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Saturday - March 31, 2007

Game 33: Oklahoma at Texas

Wow. Two very good games in a row. And, happily, the right team came out on top both times! Texas beat the Sooners today 3-1. The game was scoreless through the first 6.2 innings. And, people will make much of the fact that Texas left lots of runners on base. And, they did. In fact, they left 9 (5 of them in scoring position) through the first 6 innings. All but 2 of those runners reached with 2 outs, though. The Sooners, on the other hand, only sent 2 over the minimum to the plate through the first 7 innings! People were grumbling about the batters left on but it was clear that the Horns were going to score at some point. The law of averages was definitely on their side. The Sooners couldn't get anyone on. Adrian Alaniz pitched his second complete game of the season. Way cool. He had rather more than a few great defensive plays to help him along. He gave up one run on 3 hits (a single in the 3rd, one in the 6th, and a triple in the 8th) with 5 strikeouts and no walks. About that triple. It was a high fly ball to rf that Kyle lost in the sun. It looked like a fairly routine out. Except for that blinding sun. Were it not for that, I don't think OU would have scored any runs. They only sent 30 batters to the plate in 9 innings. Texas sent 10 more than that. In 8 innings. See what I mean about the law of averages?

So. Here's how things played out...

And, that's the way it was. I sure hope they Horns just win in a big way tomorrow. All this "yikes...what's gonna happen now?" stuff just doesn't need to be happening, does it? Heh.

Posted by Joanna at 7:07 PM | Permalink

Game 32: Oklahoma at Texas

The Horns started the weekend off well last night. They beat the Sooners 4-3. It was a rather back-and-forth affair. Texas scored one in the 2nd and OU answered in the 3rd. Texas scored another in the 3rd. OU answered again. Yikes! Texas scored in the 4th and OU was unable to match that run. The Horns scored another in the 7th which was answered by OU in the 8th! Double yikes. Luckily, there was no more scoring. So, Texas won the game. Whew. It was fun.

James Russell got the start and the win. He went 5.2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits with no walks and 7 strikeouts! We noticed that he got up 0-2 on lots of the batters. I counted 'em up. He got ahead 0-2 to 13 of the 23 batters he faced! Amazing. 4 of those batters eventually got hits to reach base. One of them scored: Joseph Hughes battled the heck out of an 0-2 hole and hit a full-count 9-pitch ball into the Texas bullpen in the 3rd to score the first OU run. In the 6th, the first batter hit a lead-off single up the middle. He stole 2b during the next at-bat (the batter struck out) and then moved to 3b on a wild pitch on the following at-bat (that batter struck out as well). With a runner at 3b and 2 outs, Pat McCrory went in. He got the first batter he faced to fly out to cf to end the threat. Pat threw 1.2 innings and gave up one earned run on 1 hit with 1 walk and 1 strikeout. In the 8th, the first batter he faced grounded out to ss. The next reached on a single to lf. His first pitch to the next was a ball and the coaches decided to make a change. They sent Keith Shinaberry in to face the lefty at the plate. Keith struck him out on 3 pitches and left the game! Heh. Randy Boone then went in. He allowed the runner at 1b to advance to 2b on a wild pitch and then gave up a single to rf (rbi, charged to Pat). The next batter grounded out to 1b. Randy ended the game with a 3-up/3-down 9th. The final two batters of the game struck out. Very nice.

And, how did Texas score their runs? The first was a beaut. Russell Moldenhauer was hit by a pitch to start the Texas half of the 2nd. He was thrown out as Preston Clark reached on a 1-6 fielder's choice (not a great bunt by Preston). Josh Prince then singled to rf. Preston took a wide turn at 2b and was caught off the bag. Luckily, he managed to avoid a tag at 3b on a poor (high) throw from ss to 3b and ended up safe at 3b. Josh moved to 2b on the throw. Nick Peoples then popped out to 1b (foul). Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch (the starter for OU hit 3 batters in the game) to load the bases with 2 outs. Chance Wheeless then hit a beautiful bunt (1st pitch) down the 3b line. The third baseman fielded the ball but was too late to get a throw off. Everybody safe, run scores. It was purrrrrty. In the 3rd, Bradley Suttle led things off with a double to the cf/rf gap. Kyle Russell hit a single to rf. Runners at the corners. Russell Moldenhauer walked to load the bases. Preston Clark reached on a 6-4 fielder's choice (rbi). Josh Prince then hit into a double play (6-4-3) to end the threat. In the 5th, with one out, Kyle Russell hit a blast of a home run over the Green Monster. I thought it was gonna hit the top of the wall and he'd end up with a triple. But no...it cleared the Monster! Wow. Texas scored their last run in the 7th. Jordan Danks led off with a single to rf. He stole 2b during Bradley Suttle's at-bat and moved to 3b when Bradley ended up grounding out to ss. He then scored on a balk call. Yikes!

It was a fun game. And, now I'm off to watch the second game of the series. 'Looks like the weather's gonna be great. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 12:22 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 27, 2007

Game 31: Rice at Texas

Something pretty stunning happened this evening. Texas beat Rice for the 10th time in a row. 10 times. In a row. That sort of thing just doesn't happen.

I couldn't remember if they were going for win #9 or #10 this afternoon so I went back through my archives and found last year's post about the 9th win. So, that answered that question. And, then I got curious and had to look back through the last few years and see how we got to this point...

  1. February 14, 2004: Texas 6, Rice 3 (Minute Maid College Classic)
  2. March 2, 2004: Texas 8, Rice 7 (Austin)
  3. March 9, 2004: Texas 5, Rice 0 (at Rice)
  4. April 13, 2004: Texas 3, Rice 2 (Austin)
  5. March 9, 2005: Texas 7, Rice 0 (Austin)
  6. April 20, 2005: Texas 7, Rice 6 (at Rice)
  7. February 11, 2006: Texas 5, Rice 4 (Astros College Classic)
  8. March 7, 2006: Texas 9, Rice 5 (at Rice)
  9. March 22, 2006: Texas 3, Rice 2 (Austin)
  10. March 27, 2007: Texas 6, Rice 4 (Austin)

The last time Rice beat Texas was in the College World series in 2003 when they knocked Texas out of the CWS. Rice won all three meetings that year and went on to win the CWS. Also of note, Texas won all three meetings in 2002 when the Horns won the CWS. Heh.

Anyway, I missed the beginning of the game and arrived at Disch-Falk during the 2nd or 3rd inning. Since I got there late, I didn't keep score. I did take my camera along. So, you get a photo entry today.

This was what I saw when I walked up (Texas was batting):

[View from outside the entry gate]

As I made my way in, Austin Wood was back on the mound for the Horns so I took a few shots of him. This one was taken while he was throwing his warm-up pitches (in the 3rd, maybe):

[Austin Wood on the mound]

Notice the ball behind him? Chance Wheeless had just tossed it to Josh Prince or Bradley Suttle. But in the photo it almost looks as though Austin let go of it (in the wrong direction) on his follow-through. Almost. Heh.

And, here's a series of three taken during one pitch:

[Austin Wood on the mound]

Since the sun was getting low, I had to use a slower shutter speed than I'd generally like to use. So, that left the situation open for lots of blur. I really like his throwing hand and the ball in that second shot.

For some reason, many of my "action" shots this evening involved Travis Tucker. Here he is diving for 3b as he advanced on a wild pitch in the 3rd:

[Travis Tucker diving for 3b]

Kyle Russell hit his 16th (!) home run of the year. Here he is rounding 3b and shaking Coach Harmon's hand:

[Kyle Russell rounding 3rd]

Travis Tucker rounds 3b and goes on to score the tying run (the 2nd run at this point):

[Travis Tucker rounds 3b]

Coach Garrido talks the situation over with Kyle Russell and Bradley Suttle during a Rice pitching change in the 5th:

[Garrido, Russell and Suttle talk things over]

Travis Tucker slides safely into 3b in the 6th (Nick Peoples scored on the same play):

[Travis Tucker slides into 3rd]

See what I mean about Travis being in all my action shots today?

A shot of the scoreboard at the end of the game:

[Final scoreboard]

The Eyes of Texas are Upon You...

[The eyes]

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:37 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 25, 2007

Game 30: Kansas State at Texas


That kinda sucked, eh? Texas lost to Kansas State today, 9-11.

Joseph Krebs got the start and did okay for the first few innings. He did give up 4 hits through the first 4 innings but three double plays helped keep him out of trouble. With a 3-1 lead going into the 5th, he gave up back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and then a bunt single to load the bases. The 4th batter, who'd hit a double in his at-bat in the 3rd, hit a grand slam to change the momentum of the game. Keith Shinaberry then went in. He induced a couple of ground outs and then gave up his own home run that bounced off the top of the wall in lf. So, the Horns went from a 3-1 lead to a 3-6 deficit in a matter of just a few minutes. Yikes. Happily, they answered in the bottom of the inning by scoring 6 runs of their own to go back into the lead. But, that would prove to be all they could manage offesively. They did load the bases in the 6th on 3 walks. But, all of those walks came with 2 outs and pinch-hitter Clay Van Hook watched a full-count strike to end the inning.

By the way, for the second day in a row, we were saddled with an umpire who seemed to have a pretty random and shifting strike zone. Neither dugout was happy with his calls behind the plate. Sigh...

Keith Shinaberry was followed by Pat McCrory who threw the 6th and did not give up any runs. Randy Boone threw the 7th and went into the 8th. He gave up 5 runs and took the loss. He came into the game after a very quick set of warm-up tosses and promptly gave up 2 singles. Both runners went on to score. In the 8th, the Wildcats started off with a walk, a sac bunt, and back-to-back singles. Austin Wood then went to the mound. He struck out the first batter he saw and then gave up 2 singles before Travis Tucker made a spectacular leaping catch to snag a line drive and end the bleeding (KSU scored 3 in the inning). The defense committed a couple of errors in the inning to make things more difficult on themselves. Overall, the team committed 4 errors in the field. Not pretty. They also gave up 17 hits (including 1 double and the 2 home runs). They walked 3 and Austin Wood struck out two. On the offensive side of things, they were a bit sloppy but clearly did enough to win the game. They scored 9 on 11 hits (including 1 double, 1 triple, and 1 home run) with 6 walks and 3 hit batters. They struck out 4 times. But, with all the problems in the field, it turned out that 9 runs weren't enough.

The coaches tinkered with the lineup again today. They had Preston Clark in the dh slot and Brett Lewis in as catcher. Otherwise, things were pretty much like they always are. In the 5th, when they were working on scoring those 6 runs, they sent Russell Moldenhauer in to hit for Brett Lewis. But, they wanted to keep Preston in the game so they gave up the DH position. And, that meant things got complicated as they struggled to manage the pitching and batting situation for the rest of the game. I'm guessing they won't go with this lineup again any time soon. The #8 spot ended up having 7 different people in it: Brett Lewis (c), Russell Moldenhauer (ph, 5th), Michael Demperio (pr, 5th), Pat McCrory (p, 6th), Clay Van Hook (ph, 6th), Randy Boone (p, 7th), Austin Wood (p, 8th), and Clint Stubbs (ph, 9th). Brett, Russell, Clay, and Clint were the only ones that actually made plate appearances.

Ah well. These things happen. They're just so ugly, though. And, nearly impossible to explain. The Horns simply did not look like themselves today. Hopefully, it's out of their system.

Posted by Joanna at 9:33 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 24, 2007

Team speed

The speed of the Texas players really seems to be making a difference on the basepads this season. They regularly stretch hits that I expect to be singles or doubles into doubles and triples. It's pretty amazing to watch. When it happens, I cringe and wait for the runner to be thrown out. But, they keep surprising me. And, clearly, they're surprising the fielders on oposing teams. And, truth be told, I'm actually starting to get used to it. I noticed today that Esther, who hasn't seen as many games as I have, was cringing a lot more than I was when one of the Texas batters would make that turn around a base and keep running. Instead, I was assuming they'd make it. They've hit 72 doubles and 13 triples so far this year. Through 29 games. Last year they played 62 games and hit 117 doubles and 24 triples. So, they look like they're on pace to hit 3 more triples (over the course of another 62-game season). As for doubles, they're on pace to hit 154! And, that's assuming they only play 62 games. Getting all those extra runners into scoring position can't be a bad thing, right?

Hopefully, I'm not jinxing anything here when I say I think these guys will play more than 62 games this year. If they keep playing the way they're playing now, they're pretty much bound to play more than 62.

Posted by Joanna at 11:53 PM | Permalink

Game 29: Kansas State at Texas

Texas did it again today. They beat Kansas State 14-3. They got another great outing from their starter. Adrian Alaniz threw the first 7 innings and didn't allow any runs. He gave up 3 singles (2 of them in the first inning!), walked 1, and struck out 6. He made us a little nervous in that first inning...giving up those two singles. But, then he settled in and threw a fantastic game. I generally keep track of the pitch count as the game goes on and noticed that his count went steadily down as he went along. He threw 16 pitches the 1st inning, 14 the 2nd, 12 the 3rd, and 10 the 4th. He threw 10 again in the 5th and then 9 in the 6th! Wow. Entertainingly, he threw 13 pitches in the 7th. As he struck out the side! Double wow. Heh heh. So, much like yesterday when James Russell only allowed two over the minimum through the first 8, Adrian only allowed 2 above the minimum during his stint. Alex Posey went in for the final two innings. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced but then got the next to ground into a double play. The final batter of the inning lined out to cf. So, through 8, the Longhorns did, in fact, only face only 2 over the minimum. And, again, like yesterday, they gave up 3 runs in the 9th. Tsk tsk. The first batter of the inning walked on 4 pitches. The next singled to rf. Runners at 1b and 2b. The 3rd reached on a fielder's choice (6-4). Runners at the corners. The runner at 1b stole 2b but, again, like yesterday, the defense completely ignored his attempt. The next batter then singled to cf, plating both base runners. He then advanced to 3b on an error by the pitcher who made a bad pick-off throw to 1b that rolled all the way to the tarp near the fence down the rf line. He then scored on a sac fly to cf. The final out came on a fly out to rf.

Defensively, the Horns played a nice tight game...until the 9th. And, even then, it wasn't a terrible inning. The walk and error made all the difference. But there were a couple of plays that stood out. In the 4th, Josh Prince made a very nice stop and throw to 1b to get the first out of the inning. Two batters later, Travis Tucker at 2b made another great stop and throw to 1b to get the last out. Two great plays in one inning. Yes! They also turned a couple of timely double plays (4-6-3 and then 6-4-3) in the 5th and 8th. Several players that don't play often got to see some action. Dad said the radio guys were completely flumoxed by the changes in the 9th. But, I think I got them all.

However. The Longhorns did something I've never seen them do before. Ever. They batted out of order in the first inning! And, got away with it. Kansas State did not notice while the wrong batters batted so, by rule, they had no recourse. The results of the at-bats stood. I'm very curious to know when the Longhorns noticed the error. Was it while things were going on and they sat in the dugout (and stood out on the bases) hoping and praying that the nobody in the Wildcats' dugout would notice? Or was it not until later, when they went up to bat again? 'Cause that's when Kansas State noticed. Here's what happened:

So, that's was the first inning. In the second:

And, the rest of the game (Texas side only):


By the way, the home plate umpire (Doug Williams) seemed to have a rather erratic strike zone. For much of the early part of the game, he would not call any strikes in the lower part of the strike zone. Then, he seemed to call quite a few. And, then in the last inning or two, he went back to his "no low strikes are actual strikes" mode of operation. 'Twas very frustrating.

And, now the Horns are 5-0 in conference play and have a 9-game winning streak. Hook 'em!

PS: One more thing I almost forgot to mention. In fact, I did forget when I first posted so am adding the note now. Construction seemed to be in full swing as we were waiting for the game to start. And, it continued as the game went on. This is the first time I can remember them working through a game. But, maybe it's just the first time I actually noticed the noises. 'Seems unlikely but maybe. Or, maybe the noises were just reaching us more clearly today for some reason. At any rate, they don't seem to be just sitting around. 'Looks like everything really will be done by the time Fall rolls around.

Posted by Joanna at 10:54 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 23, 2007

Game 28: Kansas State at Texas

The Horns continued their winning ways tonight. They beat Kansas State 10-3 to take their winning streak to 8 games with a 4-0 record in Big 12 play. Purty. James Russell started and did a great job. He pitched into the 9th inning and was pretty much unhittable. Kansas State only managed to go 2 men over the minimum through the first 8 innings. He did get into a bit of trouble in the 9th but the offense gave him more than enough support to make the trouble rather inconsequential. He went 8.1 innings and gave up all three runs on 5 hits (4 singles and a double) while throwing 5 strikeouts and walking 2. Pat McCrory went into the game with a couple of runs across and runners at 1b and 2b. He gave up a single, induced a pop-up out of the next batter, and struck the final batter out to end the game.

And, so...the game:

And, as I said earlier: Texas wins 10-3!! Woo hoo!! James threw a great game. All of the starters with the exception of Josh Prince scored at least 1 run. Which means that everyone contributed nicely on the offensive side of things. It was a very enjoyable game for Texas fans.

A couple of random notes:

Ah well. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:08 PM | Permalink

OT: South Carolina players kicked off team

Riddle me this. Two players (Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Fuller) were kicked off the South Carolina baseball team a few days ago after admitting to stealing several thousand dollars worth of property from a dorm room and the baseball office. Undoubtedly, that was the right thing for the team to do. And, if you point your browser to Google News and plop their names in the search box, quite a few news articles pop up with details on the situation. But, if you go to the official Gamecock baseball page, not a word on the dismissals. The players names have been removed from the roster. But, they're not removed from individual game reports and their player bios are (as I post this) still on the site.

Here's my question: why is there no official comment on the dismissals on the baseball page? There's no acknowledgement at all to be found. There's also no comment to be found on the university's page. I find it odd. I know there's never any mention on the TexasSports.com page when a player leaves the team. They just change the roster. And, unless you watch that space carefully, you might not ever notice. But. In this case? With lots of media attention...they choose to say nothing? It just strikes me as odd. I wonder if other teams do the same thing? Did Texas do this when Omar Quintanilla got into trouble and was suspended for part of the season? Hmmm... Apparently not. That's really not much of a statement. But, it is a statement. Good for them.

(Hat tip: The College Baseball Blog.)

Posted by Joanna at 12:58 PM | Permalink

Disch-Falk renovation photos, part 10

I took these photos last week after the Baylor game. I sorta thought they'd take a break during the season and not do much but they're working away and have a substantial portion of the steel supports up for the new luxury boxes.

But, first. The new grassy berm along the lf line:

[Grassy berm]

The heavy rain last week was not kind. Here's a close-up of the mess down near the retaining wall:

[Grassy berm]

The steel support sturcture I was talking about:

[Steel structure]

And, another view from the parking lot:

[Steel structure]

See? Lots of work ongoing. I do enjoy when the announcer, before the game, asks everyone to please rise for the playing of the National Anthem. And, then asks the men to remove their caps and hard hats. Heh.

Posted by Joanna at 12:53 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 21, 2007

Game 27: Texas State at Texas

Texas beat Texas State 5-3 last night. Once again, the Horns came from behind to get the win. Nick Peoples and Preston Clark got the night off so Kyle Lusson played in lf (Jordan Danks moved to cf for the night) and Brett Lewis was behind the plate.

Kyle Walker got the start and did not have a good night. He walked the first two batters he faced. The next batter doubled to the lf/cf gap, plating both base runners. The 4th batter popped out to 1b on a failed bunt attempt and the next batter singled to rf. The base runner from 2b tried to score on the play but was gunned down at home on another perfect throw by Kyle Russell. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Austin Wood went to the mound at that point. The next batter, on a full count, hit a very hard come-backer right at Austin for the final out of the inning. The sound of that ball hitting the webbing of Austin's glove might well have been heard by folks in the tower! Yikes! Austin went 5.2 innings. He gave up 1 earned run on 3 hits with 1 walk and 1 strikeout. He threw three 1-2-3 innings (the 3rd, 4th, and 6th). In the 5th, the first batter singled up the middle. The next flew out to rf. Kyle Russell had to make a lonnng run to get to the ball and made a really nice catch. The next batter popped out to shallow cf on another really nice play by Travis Tucker who ran back to catch the ball. Only, the home plate umpire called catcher's interference on the play so both runners were safe. I did not see what happened and nobody around me saw it, either, so shrug. My guess is that Brett Lewis must've reached for the ball and the bat clipped his glove before hitting the ball. So, Tucker's spectacular catch was nullified. Too bad. The next batter flew out to rf and the last batter of the inning grounded out to 1b. The 7th started off with a single to shallow cf. The next batter struck out swinging and the 3rd singled to put runners at the corners. So, Randy Boone took the mound. The 3rd base umpire emphatically called a balk on Randy as he was about to make his 2nd pitch. Run scores. The batter then hit a single to lf. Runners at the corners again. After a couple of pitches, the runner from 1b broke for 2b as Randy made a fake throw to 3b. Randy whirled around and threw to Travis at 2b to catch the runner stealing. Nice play. He then struck out the batter at the plate. Whew. Out of trouble. The Bobcats went down in order in the 8th and 9th; in the 9th, they all went down on strikeouts! So, two excellent outings on the mound by Austin Wood and Randy Boone. Kyle Walker struggled to find the strike zone. Keith Moreland insisted in the post-game show that Kyle has the stuff...that he just needs to find his groove and hopes he gets another chance on the mound.

The Horns scored their first run in the 2nd. Russell Moldenhauer hit a solo homer over the lf fence to start the inning. It was purty. And, I believe, his first home run in a Longhorn uniform. In the 3rd, Travis Tucker started things off with a single up the middle. He stole 2b with Chance Wheeless at the plate. Chance then singled to cf, scoring Travis. On the play, he tried to get to 2b on the throw from cf to home. However, the first baseman cut off the throw and Chance was thrown out at 2b. Jordan Danks then walked (he walked 3 times on the day!) and stole 2b with Bradley Suttle at the plate. Bradley struck out and Kyle Russell singled to score Jordan. Texas State then replaced their starter (B.J. Boening...Riley's older brother). Kyle promptly stole 2b (the third stolen base of the inning!) but was stranded there as Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to ss. The Horns scored 2 more in the 4th. Josh Prince led off the inning and reached when he was hit on his right elbow by a full-count pitch. Josh stayed in and ran the bases but was replaced as the Horns went into the field for the top of the 5th. His arm was wrapped and appeared to have ice on it at the end of the game. I hope he's gonna be okay. At any rate, he moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Brett Lewis and then moved to 3b on an infield single by Kyle Lusson. With a 1-1 count, Kyle broke for 2b. The pitch was very high and sailed past the catcher. Josh scored from 3b and Kyle made it all the way to 3b. Travis Tucker then reached on a suicide squeeze. Kyle scored and Travis was safe as the pticher hit him in the back as he tried to get the ball to the fielder covering 1b. Travis made it to 2b on the error. Chance Wheeless and Jordan Danks flew out to end the inning. Texas got a runner (Travis Tucker) to 2b in the 7th but he was stranded there and that was the only scoring threat for the Horns for the rest of the game.

Other than Kyle Walker's struggles, I think the Horns did very well last night as they got their 7th win in a row. Here's hoping they make it 10 this weekend!

Posted by Joanna at 7:50 AM | Permalink

Sunday - March 18, 2007

Game 26: Texas at Baylor

My mom had a piece in a juried show today so I went to the show and didn't hear the first 5+ innings of the game. Afterward, I did a bit of grocery shopping. So, I didn't end up hearing much of the game at all. The Horns won despite my lack of attention, however. Yippee!! Heh. Final score: 8-3. That means they completed the sweep in their series against the Bears. A fantastic start in conference play. Yea, Horns!

I did hear the Baylor half of the 6th which was a wee bit spooky. Texas was ahead 5-1 going into the inning. It sounded like maybe 3 times was the charm for the Baylor hitters when it came to facing Keith Shinaberry. Joseph Krebs got his first start of the year and pitched the first 5 for Texas. Keith went in for the 6th and promptly gave up 3 singles to load the bases. So, Texas sent Pat McCrory to the mound. He gave up a single (1 rbi, bases still loaded) and I got a bit nervous. But then, he induced a short fly out to rf. The next batter hit a come-backer to Pat who threw home for the first out and Preston Clark then relayed to 1b for the second out of the double play. Only, that was how it was supposed to happen but it didn't quite happen that way. Nope. The throw from Pat to Preston was a bit high and drew him off the plate. So, runner scores safely from 3b. The runner at 1b was out, though. And, the next batter popped out to 2b. Whew. Trouble averted.

Texas scored 3 more in the 8th. Chance Wheeless started things off by hitting a singled up the middle...making him 1 home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Jordan Danks moved Chance to 2b on a sac bunt. Bradley Suttle followed with a single to score Chance. Kyle Russell then walked. Runners at 1b and 2b with 1 out. Insert gamesmanship by both teams. Texas sent Kyle Lusson to the plate to pinch hit for Russell Moldenhauer. Baylor reacted by replacing their pitcher. So, Texas sent Clay Van Hook to the plate in for Kyle Lusson. (Huh. I just noticed that we have three Kyles playing for Texas this year. And, we have three Russells...although only one uses Russell as his first name. If Jordan Street hadn't quite, we'd have three Jordans, too! How does this keep happening? Ryan used to be the name to have a couple of years ago...but not a one on the roster this year! Anyway...) Clay singled (bunt attempt, I think) down the 3b line. The throw from the pitcher hit Van Hook, allowing Bradley to score. Kyle moved to 3b. Michael Demperio went in for Clay. Josh Prince singled (yet another hit for Josh!) to score Kyle. Preston Clark flew out and Nick Peoples hit into a fielder's choice to end the scoring for Texas.

Randy Boone pitched the last two innings for the Horns. He gave up a single in the 8th but that was it. Horns win. 8-3. I may have mentioned that earlier.

By the by, Kyle Russell hit two (yes, 2!) home runs today. Sadly, they came during the first 5 innings so I didn't hear 'em. It's pretty darned cool, though. That makes 13 on the year. Wow. He hit 10 home runs last year...all year. Drew Stubbs led the team last year with 12. And, Kyle's already got 13 through the first 26 games this year. Yowsa!

Posted by Joanna at 4:42 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 17, 2007

Game 25: Texas at Baylor

I missed the first two innings of today's game 'cause I was at my mom's show. (The show went well, by the way!) My sister and I got into the car to come back to Austin and turned the radio on to hear that the Horns were behind 0-2 in the top of the 3rd with runners at 1b and 2b with 2 outs. Bradley Suttle was at the plate fighting off pitch after pitch until he managed to draw a walk and load the bases. Kyle Russell came up behind him and singled to tie the game up. Runners at the corners with 2 outs. Russell Moldenhauer doubled to score Bradley. Runners at 2b and 3b, still 2 outs. Josh Prince then doubled to score both runners. Preston Clark walked and Baylor replaced their starting pitcher. Nick Peoples singled scoring Josh. Once again, runners at the corners with 2 outs. Travis Tucker then singled pushing Preston across. One more time, runners at the corners with 2 out. Chance Wheeless finally ended Baylor's 3rd-inning misery by flying out. Texas up 7-2! Baylor went down in order in the bottom of the inning. Keith and Trey commented that Adrian Alaniz looked much more comfortable on the mound with his big lead.

In the top of the 4th, with one out, Bradley Suttle and Kyle Russell hit back-to-back home runs. Russell Moldenhauer reached on an error. Josh Prince then reached on a bunt single to the pitcher. The pitcher fielded the ball and looked to catch Russell at 2b but didn't have time. By the time he turned to 1b, Josh was safe. Keith, who'd commented that the Baylor pitcher had given up his first career home runs, thought the pitcher was rattled by those homers and Baylor went ahead and made another pitching change. Preston Clark singled to score Russell. Nick Peoples was hit by a pitch and then Travis Tucker hit a sac fly to score Josh. Texas up 11-2. Chance Wheeless grounded out to end the Texas half of the inning. Hard luck for Chance as he ended up making the third out two innings in a row, eh?

The Bears went down in order in the bottom of the 4th. In the 5th, Kyle Russell (3rd batter of the inning) walked but was the only batter to reach. Baylor went down in order again in the bottom of the 5th. Texas returned the favor in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, Baylor got a man to 2b but stranded him there.

Texas scored another couple of runs in the 7th. Travis Trucker started things off with a single and advanced to 2b on a balk. Chance Wheeless grounded out to move Travis to 3b. Jordan Danks doubled in Travis. Bradley Suttle singled and moved to 2b on a throwing error by ss. Jordan scored on the play. Kyle Russell struck out and Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to end the top of the 7th. Baylor went down in order yet again in the bottom of the 7th.

In the 8th, Josh Prince singled but was then picked off at 1b. Nick Peoples singled a couple of batters later but was stranded at 1b. In the bottom, the Horns sent Keith Shinaberry in to mow the Bears down in order. That included two strikeouts. Very nearly a repeat of his performance yesterday.

In the 9th, with two out, Bradley Suttle hit his second home run of the night. Both of his homers were hit right-handed this evening. The one I saw the other night was hit as a lefty. Power both ways. Wow. The other three Texas batters failed to reach. In the bottom of the 9th, Texas sent Juston Street in to get some work on the mound. The first batter he faced flew out but he walked the second. The 3rd batter flew out. The final batter of the game grounded out to end the game.

Texas wins the game 14-2!

Josh Prince got four (!) more hits this evening. That's just amazing. I keep thinking the opposing teams will figure out what to throw him but nothing seems to be working. I love it!

Posted by Joanna at 8:36 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 16, 2007

Game 24: Baylor at Texas

As I noted earlier, Texas won today. They beat Baylor 3-2. Things did not start well for the Horns. The first Baylor batter reached on an error by Josh Prince at ss. Josh threw off-line, drawing Chance Wheeless off the 1b bag. The next batter then hit a bloop single into the no-man's land over 1b near the rf line. Kyle Russell made a nice throw to 3b in an attempt to get the runner from 1b but the throw was a tiny bit late. The batter advanced to 2b on the throw to 3b. The next batter grounded out to 2b (rbi). And, the fourth hit a sac fly to rf. The final batter flew out to lf. So, two unearned runs across. Yikes!

Luckily, a combination of great pitching and superb defense kept Baylor from scoring again. The Bears went down in order in 5 innings (the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th). In the 6th, Kyle Russell made a great diving catch to make the first out of the inning. In the 7th, with two out and a runner at 1b, the Baylor batter hit a hard shot toward the lf corner. I don't know how but Jordan Danks managed to run the ball down and cut it off before the runner from 1b could score. He definitely saved a run on the play.

On the pitching side of things, James Russell got the start and win. He went 6.2 innings and gave up the 2 unearned runs on 4 hits while throwing 4 strikeouts and walking 2. Pat McCrory went into the game after Jordan Danks made that great stop in lf in the 7th and got the final batter to ground out to 1b. Keith Shinaberry pitched the 8th. He struck out the 1st and 3rd batters. The 2nd grounded out to 1b. Randy Boone closed things out in the 9th. The 1st batter he faced grounded out to 3b and the next two struck out. Pretty stuff for Texas fans.

The Horns got runners into scoring position in the 1st and 3rd but could not get them home. In the 4th, Kyle Russell hit a monster shot (boom!!!) over the rf fence to draw the Horns within 1 run. In the 5th, Travis Tucker hit a 1-out single. He moved to 3b on an errant pick-off throw from the pitcher to 1b that went all the way to the fence near the visitor's bullpen. Oddly, the error was charged to the first baseman. I guess the thinking was that the throw wasn't far enough off-line that the first baseman should've caught it. Chance Wheeless then hit a sac fly to rf to bring Travis home. Jordan Danks then hit a home run over the rf fence...to move the Horns ahead by 1 run. Whew. The Horns actually got runners to 3b in the next three innings but Baylor got out of trouble each time.

Overall, it was a nice win for the Horns. I would've like to see a little more offense. But, still...a win's a win. And, honestly, any come-from-behind win is a great win in my book. Especially when it puts 1,600 wins in Coach Garrido's book!

How 'bout a few photos?

One of the thing that simply fascinates me is Keith Shinaberry's pitching style. He and James Russell are both listed at 6-4 on the team roster. And, they're both lefties. So, when they walk out to the mound, you might expect them to be kind of similar on the mound, right? Well, except for the fact that James doesn't want anyone to know what color his socks are and Keith is a proud member of the high socks brigade. But, look at these photos. Here's James:

[James Russell]

And, here's Keith:

[Keith Shinaberry]

Keith gets soooooo low to the ground when he's starting out.

Kyle Russell gets some props after his home run:

[Kyle Russell]

Jordan Danks gets some after his home run:

[Jordan Danks]

And, finally...Coach Garrido (holding the game ball) talks to Keith Moreland after his 1,600th victory:

[Augie Garrido and Keith Moreland]

Way to go, Coach!

Posted by Joanna at 10:42 PM | Permalink

1,600 Wins!

Coach Garrido got his 1,600th win today. The Horns opened conference play with a win over Baylor to get that 1,600th win. I send hearty congratulations to Augie!

By the way, I made it to the game and will be post about it this evening. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 5:43 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 14, 2007

Game 23: Winthrop at Texas

We wondered all day if they'd get the game in this evening or not. It was raining and then drizzling and just plain wet. But, it started to clear up a couple of hours before the game was due to start. And, at about 5, I noticed that there were a couple of dry spots on the sidewalk. Things were definitely looking up. I got kind of busy this afternoon and just barely remembered to turn my radio on at 6. They were, indeed, talking as though the game were about to start. And, it did. The Horns quickly scored 3 in the bottom of the 1st and did not look back. They went on to win 7-1. I made it to Disch-Falk in the middle of the 4th and got to see some of the fun.

Kyle Walker started and was the designated starter so got the win despite pitching only the first 3 innings. He gave up the only Windsor run. Pat McCrory threw 2, Keith Shinaberry threw 2, Joseph Krebs threw 1, and Randy Boone threw the last inning. The Horns only gave up 3 hits; Kyle gave up 2 and Keith gave up 1. I was actually surprised when Keith gave up that one hit. I was just marveling at his pitching form and thinking how hard it must be, particularly for left-handed batters, to see the ball coming out of his hand when the lefty at the plate popped a little bloop single over the short stop. Kyle allowed 2 batters to reach on walks. Randy threw the only strikeout of the game for the Horns. Kind of interesting, eh?

The Horns scored their 7 runs on 8 hits. Bradley Suttle hit his 4th homer of the year. It was a 2-run shot over the rf fence in the 5th. 'Twas very pretty. And, as far as I can tell, it was the only extra-base hit of the game for either team. Wow. Travis Tucker, Jordan Danks, and Josh Prince had 2 hits each. And, Russell Moldenhauer had the last of the team's hits. For the most part, they did well and had very timely hitting. They did load the bases at one point (the 6th or 7th, I think...I did not keep score) with no outs and failed to score. Other than that one thing, though, I thought they looked very good.

One last comment (having nothing to do with the game): this was the first night game I've attended this season. It's awfully dark in the upper part of the stands. I don't know if it's due to the fact that they've painted the underside of the roof that dark shade of green, or if it's all the green seats, or the fact that there's no lighting under the roof at all, or a combination of those things. But, it's dark. I hope they've got plans to put some lighting in. Ah well...

Posted by Joanna at 9:50 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 13, 2007

I'm back...but just barely

I'm back. I actually got back late Saturday night but haven't had any time to do web things. I got a note from the Athletic Department this afternoon announcing a change in start time for Friday's game against Baylor. They're moving it to an afternoon start so basketball fans can watch the Horns in NCAA Tourney play on TV. I'll try to take the afternoon off so I can see the first conference game of the year but have no idea if I'll be able to get away. It is Spring Break so maybe I can swing it. I did just take a week off, though. Ah well. We shall see.

Posted by Joanna at 6:07 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 3, 2007

Programming note

'Just letting y'all know that I'm heading out of town for a few days and won't be updating while I'm away. I'm sure you can get along without me, though, eh? Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:36 PM | Permalink

Game 17: Oral Roberts at Texas

The Longhorns did something I really really like today: they came from behind to win. Final score: 5-3.

It was a pretty cold day. The temperature sign on the scoreboard kept telling us it was in the high 50s but it felt a lot colder than that as we sat through a very strong and steady wind from the north. Brrrrr...

Adrian Alaniz started and did an okay job. He lasted 3.1 innings and gave up 2 runs (1 unearned) on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 2 hit batters. Joseph Krebs went 4.2 to get the win. He gave up 1 run on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk. Randy Boone threw the last inning. He had a nice 3-up/3-down inning.

The first batter of the game scored for ORU and things looked just a bit bleak. Texas got Chance Wheeless to 2b in the bottom of the 1st but stranded him there. The Eagles went down in order in the top of the 2nd. Texas left one at 1b in the bottom. ORU left runners at 1b and 2b in the top of the 3rd. Texas left one at 2b in the bottom. ORU scored their 2nd run in the top of the 4th when Pearson led things off and reached on an error by Chance at 1b. He scored from 2b a few batters later on a single by Warfle. At that point, Joseph Krebs went in for the Horns and got the last two outs of the inning, leaving runners at 2b and 3b. Bradley Suttle led off the Texas half of the 4th with a single but it was followed by a fly out and a double play. In the top of the 5th, Travis Tucker made a spectacular play to stop a ball headed into cf and then he threw the batter out at 1b. Wow. Sadly, a bit later, with two out, Joseph walked a batter and then gave up back-to-back singles to put ORU up 3-0. And, finally, the Horns got on the board in the bottom of the 5th. Russell Moldenhauer singled to lead off the inning. He started the day hitless on the season and ended up with 3 singles. Way to go! Preston Clark flew out behind Russell but Josh Prince (on fire!) singled to move Russell to 2b. Travis then reached on a fielder's choice. Runners at the corners. Chance then doubled to the cf/rf gap (2 rbi). ORU changed pitchers and got out of the inning. ORU did not score again. They left a runner at 3b in the 6th and one at 2b in the 8th but were unable to get anyone else on base. In contrast, Texas scored two more in the 6th (three singles scattered around a couple of groundouts and a failed suicide squeeze) and 1 unearned in the 8th when Josh scored from 2b after the ORU right fielder dropped a fly ball.

Todays offensive stars: Chance Wheeless went 3-for-5 with a double and 2 runs batted in; Bradley Suttle went 3-for-4; Russell Moldenhauer went 3-for-4 with a run scored; Preston Clark only went 1-for-4 but that one drove in 2 runs; and Josh Prince went 1-for-2, reached base 3 times, and scored a run.

Coach Garrido strenuously argued one call (hit batter) in the top of the 4th. I think he was arguing that the batter swung at the ball so it should've been called a strike. The home plate umpire called over the 1b and 2b officials to discuss matters but stood by his call. Augie must've stood out there 2 or 3 minutes. He seemed determined to get thrown out of the game. But, the umps were having none of it. It was kinda strange.

All in all, a very good win for the Horns. I was delighted to see them pushing on with such determination and I hope they get their first sweep of the year tomorrow.

Posted by Joanna at 10:33 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 2, 2007

Game 16: Oral Roberts at Texas

Texas blanked Oral Roberts today 13-0. Ouch. I had the radio on but was very busy and just didn't get to listen much.

Here's an example of how things went: I knew the Horns were up 1-0 early in the game. I was trying to figure out how to get a new piece of software running on a computer and was checking the manufacturer's web site for guidance, because it just would not work. And, I was re-reading the included manual. And, none of it helped. Nothing was working. And, I heard Craig (on the radio) say something along the lines of: "that's the 5th run of the 3rd for the Horns." What??? They were only ahead by 1. How could they have scored 5 runs in 1 inning without me hearing? It was not a very good environment for listening to a game. But, I could feel the excitement of Craig and... (Keith?...see that?...I'm not even sure it was Keith with Craig but, really, it had to be, right?) ...Keith as they called the game.

At any rate, James Russell started and went 8 innings to get his third win of the year. Juston Street relieved him for the 9th. They combined for 5 hits, 5 walks, and 8 strikeouts. Oddly, despite that score, neither team committed an error.

'Round about the 6th or 7th inning, the Texas coaches made quite a few changes in the field. Another thing I was surprised to hear at one point: "first baseman Jeff Boes." Huh? So, see? Lots of stuff going on. Looking over the boxscore, it looks like the only players that were in for the duration were Bradley Suttle and Kyle Russell. Kyle Lusson saw his first action in a Texas uniform. And, Josh Prince got his first start of the year (I think). He played ss for the first 6 innings or so. Some of the offensive highlights (going down the line): Travis Tucker went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored, a stolen base, and a run batted in; Chance Wheeless went 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored, a run batted in, and a walk; Jordan Danks went 1-for-4 with a run scored, a run batted in, and a walk; Bradley Suttle went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored, 4 batted in, a walk, and a home run; Kyle Russell went 2-for-2 with 3 runs scored, a run batted in, 2 walks, 1 hit-by-pitch, and a home run; Preston Clark was 0-fer but he batted 2 in and had one sac fly; Nick Peoples went 1-for-4 with a run scored, and 2 batted in; and Josh Prince went 2-for-3 with a walk. Amazingly, there were no sac bunts by the Horns. I don't know if any were attempted. That's a rather unusual stat for an Augie Garrido team.

And, the weather was nice. 'Sorry I missed out on all the fun. Here's hoping all goes well tomorrow as well!

Posted by Joanna at 11:38 PM | Permalink

Thursday - March 1, 2007

Game 15: Washington State at Texas

The Horns lost the 3rd game of the Washington Stat series 6-7. The team just seemed "off" their game for some reason. They jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, scoring 2 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd. They threatened to score more, getting runners to 3b in the 5th, 6th, and 8th, but only managed to score one more in the 7th. The Horns were ahead 6-3 going into the 8th. Randy Boone went in to get the last out of the 7th. After facing left-handed pitching for the first 7 innings of the game, Washington State sent 5 pinch-hitters to the plate to start of the 8th. All but one of them reached safely (one of them on a dropped 3rd strike when Preston Clark decided to try to get the runner going from 2b to 3b out instead of going for the easy out at 1b...both runners reached safely), and all four that did reach, scored. Cougers up 7-6. Wow. In the bottom of the inning, Jordan Danks walked and moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Chance Wheeless. Bradley Suttle then walked. Runners at 1b and 2b with 1 out. Kyle Russell then hit a long fly ball toward the lf/cf gap. The center fielder looked like he was going to catch the ball but then he dropped it. Bradley has started back to 1b and he was passed by Kyle Russell. Kyle was called out for passing the runner ahead of him. Jordan and Bradley ended up advancing one base after the ball was dropped. Runners at 2b and 3b with 2 outs. Bases should've been loaded with 1 out. Alas, no such luck. Preston grounded out to 3b to end the threat. Off. They just seemed off. Randy threw a 1-2-3 inning but the Horns also went down in order to end the game.

The team just seemed kind of flat. The Cougars, in stark contrast, were very fired up. And, they won the game. These things happen. I just hope we don't see much more of it this year.

Posted by Joanna at 11:31 PM | Permalink

Game 14: Washington State at Texas

This was the first game I got to watch first-to-last pitch at the "new" (UFCU) Disch-Falk field. I enjoyed myself immensely. Watching the Horns win 11-2 didn't hurt matters one whit.

Adrian Alaniz got the start and the win. He threw the first 7 innings while giving up both runs on 7 hits (including 2 doubles), with 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 1 hit batter. Alex Posey came on for the 8th. He induced 3 ground outs to the short stop and gave up a ground-rule double to the 2nd batter he faced. Hunter Harris pitched the 9th and had a 1-2-3 inning. Jordan Danks made a fantastic running catch to help Hunter. The Horns turned 2 double plays and had 4 3-batter innings. They were very efficient on the defensive side of things.

Offensively, almost everyone contributed to the scoring bonanza. The first two hitters of the game (Travis Tucker and Jordan Danks) were both hit by pitches and scored in the first inning. The Horns scored 4 in the 1st, 3 in the 2nd, and had a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd. That immediately made me wonder if we'd have another 7-0 game to match the Texas State victory. But, no. They scored two more in the 4th (Travis and Jordan reached on singles to start things off this time and both scored once again). An additional 2 runs in the 5th capped off the scoring for the Horns. They went down in order for the rest of the game with one exception (Jordan walked in the 9th). So, the last half of the game passed rather quickly.

All in all, it really was a good game.

Posted by Joanna at 11:11 PM | Permalink

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