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Wednesday - May 31, 2006

Tournament summary pages

I found a couple of nice regional tournament summary pages on the rivals.com college baseball page. If more show up, I'll post links here. Oddly, the two they've posted to this point are for tournaments I have more than a passing interest in...what with Texas being one and Mizzou being involved in the other. Here you go:

UPDATE. Nevermind. The pages showed up too late to be of much interest.

Posted by Joanna at 7:14 PM | Permalink

Tee hee.

I just found out something that made me laugh. The #3 seed in the Pepperdine regional (where Mizzou is the #4 seed) is UC Irvine. Guess what the mascot for UC Irvine is. Go ahead...guess. You did not guess correctly. They're known far and wide as the UC Irvine Anteaters. Heh heh heh. You just gotta love it!

UPDATE. Esther says that's not funny. Especially when you consider the fact that the tournament host is (hosts are?) known as the Pepperdine Waves. But, I've been familar with that goofy "mascot" for a long time. The anteater thing just got to me. 'Matter of fact: I still think it's funny. Oh well.

Posted by Joanna at 12:05 PM | Permalink

Texas baseball movie

During a game a few weeks ago I noticed a guy wandering the stands with a fancy digital video camera. He was roaming the stands taking shots of the crowd and of the game. I pointed him out to Esther and asked if she'd heard anything about someone making a movie about the baseball team. Nope. Neither had I. But, it was pretty clear that that's what was going on. I saw him a few more times. And, now we've got a story in the Statesman: Lights, camera, Longhorns! by Cedric Golden. It's always nice to have a wee bit of confirmation that I haven't completely lost my mind. Heh.

Posted by Joanna at 12:19 AM | Permalink

Monday - May 29, 2006

Thoughts on the Austin Regional

After looking things over a bit, I'm thinking we've ended up with a pretty tough regional. North Carolina State and UT-Arlington played some tough competition over the past couple of weeks and did very well. Stanford, not so much. Stanford seemed to be on a bit of a tear over the latter part of April and the beginning of May. But, they've fallen off again a bit over the last couple of weeks and are 2-4 over their last 6 games. Does that mean they'll be on their heals? Or wanting to prove something about how much they deserve the bubble nod they got from the committee? And, let's not forget that they did beat Texas twice early in the year. North Carolina State was the #7 seed going into the ACC Tournament. They battled their way through to the championship game but ended up losing to Clemson (the #1 National seed in the regionals). And, then there's UT-Arlington. The Mavs actually have a losing record. However, they were the #5 seed (of 6 teams) going into the Southland Conference tournament and won it all. They also did beat Texas in Austin early last month. I have to admit that I am getting just a bit nervous about the whole thing. C'mon, Horns!

UPDATE. I keep forgetting to include the link to the official tournament page on the texassports.com site. There. Done.

Posted by Joanna at 4:50 PM | Permalink

More on the Regionals

The Texas regional is paired with the regional at Oregon State. See the 2006 NCAA Baseball Brackets page for a complete list of the field of 64. The teams in the Austin regional:

  1. Texas (40-19)
  2. North Carolina State (38-21)
  3. Stanford (30-25)
  4. UT-Arlington (29-34)

The teams in the Oregon State regional:

  1. Oregon State (39-14)
  2. Kansas (42-23)
  3. Hawaii (43-15)
  4. Wright State (32-25)

I see that the committee managed to get Texas into a bracket in which they have a losing record this season to two of the teams (1-2 against Stanford and 0-1 against UT-Arlington). And, no record against NC-State. Interesting, eh? I wish I had time to figure out how the other national seeds did in that regard.

The other Big 12 teams. With the way Missouri's been playing, I like their chances out at Pepperdine. Of course, if they do win it, they have to turn around and beat the winner of the Cal State Fullerton regional which will likely be CSF. So, their chances of getting to Omaha seem pretty slim. You never know, though. Baylor's gonna have a tough time getting past Rice. Oklahoma looks to have a pretty tough field (Houston, Wichita State, and TCU). It looks like Nebraska should get through pretty easily (their field: Miami, San Francisco, and Manhattan). Kansas will have a tough time getting past Oregon State but I can't imagine the other two teams (Hawaii and Write State) will be of much concern. Oklahoma State got rewarded for having to travel as a #1 seed by facing Princeton in their first game. They will have to contend with Arkansas (host) and Oral Roberts so they get no cake walk after the first game. By the way, we all saw how well I did predicting things with the Big 12 tournament so this is very likely just a big waste of time!

The surprises this year: no host in Florida. Oklahoma State is the only #1 seed not hosting. LSU did not get in. The SEC did lead the field by getting 8 teams in, though, which is not a surprise.

Posted by Joanna at 1:19 PM | Permalink

Quick Regional Notes

Texas got the #3 National seed and are hosting NC State, Stanford, and UT-Arlington (seeded in that order). They start play on Friday. Big 12 teams in: Texas, Nebraska (National Seed #6), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (#1 seed at Arkansas), Baylor (#3 seed at Rice), Kansas (#2 seed at Oregon State), and Missouri (#4 seed at Pepperdine). Missouri got in on the bubble. I think they deserve it with the way they've been playing the last few weeks. But, wow.

I'll be back with more in a bit. I just wanted to get this up quickly. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 12:12 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 28, 2006

Big 12 Tournament Update - Day 5

Wow. Nebraska really made a game of things in the end. But Kansas held on to win their first conference championship in baseball. Congrats to the Jayhawks. The #6 seed wins the tournament. Good job.

Posted by Joanna at 3:58 PM | Permalink

Regional host sites announced

I'm watching the Championship game and Kansas is really handing it to Nebraska. I was wrong again. Heh. Well, Nebraska's still got a couple of innings left. It's not looking good for them. I just read, by the way, that there was a bench clearing brawl in last night's game between Kansas and Missouri. I have not heard them say anything about it as I watch today's game but have to admit that I've been in and out so may have missed it.

Anyway, the 16 Regional sites have been announced:

So, three Big 12 schools are hosting. Kentucky and Pepperdine are the only schools who've never hosted before. And, Texas is hosting for the 35th time...more than anyone else in the field.

Seedings and the rest of the field will be announced tomorrow at 11:30 Central time on EPSN.

Random thought: I wonder what'll happen next year when Disch-Falk is being renovated. Will the committee pass regardless of how Texas is doing? Will Texas make a bid? Hmmm...

Posted by Joanna at 3:30 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 27, 2006

Big 12 Tournament Update - Day 4

Kansas held on to beat Missouri (4-3) and will face Nebraska in the Championship game tomorrow. I really am surprised that Missouri couldn't pull it off. But, then, I'm also rather surprised that Texas didn't. This morning, I thought it would be Texas and Missouri playing tomorrow. Wrong on both counts. How sad it is! In other play, Baylor beat Tech 5-3 and Oklahoma run-ruled Oklahoma State 21-6 in 7 innings. Yikes! It's rather surprising that the Cowboys battled their way into the #2 seed by the end of the regular season and then lost all three of their tournament games. That's baseball for you, eh? I guess I'll go ahead and predict a Nebraska victory tomorrow.

Posted by Joanna at 11:57 PM | Permalink

Game 59: Texas at Nebraska (Big 12 Tournament)

That was ugly. Texas lost 5-6. After watching the nonsense on FSN, I switched over to ESPN and watched the Texas women beat Washington (9-1) to advance to the WCWS. That was pretty. What a contrast.

Anyway. There were some good things. Kyle McCulloch started and gave up five runs in the 2nd. But, he came back from that bad inning and pitched 4 shutout innings before being replaced. One of the things that stood out to me was the plate appearance by Jake Mort in the 4th. He started off and fouled off pitch after pitch. Finally, on the 11th pitch, he grounded out to ss. Kyle just reached down and would not give up to Mort. Good stuff. Of course, when Mort came up again in the 6th and worked the count full, Kyle hit him. I doubt very seriously that it was intentional. But, it was funny. Randy Boone did a good job when he came in after Austin Wood and Joseph Krebs failed to get any of the first 4 batters they faced in the 7th out. I have to say that when I saw Austin going in at the start of the Nebraska half of the 7th, I was not happy. I really wondered why Randy, who'd had 3 perfect innings in relief in the tourney, was not going in. Looking back through the last several weeks of games, it turns out that Austin has not pitched more than 1.1 innings since April 13th in a game against Baylor. The coaches have only been bringing him in for the last inning since then with that one exception when he went 1.1 innings. Why change things today? It didn't make any sense to me. So what did he do when brought in 2 innings earlier than usual? He gave up a single to left, a single to center, and a bunt single. Weird decision. On the offensive side of things, the Horns did great to get three runs on the board and tie things up in answer to that 5-run 2nd by Nebraska. It was very pretty. Sadly, Nebraska sent Watson in and he just mowed the Horns down. Ah well.

I hope things improve next week. Maybe the Lady Horns will spark something with the guys. Here's hoping...

Oddly enough, after all the talking I've been doing about the poor officiating over the last couple of days, there were a couple of close plays at 1b that were called correctly. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw who as at 1b: the dreaded Bill Davis. On the first call, a Nebraska runner missed first base as he ran past it on a bunt attempt. On the play, the bunt went past Austin Wood. Chance Wheeless fielded the ball and threw toward 1b. Chais Fuller was on the bag. Austin, running toward the bag, grabbed the ball. I doubt the ball would've beat the runner to the bag but it was sloppy. What was worse, though, was that the runner ran past the bag without touching it. Austin Wood went back to the mound without touching the bag. The runner went back to the bag and stood on it. At that point, Davis called him safe. If only Austin had gone ahead and stepped on the bag. A bit later on, with a runner on at 1b and 2 out, Hunter Harris hit a grounder on the right side. The first baseman fielded and went to throw to ss to get the lead runner out. Alas, the ss was just watching the play and had not covered the 2b bag. So, the first baseman turned and threw to the pitcher covering 1b. The pitcher beat the runner to the bag but stepped to the side of the bag rather than on it and tried to drag his foot across but missed it completely. Again, Bill Davis was on top of things and made the correct call...Hunter safe at 1b. Sadly, Nick Peoples hit into a fielder's choice on the next pitch to end the threat. Anyway, two good calls by one of the most frustrating Big 12 umps I've ever had the displeasure to watch. You just never know.

Posted by Joanna at 6:32 PM | Permalink

Friday - May 26, 2006

Big 12 Tournament Update - Day 3

Kansas beat Oklahoma State this evening setting up a picture-perfect Day 4 in the Big 12 Tournament. Four teams are undefeated. Those teams are meeting up tomorrow. The winners of those two games meet on Sunday at 1 PM in the championship game. The matchups for tomorrow's games:

You gotta think that the winner of tomorrow's Texas/Nebraska game will have the upper hand on Sunday since tomorrow's Kansas/Missouri game will likely go on until about 11 (if not later). This is all getting rather exciting, doncha think? I'm enjoying the heck out of it all.

By the way, FSN Southwest is planning on airing the first two games tomorrow. They're dubbing them semi-final games even though they're not. There's no such thing in the new tournament format. Although, due to the way things have turned out to this point, the 2nd and 4th games tomorrow end up acting like semi-final games. Odd how that goes, eh? Also, they've got the start time for the Texas game listed at 1:30. It may well be that the game starts at 1:30. Hopefully, if it starts earlier, FSN will go ahead and pre-empt the "Big 12 Showcase" they've got scheduled and air the whole game.

Posted by Joanna at 11:53 PM | Permalink

Texas softball

I sure hope y'all watched that softball game. It was a beauty. Texas beat Washington 1-0. If they win again tomorrow, it's on to OKC and the WCWS. Woo hoo! Go, Cat! Go, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 8:50 PM | Permalink

NCAA baseball officiating

Brian, over at Big Ten Harball wonders if the Big 10 officials stink or not (scroll down to the bottom third of the post). Obviously, I don't know anything about Big 10 umps. But, I've watched a lot of Big 12 umps. There are are a few good ones, no doubt. But, I have to say that, overall, I'm not impressed. In particular, there are a few guys that have absolutely no consistency when it comes to the strike zone. The Big 12 does not help the situation at all by using only 3 officials for all regular-season conference games. It's bad enough when there are four of 'em on the field. But, when there are only 3 guys on the field, a lot of stuff gets missed. I can only guess that the decision to use 3 umps is based on financial considerations. It boggles the mind.

Brian asks:

If I hate the officiating because I think my team is getting screwed. And you hate the officiating because you think your team is getting screwed is it possible that the officials are actually just calling it even? Or, possibly, calling it accurately?

I do think it's a bad sign when both sets of fans and both benches are upset. Maybe it does all even out. I doubt that it does, though. And, you shouldn't have to count on that.

Anyway, my main point: if we're saddled with officials that aren't the best, the least the Big 12 can do is put 4 of 'em on the field for conference games. Really, that's the least they can do.

UPDATE (May 27, 10:30 AM). I sent the above (and more) to Brian via email. He replied last night and posed several questions:

Can they be just universally bad? I know some think NCAA basketball officials are poor across the board. Are we expecting too much? Are they too biased? Are they not trained well enough? Is the pay too low, the pressure too high and we've run off too many? Does the NCAA just tolerate poor umpiring because baseball isn't televised enough, so the mistakes aren't replayed or do too few of us really care about the results for the NCAA to care?

I hope Brian doesn't mind me adding to this post with his questions. I have to say that "yes" just might be the answer to most of the questions. Part of the problem is that it's actually a hard job. I'm sure the pay sucks. They're all part-timers who have regular jobs and aren't in it for the money. Most of them want to do a good job. But, they have to have their heads completely in the game for the whole game. Concentrating that much for that long is hard. Obviously, it's worse early in the season when the officials haven't gotten into game shape...just like the players.

I don't personally tend to blame umps for outcomes. I also don't blame the error at 3b or the home run given up in the 8th inning. There are way too many other things going on throughout the game to blame the outcome on any one call or play. People do tend to fall into that trap. That being said, when you see two identical pitches cross the plate and one's called a strike and the next is called a ball...that can be awfully aggravating. And, when an ump won't admit he's wrong because he doesn't want to lose face...well... Sadly, there is a personality quirk that some folks have where they just love upsetting people. They like hearing te boos and jeers from the crowd. Thankfully, there aren't a lot of those that I've seen but they are out there. There are a couple of umps who, when they're behind the plate, count to 3 before making the signal to the crowd on whether or not a pitch was a ball or strike. You can just feel them laughing to themselves as we all wait to see what the call will be. Yeah, they might say something right away that the catcher, pitcher, and hitter can hear. But, the crowd has to wait. It drives me nuts. It's not right. And, there are also umps who are just plain bad and you have no idea how they keep their jobs year after year. But, you see that in every profession: the receptionist who won't take messages, the sales clerk who can't bother to check the stock, the waiter that disappears as soon as the food arrives at the table, etc. It's no surprise that there are bad umps. It's part of life.

Frankly, I think the umps get more right than they get wrong. They pretty much have to due to the law of averages. And, you can tell when a call is probably okay. I love it when I'm at a game and a pitch gets called one way or the other and half the stadium boos but the other half stays quiet. That's a clear indication that the call was probably okay...that the loud half of the crowd just didn't have a clear view. So, you get a feel for when it's just a crowd frustrated with the fact that they're team isn't doing well and when the crowd is frustrated that the ump seems to have forgotten the rules...or his glasses.

One last point. I really don't think it's limited to college baseball. Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavs) goes on and on about officiating in the NBA. He's gone to great lengths to document problems. He's got people who can watch game tapes and count the problems. When you see the problems he documents at the highest level of professional sports, we really shouldn't be surprised to see the same things happen in college baseball. Sadly, it's a fact of life. It doesn't mean that things can't get better, though. Again I say: there really is no excuse for using fewer than four officials in conference games. The more eyes out there, the better chance the call will be right.

Posted by Joanna at 8:34 PM | Permalink

Big 12 Tournament note

Wow. Missouri really is on a mission. They just run-ruled Oklahoma (11-0) in 7 innings. I suspect they'll be playing in that game on Sunday. Wow.

Posted by Joanna at 7:50 PM | Permalink

Thursday - May 25, 2006

Game 58: Texas at Baylor (Big 12 Tournament)

Amazingly, I forgot all about today's game until sometime around 6:15. I was just working away on a paper and completely lost track of time. Anyway, I turned my radio on to hear that Texas was ahead 8-4. In the top of the 4th. Wow. Texas ended up winning 16-8. I still wasn't able to listen too closely so don't have a whole lot to say about the game other than to note that everyone in the lineup had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Drew Stubbs (voted Big 12 Player of the Year just a couple of days ago) had a great day going 4-for-5 with a home run, 2 runs scored, and 4 runs batted in. Carson Kainer was not far behind as he went 4-for-6 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 batted in. Riley Boening started but only went 3 as he gave up 4 runs (on 2 home runs). Kyle Walker pitched 2.1 in relief for the win despite giving up 3 runs (1 more home run in there). Joseph Krebs threw 1.2 scoreless innings. Randy Boone had another 1-2-3 inning (his 3rd in 3 chances so far in the tournament). And, Austin Wood came on with a big lead in the 9th which made me a bit nervous. But, he only gave up one run. Whew. Heh. Anyway, it's great to see the Horns taking care of bidness. With today's win, they've reached the "magic" 40 wins on the season so I think they're pretty much assured a Top 8 National seed. Knock on wood.

By the way, I got home about 7:30 and started flipping through the channels (with the volume down as I listened to the Horns game on KVET) and noticed Brad Halsey pitching for the A's on FSN (they're playing the Rangers). 'Looks like he's doing a good job. And, the offense is supporting him nicely. A's leading 7-0 in the bottom of the 5th as I post this. Go, Brad! (Rangers fans, chill. No offense meant.) UPDATE. Of course, in the 6th, he gave up a grand slam. As soon as the announcers started talking about the prospect of a grand slam, we all knew it would happen. Didn't we? Yep. I love baseball. UPDATE #2. Huston Street came on in the 9th (non-save situation, game tied at 7) and gave up a home run to lose the game. All of the Rangers' runs came on home runs. How often does that sort of thing happen? Wow.

Posted by Joanna at 8:35 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 24, 2006

Game 57: Texas Tech at Texas (Big 12 Tournament)

As I suspected, I was not able to listen to most of the game. I liked what I did hear, though. Texas won 4-0. Kenn Kasparek pitched the first 6 innings for the win. Randy Boone had two 1-2-3 innings. And, Austin Wood pitched the 9th. I managed to be out of my office at the start of the Texas half of the 3rd but got back just in time to hear that the Horns had runners (Hunter Harris, who was hitting in the #1 spot today, and Nick Peoples) at the corners with 2 outs. Drew Stubbs singled to drive Hunter in. On the play, the pitcher instinctively reached with his pitching hand for a ball that was going toward the ss and knocked it toward 3b. Runners at 1b and 2b with one run across. Chance Wheeless then singled to score Nick. Runners at the corners again. Then, Texas put on one of those plays that I love. Chance broke for 2b trying to steal or draw a throw and the Raiders fell for it. Drew managed to score from 3b while Chance stayed in the run down until after the score. Three runs...all with 2 outs. They scored their last run in the 5th but I didn't hear what happened.

The radio folks had technical problems during the post-game interview so we weren't able to hear much of what Coach Garrido had to say. When the sound kicked in, he was giving props all around to everyone for a well played game. He pointed out Kenn Kasparek, in particular, who he said was back in the form he was in during last year's CWS.

By the way...in the pre-game interview, Coach Garrido said Riley Boening would likely be the starter for tomorrow's game against Baylor. He said they'd wait and see how things go before announcing the Saturday starter. He pointed out that if the Horns are 2-0 and Nebraska's lost at least one game going into the Saturday game, Texas will be in the driver's seat. I don't think he said it outright but the implication was that Texas could lose the game in that situation and still make it to the Championship game on Sunday so they might do the pitch-by-committee thing and save Kyle McCulloch and Adrian Alaniz for Sunday. Nebraska beat Baylor today, though, and play Tech next so I don't imagine Texas will have that luxury. Especially since Texas will be playing a very hungry Baylor tomorrow after they lost such a nail-biter to the Huskers.

Posted by Joanna at 5:55 PM | Permalink

Big 12 Tournament note

Just a quick note to point out that there's a link on the main page to the 2006 Post Season info page. At the moment, it's got Big 12 info. As the post season progresses, I'll add info on subsequent tournaments. In the meantime, if you just want a quick summary of what's going on, that's the page to check.

The Big 12 tournament did get underway this morning. The first game just ended: Nebraska beat Baylor 3-2. According to the game tracker, Baylor got the tying run to 2b in the top of the 9th with no outs but was unable to get him home.

I'm gonna try to listen to the Texas game...due to start at about 1:30...but probably won't be able to pay it the attention it deserves. I will post the final score, at the very least, as soon as I hear it. Kenn Kasparek is due to start. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 12:49 PM | Permalink

Monday - May 22, 2006

Alumni news: Crouch, Emond, and Halsey

Some random alumni news...

Posted by Joanna at 7:43 PM | Permalink

Game 56: Texas at Missouri

My folks had a party yesterday (my dad grilled up some of the best brisket you will ever taste...sorry you couldn't be there!) so we missed the game. We had it streaming but really couldn't listen. Alas, the Horns lost yet again 5-7. So that bookends the season nicely, I suppose. They started off the year by getting swept in San Diego and ended by getting swept in Columbus. Not pretty. I sincerely hope it does not affect their status with respect to getting one of the coveted Top-8 National seeds but you just never know.

As I mentioned previously, the Horns won the regular season and are seeded #1 for the Big 12 tournament. The format of the tournament is a bit different this year. The eight teams are being split up into two divisions (numbers 1, 4, 5, and 8 in one division; numbers 2, 3, 6, and 7 in the other). The two divisions will play a round-robin series of games and the leaders of each division at the end of the round-robins will meet for a winner-take-all Championship game. Head-to-head tournament results and final regular season standings will be used to settle things in the event of a tie at the end of the round-robin series. I've gone ahead and set up a post season tracking page that lists the tournament schedule. It looks like FSN Southwest will be airing the first two games on Saturday (which includes a Texas/Nebraska game) and the Championship game on Sunday. But, it's very unclear. Currently, their online schedule says they'll be airing two taped "semi-final" games on Saturday. There are no semi-final games with the new format. And, there's no point in airing taped games if there are live games to be had. So, my guess is that they'll probably show those first two games but anything is possible.

I do hope the Horns get things together and win the tournament. C'mon, guys! Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:46 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 20, 2006

Game 55: Texas at Missouri

So, I guess I was right to worry (scroll all the way down to the bottom to see what I'm talking about) about how the Horns would react when they didn't have their backs to the wall, eh? I wish I'd been wrong. The Horns lost again today...5-8. I listened to most of the game and, frankly, wasn't very impressed. Sigh...

Posted by Joanna at 5:19 PM | Permalink

Alumni news: Halsey makes it into the record books

We all sorta knew it would happen didn't we? Yep, Brad Halsey gave up a home run to Barry Bonds in their first ever meeting today. Bonds hit #714 off Brad in his first appearance in today's game. Just a few minutes ago. Now Brad needs someone to give up #715 so he can get his name out of the papers. Assuming, of course, that he doesn't do it. [Yikes! I'm sorry I had that thought. Too late to do anything about it now, though. Sigh...]

UPDATE (10:30 PM). Brad actually pitched a good game (no decision) as the Giants ended up winning the game 4-2. Brad went 6.1 innings and gave up 2 runs (both earned on solo home runs, oddly enough) on 6 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. Brad struck Bonds out looking in the 3rd and got him to fly out to lf in the 6th. A fun quote from the sportsline.com story by Scott Miller on today's milestone:

Halsey's best moment came a few hours later, when he was describing how the special baseballs being employed for Bonds' historic at-bats are different from the other ones.

After explaining that there is a letter "B" stamped on them followed by some numbers, he wryly noted that there is something else on the baseballs, too.

"There's a picture of Barry," Halsey said. "And if you look at his eyes, he winks at you."

Posted by Joanna at 3:42 PM | Permalink

Alumni news round-up

Just in case you've been living under a rock, it's Brad Halsey's turn to make sure Barry Bonds doesn't tie the record. Quote:

"I would prefer not to be the one, mostly because of the simple fact that I don't like to give up home runs," said Halsey, who has never faced Bonds. "But it's not going to change the way I pitch to him. However we decide to go after him is the way I'll go after him. It's no different, other than the fact that he's close to tying Babe Ruth." (Link.)

Heh. UPDATE. Huston Street struck Bonds out to end the game last night as he recorded his 7th save of the year.

In the news round-up I posted in April I said I'd post news about several "missing" alumni if I could find it. And, I found a few things so here you go...

Posted by Joanna at 2:30 AM | Permalink

Game 54: Texas at Missouri

I didn't listen to the game this evening. Instead, I drove out to La Grange and caught a show by the bluehouse. Wow. What a show. I heartily encourage you to check out their schedule and take in a show if they come near you. You will not be sorry. And, for those of you in Austin, they'll be at the Cactus on Wednesday, June 7th. Be there! I know I'll be there. Anyway...

I did listen to the first 2 & 1/2 innings as I drove out to La Grange. So, when I quit listening, the Horns were in the lead and things didn't look too bad. Alas, they ended up losing to the Tigers 5-6. A couple of links: the Statesman's story and the story from TexasSports.com.

Posted by Joanna at 1:09 AM | Permalink

Thursday - May 18, 2006

Alumni note: Pickin' on Fahey

This post over on Blue Cats and Red Sox cracked me up. Pickin' on little ol' Brandon Fahey. You gotta love it. As I recall, when he first showed up in the minors, they wouldn't even let him play every day 'cause they were afraid his little frame just couldn't stand the rigors of playing so much. And, look at him now. Hitting homers in the big leagues. And, boggling the minds of Red Sox fans. You really do gotta love it.

Posted by Joanna at 6:20 PM | Permalink

Monday - May 15, 2006

Game 53: Dallas Baptist at Texas

Game 2 of the double-header against Dallas Baptist was rather interesting...and a bit of a contrast to Game 1. The first game seemed to drag after the first few innings. It just kept going on and on. Most of the crowd left after the first game. No doubt many of them didn't plan ahead for a double-header. And, with Mother's Day looming, I'm sure many people had to get on their way. Adrian Alaniz took the mound to start the game and got credit for the win. Like Kyle in the first game, he was replaced after 4 innings so must've been declared the pitcher of record at the start of the game. He gave up one (earned) run on 4 hits (2 singles, a double, and a solo home run) with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. Kyle Walker then pitched an exciting 5th: he walked the first batter on 4 pitches, allowed the second to reach on a fielder's choice, struck out the next, gave up a single to the next, and then walked the bases loaded! He then struck out the next batter to get out of the inning without giving up a run. Whew. Joey Parigi came on for the 6th. He had a very nice 6-pitch 3-up/3-down 6th. In the 7th, the first two batters grounded out, the third walked, and the last hit into a fielder's choice. He started the 8th off by giving up three singles to load the bases. So, in came Joseph Krebs. He got the two batters he faced to ground out to ss...the first grounded into a 643 double play (a run scored on the play). You gotta love it when a pitcher faces two batters and gets credit for a complete inning. Heh. The second batter he faced, by the way, fouled off at least 5 pitches before grounding out on a really nice play by Chais Fuller at ss. So, it's not like he didn't throw as many pitches as you normally would to three batters! Austin Wood came on for the 9th and, like the last time he came in with a big lead, gave up a few runs. In fact, he gave up 3 earned runs on 4 hits with a walk and a strikeout. He had runners at the corners when he threw that strikeout to end the game. Whew. Oh, and Brett Lewis (giving Preston Clark a bit of rest) was in the lineup as catcher while Hunter Harris stayed in at dh. The line:

RHE
Dallas Baptist 010 000 013 - 5122
Texas 100 004 50x - 10120

The scoring: In the 1st, Nick Peoples walked and moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Chance Wheeless. Drew Stubbs grounded out to ss. Carson Kainer doubled to rf (just barely fare) to drive in Nick. In the 3rd, Nick hit a triple but was stranded at 3b as Chance and Drew struck out looking and Carson lined out to cf. On that triple, Nick hit a ball toward the lf/cf gap. The center fielder misjudged the ball and it bounced over his head and ended up at the wall. So, the turf helped Nick out a bit. Things got a bit interesting in the 4th. Hunter Harris walked on 4 pitches. Bradley Suttle reached on a bunt single. The runners advanced on a sac bunt by Kyle Russell. Right after that, the second baseman walked in to discuss strategy with the pitcher. Shortly after that (and during Brett's at-bat), the pitcher whirled and threw to 2b in an attempt to pick Bradley off. Alas, his throw was off target and skittered into cf. Both runners advanced (Hunter scored). Brett walked. Runners at the corners. Bradley scored on a sac bunt (squeeze) by Chais. The pitcher fielded the ball and made a swipe at Chais as he ran down the line. The 1b ump could not make the call so deferred to the home plate ump...who called Chais out. I'm pretty sure the tag was not made. Coach Garrido argued the call and asked the men in blue to confer. They chatted for a bit and ruled Chais out. Whatever. So, Brett was at 2b with 2 outs. Nick singled through the left side (rbi). He stole 2b on the first pitch to Chance. Chance walked on 4 pitches. DBU sent Rodney Brantley in to pitch. Drew singled to rf. Nick scored on the play and Chance ran hard for 3b. The throw from rf was to 3b. It was a bit off-line and the third baseman missed it. Chance scored and Drew advanced to 2b on the error. The error was charged on the throw by rf but I think it should've been charged to 3b. It was a long throw and wasn't that far off. The third baseman really should've given up on trying to get the out and should've stopped the ball to keep the runner from scoring. The error's almost always charged on the throw, though, so that's that. Carson singled through the left side. Drew was thrown out at the plate (72). Hunter continued to enjoy Senior Day by leading off the Horns' half of the 5th with a single. He moved to 3b on a single by Bradley but was stranded there. In the 6th, Chaise was hit by a pitch. Nick walked. Chance moved the runners forward on a sac bunt (53). Drew was intentionally walked to load the bases. DBU changed the pitcher (Taylor replaced Gilmore who'd come on at the beginning of the inning). Carson singled through the left side (2 rbi). Drew made a mental error at this point. On the play, he apparently expected the left fielder to throw to the plate so was about 10-15 feet past 2b as the throw came in. The third baseman cut off the throw, though, and easily threw Drew out (to 2b) as he dove back for the bag. Sloppy play. Not good. Anyway, Hunter (aka Mr. Senior Day) hit a home run to lf (2 rbi). Woo hoo!!!! Go, Hunter!!! Heh heh. It was a thing of beauty. Bradley grounded out to ss.

Bryan Herrera (aka The Rest of the Senior Class) pinch hit for Drew in the 8th. He grounded out to 2b but got a standing ovation from the crowd. He nicely tipped his helmet to us as he went back into the dugout. He stayed in the game in cf for the top of the 9th and made a very nice running catch to make the 2nd out of the inning. Go, Bryan!! Another standing ovation. The crowd loved it. Congrats to the two seniors. Hunter ended up 4-for-6 on the day with a home run (his first in a Longhorn jersey), 3 runs scored, 3 batted in, and two walks. Woo hoo! Go, Senior Horns!

One last note: here it is...22 hours since the last post. Sorry about the delay in getting the game report out. Mother's Day intervened. It was a nice day. I hope the rest of you also had good days. Longhorn moms got a very nice gift from Baylor. They swept the Cornhuskers this weekend. That means the Horns are the regular season champs and will be the #1 seed for the Big 12 tournament. (I will do my very best not to be a pessimist about what the Horns will do when they don't have to win. Instead, I hope they'll be thinking about the fact that we want a National seed for the regionals and that 40th win will go a long way toward achieving that goal. And they'll do just fine this weekend at Mizzou. Yep, that's what I'm gonna concentrate on. I trust the rest of you will do likewise.) Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 1:40 AM | Permalink

Sunday - May 14, 2006

Game 52: Dallas Baptist at Texas

Kyle McCulloch seems to have recovered from the line drive he took the the ankle last week. He started and got the win. He only pitched 4 innings so must've been declared the pitcher of record before the game started. Kyle gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits (4 of them doubles!), with 4 strikeouts, 0 (!) walks, and 1 hit batter. Riley Boening pitched 4 innings in relief and also did well. He didn't give up any runs on 4 hits (1 double), with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. Randy Boone pitched the final inning for his 2nd save. He faced 3: strikeout (2-2 count), strikeout (9-pitch full count), and 53 ground out.

The line:

RHE
Dallas Baptist 011 100 000 - 3103
Texas 212 010 00x - 681

Offensive highlights. Texas jumped on top in the 1st and stayed ahead throughout the game. They scored the first two runs as follows: Nick Peoples grounded out to p. Chance Wheeless walked. Drew stubbs singled up the middle (Chance moved to 3b). Drew stole 2b on the 4th pitch to Carson Kainer. The next pitch hit Carson to load the bases. Hunter Harris (enjoying Senior Day) walked on 4 pitches (rbi). Bradley Suttle flew out to cf (sac fly, rbi). Carson started toward 3b on the play, saw that cf was going to make the play fairly deep, so scrambled quickly back to 2b to tag up and advance to 3b. Alas, he was stranded there as Kyle Russell flew out to lf. In the 2nd, Preston Clark started things off by grounding out to ss. Chais Fuller was hit by the first pitch. Ouch. Nick reached on a 64 fielder's choice and stole 2b on the 2nd pitch to Chance. Chance smacked a very high pitch into lf for a double (rbi); I don't know how he got his bat on that ball. He moved to 3b as Drew reached on an error by Cody Montgomery (DBU ss). Chance was running at the crack of the bat and blocked Montgomery's view of the ball a bit as he ran to 3b. The ss couldn't handle the ball, bobbled it a bit, and threw very high to 1b (pulling the first baseman off the bag). Carson grounded out to 1b. In the 3rd, Hunter singled up the middle, moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Bradley, and scored on a single by Kyle. Kyle was caught stealing during Preston's at-bat for the 2nd out of the inning. Preston singled to lf and moved to 2b as the left fielder was unable to field the ball cleanly and then casually went after the ball (E7). Chais singled to rf (rbi). Dallas Baptist then sent Jordan Craft in to pitch. He struck Nick out on 3 pitches. Craft limited the Horns to 1 more run in the 5th as he pitched very nicely in relief. I don't know if he ever starts for DBU but I bet they wish they'd started him today! He pitched the final 5.1 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Other observations. The Horns had a shaky 2nd in the field. Chance allowed what looked like a routine ball to get through his legs...letting a run score. Later in the inning, Nick ran in front of Chais to grab a pop fly. It was clearly the short stop's ball and it looked like Chais had called for the ball. Weird. The Patriots got back-to-back doubles that were just barely fair down the 3b line in the 4th. They got one more in the second game of the double-header. It felt like they got about 6 of them on the day. But, no...only three. Preston picked a runner off at 1b in the 5th. Sweet. The Texas pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts. Also sweet.

I'll post on the 2nd game later. It's already 3 in the morning. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Y'all rock!

Posted by Joanna at 3:09 AM | Permalink

Final home stand

'Got the the park about 45 minutes early today. I was thinking that was mistake as I walked in...what with there being a double-header and all. (Long long day ahead...ack!) But, what the heck? It was the last home stand of the regular season. I watched the Patriots take batting practice. Then, I watched both teams go through their infield drills. And, I checked things out 'round the top of the stands to see how they could possibly hope to include luxury/sky boxes when they do the renovations without taking the roof off the place. And, you know what? I do think there's room to add them around the outside of the stands after all. If they take out the top row of seats and knock out the concrete behind them, there's probably about 5 feet of clearance for windows. That's plenty of space. So...I mostly take it all back. Well, the part about the sky boxes at any rate. Heh.

Shortly after the starting line-ups were announced, Jan came up to say "hi" and accuse me of being "caustic" on this here web page. Me? Caustic? I don't think so.

Anyway, as I was watching the Patriots taking batting practice I noticed something that really cracked me up. If you looked at the photos I took when Nebraska came to town, you might've noticed my comment on the first page of photos under the fourth photo. The comment about the fence. Guess what? Someone bought some green duct tape. Well, it's green. May not be duct tape. And, did quite a bit of patch work on the fence. It's hysterical. I can't decide if it looks better or worse. The problem is that the tape is a much brighter shade of green than the fence material. So, for the most part, it really stands out. Honestly, I can't decide if the holes or the patches are worse. Either way, it's pretty funny. Sadly, I did not have my camera with me. None of my seat buddies had cameras either. I may have to make a special stop tomorrow at the park to get a photo or two for y'all. 'Cause, really...it's pretty noteworthy. UPDATE (added late Sunday night). By the way, I want to make it clear that I don't think the patches were made due to what I wrote on the photo page. I know the chances of that being the case are very very tiny. The timing of the whole thing just struck me as being terribly funny.

Today was Senior Day. Which is a big deal. Before the start of the first game, they made an announcement over the PA system that they were set to introduce the Senior Class of 2006. So, we all got ready for the introductions. Out come a couple of student trainer types. Clap clap. Up next: Hunter Harris. Woo hoo! And, Bryan Herrera. Woo hoo! And... That's it. Two senior players. Heh. I think there were three last year. Our team's just too damn good. All the juniors keep getting drafted and moving on. That's a good thing, right? Right.

And then the game started. I was keeping score and we all noticed a young man hovering over my shoulder. Yes? He informed me that I'd been pre-selected (Dad enjoyed the "pre-selected" part a lot) to be the recipient of the "Fan of the Day" prize from Advantage Rent-A-Car. I was rather busy trying to keep score as he asked for my seat number and told me they'd be making the announcement in the 2nd inning and I'd have to stand up and wave at the camera when he came back to make the presentation. I asked why I'd been selected but he ignored my question and told me to make sure I waved at the camera. And, he disappeared. And, sure enough, at the appropriate time, my seat number was announced. I stood up and waved at the camera. And, he gave me a piece of paper explaining what I had to do to get my free car rental (single day, for those of you that care). I asked him again, why I'd been selected and he said it was because I looked "enthusiastic." Hmmm... Jan came up again to say that she was sure the whole thing was rigged and that I'd been selected as some sort of appeasement. She seems to think someone is trying to bribe me into being less "caustic" on this here web page. I think she's off her rocker. But, then...what do I know?

So, yes...I stuck around for both games. All 18 innings. As did Esther and Michael. Dad, Jennie, Eddie, and most of the rest of the crowd (yes, that includes Jan) did not. They all drifted away. So, they missed Bryan Herrera get into the game. His last regular-season home game. It was a long day. The day before Mother's Day, no less. Lots of folks had conflicting plans or just couldn't take the heat for so long. Anyway, I guess I did deserve that "Fan of the Day" prize, right? Heh. Okay...game reports coming soon. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 2:08 AM | Permalink

Friday - May 12, 2006

Alumni news: Dunn and Fahey

Last week, Scott Dunn was assigned to the Durham Bulls (Devil Rays AAA affiliate). He struck out 4 and allowed one hit a couple of days ago in 1.2 innings of relief in a 6-2 win over the Louisville Bats.

And, Brandon Fahey had three hits in a losing effort for the Orioles against the Tigers on Wednesday. He's played both ss and 2b since being called up. I found a nice article from his hometown paper about his major league debut: Grayson's own Ex-Viking breaks into big leagues by Adam Boedeker (Herald Democrat).

Posted by Joanna at 6:20 AM | Permalink

Thursday - May 11, 2006

News: Weekend starters and Disch-Falk renovations

According to the Statesman, Kyle McCulloch is well enough to start the opener on Saturday. Adrian Alaniz will start the second game.

They've upped the budget for the renovations to Disch-Falk. I'm very puzzled by this architectural rendering:

Are they really gonna fit the new sky boxes in without taking the roof off? I was looking at things the other day and don't see how they can. But, I'll look at it again. And, maybe take some photos. Anyway, back to the rendering: note the grassy berm down the rf line and the extended seating area down the lf line. The light standards on the roof are significantly higher...they're no longer at the roof line. And, no other light poles can be seen so one has to assume (dangerous, I know...particularly since these are only tentative renderings at best) they've been moved back and won't be disturbing lines of sight for anyone inside the park. Also from this rendering, it looks like you can easily see the field from outside the rf wall. Which either means they're adding an enclosure wall outside the current wall. Or this is just artistic license. 'Cause you know they're not gonna make it that easy for folks to watch the game without paying for a ticket. (Link.)

Oddly, the new renderings are nowhere to be found on the TexasSport.com page that we're supposed to watch for the latest infomation on what's going on. Color me not surprised. Actually, that's not really true. I am a bit surprised. I mean, this is a big marketing effort, right? Oh well.

Posted by Joanna at 12:03 AM | Permalink

Tuesday - May 9, 2006

Alumni news: Brad Halsey

I came across a nice article about Brad Halsey in the San Jose Mercury News: On the mound, Halsey has mettle by Joe Roderick. When Brad first went to the A's it looked like he'd quickly be sent to the Minors. But, they thought they might need him for a start with bad weather looming so kept him on the 25-man roster. It was just supposed to be for a week or two. And, instead of starting, he threw out of the bullpen a few times. And, then a couple of the starters suffered injuries and suddenly, he's getting a shot as a starter. Cool.

Posted by Joanna at 11:02 PM | Permalink

Standings update

I haven't posted the conference standings lately. That's mostly because I never pay attention to the standings. Which is really sad 'cause people often ask me about the standings when they see me keeping score at Disch-Falk. And I have to say something like, "I think Kansas is somewhere around the middle but don't really know...sorry." The simple fact is: I just don't care all that much. True confession time, eh? Ah well. Here you go, the current standings:

School W L T Pct.
Texas1940.826
Nebraska1650.762
Oklahoma1560.714
Oklahoma State1290.571
Baylor10110.476
Missouri9120.429
Kansas10140.417
Texas Tech6131.300
Kansas State5151.238
Texas A&M4170.190

Texas looks to be in fairly good shape as the Big 12 heads into its final two weeks of play. I wish the Horns weren't idle (conference-wise) this week. Missouri's playing at Tech this weekend. I hope they win at least 2 so they won't be quite so hungry next weekend. Heh. And, I'm glad to see that the Huskers are going head-to-head with the Sooners in the final weekend.

Hmmmm...looking at that table does give me a bit of pause. Here are the matchups for the final two weekends of the regular season:

School This Week Next Week
Texas(non-conference)at Missouri
Nebraskaat BaylorOklahoma
OklahomaOklahoma Stateat Nebraska
Oklahoma StateOklahomaTexas Tech
BaylorNebraskaat Kansas State
Missouriat Texas TechTexas
Kansas(non-conference)Texas A&M
Texas TechMissouriat Oklahoma State
Kansas Stateat Texas A&MBaylor
Texas A&MKansas Stateat Kansas

There certainly is a lot of room for movement. The OU-OSU series will be played in Tulsa and Oklahoma City (supposedly neutral ground). Kansas is the only team not traveling at all for the next two weeks. That should help them, you'd think. There's almost zero possibility that Tech and K-State could overtake them since they're playing the Aggies at home that final weekend. You never know, though. That group of three at the bottom is pretty interesting. I wonder who'll make it to the tournament? The bottom two will be staying home. Hmmmm...

This is why I don't ever look at the standings. They can change too much from one week to the next. Ack!

Posted by Joanna at 10:49 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 7, 2006

Game 51: Kansas at Texas

The 10-run rule goes into effect on "get away" day for Big 12 conference series. Kansas fell culprit to the rule this afternoon when Texas went ahead by 10 in the 8th on a throwing error. So, Texas swept the series and won the game 11-1.

The line:

RHE
Kansas 100 000 00 - 154
Texas 210 700 01 - 11101

Adrian Alaniz started, went 6.2 innings, gave up that one earned run on 5 hits, with 0 walks and 6 strikeouts to get the win. He looked like the "old" Adrian this afternoon. It was a sight for sore eyes. Kyle Walker pitched the final 1.1 innings. Kodiak Quick (gotta love that name, doncha?) took the loss as he gave up 10 runs (5 unearned) in 3.2 innings (6 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 hit batter).

Defensively, the Horns looked good in the field. A few highlights:

Scoring highlights:

All in all, the Horns looked very good today. I hope they can keep it up. They won't be playing any mid-week games over the next couple of weeks and that sort of thing always makes me worry about the players getting out of their rhythms. Especially when things are just starting to gel. Thankfully, the team did manage to schedule that extra game with Dallas Baptist so they'll get some "real world" work in before they travel to Missouri for their last regular season series. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:54 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 6, 2006

Game 50: Kansas at Texas

It really is quite amazing that the Horns managed to get these first two games of the Kansas series in. Austin has suffered through several severe thunderstorms over the last few days. I got caught out driving in two of them and let me say: no fun! But, they've stayed well clear of the baseball schedule. Excellent.

The Horns earned their 7th win in a row this afternoon, beating Kansas 11-4. Riley Boening started, pitched 6 shut-out innings, and got the win. He faced 25, gave up three singles, threw seven strikeouts, walked three batters and hit one. All on 94 pitches by my count. Joseph Krebs, Austin Wood, and Keith Shinaberry pitched the final three. Details to come. (I've decided to do a complete game summary today for some reason...link below.)

On the offensive side of things, everyone but Preston Clark had at least one hit. Preston has been on a big hitting tear lately so that's rather ironic. That's baseball for you. He did contribute to the scoring by advancing Carson Kainer on a sac bunt in the 2nd. Carson went on to score the first run of the game for the Horns. He was also the victim of a couple of really nice defensive plays by the Jayhawks. Multihitters: Peoples, Wheeless, Stubbs, Suttle, Fuller, and Lewis. Multiple runs scored: Peoples, Kainer, Fuller, and Lewis. Good game.

I'm posting a complete game summary for today's game. Have at it.

Posted by Joanna at 11:26 PM | Permalink

News: McCulloch's status and schedule changes

Good news: the x-rays proved negative. Kyle McCulloch does not have a broken ankle. He's got a bad bruise. He's expected to start throwing again next week and hopefully won't miss more than the DBU series.

And, speaking of the series, a couple of schedule change notes: Texas will now play a double header against the Patriots next weekend. The start time is unchanged. Since one of the games against the Red Raiders was rained out, Texas was able to schedule the extra game to get to the 56-game regular season limit. Also, the start time for the last game of the regular season against Missouri has changed. It's now scheduled to start at noon to accomodate UT's travel plans.

Posted by Joanna at 11:14 PM | Permalink

Game 49: Kansas at Texas

Kansas jumped on top early but the Horns came back to win 7-4. Kyle McCulloch started but had to leave the game in the 5th when he was hit on his left ankel by a hard line drive. According to the TexasSports.com site, he'll be getting x-rays today. Kyle Walker came on in relief and got the win. Randy Boone pitched the final 2 innings for his first save of the year. Kyle Russell was back in the lineup after the scare with his ankle...when he came out of Monday's game after running into the wall in rf. He was out of Tuesday's game but back in last night and looking pretty good; he hit his 10th home run of the year in the 8th.

It was a pretty good win for the Horns. A win they needed. The team showed some flashes of great play but also seemed to struggle from time to time.

Offensively, the team struggled early but then came to life. They went down in order in the first 2 innings. In the 3rd, Kyle Russell flew out to lf on a ball that just stayed in the park. Preston Clark then got the first hit of the game and moved to 2b when Chais Fuller was hit by a pitch. Nick Peoples popped out to the catcher and Chance Wheeless flew out to cf to end the inning. In the 4th, Drew Stubbs walked but was stranded at 1b as Carson Kainer flew out to rf, Hunter Harris popped out to 3b, and Bradley Suttle flew out to rf (at the warning track...another close one). In the 5th, Kyle walked and moved to 2b on a single Preston hit to no-man's land in rf. Chais was then asked to sac bunt. He hit a bunt toward 3b and was thrown out at 1b to advance the runners. I think the Kansas third baseman actually had time to throw to 2b and get the double play because the ball was hit pretty hard in his direction but he didn't even glance toward 2b. Whew. Nick then singled up the middle to plate both runners. Chance hit a double to the lf/cf gap and Nick scored (nice run from 1b). Drew then reached on an E6. He was picked off as he tried to draw the defense's attenion so Chance could score from 3b. The defense did not bite and he was tagged out at 2b. I think he would've been safe if he'd slid into the bag but he wasn't really running hard enough to slide so it would've been rather awkward. Carson then grounded out to ss. In the 6th, Hunter singled through the right side and was moved to 2b on a sac bunt. He was stranded there as Kyle struck out and Preston flew out to cf. In the 7th, Chais walked. Nick reached on a fielder's choice bunt (pitcher threw Chais out at 2b). Nick stole 2b on the second pitch to Chance. Chance then reached on an infield single. The high bouncer glanced off the tip of the pitcher's glove and there was no chance of getting either runner out. Runners at the corners. Drew then singled to rf (Nick scored, Chance moved to 3b). Kansas changed pitchers. Drew stole 2b on the 4th pitch to Carson. Carson then singled up the middle (both runners scored). Hunter then hit into a double play. In the 8th, Bradley grounded out to 2b, Kyle hit that home run (a line drive to lf), Preston flew out to rf, and Chais grounded out to 3b.

Defensively, flashes of brilliance were followed by "What the hell?" moments. In the 1st, with a runner at 1b, Matt Baty hit a sac bunt that died at the plate. I don't think I've ever seen a ball die quite so effectively. I doubt it got more than a foot (at most) away from the plate. Preston gathered it up and threw to Chance. The throw was a bit high and glanced off Chance's glove (E3). The runners ended up at 2b and 3b. The next batter singled and both runners scored. One unearned run. Kansas played a bit if Texas small ball in the 2nd to score their 3rd run. The first batter was hit by a pitch and moved to 2b on a single. Both runners advanced on a sac bunt. A ground out to 2b scored the run. Nick made a nice play to catch a foul pop-up to end the threat. In the third, two bang-bang plays back-to-back made you think this team can do no wrong. The first batter hit one to 1b. Kyle McCulloch made a play for the ball but couldn't get to it. He ran on to the bag and was there in time to get the throw from Chance. Bang-bang. The next batter hit a hard ground ball to ss. Chais made a great stop and throw to get him out. Bang-bang. Wow. In the 4th, after Kyle struck out the first two batters he faced, the third hit a fly ball to shallow rf. Bradley and Kyle Russell were both going after the ball. Drew was also running in and apparently called the other two off. However, he was short of getting to the ball by a good 10 feet. The runner made it to 2b by the time Kyle fielded the ball on the bounce and threw it in to Chais. What the hell? The only reason I can imagine Bradley and Kyle giving up so completely on the ball was that Drew must've called them off. They both had a much better chance of catching the ball, though. Sigh. The batter was stranded at 2b, though. In the 5th, the Horns turned a beautiful 643 double play after Kyle McCulloch had to leave the game. Pretty. They turned the trick again (463, this time) in the 6th. The team gave up a run in the 7th but it was because Kansas managed to hit a couple of clean doubles off of Randy Boone. In the 9th, the first batter struck out looking. The second flew out to lf. The next reached on an error by 2b on a grounder that skipped threw Bradley's legs. It looked to me like he was worried about the speed of the runner and was trying to rush things. The next batter singled through the left side. Runners at first and second with the tying run at the plate. What the hell? Baty struck out swinging to end the game. Yay, Randy! And, whew.

Here's hoping the Horns get all parts of their game together for the whole game today!

Posted by Joanna at 12:14 PM | Permalink

Friday - May 5, 2006

Alumni news: Fahey and Halsey

I keep forgetting to post the news that Brandon Fahey was called up a few days ago and is currently on the active roster with the Orioles (link). Brandon got the news about the call-up during a game. It gets better, though. He was actually yanked in the middle of an at-bat and given the news:

Fahey didn't have much time to think about his new gig. The infielder was yanked from a game for Triple-A Ottawa during the middle of an at-bat, and he was at the airport at 2:45 a.m. ET. He said he hadn't gotten much sleep, but he was still excited to be in Sunday's starting lineup.

"I still can't believe it," he said. "I'm shocked. I don't think it's hit me yet."

Fahey, the son of former big-league catcher Bill Fahey, said he was confused when he first got the call. There he was, in his helmet and batting gloves, preparing to get on base. The next thing he knew, he was on the sidelines, talking to his manager with his head racing a million miles an hour.

If you go to that Orioles link above, there are a couple of links to video clips featuring Brandon (see the "Related Links" on the sidebar). Cool. Do it quick. I have no idea how long those things stay around.

Also of note, Brad Halsey got his first start and win since joining the A's in a game against the Angels on Tuesday (link). I like the photo in the linked story. Intense.

I'm happy for both of these guys.

Posted by Joanna at 7:15 AM | Permalink

Thursday - May 4, 2006

Game day photos (revisited)

Remember the photos I was posting from the Nebraska game? Well, I finished posting the last of them this morning: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, and Page 5. I also added a link to the photos on the main page under the "Photo Essays" heading so they're easy to find if'n you want to look again. Too bad Texas lost the game, eh?

Posted by Joanna at 4:43 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 3, 2006

Game 48: Texas State at Texas

Texas used some pretty solid pitching and fielding to beat Texas State 2-1 earlier this evening. Texas State jumped out to a 1-run lead in the 1st. Kenn Kasparek started and combined with Joey Parigi, Keith Shnaberry, and Joseph Krebs to hold the Bobcats to that one run. Texas scored single runs in the 4th and 8th. The game started about 45 minutes late due to a sudden rain storm. I got tied up at work, though, and didn't get to Disch-Falk until the 3rd inning. So, I missed the early part of the game. Apparently, the Bobcats were able to score in the 1st because Drew Stubbs slipped and fell on the wet turf in the outfield. It looked like the game would go into extra innings until Bradley Suttle got a 2-out double in the 8th. He scored on a single by Preston Clark to lf. On the play, the Texas State left fielder threw the ball in to the catcher in time to get Bradley out at the plate but the catcher could not handle the throw. Bradley slid in safely. Whew. Game over. Texas wins. And, it's on to the second-to-last conference series. Go, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 12:44 AM | Permalink

Tuesday - May 2, 2006

Game 47: Texas A&M at Texas

Ack! I went back to work after the game yesterday afternoon. And, then I went to visit some friends. And, I didn't get home 'til about 11:30 last night and I completely forgot to post about the game. Oh, the horrors! So, no insight from me today. Just the score (Texas won 6-1) and a couple of links: the Daily Texan's article and the Statesman's article.

Well, okay. One tidbit. Esther asked me yesterday morning what happened to the Horns. Huh? They won. Both games. But just barely, she noted. So, I pointed out that the Aggies have had some very bad luck this year in 1- and 2-run games and that they are probably better than their record would indicate. And, they played well. But, that I was confident UT would win by a wider margin (probably 4 or 5 runs) in Austin. And, they did. So, there you go. I think today's game will be an interesting test for this team. What will they do in their 4th game in 4 days when they've got another conference series looming on Friday? Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 3:10 PM | Permalink

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