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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