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Thursday - May 31, 2007

A few notes before the Regional starts

Posted by Joanna at 10:03 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 30, 2007

The Regional schedule sucks

Okay. Gripe time. Here's a link to the official Austin Regional Tournament page.

Look at the schedule. Day 1, game times: 1 pm and 7 pm. Day 2, game times: noon and 6 pm. Day 3, game times: noon and 6 pm. Day 4 (if necessary), game time: 1 pm.

A typical game lasts about 3 hours. So, if the early games go the typical 3 hours (they could go less), we will have a 3 HOUR break between games. THREE HOURS. If you plan to go to all the games (which I do plan to do), that means, realistically, spending 10-11 hours at the park. For 3 days. How ridiculous is that? The drive from my house is about an hour. So, add another 2 hours to the day. Does UT not want people to attend all the games? Because, I'm telling you right now, I don't know of a single other person who will be at all the games who isn't being paid to be there. I'm sure there will be others. But, there won't be many of us. If the gap between start times was 4 hours, the number of "casual" fans who might show up for at least part of the non-UT games would increase dramatically.

It's not like the Dell Diamond is within walking distance of anything, either. Other than Old Settler's Park...whatever that is. And, the folks at Dell Diamond are not honoring Longhorn Foundation parking passes. I bet they charge us twice for parking if we leave the grounds between games. And, really...what are we supposed to do for those 3 hours? The fact of the matter is that most people will just go to the Texas games. So, it's not like it'll take hours to clear the stadium between games. The house will not be full for the non-UT games. It won't take long to clear folks out and let us back in. And, how long will we be expected to be out...sitting on the hot parking lots...waiting to get back in? Two hours?

The schedule sucks.

By the way, I do not think the 10-run rule is in effect for Regional games. That guess is based on the fact that it was not used last year. So, yes, games could drag on if one team is pounding on another. And, we could go extra innings if the opposite is true. But, the likelihood is that we'll have a bunch of 3-hour games with a bunch of 3-hour breaks.

The schedule sucks.

By the way #2. I can see how the 3-hour break on Day 3 will probably be a good thing for whoever wins Game 5. Because, they have to turn around and play in Game 6. So, go ahead...give 'em a 3-hour break on Sunday. But, on the other days?

The schedule sucks.

By the way #3. I thought, briefly, that it might be some sort of NCAA rule ('cause you know how much the NCAA loves its rules) but...apparently not:

The schedule sucks.

Posted by Joanna at 12:17 AM | Permalink

Monday - May 28, 2007

Regional musings

I was in San Antonio today so this is the first chance I've had to write about the Regional selections and seedings.

Texas is the #4 National Seed and is hosting UC Irvine, Wake Forest, and Brown.

UPDATE. I just did a quick check and UT has never played UC Irvine or Brown. The Horns did meet Wake Forest...back in 1949. The Horns beat Wake Forest twice in the 3rd College World Series to win the Horns' first National Championship. No meetings since then. I'm very excited to be seeing new teams come to town. Stanford and UT-Arlington came to town last year.

The winner of our Regional will meet the winner of the Wichita State Regional (Arizona, Oral Roberts, and New Orleans are the other teams in that tourney).

Other Big 12 teams to make the tournament:

Here's how the Big 12 stands (sorted by RPI as of May 27th):

TeamRPIRecord Big 12
(reg. season)
Big 12
(tournament)
Texas344-1521-62-1
TAMU744-1613-133-1
Missouri1640-1619-81-2
OU2334-2411-162-1
Baylor2434-2512-153-1
Nebraska2930-2514-131-2
K-State3534-2410-161-2
OSU5338-1916-110-3
Tech8028-278-18--
Kansas13628-309-17--

It's rather surprising that Oklahoma didn't make it into the tournament. They're the highest RPI team that did not get in. (Georgia Tech at 28 and Kansas State at 35 are the next two.) I'm very puzzled at OSU getting in over OU. Yes, OSU did better in the regular season but were swept at the tourney and their RPI is a lot lower. Very odd. And, over their last 10 games, OU went 6-4...while OSU went 4-6, losing the last 6! Is someone from OSU on the NCAA selection committee? 'Makes you wonder.

Update. Thanks to Ruby for pointing out an error in the table above. Oops.

Posted by Joanna at 11:08 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 27, 2007

Big 12 Tournament, Day 5

I nearly forgot to post about the final day of the Big 12 Tournament. Tsk tsk tsk.

The Aggies jumped out to a 2-run lead in the top of the 1st and never looked back. They beat the Bears 14-6 for their first Big 12 Tournament Championship. I watched most of the game and have to say that the Aggies looked good and the Bears looked rather lost.

Two Texas players made the All-Tournament Team. Incredibly, only one Aggie made it. That's one of the most peculiar things I've ever seen. I've never seen an all-tournament team that wasn't loaded with players from the tournament champion. Weird, weird, weird. Here's the list:

Isn't that just odd? I guess it's partly a reflection of the way the tournament is set up. Oh well. On to bigger and better things...

Posted by Joanna at 4:51 PM | Permalink

It's official

Okay. It's official. Texas will host a Regional. The 16 host sites have been named. The seedings will be announced tomorrow in a live show on ESPN at 11:30 (Central time). Here's a list of host schools:

School Record
(as of May 26)
RPI
(as of May 21)
Number of Times
Selected to Host
Arizona State43-13517
Arkansas41-18184
Coastal Carolina48-1171
Florida State47-11626
Long Beach State36-1893
Missouri40-16151
North Carolina47-1243
Ole Miss37-23144
Rice48-1216
San Diego42-16111
South Carolina42-181011
Texas44-15323
Texas A&M43-1686
Vanderbilt50-1121
Virginia43-14123
Wichita State49-192110

Reviewing the RPI list, it looks like Arkansas and Wichita State jumped ahead of a few teams with higher RPI numbers but fewer wins: Louisiana-Lafayette (40-14, RPI 13), Miami (35-20, RPI 16), North Carolina State (36-19, RPI 17), Clemson (36-20, RPI 19), and Southern Mississippi (37-19, RPI 20).

And, just in case you've been stuck in a cave: Texas will host but the games will be played at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. Assuming Texas wins the Regional and that they're a top-8 National Seed (which seems extremely likely, but we'll know for sure by noon tomorrow), Texas will host their Super Regional at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi. The Dell Diamond plays home to the Round Rock Express (Astros' AAA affiliate) and Whataburger Field plays home to the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros' AA affiliate).

Posted by Joanna at 2:34 PM | Permalink

Big 12 Tournament, Day 4

Wow. Again. OU almost pulled off another miracle finish. Baylor jumped out to a 7-0 lead. OU scored 1 in the 6th, 1 in the 7th, and 2 in the 8th. Then they loaded the bases in the 9th...and, with 2 out, scored 2 more. The 2nd run was scored on a hit batter. Baylor finally got the 3rd out of the inning when Gosse batted into a fielder's choice. Baylor plays tomorrow.

I think there were three Oklahoma coaches and/or players tossed by the home plate umpire, Six-shooter Bob Homolka. He tossed two coaches in the 8th (I think) and then tossed someone in the dugout in the 9th.

So, in summary:

The Aggies and the Bears meet up tomorrow (well, today...in fact, in just about 12 hours) in the Championship Game.

Wow.

Posted by Joanna at 1:05 AM | Permalink

Saturday - May 26, 2007

Game 59: Texas at Nebraska (Big 12 Tournament)

The Horns ended up out of the running for the Big 12 Tournament Championship as they headed into today's game against Nebraska. By virtue of the fact that the Aggies beat the Wildcats earlier today. So, play spoiler to the Aggies by losing the game? Or just win the game and get on with things? I voted for the latter.

Texas was the visiting team in today's game and started well. Jordan Danks led things off with a single. He stole 2b and then scored on a single by Chance Wheeless. Sadly, Nebraska answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the 1st off starter Adrian Alaniz. Belfonte reached on an error (Chais Fuller lost a high pop-up in the sun), advanced to 2b (next batter hit by pitch), and then scored (unearned) on a single by Brown. Preston Clark started off the 2nd with a solo shot over the fence in the lf corner. The Horns went down in order behind him. The Cornhuskers went 3-up/3-down in the bottom. In the top of the 3rd, Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell started things off with back-to-back walks. Jordan scored on a single by Chance Wheeless and Kyle scored on a sac fly by Bradley Suttle. Chance Wheeless was caught stealing before Kyle scored and Russell Moldenhauer popped out to shallow lf for the final out of the top-half of the inning. In the bottom of the 3rd, Lanning and Belfonte reached on back-to-back singles and both scored (sac bunt, walk, single, fly out to rf, strikeout) to get back to within one.

Both teams changed pitchers in the 4th. Wertz gave up a 2-out single to Chais Fuller in the top of the inning but Chais was stranded at 1b. Austin Wood went to the mound for the Horns and threw a quick 1-2-3 inning. In the 5th, Chance Wheeless reached on a 2-out single (his 3rd single of the game) but was stranded at 1b. Nebraska went down in order in the bottom of the inning. And, the Horns did the same in the top of the 6th. In the bottom, Austin put the Cornhuskers down in order for the 3rd inning in a row. Nice.

Travis Tucker reached in the top of the 7th (1-out single) and stole 2b but was stranded there. In the bottom of the inning, Austin got a couple of quick outs before Lanning reached on the second error of the game by Chais Fuller. The ball rolled under his glove and into lf. Belfonte reached on an infield single. Travis made a great play to stop the ball headed into cf. He whirled and threw to Chais covering 2b but the ball was just a tiny bit late. Nice play by Travis. Randy Boone went to the mound for the Horns and got Corriston to fly out to cf for the final out of the inning.

Chance Wheeless led the 8th off with his 4th single to rf of the day. Wow. He moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Bradley Suttle. Russell Moldenhauer was intentionally walked. Weird. Michael Demperio went in to pinch run for Russell. Preston Clark worked the count full but then struck out. Nick Peoples was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chais Fuller singled nicely up the middle to score Chance. Michael was tagged out on the throw from cf. He did not even try to avoid the catcher...I guess he didn't think the throw was close. Sigh... It was a rather bone-headed play. By the way, I don't think either of the players near home plate (Chance, who had scored, and Travis, who was on deck and should've been watching closely) indicated that he should slide. So, mental errors all around. In the bottom of the 8th, Gerch reached on a single after 2 quick outs. Sullivan singled to rf. Kyle Russell tried to scoop the ball and throw in one motion but missed the ball, ran past it a bit, and then couldn't get a handle on it. Gerch scored all the way from 1b and Sullivan reached 2b on the error. Mort reached on a 5-pitch walk. Nimmo then reached on a 4-pitch walk to load the bases. Lanning hit a high bouncer in front of the plate. Preston Clark fielded and stepped on the plate for the force-out to end the inning.

UPDATE. My dad, who was at the game, wrote to say that Chance did try to get Michael to slide on the play at home. I was watching the game via the Internet video stream and did not see that. FYI, the feed they were streaming on the Internet appeared to be the video feed they were using in the stadium. You know the one...the thing that's showing on the video screens when you're standing in line at the concession stands. So, there were something on the order of 4 cameras being used with very few (and extremely random) replays. The feed didn't have any "pause" or "rewind" capabilities so no way to review anything. I appreciate that we had video. But, it was rather poor.

In the top of the 9th, with one out, Jordan Danks reached on an infield single. He was erased on a double play ball lined to the first baseman. In the bottom of the inning, Belfonte flew out to the lf/cf alley. Corriston singled through the lf side. Brown struck out for the 2nd out of the inning. Opitz lined out to 2b to end the game. Travis Tucker made a great dive to catch the ball and end the game. Horns win 5-4.

So, the Aggies go to the Championship Game. And, the Horns come home to get ready for our Regional at Dell Diamond.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 3:45 PM | Permalink

Championship game out of reach

The Aggies beat the Wildcats this morning. That means Texas cannot advance to the Big 12 Tournament Championship Game. If the Horns win today's game, the Aggies will go to the Championship Game. If the Horns lose today's game, the Cornhuskers will go to the Championship Game. I'm guessing the Aggies will be playing tomorrow.

Posted by Joanna at 1:20 PM | Permalink

Friday - May 25, 2007

Big 12 Tournament, Day 3

Oh. My. Goodness.

I know nothing about the first game of the day other than the score. Baylor beat Missouri 10-5.

The second game, though. Wow. The Cowboys scored 3 in the top of the 1st inning and seemed to be coasting to a fairly easy victory over the Sooners. OU scored single runs in the 2nd and 4th. The Cowboys scored 2 more in the 7th and 3 in the 8th. So, they were up 8-2 going into the bottom of the 8th. They gave up 2 runs in the 8th but were still up 8-4 going into the bottom of the 9th. With the bases loaded, no runs across, and 2 out, Baker singled to lf (rbi, bases still loaded). Hughes then singled up the middle (2 rbi, runners at 1b and 2b, 2 outs). Cowboys still up 8-7 with 2 outs. Grosse walked to load the bases. With a pinch hitter at the plate, Jordy Mercer threw a wild pitch. Baker scored, and the other runners advanced a base. Game tied. The next pitch thrown by Mercer was also wild. In point of fact, more wild. Hughes scored. Game over.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Can you imagine? Up 8-2 going into the bottom of the 8th and losing the game on back-to-back wild pitches? Mercer had 1 wild pitch on the year going into this evening's game. You just never know what's gonna happen in the game of baseball. I love it.

So. The "other" pool did not go the way of "our" pool. Mizzou and OSU are out of contention. The winner of the Baylor/OU game will move on to the Championship Game.

I can not get over the ending of that OSU/OU game. Wow.

Posted by Joanna at 11:57 PM | Permalink

Thursday - May 24, 2007

Big 12 Tournament, Day 2

Kansas State beat Nebraska 5-1 in the second game this evening. So, all of the teams in the Texas pool are at 1-1. That means 2 teams will be at 2-1 and two at 1-2 after Saturday's games. Any of the four teams can still make the Championship Game based on how things play out on Saturday:

I kinda like the fact that nobody's got a lock on going forward. I dunno why but I do. I wonder if the other pool can manage to get themselves into the same situation tomorrow? Missouri and Oklahoma State have to win their games in order for that to happen. I've got my fingers crossed!

By the way, the Horns will know if they've got a shot by the time they play on Saturday because the KSU/TAMU game will be over. If the Aggies win the first game on Saturday, the Horns will know they're out of the running. If the Wildcats win, the Horns will still have a chance. Nerve wracking.

By the way #2: Go 'Cats! Heh heh.

Posted by Joanna at 11:32 PM | Permalink

Game 58: Texas at Texas A&M (Big 12 Tournament)

Texas was the visiting team today as they played Texas A&M at the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City. It rained pretty hard before the game started but things cleared up in time for the game to start on time. The Aggies started Kirkland Rivers on the mound...his 2nd start of the year.

Jordan Danks led things off with a double off the top of the fence. Kyle Russell followed with a ground ball to 2b, moving Jordan to 3b. Chance Wheeless bunted toward the pitcher for the 2nd out of the inning. Jordan was unable to advance on the play. Sadly, Bradley Suttle grounded out to ss to end the top-half of the inning. James Russell started on the mound for the Horns. Sadly, the first batter he faced (Carter) drew a full-count walk. Feltner put down a 2-3 sac bunt (on a 1-2 count!) to move Carter to 2b. Hicks struck out as Carter stole 3b. Stouffer hit a ball to 2b that was bobbled by Travis Tucker. Carter scored and Stouffer was safe at 1b on the error. The Horns turned around and picked Stouffer off (1-3-6-3) for the final out of the inning.

The Horns went down in order in the 2nd. The Aggies returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning. In the top of the 3rd, Nick Peoples started things off with a single to rf. Travis Tucker hit a 3-4 sac bunt to advance Nick to 2b. Jordan Danks singled up the middle to tie the game up at 1. Kyle Russell struck out swinging. Jordan Danks stole 2b on the 3rd pitch to Chance Wheeless. Chance hit a hard ground ball to the first baseman who was unable to field it and the ball rolled into foul territory. Jordan scored on the single to give the Horns a 2-1 lead. Bradley Suttle grounded out to 2b for the 3rd out. In the bottom of the inning, Ruggiano started things off with a single up the middle. Greene singled to lf. Runners at 1b and 2b with no outs. For the second time in the game, the Aggies successfully put down a 2-strike bunt, this time for a single. Bases loaded, no outs. Feltner struck out looking (1-2 count, I think). Whew. James Russell hit the next batter (Hicks) on the knee to put the tying run across. Sigh. Stouffer popped up foul along the 3b line (fielded by Bradley Suttle). And then, sadly, Stinson (Criag, not Josh) hit a grand slam over the lf fence. Ouch. Anders flew out to cf. Horns down 2-6.

Preston Clark and Josh Prince drew walks to lead off the 4th. Keith Moorland was dumbfounded by the fact that the Aggies did not have anyone warming up in the bullpen. Chais Fuller put down a 5-3 sac bunt to advance the runners to 2b and 3b. Nick Peoples hit a sharp ground ball to 3b. Preston broke for home on contact and was thrown out at the plate. So, 2 out, runners at 1b and 2b. Travis Tucker walked to load the bases. Jordan Danks grounded out to 1b to end the scoring threat. Hard to believe the Aggies walked 3 and the Horns failed to capitalize. In the bottom of the inning, the Aggies got one aboard but he was stranded at 2b.

In the 5th, the Horns stranded Chance Wheeless (who walked with 1 out) at first base. With 2 out (and about 30 seconds after Craig Way commented that James Russell seemed to have settled down nicely), James gave up his second home run of the day (a solo shot this time) to Blake Stouffer. Thank you, Craig.

In the 6th, Nick Peoples reached on a 2-out walk but was stranded at 1b. That felt a little familiar. As the Aggies were about to bat in the bottom of the inning, one of the Aggie assistants was thrown out of the game. Craig and Keith were puzzled at what might've caused the ejection since the at-bat hadn't even started for the Aggies. Surprisingly, GameTracker reported that Aggie Assistant Jeremy Talbot was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. The truly interesting thing about that to me is that I've never seen GameTracker even acknowledge an ejection...much less give a reason for one. Interesting. At any rate, Colligan reached on a single (with 1 out) but was erased on a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Jordan Danks started the 7th with a ground out to 1b. Kyle Russell singled to rf. Chance Wheeless singled through the right side. Kyle advanced to 3b. Chance tried to make it to 2b on the throw but it was cut-off and he was caught in a run-down for the first out of the inning. Bradley singled to rf, rbi. And, the Aggies finally sent Kyle Nicholson in to replace Rivers on the mound. Keith Moorland really couldn't believe the Aggies left Rivers in past the 4th but he was getting the job done for them...so they kept him in. Keith just couldn't believe they'd leave someone who usually comes in for short relief in the game for more than 100 pitches. Anyway... Preston Clark grounded out to 3b. Texas down 3-7 going into the bottom of the 7th. Keith Shinaberry went to mound for the Horns (replacing James Russell). Greene was hit by a pitch. Dalton popped up a bunt. Keith and Chance both went for the ball and collided. Keith held onto it and threw to Travis Tucker covering 1b for the double play. At least, I think that's what happened. I was sitting in my office listening to the game when one of the custodians who was vacuuming in the hallway chose that moment to enter my office. I could not get her attention before she came in so the play was drowned out by the sound of the vacuum cleaner. But, based on what Craig and Keith were saying once I could hear things again, I think that must be what happened. Feltner then grounded out to 3b.

The Horns went down in order in the 8th. Pat McCrory replaced Keith Shinaberry on the mound in the bottom half of the inning. He gave up a 2-out single but that was it.

And, so...top of the 9th. Travis Tucker started things off and, sadly, grounded out to ss. Jordan Danks then grounded out to 2b. Not pretty. Kyle Russell was called out on strikes to end the game. Really. Not pretty.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's really hard to beat a team 4 times in the same season. It's even harder to do that over a 6-day period. So, it's not too surprising that the Horns lost the game today. As I reported at the end of the regular season, the Horns would like to win the Big 12 tourney. But, they're keeping their focus on what comes after that. They're trying to manage the pitchers based on how they'd like to have people ready for the Regional next weekend. So, they're being more conservative than they might normally be. I sure hope that strategy works out in the end. It makes me a little nervous, though.

They're next scheduled to play Nebraska at 1 pm on Sunday (the second of four games that day).

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:39 PM | Permalink

Injured trainer update

So, remember how someone in the Texas dugout was hit by a line-drive foul ball in yesterday's game? From the Oklahoman:

Sore jaw: Texas trainer Brian Bobier suffered a broken jaw and a broken tooth when he was hit by a line drive fouled into the dugout.

"He's been talking about going on a diet," Texas coach Augie Garrido said. "It looks like he's gonna go on one. It hit him solid. The ball fell straight down from his face. He had the seams imprinted on his face."

Bobier returned to the dugout before the end of the game.

"He was yelling with a mouthful of cotton," Garrido said. "What kind of drugs is he using? It's good to be a trainer."

Ouch.

Hat tip: my dad.

By the way, if you follow that "Oklahoman" link, you'll find a story about the Sooners wearing black jerseys. And, you'll be confused. 'Cause the story says the Sooners wore them "because Nike sent them [black jerseys] to their four 'elite' teams." The story then goes on to list five (5) teams: Southern Cal, Miami, North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky. Note how that's not 4 teams ("elite" or otherwise). Also note how OU didn't make the list. Sigh...

Posted by Joanna at 12:04 PM | Permalink

The "Mom" report

My folks drove to OKC to watch the Big 12 Tournament (okay...so they're actually headed to my niece's high school graduation and are stopping in OKC on the way...technicalities!) and my mom's posting reports and photos. Check out the post about today's game on her art blog for a report on Day 1 of the tournament and some nice photos.

By the way, she frequently posts stuff about the games. And, she usually includes a photo or two. So, you should probably make it a habit to check her page out. Add the page to your bookmarks or newsfeed. It'll do you good.

Posted by Joanna at 12:28 AM | Permalink

Big 12 post-season awards announced

I've been remiss in linking to the TexasSports.com story about the Big 12 post-season awards. Kyle Russell was voted Player of the Year. Adrian Alaniz was voted Pitcher of the Year. And, Coach Garrido was voted Co-Coach of the year (along with Tim Jamieson of Mizzou). Several Texas players were also voted to the All-Big 12 teams:

Not a bad showing, eh?

Posted by Joanna at 12:09 AM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 23, 2007

Game 57: Kansas State at Texas (Big 12 Tournament)

Kyle Walker got the nod to start today's game against K-State and, sadly, continued to struggle. He gave up a 2-out hit in the 1st but that was it. But, in the 2nd, he loaded the bases with a couple of walks sandwiched around an infield single. After giving up another single (and 2 runs), Joseph Krebs took over on the mound. He struck out the side but also gave up a single and hit a batter. Four runs scored. Ouch.

Texas scored 1 in the bottom of the inning, held Kansas State in check in the top of the 3rd, and got back to business in the bottom of the 3rd. Jordan Danks started with a triple and was followed by Kyle Russell who did the same (scoring Jordan). Chance Wheeless reached on a bunt single (scoring Kyle). Bradley Suttle flew out for the first out of the inning. Chance stole 2b during Russell Moldenhauer's at-bat and then advanced to 3b when Russell grounded out to 2b. Preston Clark singled to score Chance (tie game!) and then Chais Fuller singled to put runners at the corners. Nick Peoples was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. That was the 33rd time in his career he'd been hit by a pitch, tying him at 2nd place with Matt Rosenberg on the career hit-by-pitch list. No chance he'll catch Jeff Ontiveros who's record is somewhere in the 70s. Back to the action: Travis Tucker (9th batter of the inning) walked to drive in Preston Clark, giving the Horns the lead, 5-4. Jordan singled to lf, scoring two, and advancing Travis to 3b. Texas up 7-4. The K-State pitcher balked with Kyle Russell at the plate, scoring Travis and moving Jordan to 2b. Yikes. Kyle Russell ended up walking. Chance then singled to cf, scoring Jordan and moving Kyle to 3b. Wow. Bradley, 13th batter of the inning, walked on 4 pitches to load the bases. And, Kansas State went to their 4th pitcher of the game...and the inning. At this point, Keith Moorland and Craig Way reported that the 10-run rule is in effect for the Big 12 Tournament for all games except the Championship game. Russell Moldenhauer singled, driving home 2 more runs and putting runners at the corners. Preston flew out to finally end the inning. Oh my goodness. 10 runs scored to go up 11-4.

The Wildcats started off the 4th with a single. The next batter hit into a 5-4-3 double play, though. The 3rd batter grounded out to ss. A very quick inning for Joseph (5 pitches, I think). Texas got 2 aboard (Travis Tucker singled and Jordan Danks walked) in the 4th but did not score. In the 5th, the first Kansas State batter walked and was then erased on another 5-4-3 double play. The final batter popped out to lf. The Horns went down in order in the bottom of the inning.

A sharply hit foul ball went into the Texas dugout to start things off in the 6th. Craig Way said Coach Garrido ducked out of the way of the ball but it appeared to ricochet off the railing and hit someone else in the dugout. He could not tell who or if they were injured. Play was stopped momentarily, though. Near the end of the inning, Craig reported that the ball did hit one of the trainers (first name Brian; I did not catch the last name) but that he is okay. The Wildcats went on to go down in order. In the bottom of the inning, Chais Fuller reached on a 1-out single but was erased on a 5-4-3 double play. At this point I started to think that the 10-run rule just might not come into play.

Texas sent Keith Shinaberry to the mound to start off the 7th. The first batter he faced grounded out to ss and the 2nd singled up the middle. Keith got the next two out on strikeouts. Travis Tucker started off the bottom of the inning and reached on a full-count walk. Jordan Danks singled to rf, moving Travis to 3b. Kyle Russell reached on an infield single. Travis scored and Jordan moved to 2b. The K-State shortstop made a nice play to knock the ball down but could not get the ball to the second baseman in time to get Jordan out at 2b. The Wildcats sent their 5th pitcher into the game at that point. Chance Wheeless grounded out to 2b, moving the runners to 2b and 3b. Texas up 12-4 with 1 out and game winning run at 2b. So, Kansas State walked Bradley Suttle intentionally to load the bases and set up the double-play situation. With a lefty on the mound, Josh Prince was sent in to pinch-hit for Russell Moldenhauer. So, the Wildcats sent their 6th pitcher of the game to the mound. Josh stayed in to bat and hit a shallow fly ball to rf. The right fielder dove for the ball and caught it. Jordan tagged up and scored. Horns now up by 9 with runners at 1b and 2b. And, 2 outs. Preston Clark lined out to 3b to end the inning. So close!

Pat McCrory went to the mound for the Horns in the 8th. The first batter he faced grounded out to 3b. The next batter walked. And, the third singled to rf, putting runners at 1b and 2b. The next flew out to lf. The fifth singled to rf to load the bases. The runner from 2b started to round 3b and head home but a quick throw from Kyle Russell in right field stopped him at 3b. Alas, the next batter lined into cf to drive in 2 runs. Runners at the corners with 2 outs and a 7-run lead for the Horns. After a quick visit to the mound by Skip Johnson, Pat gave up another single to score another run. So, Randy Boone went in for Pat. Runners still at the corners with 2 outs. And, what did Randy do? He gave up a 3-run homer on his 2nd pitch. It was the first home run of the year for Adam Muenster. Randy struck the next batter out. Texas up 13-10 after the Wildcats put a 6-spot on the board in the 8th. Geesh. Good thing the Horns scored those two insurance runs in the 7th, eh? Who knew they were insurance runs at the time? Wow.

Chais Fulller grounded out to 3b to start the bottom of the 8th. Nick Peoples (bless his heart!) followed with a home run over the lf fence to take the lead back to 4 runs. Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch. Enter pitcher #7 for Kansas State: Daniel Edwards (closer, 1.30 era, 11 saves on the season). Jordan Danks reached on a full-count walk. Runners at 1b and 2b with 1 out. Kyle Russell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chance Wheeless singled into cf. Travis and Jordan scored. Kyle moved to 2b. Bradley Suttle finally broke his home run slump (he'd been sitting at 10 for a very long time) and hit a long home run over the rf fence. Texas up by 9 again, answering the 6-spot in the top of the inning. Oh my. Josh Prince walked. Kansas State replaced the closer. Preston Clark struck out and Chais Fuller flew out to cf to end the inning. Alas, no 10-run rule.

Randy Boone still on the mound for the Horns to start the 9th. He struck out the first batter he faced and then gave up a single to rf. The next batter singled to lf, putting runners at 1b and 2b. The game ended on an odd double play. Because the game wasn't weird enough to this point. Right? The batter hit a ground ball to 2b and the runner from 1b stopped in the path, interfering with Travis Tucker, who threw to 1b to get the batter. The runner was also called out on the interference. Game over.

The line:

RHE
Kansas State 040 000 060 - 10130
Texas 0110 000 26x - 19172

Joseph Krebs gets the win. And, the Horns are set to face the Aggies at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. By the by, Nebraska beat the Aggies 5-3 in the first game of the day. OU and Mizzou are due up next with Baylor and OSU set to close out the day late this evening.

Posted by Joanna at 6:23 PM | Permalink

Post-season info page

Just a quick note to point out that I've added a post-season info page to the site. Watch that for info about the Big 12 tournament as well as any subsequent post-season action the Horns see.

Posted by Joanna at 5:54 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 20, 2007

Game 56: Texas A&M at Texas

I really need for there to be more hours in the day. I have so much I want to say about today's game. And, I have some nice photos I'd like to post but look at the time. It's already 11:40 at night and this is the first chance I've had to post about today's game. So sad.

Let's see...Austin Wood took the mound for the Horns and pitched a very solid 8 innings. He had a perfect game through the first 4.1 innings! He finally gave up a base hit to the second batter of the 5th inning. Travis Tucker made a great play to knock the ball down and nearly made a great play to get the out (and keep the mystical perfect game in sight). Alas. As I said, Austin lasted 8 innings. All told, he gave up 1 run (earned) on 5 hits with 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hit batters, and 1 wild pitch. By my count, he threw 93 pitches. Very nice. Pat McCrory went in for the 9th and threw my favorite thing: a 3-up/3-down inning. Chais Fuller made a beautiful leaping catch to snag a line drive to sit down the first Aggie batter of the 9th and then Pat struck the next two out.

On the offensive side of things, all the scoring took place in the 4th and 6th innings. The Horns threatened more in the 3rd and 8th, but those runs scored in the 4th and 6th were more than enough. They went like so:

So...Horns win 9-1. And, get the sweep. Sweet.

Something kind of odd happened in the 7th. With runners at 1b and 2b and nobody out, Colligan hit a ground ball toward 3b. Bradley Suttle was in front of the 3b bag. He had time to get the lead runner out so he did. He wasn't able to plant his foot very well, though, and did not get the batter running to 1b. So, with runners still at 1b and 2b, Green then hit a sharper ground ball to Bradley. This time, Bradley was a bit behind the 3b bag. And, this time, he fielded smoothly, stepped on the 3b bag and threw a bullet to 1b to complete the double play. Pretty. In the bottom of the inning, Preston Clark and Chais Fuller both grounded out to 3b. It just struck me as odd that the last two plays of the top of the inning and the first two plays of the bottom of the inning were all ground balls hit to 3b. Shrug.

By the by, it was Senior Day! Last year, we had all of three (3!) seniors on the roster. This year? Seven. They were introduced at the beginning of the game: Randy Boone, Chais Fuller, Joseph Krebs, Brett Lewis, Nick Peoples, Clay Van Hook, and Chance Wheeless. What a great group of guys! And, here they are (along with two of the trainers who are also seniors, sorry to say that I did not catch their names):

[Senior Day]

And, finally...post-game comments. Augie told Keith that they would probably try to start Joseph Krebs in the first game of the Big 12 tournament. He also said they'd be shipping all of their equipment to Oklahoma City by bus but would be flying up on a non-stop Express Jet flight. He seemed kinda jazzed about the idea of "flying light"...as it were. He also said they hoped to win the Big 12 tournament but that the priority would be the Regional. And, moving forward from there.

That's about all I can handle this evening. As it is, it's taken me nearly 50 minutes to get this out! I'll try to post more photos sometime during the week but can make no promises. We're set to be very busy at work again and that leaves me with little energy for this "obsessive hobby" (so-called by Christy...or is it Kristy?...today when she found out I have a web page dedicated to Texas baseball) in the evening.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:39 PM | Permalink

Game 55: Texas A&M at Texas

'Not sure I'll have time to post much more about last night's game other than what I posted at Bevo Sports:

Texas beat the Aggies 3-2 last night to clinch the Texas A&M Series, the Lone Star Showdown, and the Big 12 Regular Season Title. All in one game. Cool.

Just like Friday night, the Horns came from behind to tie things up late in the game. And, very much like Friday night, an error by an Aggie player led to the winning run being scored by the Horns. In the 8th, with the game tied at 2, Chais Fuller hit a ball to ss that could've gone for a double play. The lead runner (Nick Peoples, who'd reached on a single) was thrown out (ss to 2b) but the relay throw to 1b was high. Chais dug hard for 2b and barely beat a nice throw by the Aggie catcher (who'd backed up the play at 1b). With Chais at 2b, Josh Prince (dh) singled to cf (rbi). The excitement in the stands was unbelievable.

In the top of the 9th, Randy Boone struck out the side. It was a beautiful thing to behold. Adrian Alaniz got the start for Texas but struggled. As Augie commented in his post-game interview with Keith Moorland, it looked like Adrian was just trying too hard. After giving up 2 runs in 3.2 innings, Joseph Krebs replaced him on the mound. And, held the Aggies scoreless through the 8th, giving up 2 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks. He got the win and Randy got his 12th save of the year.

I love watching this team.

If I have time after this afternoon's game, I'll go into more detail about last night's game. I guess we'll have to see how things go.

Posted by Joanna at 12:54 PM | Permalink

Friday - May 18, 2007

Game 54: Texas at Texas A&M

I missed the beginning of tonight's game. I (foolishly) expected to watch the game from the first pitch on my trusty TiVo when I got home. I didn't leave the office until 6:30 so knew I'd be missing the early part of the game. I didn't want to "spoil" things, though, so I didn't tune into the radio broadcast. I found out as I was driving home, though, that the game wasn't on FSN as scheduled. So annoying.

So, I turned the radio on to discover that the Aggies were up 2-1. Kyle Russell hit his 27th home run of the year to start things off for the Horns in the first inning. The Aggies answered with 2 of their own in the bottom of the inning. And, then they scored two more in the 3rd to take a 4-1 lead. James Russell started for the Horns and struggled a bit with the home plate umpire's small strike zone. The Aggie starter (Kyle Nicolson) did not seem to struggle nearly as much, holding the Horns scoreless in the 2nd through 5th innings. At one point, he sat 10 Texas hitters down in a row.

The Horns scored a run in the 6th to get within 2. They probably should've scored at least one more. Jordan Danks reached on a single to lf. Kyle Russell walked. Chance Wheeless then reached on a fielder's choice. The 2nd baseman's only play was to the ss covering 2b. Runners at the corners, 1 out. Bradley Suttle then doubled to the lf/cf gap. Jordan scored easily. Chance was sent around the 3b corner and was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay throw. If Chance hadn't been sent home, there would've been 2 runners in scoring position with 1 out. Instead, there was 1 at 2b with 2 outs. Of course, the way Nicholson was pitching, it was probably not as bad a call as that nonsense we suffered through in the first game of the Missouri series. At any rate, Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to end the Texas threat.

Texas scored two more in the 7th to chase Nicholson. Nick Peoples hit a 1-out single to cf. Chais Fuller (after working a 9- or 10-pitch at-bat) doubled to the lf/cf gap (rbi). Bye-bye, Nicholson. Travis Tucker struck out looking after working the count full against reliever Kirkland Rivers. Jordan Danks then singled to cf (rbi). Game tied at 4. Kyle Russell popped out to end the Texas half of the 7th. James Russell went back out onto the mound for the bottom of the 7th and after getting a couple of quick outs followed by a single, he was replaced by Joseph Krebs. Joseph struck out the only batter he faced.

In the 8th, Josh Prince (pinch-hitting for Russell Moldenhauer) reached on a 2-out single prompting a second pitching change by the Aggies. They sent in their closer who got Preston Clark to ground out to 3b. Randy Boone went to the mound for the Horns in the bottom of the 8th. The Aggies made all kinds of substitutions (pinch-hitters and pinch-runners) in the bottom of the 8th. I wasn't keeping score so am not sure of the details. But, the Aggies ended up with runners at 2b and 3b with 2 outs. Parker Dalton struck out to end the inning. On the play, he swung at a 2-2 pitch, missed the ball with the bat but apparently did get hit by the ball so was out on strikes. The situation was very unclear to me (not being able to see what was going on...what with FSN being run by a bunch of jack asses!). The Aggie fans thought it was a foul tip but apparently it went off some part of his body...not his bat. Anyway, game still tied at 4 going into the 9th.

And, that's when the Aggies paid the price for all that stuff they had going on in the bottom of the 8th. Again, I'm reminded of the nonsense we suffered through in the first game of the Missouri series. Only this time, it was the Aggies doing the suffering. Due to the offensive substitutions, the Aggies ended up with a new catcher behind the plate. That proved important as the inning progressed. Nick Peoples reached on a single to 2b. The Aggie 2nd baseman apparently made a great play to keep the ball from getting into the outfield. During Chais Fuller's at-bat, Nick stole 2b and moved to 3b on a throwing error by the new catcher. Chais ended up grounding out to ss. Nick had no chance to score. Travis Tucker then walked. Runners at the corners, 1 out. And, then some stuff happened that's a little hazy. I think Travis Tucker broke for 2b (steal attempt) and the catcher was unable to catch the pitch (wild pitch, I think). The ball went up the 1b line away from the catcher and Nick broke for home. He scored and the catcher tried to catch Travis off the 2b bag (maybe?) but threw badly and Travis advanced to 3b on the error. So, Texas up by 1 with a runner at 3b and still 1 out. I think. Heh heh. Don't you wish I'd been keeping score? Or that at the very least, I could've had the game saved nicely on my TiVo so I could replay the whole thing? Anyway, Jordan Danks walked and then moved to 2b on a wild pitch. I guess the ball didn't get far enough away from the catcher for Travis to try scoring. Runners at 2b and 3b, 1 out. After the wild pitch, Kyle Russell was intentionally walked to load the bases (setting up the double play). Chance Wheeless flew out (foul) down the lf line. Sac fly. Travis scored. Texas up by 2. Bradley Suttle struck out to end the top of the 9th. Yes! Texas fought their way back and tied things up and then went on to take the lead. We have not seen the Horns do that a lot this year. So, on to the bottom of the 9th.

Randy Boone made short work of the first two batters he saw in the bottom of the 9th, getting the first to strike out and the second to ground out to 2b. The third, however, walked. Tying run at the plate. Tension city! Thankfully, he struck out swinging to end the game. Texas wins 6-4. Whew.

So, now they've clinched at least a share of the regular-season title. I will be very happy to watch them play tomorrow. Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 8:55 PM | Permalink

Tonight's game moved to digital cable

I was at work today from 6:45 am until 6:30 pm. A very long day. I wasn't worried about catching the game, though. I'd set my TiVo to catch it for me. I called my parents on the way home and Mom told me the game was not on TV. What???

According to the Bevo Beat, FSN picked up Game 6 of the Suns-Spurs series so they bumped our game. If you have digital Time Warner or Grande Cable, you can still catch the game. But, if you don't (and I don't!) you're out of luck.

Jack asses.

Update (about 20 minutes later). Austin Time Warner couldn't show the game on Channel 23, or 51, or 78 for those of us without Digital cable? There's nothing on any of those channels. I guess Time Warner can join Fox Sports on the cavalcade of jack asses.

Update #2. I do feel compelled to point out for those of you that don't know: ESPN is also carrying the Suns-Spurs game. And, they were already scheduled to carry it. Sigh...

Posted by Joanna at 7:07 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 16, 2007

Alumni news: Huston Street moved to disabled list

'Just noticed a note saying the A's sent Huston Street to the 15-day disabled list. I hope he has a quick recovery. His right ulnar nerve. No idea where that is (I'm guessing it's in his right arm...smart girl) but it doesn't sound good, does it?

I haven't had time to pay attention to our alumni of late. Sorry 'bout that. But there are only so many hours in the day!

Posted by Joanna at 11:16 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 12, 2007

Game 53: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas

To nobody's surprise, Texas handled the Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff handily this afternoon. Texas won 10-4. It was very warm at Disch-Falk. My seats are always in the shade. And, I like it that way. With the current construction, though, there's a break in the roof. And, there's a period of time during afternoon games when the sun peaks through and burns! I was very uncomfortable when the sun was bearing down on me and I had to move out of my regular seat for about 15 minutes or so. I don't know how those folks sitting down the lf line could stand it. But, there are always people at baseball games that seem to thrive on sitting in the heat of the summer sun. I don't begin to understand those folks! Likewise, it must have been pretty miserable down on the turf. The heat was certainly making chopped ground balls bounce high off the warmed-over turf.

So. Just who is Arkansas-Pine Bluff? Well, they pretty much hang out 'round about the bottom 20-25 of all Division I schools...in the conference that also hangs out around the bottom of the conference rankings: the SWAC. So, why play them? Texas needed to play somebody. Anybody. To get the taste of that Missouri series out of their mouths. They had to find someone that wasn't playing this weekend. They also had to find someone who was under the (NCAA mandated) 56-game regular season maximum number of games. And, they wanted to play a Div. I team, if at all possible. Arkansas-Pine Bluff fit the bill. I was glad to see them come to town.

By the way. The best news of the day just may be the fact that Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell both started in their normal positions and both seemed just fine.

The scary news of the day: in the 5th, a foul tip went off Preston Clark's face mask and stopped him cold for a few minutes. He seemed to indicate that the pain was in his left jaw area. The trainer checked him over and after a couple of minutes, he took a test throw from Austin Wood and ended up staying in the game. I imagine he'll be in a bit of pain for a few days. Ouch.

The pitching was by committee today. The three regular starters were slated to pitch 2 innings each. They did that. James Russell, Adrian Alaniz, and Austin Wood combined to throw 6 innings of shut-out ball, giving up 5 hits (1 double and 4 singles) and 2 walks, while striking out 6. Josh Prince went in for the 7th and wasn't quite as effective. To put it mildly. He also pitched into a bit of bad luck. At the same time Josh entered the game, Texas replaced all the starters in the field except Nick Peoples in cf and Travis Tucker at 2b. Josh went in, walked 1, struck out 1, and walked another. With runners at 1b and 2b, Davis hit a bouncer toward the 1b/2b gap. Jeff Boes (at 1b), Travis Tucker, and Josh all went for the ball. Josh fielded it and then saw that Jeff had not covered 1b. He broke hard for the bag, dove for it, and almost caught the batter. But, he was a bit too late (bases loaded). Barker then hit a high bouncer over the mound. Michael Demperio (at ss) fielded the ball but had no play (1 run across, bases still loaded). The next batter grounded out to 2b (another run across, runners at 2b and 3b). McCullum then hit a 1-1 pitch up the middle (2 runs across). The 8th batter of the inning then walked on 4 pitches. Ouch. So, Joseph Krebs went in. He struck out the 9th batter of the inning. He then pitched a 1-2-3 8th. Randy Boone followed that with a 1-2-3 9th.

In the post game interview, Coach Garrido said that since they'd designated the pitching situation ahead of time, the win could go to any pitcher who put up a zero. The Horns had 5 pitchers eligible: Russell, Alaniz, Wood, Krebs, and Boone. So, they drew cards. Randy Boone drew the Ace of Clubs to get the win. Don't you love it?

On the offensive side of things, Texas jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st. Jordan Danks led things off with a ground-rule double to lf. Kyle Russell walked behind him. Chance Wheeless reached on a bunt single. Both fielders at the corners charged as Chance squared to bunt. The bunt went down the 3b line and was fielded nicely by the third baseman. Alas, the second baseman sorta forgot that he needed to cover 1b but the third baseman threw the ball toward 1b anyway. Oops. Jordan scored. Kyle moved to 3b and Chance moved to 2b. Bradley Suttle hit a sac fly to cf, scoring Kyle. Preston Clark struck out and Russell Moldenhauer followed that with a single off the diving second baseman's glove to score Chance. Chais Fuller then popped out to 1b (foul) to end the inning. Texas up by 3. They went down in order in the 2nd.

Texas put 5 more on the board in the 3rd as they sent 10 to the plate. Kyle Russell started things off with a double through the right side. Chance Wheeless drew an 8-pitch walk. Bradley Suttle was hit by the first pitch he saw to load the bases. Preston Clark then drew a 10-pitch (!) walk to send Kyle home. Russell Moldenhauer hit a sac fly (foul?...I couldn't quite tell) down the lf line to score Chance. Chais Fuller reached on an error by the third baseman (his 2nd error of the game). The ball skipped under his glove and went into lf. Bradley scored on the play while Preston held up at 2b. Nick Peoples then singled through the left side. The Golden Lions took that opportunity to change their pitcher. They also changed their third baseman at that point. Travis Tucker singled the first pitch he saw up the middle to score Preston. Jordan Danks (9th batter of the inning) struck out looking (full-count). Kyle Russell then flew out to cf to end the inning. Speaking of flying out to cf, the UAPB center fielder (Jeremy Davis) made several nice plays today. Props to him.

The Horns went down in order in the 4th. Russell Moldenhauer led off the 5th with a solo shot over the rf fence. Purty. Nick Peoples singled but was stranded at 1b. They put their final run of the game across in the 6th. Bradley Suttle reached on a 2-out 6-pitch walk. He moved to 2b when Preston Clark was hit by a pitch and then scored on a single by Russell Moldenhauer. Nick Peoples reached on a walk in the 7th but was, again, stranded at 1b. Jeff Boes was hit by a pitch in the 8th but he was also stranded at 1b.

Going down the line, the offense went like so:

The Horns are due to have a hard practice tomorrow and then back to normal on Tuesday to get ready for the A&M series.

Posted by Joanna at 8:34 PM | Permalink

Monday - May 7, 2007

Saturday game set

At the end of yesterday's game, the scoreboard urged us to watch the TexasSports.com site for info on whether or not there'd be a game played on Saturday. And, lo! We've got us a game. The Horns will play host to the Golden Lions of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. They're from the SWAC. I'm so looking forward to seeing the Golden Lions come to town. Welcome!

Posted by Joanna at 5:10 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 6, 2007

Game 52: Missouri at Texas

Sigh...Texas lost to the Tigers again today. Again, by 1 run (4-5). It was very reminiscent of Friday's game. Texas jumped out to a lead. Just like Friday. Missouri then went ahead. Just like Friday. Trevor Coleman hit a couple of home runs. Similar to Friday (on Friday he only hit one). The winning run was scored on an error. Just like Friday. Except that on Friday, it happened in the 11th inning. Today, it happened in the 6th. So, it didn't seem to be as much of a catastrophe. That just goes to show you that it really does matter when the error happens as to how much people remember it. Joseph Krebs went in and wasn't very effective. Just like Friday. Completely unlike yesterday when he dominated. Texas made all kinds of substitutions in the line-up, trying to figure out a way to score when things were looking bleak. Just like Friday. It was hard to watch.

Austin Wood got the nod for Texas and threw the first 5 innings. He gave up a solo home run in the 2nd. He had two 1-2-3 innings: the 1st and 4th. He gave up a couple of 2-out singles in the 3rd. He had a tough 5th. The first batter he faced battled a bit but ended up flying out to lf. The next batter popped out to 2b. But then he walked Arndt. And, then he gave up another couple of 2-out singles...the 2nd one pushing Arndt across. Bradley Suttle almost saved the inning when Frey (batting after Arndt) hit a sharp grounder down the 3b line. Bradley dove for it, jumped up, and just missed gunning Frey down at 1b. Inches. It's a game of inches. Joseph Krebs went in at the start of the 6th. He gave up a lead-off triple to Priday who hit the ball to the cf/rf gap. Kyle Russell tried to make a play on the ball, dove for it, and then lay in a heap for about 30 seconds. Nick Peoples backed him up and threw the ball in. But, Priday made it to 3b. Kyle got up and walked off the field but was clearly favoring his right hand/arm. In the post-game interview, when asked about Kyle's status, Coach Garrido said that he jammed his wrist and he, along with Jordan Danks, will likely be available for the A&M series. After Clint Stubbs went out to rf, Joseph gave up the 2nd home run of the game to Coleman. Missouri up 4-2. The next batter grounded out to 3b. Then, Senne singled. Then, Mack singled. Runners at the corners. So, Pat McCrory went to the mound. Pat made a throw to 1b, trying to pick Mach off, but it was a bad throw and the ball rolled all the way to the tarp against the fence down the rf line. Senne scored. Mach moved to 3b. Arndt then grounded out to 1b and Frey grounded out to 2b to end the inning. The Missouri bench...every single person on it...disagreed with the call at 1b. The first base coach (Tony Vitello, I believe) started yelling at the ump and was immediately ejected. I don't believe he'd said more than 3 words to the ump when he was tossed, so those words must've been pretty special. Frey was apparently tossed as well. I did not see that happen but he left the field with Vitello and Calvert went into cf. Pat gave up a lead-off single in the 7th but got the next three down in order. He struck out the first two batters he saw in the 8th, walked the third, and gave up a single. Keith Shinaberry went in at that point and struck Calvert out. Randy Boone pitched the 9th inning. He gave up a lead-off single but got the next three out. So...except for Joseph Krebs, the bull-pen did their job. The Joseph Krebs thing is one of those bizarre mysteries of baseball. He did a great job last weekend at OSU and again yesterday. But, on Friday and today... Shrug. It doesn't really make any sense, does it?

Texas struggled offensively. They got lots of hits and lots of base runners. They just couldn't seem to get much of anything going when they got those runners on base. They scored two quick runs in the 1st. They left 2 aboard (one in scoring position) in the 1st but it didn't seem like that big of a deal at the time. Nick Peoples reached on a 2-out walk in the 2nd and stole 2b. But he was stranded there. So, one left in scoring position in the 2nd. Chance Wheeless walked to start off the 3rd and moved to 3b on a sac bunt and a ground out. Preston Clark then walked but they were both stranded when Chais Fuller flew out to cf. So, 2 stranded in the 2nd, 1 in scoring position. They went down in order in the 4th. In the fifth: Kyle Russell flew out; Chance Wheeless singled; Bradley Suttle flew out to cf; Russell Moldenhauer singled, moving Chance to 2b; Preston Clark walked to load the bases; Chais Fuller flew out to cf to end the inning. Three stranded, 2 in scoring position. Travis Tucker singled to start off the 6th. Kyle Lusson hit a ground-rule double. Tough luck as Travis was well on his way to scoring. The next three batters went: strikeout, ground out to 3b (no chance to advance), ground out to 2b. Two stranded, both in scoring position. In the 7th, Preston Clark hit a 2-out solo home run. In the 8th, Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch and eventually scored without Texas getting a hit (strike out, walk, walk, sac fly, fly out). Two stranded, one in scoring position. And, in the 9th, with 2 outs, Chais Fuller singled. Jordan Danks went in to pinch run and moved to 2b on a single by Travis Tucker. But, they were stranded when Kyle Lusson flew out to rf. So, in summary, the Horns had 10 hits (all singles except for Preston's home run and Kyle Lusson's ground-rule double). They were walked 6 times and hit twice to make 8 free passes. Missouri also committed 2 balks. But, the Horns only scored 4. They couldn't find a way to take advantage of all those opportunities.

I don't know if it was Texas that was off or if it was that the Tigers seem to know just what to do to stay one up on Texas of late. Missouri has won 8 of the last 12 games they've played. Nobody else seems to have the Longhorns' number in quite the same way. Is it just one of those things? Like the way Texas is 10-1 against Rice over the same period? Sigh...

Hopefully, the team will bounce back. Hopefully, they will get to play someone on the 12th. As I post this, there's still a big "TBA" on the schedule for that day. I kinda think the team would probably benefit quite a bit if they were able to play a game against someone before they face the Aggies. Y'know?

Augie was confident in his post-game interview that the Horns would win the regular season title. And, chances are extremely good that they will. It just would've been nice if they'd done it today. Ah well.

Posted by Joanna at 10:39 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 5, 2007

Bevo Sports

Brian, over at Bevo Sports dropped me a line a couple of weeks ago asking if I'd like to join them as a baseball correspondent...of sorts. I mulled it over. And, then decided it could be fun. I'll still post my long rambling stuff over here. And, I'll post short re-caps over there. I may post some original stuff there, too. If I do post new stuff there (that's more than just a re-cap of what I've posted here), I'll be sure and link to it so you can find it. So, head on over and check it out.

Posted by Joanna at 9:50 PM | Permalink

Game 51: Missouri at Texas

Texas came back from last night's miserable loss very nicely today to win 5-1. Missouri didn't score that one run 'til the 9th so it was almost a shutout. Good game.

Texas started things off nicely by bringing Gail Goestenkors in to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. She played her part just right. She stood on the turf just in front of the mound and pitched from the stretch to Brett Lewis at the plate. She shook off a couple of pitches, nodded approvingly when she found the one she wanted, wound up, made a pretty high kick, and then threw the ball. Which landed about 8 feet shy of the plate. Ha! Very funny. She got a standing ovation from the crowd.

And, then Adrian Alaniz got to business. He took the Tigers out in order in the 1st and 2nd innings. In the 3rd, he gave up a long triple to John McKee. Jordan Danks made a long run in lf and actually got to the ball. But, he got to it just as he crashed into the outfield wall. The collision jarred the ball loose and McKee was safe at 3b. The next batter popped out to 2b. Then Arndt grounded into a 6-2 fielder's choice. Chais Fuller made a nice grab and perfect throw to Preston Clark at home. McKee plowed into Preston and knocked him backward. Preston held onto the ball for the out, though. Yeah! With two outs, and a 1-2 count, Texas guessed correctly that Arndt would run and threw a pitch-out. Preston threw to Chais and they had Arndt dead to rights. Alas, Arndt turned back to 1b and Chais's throw to Chance Wheeless at 1b hit Arndt and rolled into the Missouri dugout. Preston made a valiant effort to get to the ball before it made it into the dugout but he couldn't quite get there. So, for the second time in the inning, the Tigers had a runner at 3b (Arndt was automatically awarded the extra base since the ball went into the dugout). Thankfully, Frey flew out to cf to end the threat. The Tigers went down in order again in the 4th. They loaded the bases in the 5th on a walk, a fly out to lf, a bloop single over Bradley Suttle at 3b, and then an error by Bradley. The batter hit a hard grounder that Bradley got in front of but misplayed. Maybe he was already thinking about getting a double play? I dunno. But, the ball bounced off his chest and all runners were safe. The next batter flew out to shallow rf...no chance for the runner from 3b to score. And, then Frey flew out to lf. Again, Jordan made an enormous effort to get to a ball at the wall. He caught the ball this time, but ran into the fence again. And, he apparently wrenched his shoulder because he was replaced in lf the next inning by Kyle Lusson. In the post-game interview, Coach Garrido said they weren't sure about Jordan's status going forward but it didn't sound too bad. The first batter of the 6th walked but he was erased on a double play. The final batter grounded out to 3b. Bradley was deep in the hole and made a very nice...very long...throw to 1b to get the out. The Tigers went down in order again in the 7th and 8th. Nice. Sadly, Adrian started the 9th off by hitting the batter on his knee (2-2 count). The next batter hit a ground-rule double to the cf/rf alley. The 3rd batter hit a sac fly to rf...scoring the run and moving the runner from 2b to 3b. So, Joseph Krebs went to the mound. By my count, Adrian threw 116 pitches through those 8.1 innings he pitched. He gave up 3 hits, struck out 4, and walked 2. Nice job. Joseph threw two strikeouts to end the game. Yes! I don't guess that qualifies as a save for him. Ah well. A very nice come-back from his poor showing yesterday.

On the offensive side of things, the left-handed batters really struggled today against the Missouri starter (Rick Zagone). Facing the starter, the right-handed batters went a combined 9-for-14; the left-handed batters went 2-for-10. Yowsa. Preston Clark and Chais Fuller both went 3-for-4 on the day (3-for-3 against the starter). The Horns were scoreless through the first 3 innings. Chais made a bit of a mental error to start off the 3rd. He hit a high fly ball down the rf line. On a typical day at Disch-Falk, it's the sort of ball that would bend right and land near (or past) the tarp near the fence along the rf line. Alas, it was not a typical day. The wind was blowing pretty strong from rf to lf and the ball stayed fair. But, Chais just went about 10 feet down the 1b line as he watched the ball...expecting it to go foul. The Missouri right fielder (Lollis) made a long run and just missed catching the ball as it landed fair by about 6 inches. As it landed, Chais realized what was happening and took off. He should've been running hard from the outset. But, he didn't. So, he should've stopped at 1b. But, he didn't do that either. Instead, he tried to make it to 2b. And, he was thrown out fairly easily by Lollis. Which was really too bad because Travis Tucker hit a beaut of a double to the cf/rf gap. That would've scored Chais pretty easily from 2b if he'd been running on his fly ball. Alas, Travis was stranded at 2b. In the 4th, Bradley Suttle reached on a high-bouncing infield single. The ball bounced off the plate, past the mound and about 40% of the way between 1b and 2b...but about 8 feet inside the 1b/2b baseline. The first baseman, the pitcher, and the second baseman all went for the ball. The pitcher caught the ball but had nobody to throw to at 1b so Bradley was safe. Finally, a bit of good luck for the Horns. Preston followed that with a double down the lf line. Runners at 2b and 3b. Jordan struck out and then Chais hit a double to cf (2 runs across). In the 5th, the Horns got runners to 1b and 2b with 1 out but the inning ended when the Tigers turned a nice 6-4-3 double play. The 6th proved too much for Zagone. Preston singled to cf and moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Kyle Lusson. Russell Moldenhauer was hit on the shoulder to put runners at 1b and 2b. Russell was the 3rd batter of the game hit by Zagone. Ouch. Chais singled to cf, scoring Preston and moving Russell to 2b. Travis then singled to rf to load the bases. Lollis made a diving attempt at the ball and almost had it but it bounced out of his glove. Nick Peoples hit a come-backer to the mound. Zagone fielded and threw home for the 2nd out of the inning. Zagone almost overthrew the catcher. But no...the throw was in time and the catcher held on. Bases still loaded. Kyle Russell then hit a hard single through the right side, scoring Chais and Travis, and moving Nick to 3b. Chance Wheeless then hit a high pop-up about 8 feet down the 3b line. The catcher had a bead on the ball and then fell away at the last second. Nick stepped around him and scored. Only, he was immediately called out by the home plate umpire. Apparently, Nick hollered for the ball ("I got it!!") as the catcher was about to make the catch. That's why the catcher fell away. He thought it was his own third baseman. Nick was called out for runner's interference. Very unusual play. Inning over. The Missouri catcher was ridiculed mightily when he next went to bat in the 9th. Lots of "I got it!" coming from the crowd. One guy: "who's got it???" Lots of people: "I got it!!" Funny. Anyway, that was the end of the 6th. Texas got runners to 1b in the 7th and 8th but they were stranded there.

All-in-all, today's game was great. There were a couple of mental lapses. But, when you think about what happened last night, you just have to be happy with the team's performance. Props all around. Here's hoping the Horns win the series tomorrow. According to the radio guys (I haven't looked at the numbers but have no reason to doubt 'em), if Texas wins tomorrow, they're a lock for at least a share of the regular season Big 12 title and will be the #1 seed for the Big 12 Tournament. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 8:01 PM | Permalink

Friday - May 4, 2007

Game 50: Missouri at Texas

I start tonight's game report a bit differently. I start with the post-game interview Bill Little conducted with Augie. It went something like this:

Bill: Can you sum up the game for me?

Augie: They took advantage of their opportunities and had good relief pitching.

Bill (trying to find something positive to say): Yep. You have to be happy that the team fought back, there, in the 9th.

Augie (you could hear the disgust dripping from his voice): Yeah, we fought back. We fought back. Whatever.

End of interview. He just walked away.

Yikes. I've never seen him so upset at the end of a game. He could barely contain himself during "The Eyes" and dropped his hand as the song was coming to an end...and did not do the usual "round the stands" thing he does during the "Gabriel blows his horn" part.

And, really...who could blame him? I suspect he had a few select words to share with Tommy Harmon. Wow.

Texas went up early, scoring single runs in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings. Mizzou scored two in the 4th. And, Texas scored another in the 5th to take a 4-2 lead. Two of those UT runs, by the way, were solo shots over the Texas bullpen in the lf corner by Kyle Russell. Towering shots, the both of them. Way past the bullpen. Normally, that would be the story of the game, eh? Kyle Russell hits 2 homers (his 25th and 26th of the year!) in a game for the 6th time this year. And, that's not the story? Nope. Sadly.

A brief aside: the 2 runs by Mizzou in the 4th were back-to-back solo shots that landed in the Texas bullpen. Four home runs tonight. All to the same general vicinity. Weird. The wind was blowing from right to left but it wasn't the kind of driving wind that usually knocks balls out of the park.

Texas surprised me by sending Joseph Krebs to the mound to start off the 7th. James Russell had started and seemed to be doing okay. He'd given up the 2 homers but he'd struck out 3 and had only allowed 2 additional runners to get past 1b. Usually, Texas leaves the starter in as long as he stays out of trouble. James had thrown 96 pitches by my count. I imagined he'd be back for at least the first two batters of the 7th. But, no. Joseph went to the mound instead. The first batter he faced grounded out to 3b. The next singled to cf. Nick Peoples made a great play to rob him of a double. The next batter, though, walked on a full count. And, the next singled to load the bases. Things started off so nicely with that first batter. But, then...ugh. Randy Boone went in next. He walked the first batter he faced on 4 pitches to push a run across! He then gave up a single and a sac fly. Suddenly, the Horns were down by 2.

Texas got a runner to 2b in the bottom of the 7th but stranded him there. They loaded the bases in the 8th with 2 outs but were unable to score. So, the 9th. They fought back. Kyle Russell flew out to start the bottom of the 9th. Chance Wheeless singled. Bradley Suttle singled behind him to put runners at 1b and 2b. Kyle Lusson went in to pinch run for Bradley. Clay Van Hook (pinch hitting) struck out for the 2nd out of the inning. Jordan Danks (who seemed to be coming out of his slump, going 2-for-4 to that point) walked to load the bases. Preston Clark then singled to rf. Yes! Tie game.

In the 10th, Mizzou went: fly out to cf, line out to 3b, single up the middle, strike out. Whew. Texas, alas, went down in order. And, then the 11th inning happened. Ugh. The first batter for Missouri singled to cf and was promptly replaced by a pinch runner. He moved to 2b on a sac bunt (5-3) and then to 3b on a ground out to 2b. Then, the Horns did one of those things you never see. Preston Clark threw the 2nd pitch back to Randy Boone (yes, he was still in the game) but threw it high...over his head. The runner from 3rd broke hard and beat the throw home from Travis Tucker who retrieved the ball near 2b. Then, the batter popped out to ss. Sigh. Mizzou up by 1 again. In the bottom of the inning, Chance Wheeless flew out to cf. Jeff Boes (pinch-hitting) grounded out to 2b. Clay Van Hook was hit by a full-count pitch. Jordan Danks came up and hit his 3rd single of the game! It was close, though. The right fielder dove for the ball and very nearly made the catch. He missed the ball, though, and it rolled to his left a bit. Clay had taken off at the crack (okay, ping) of the bat and made it easily to 3b. That's when Tommy Harmon did that thing he does sometimes. He kept cranking that right arm of his. So, Clay kept running. On the one hand, I can see how, maybe, after the right fielder had fallen, you might think he'd struggle to catch up to the ball and maybe he wouldn't make a good throw home. Alas, that didn't happen. He got up and got to the ball quickly. And, then he made a good throw. A perfect throw home. And, Clay was out by a mile. Game over. Texas loses 6-7. Crap.

Posted by Joanna at 11:26 PM | Permalink

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