They had a miserable 2nd inning. And, UT-Arlington had a great outing from their starting pitcher (Kyle Gainley) who got his first college win. Joey Pirigi had a tough night, taking the loss while giving up 5 runs (4 unearned). Joey got the start because the Horns are in a situation where they're playing 7 games in an 8-day span. It's gonna be a tough stretch. I hope the three games against Baylor go better. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 8:05 AM | Permalink

Sunday - April 9, 2006

TV coverage rant

I've never been particularly impressed by the way any of the networks cover college baseball. For the most part, the announcers know very little about any of the players. They just have the stats. And, that's fine. I realize they can't possibly see all the teams on a regular basis since there's almost no television coverage. Actually, I suspect the only games any of 'em ever see are the ones they're forced to watch when they're in the announcers' booth. They make a lot of assumptions about how college ball is played based on the MLB games they see. They see a team in the Majors do something and automatically expect a college team to do the same thing in the same situation. And, it just doesn't happen. College baseball really is a whole 'nuther entity. It's frustrating to me, as a fan of Longhorn Baseball, when someone like Harold Reynolds who seems to know a lot about baseball says something completely wrong about how the Longhorns will perform in a given situation whenever he's calling a CWS game. And, of course, there's the usual bias in the national press against all things Texan. No matter the sport. But, none of that compares to the coverage we were treated to by Fox Sports Midwest today. It was just plain bad.

I know I'm supposed to be grateful that I was able to watch the game at all. Woo hoo! Fox Sports Southwest is giving us the Midwest feed. Woo hoo! And, to some extent, I am. But, please.

The announcers were completely lost. They rarely noticed lineup changes. They made flat out wrong pronouncements about the game throughout. One example: in the 9th, when KSU came up to bat, one of the announcers stated that KSU had scored every time the lead runner had reached base. Not true. In the 4th, Matt Marasco singled to start off the inning and KSU did not score. In the 8th (one inning before the comment was made), Eli Rumler walked and KSU failed to score. In the 1st and 5th, the lead-off man reached and KSU scored. So, that comes to 2-for-4. A far cry from every time, doncha think? I could go on but I'll just stop with the one promised example.

The graphics were off a lot. And, I mean way off. Quite often, there would be runners on 1b but the graphics would indicate that the runner was at 2b. And, vice-versa. The bases would be loaded but the graphics would indicate runners at 1b and 2b. The count would be 1-1 but the graphics would insist it was 0-2. It went on and on and on like that throughout the game.

The camera men missed a whole bunch of plays. At some point in the game, there was a runner at 1b. The graphics indicated that there was a runner at 2b, however. And, at least twice, the pitcher threw to 1b to keep the runner close to the bag. They didn't show the first baseman's end of the catch, though. Either time. It was as though, since the graphics indicated there was no runner at 1b, the pitcher must just be playing catch with the first baseman or something. And, why bother showing that? I guess that particular example is really more indicative of a blunder on the director's part. I have no way of knowing if the cameras caught the action at 1b, though. Since it was never shown.

Honestly, it was like watching a high-school AV production. Actually, that's probably an insult to a large majority of high-school AV classes. I don't know how much the poor production values added to the stress of the ugly ugly game. But, I do know that they did not help the situation at all. Sigh...

End rant. For now.

UPDATE.. See the related post by Brian at Big Ten Hardball. It looks like he might've seen a game put on by the same crew! Different teams. But, the same horrendous production values. Wow.

Posted by Joanna at 11:03 PM | Permalink

Game 35: Texas at Kansas State

That was an ugly ugly ugly game. Ugly. Texas won, though. So, I guess that's something. Final score: 10-9 in 10 innings.

It just ended and I was having a tough time coming up with anything good to say about it. But, I do have three things:

  1. Randy Boone. He was great. I'm glad he's back. He does seem to have the right make-up for a closer.
  2. Carson Kainer. He continues to amaze me. He played a great game in the field and a great game at the plate. After doing the same in the first two games of the series.
  3. The Texas half of the 6th. After giving up 4 runs, the Horns came right back and scored 4 of their own. 'Course, Carson Kainer drove in that 4th run. Yay, Carson!

Coach Garrido's post-game comments on the radio (after a very long conversation with the team in the field after the game): (1) the team changed gears once the 6th inning started; (2) the Horns really did out-battle KSU; (3) the team went backwards a little bit today but that's how growth and progress take place; and (4) the up-coming home stretch will be a great chance to show more improvement.

That's it. I'm tired. I'll be back later. Not necessarily today. Later, though. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 4:18 PM | Permalink

Saturday - April 8, 2006

Game 34: Texas at Kansas State

In the 7th, with the game tied at 2, Texas singled (infield hit up the middle) and then put down four bunts (in a row...without Kansas State managing to get any outs) to score 3 and go ahead. The pitcher committed an error on one of the plays. But still. Wow. Oh, and then Carson Kainer hit a double to drive in two more. The 7th was very good to the Horns. 'Loved it.

Texas went on to win 10-2. Adrian Alaniz got the win after struggling a bit early in the game. All-in-all, a great start to the series.

Coach Garrido's comments on the radio during the post-game interview: He noted that one of the things we saw hi this game is the power the Horns have. By playing at Disch-Falk, it appears that the team doesn't have much power. But, when they play in a field that's "home run friendly" they usually hit more home runs than the home team. He thought the team had a very good day...no errors, good adjustments, no notable ill-effects from being on the road. He also commented that the team is getting better.

Don't forget that tomorrow's game will be on TV on Fox Sports. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 8:22 PM | Permalink

Game 33: Texas at Kansas State

I didn't listen to the first game today. I was at a softball game. 'Turns out my 2nd cousin pitches for Western New Mexico and they were in town to play St. Edwards. So, we had a mini-reunion at Diane Daniels Field. Sadly, the Mavericks lost both ends of a doubleheader. But, it was fun visiting with folks I hadn't seen in a long time. Or ever. That's how it is with extended families, eh? Here's my second cousin in action:

[Photo of Priscilla]

Anyway, 'turns out that the Horns did just fine despite my lack of attention. They won 7-2. Drew Stubbs hit a 2-run home run to start things off. Three more Horns hit solo shots later in the game: Jordan Danks, Carson Kainer, and Chance Wheeless. Cool. Kyle McCulloch went one out shy of getting a complete game. Which is really really good news.

As I type this, the Horns are struggling a bit in the second game. Things are tied at 2. The Horns' two are courtesy of a couple more solo home runs. One by Bradley Suttle and the other by Jordan Danks (his second on the day). Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:48 PM | Permalink

Friday - April 7, 2006

Alumni news: Dunn called up

About 3 minutes after I posted my big minor league round-up, I saw that the Devil Rays had called Scott Dunn up. Good for him! (Link.)

Posted by Joanna at 1:15 AM | Permalink

Alumni news: Minor League Round-up

I saw that the Devil Rays had claimed Scott Dunn off waivers from the Angels so decided to look around and see what's going on in the minors with the rest of the guys. And, so...

Ryan France (Nationals), Brantley Jordan (Red Sox), Jeff Ontiveros (Red Sox), and Clayton Stewart (Phillies) were all released within the last few days. If anyone hears of them signing with new teams, please give me a shout out. Thanks.

I can't find any recent info on Matt Goodson, Tommy Nicholson, Josh Smith, or Todd West. If you know the status of any of these guys, please let me know.

As far as I can tell, Huston Street and Brad Halsey are the only Texas Exes on any 25-man rosters (as I post this). Brad will likely be sent down (but kept on the 40-man roster) in short order. And, of course, we all wait to see what Roger Clemens will decide...

Posted by Joanna at 1:04 AM | Permalink

Sunday - April 2, 2006

Game 32: Texas at Oklahoma

In a very peculiar game, Texas lost at Oklahoma today, 7-12. How often does a team hit 5 home runs and lose a game? I'd bet the odds of that happening are pretty low. The line:

RHE
Texas 100 011 301 - 7101
Oklahoma 300 702 00x - 12121

'Twas ugly. I admit to falling asleep during the latter half of the game. So I missed the point where both benches were apparently warned that one more hit batter would result in ejection of the pitcher. Which means I missed the part of the game where, I'm guessing, someone was intentionally plonked. That's really unusual in college ball. Anyway, Alaniz took the loss. He went 3.2 and gave up 9 runs (1 unearned) on 5 hits (how's that??? giving up walks and hitting batters with the bases loaded, that's how) with 4 walks, 2 hit batters, and 3 strikeouts.

The thing about the home runs is that all but one of them were solo shots. So, you don't score a lot of runs that way. Two of 'em were back-to-back. They were hit by Drew Stubbs and Kyle Russell, the first two batters faced by Ryan Mottern, which really must've made OU wonder about their decision to put him into the game. He only ended up giving up one more hit and run in the 2.1 innings he pitched, though. Weird game.

Texas remains atop the Big 12 leaderboard, despite the loss (thank you, Kansas):

Big 12 Overall
WLPct. WL
Texas 62.750 2111
Nebraska 42.667 205
Missouri 63.667 1611
Oklahoma State 33.500 187
Oklahoma 33.500 219
Texas Tech 44.500 2210
Baylor 45.444 2210
Kansas 45.444 2011
Kansas State 24.333 205
Texas A&M 27.222 1813

Posted by Joanna at 7:54 PM | Permalink

Saturday - April 1, 2006

Alumni news: Halsey and Hale

'Looks like Brad Halsey's had a bit of good luck to start the season off. The A's think the weather's going to mess with their planned starts over the final few days of exhibition play so they're keeping Brad around to be a spot starter on Saturday or Sunday in Seattle. 'Hope he does well. (Link.)

Also, it looks like Beau Hale is back on track. He's listed on the Frederick Keys roster. The Keys are a Class A affiliate of the Orioles.

Posted by Joanna at 10:19 PM | Permalink

Game 31: Texas at Oklahoma (final)

I got a call and missed most of the rest of the game. But, woo hoo! Texas wins 9-4. Excellent.

Texas pitchers: Kenn Kasparek (no decision, 4.1 innings, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts), Joseph Krebs (1 inning, 2 hits, 2 earned runs, no balls, no strikeouts, 1 hit batter), Randy Boone (win, 2.2 innings, 4 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts), and Austin Wood (save, 1 inning, 3-up-3-down, 1 strikeout). All in all, a good win. And, Randy did well in his return which is great news.

On the offensive side of things, everyone but Nick Peoples and Jordan Danks had a hit. Nick did score once. Preston Clark and Drew Stubbs each hit a 3-run homer. On the defensive side of things, not so good. Both teams committed four errors. Ugh. I did not hear the details of most of the errors so can't really comment on 'em. Other than to point out that Texas only gave up one unearned run so it seems that the team managed to overcome them, for the most part. Three of the OU errors were charged to the starting pitcher. Odd.

Coach Garrido's one-word summary of the game in the post-game interview: "Wow." He commented that Randy Boone got better as he got going, and was very competitive. He said that Randy wants to be the closer and if he continues to pitch the way he did tonight, he can definitely help the team out in that role.

'Hope the brooms come out tomorrow! Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 9:29 PM | Permalink

Game 31: Texas at Oklahoma (in progress)

'Missed the first few innings 'cause KVET aired the football scrimmage. Sigh. Why wasn't that on the FM side of things? Whatever.

As I type this, the Horns just went up by 4 for the second time this evening. They got off to a 4-0 lead in the 3rd. OU tied it up in the bottom of the 6th. And, now, in the top of the 7th with one run in and no outs, Drew Stubbs hit a 3-run dinger. That's quickly been followed up by a Carson Kainer triple. Purty.

I'll be back as the game goes on...

Posted by Joanna at 8:15 PM | Permalink

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