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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