Friday - June 29, 2007
Alumni news: Fahey and Randolph
Once again...scrolling through the transactions lists and came across some good news: the Orioles called up Brandon Fahey again. Woo hoo!
Alas, there was also some not-so-good news: Stephen Randolph did not stay with the Astros for long. He's been designated for assignment. He started off well but then struggled. He started with a 3.86 ERA through his first three appearances of 0.1, 0.2, and 1.1 innings...and then gave up 5 and 3 earned runs in 2.0 and 0.1 innings to take his overall ERA to 17.36 in 4.2 innings pitched. Ouch. He has to clear waivers and hopes to stay in the Astro's organization.
Posted by Joanna at 8:48 PM | Permalink
Wednesday - June 27, 2007
Disch-Falk renovation photos, part 12
I made it over to Disch-Falk Field on Sunday and took some photos. Herewith...
They've started demolishing the dugouts. Here's the 1b dugout:
And, the 3b dugout (sorry I couldn't get a better angle):
You can see that they've removed the netting behind the plate in the above photo.
They've removed the temporary press box:
They're working away down the right field line:
A shot of the outside of the stadium taken from the parking lot west of the stadium:
And, another outside shot...this one of the southwest corner of the stadium:
Here's how things look on the south side of the stadium:
And, a shot from near the rf corner:
Note the rolled pieces of turf near the chain-link fence to the right of the big mound of dirt.
And, finally, a very unusual sight:
That's a shot of Comal...behind the rf fence. Note how none of the buses that usually hang out along Comal are there. Weird. I'm guessing they had to be moved in order to keep Comal free for construction vehicle traffic. I did not look around to see if they'd been moved somewhere nearby.
I really need to try and make it out there on a weekday when I can get better shots. Maybe in a couple of weeks.
Posted by Joanna at 11:37 PM | Permalink
Thursday - June 21, 2007
Alumni news: Randolph and Merle
Once again, I was looking through a list of transactions (trying to find out if anyone on my draft summary page had signed) and noticed a couple of familiar names:
- Stephen Randolph was called up by the Astros.
- Jesen Merle (Jennie's favorite former Longhorn) has signed with the Pensacola Pelicans of the American Association (independent). Good for him.
Posted by Joanna at 9:04 PM | Permalink
The Statesman is reporting that Josh Prince is transferring to Tulane and Michael Demperio is headed to Georgia. That means Michael will be back at Disch-Falk for the first series of the year. Coach Garrido indicated last week that Georgia is set to come to Austin for the inaugural series of the 2008 season.
Posted by Joanna at 8:02 PM | Permalink
Wednesday - June 20, 2007
Are y'all watching the CWS now that the Horns are out?
I haven't watched as many games as I'd like (work and other stuff getting in the way). But, I've enjoyed the games I have managed to watch. After watching them play in Round Rock, I was really rooting for UCI to go all the way. They went quite a bit further than a lot of people thought they would. Sadly, it looks like they ran out of steam this evening. Too bad.
So the first team in is Oregon State...defending National Champ! Did anyone really expect them to be back? I know I didn't. Wow. They'll go up against Rice or North Carolina. I tend to root for Rice as long as they're not playing Texas. But, suddenly, I find myself rooting for a rematch. I looked things up a few minutes ago and found that the last time the same two teams played for the championship in back-to-back years was in 1972 and 1973. USC beat Arizona State both times. That was part of a 5-year run for USC.
By the way, one of my favorite things about watching this year has been seeing all those teams sporting traditional "high socks" uniforms. I love that the teams from out west are doing that. I wish more would.
It's too bad the Horns aren't in Omaha. There's always next year, though. Hook 'em!
Posted by Joanna at 11:37 PM | Permalink
Disch-Falk renovation photos, part 11
I've received a couple of requests for more photos of the Disch-Falk renovations. And, I've been meaning to make my way over there since the end of the season but just haven't made it. I'll try to get out there this weekend (or maybe during lunch on Friday if it's not raining) and take some new photos. In the meantime, here are some photos I took at the Aggie game on May 20th...the last home game of the year.
I stood up in the far north corner of the grandstand and pointed my camera into the new raised concourse/luxury box area and took a shot of the progress:
Clearly, I'm too short for this sort of thing!
Then, I turned to the grandstand and took a wide-angle shot of the grandstand seating area:
They'd started putting up the walls around the new raised concourse:
A shot of folks sitting on the berm down the lf line...waiting for the game to start:
The team (also waiting for the game to start) sitting in the 3b dugout for one last game:
I really will try to get over to Disch-Falk in the next couple of days and check out the latest changes.
Posted by Joanna at 11:00 PM | Permalink
Tuesday - June 19, 2007
MLB Draft reminder
Still no news on whether or not the the three drafted Sophomores and James Russell (and, let's not forget the signees) will be in Burnt Orange next year. But, there have been some signings of note. Check out my 2007 draft summary page for regular updates.
Also, of note: as I was going over a list of transactions, I saw that Kip Harkrider was released by the Ft. Worth Cats. I sure enjoyed watching those Harkrider boys play...back in the day.
Posted by Joanna at 10:43 PM | Permalink
Friday - June 15, 2007
Alumni news roundup
Lots of Alumni news to be found on the TexasSports.com site today (actually, it looks like this stuff was posted yesterday but I didn't see it 'til today): Catching up with former Longhorns in Major League Baseball. Lots of Longhorns out there in the Majors and Minors. Hook 'em!
Posted by Joanna at 6:14 PM | Permalink
Wednesday - June 13, 2007
Augie Garrido on the radio
I listened to Coach Garrido on KVET 1300 this morning. Actually, I wasn't able to hear much this morning, what with being at work and all, but I recorded the interview and spent some time this evening, going back over it. Here are some of the things he talked about (these comments are mostly paraphrased...if anything is my opinion or addition to his comments, I'll make that clear):
- He agrees that Texas should be the best college baseball team in America and that, at times, this team was that this year. We did have a very good team that did a very good job. He's not offering excuses. Accepting not getting to the CWS is very difficult. He was bitterly surprised at the role that fate played in the Regionals.
- The team GPA was 2.9 in the Fall and over 3.0 (the highest ever) in the Spring.
- You can't forget the brilliant way that UC Irvine played. He said UT had things set up for the miracle to happen with the bases loaded in the top of the 9th but the miracle didn't happen. UCI hasn't lost a championship game yet and he won't be surprised to see them do well at the CWS because they are fundamentally extremely sound.
- Every player who was eligible to be drafted or sign a pro contract as a senior is doing that. Brett Lewis and Chais Fuller were not drafted but both have been offered contracts by MLB teams (he did not specify which teams made the offers).
- Winning championships is about doing the right thing at the right time. An example: how can OSU lose 8 games in a row and then go the farthest of all the Big 12 teams?
- When asked about his exit interviews with the team, he said the three comments he got most about what impacted the team going into the Regional were:
- The players really felt the impact of losing Preston Clark behind the plate before the Regional tourney...more than Coach Garrido would've imagined. Brett Lewis is very capable and the players had confidence in his ability. But, Preston's leadership and interactions with the team all year provided more of the glue that held the team's spirit together than Coach Garrido had imagined.
- Losing Nick Peoples was also huge.
- He was surprised to hear that the players were disappointed that they didn't play at Disch-Falk and that they felt they would've won if they'd been playing at home. He thought that since they'd played 11 games at Dell Diamond early in the year, it wouldn't have as much of an affect as it seemed to have. He thought they were past all that so that was surprising to him.
- He said parity is apparent in baseball more than any other college sport. He said it's because of the way the MLB drafts players from high school and junior college...and that they draft our best players as soon as they can. They're taking all of the resources and you never know for sure who you're going to have on the field. He thinks Coach Harmon is doing a remarkable job in recruiting and is glad that Skip Johnson is able to help out now. He expects to see more power arms on the mound from now with Coach Johnson taking the lead on that.
- In response to email from a fan who said this was one of the best (if not the best) teams he'd seen at Texas: One of the problems with a team that hits well is that the bats can go cold. Some of the pressure that was put on Kyle Russell (finalist for Howser Trophy, leading the nation in home runs, being the Big 12 player of the year) created a lot of expectations. And, Kyle started off hitting a home run in the tourney and put down a great bunt in a crucial situation. But he did not have the kind of series he would have like to have had. And, with him struggling a bit at the plate, and Preston Clark (hottest hitter going into the tourney) out, the offense was affected. He agrees with the fan's assessment and that's why he was so shocked at the outcome.
- He stressed again that the team was ready...they'd played well up at Oklahoma State and then again against the Aggies. They lost a game at the Big 12 tourney but played the last game well and were ready. But, fate stepped in when Preston Clark stepped in a pot-hole and blew out his knee. He doesn't mean to say that cost them everything but, in hindsight, it was a bigger thing than he imagined it could be to the players. It doesn't take much when you're walking such a thin line with these teams.
- Regarding the draft:
- The plan they use with the players leading up to the draft: sit down with players, parents, and advisors and decide on a minimum amount of money they'll take to sign. They issue that figure to the teams interested in signing the players.
- Then you look at where they're drafted. The Commissioner of Baseball has asked that the MLB teams stay "slotted" with their offers...the #1 draftee gets the highest bonus and it all goes down from there. Teams can disregard that request if they choose.
- A couple of things can surprise the coaches: a player can get drafted at a lower point than expected but go ahead an sign for less money or a team can draft at a lower point but go ahead an offer more money.
- Kyle Russell is asking for 1st round money but was drafted in the 4th round so it would appear that he's coming back. Coach Garrido said Kyle could benefit from spending another year on campus.
- Adrian Alaniz has another year of eligibility but has little to gain. He only needs 12 units to graduate and he can do that easily in the fall. He's already 22 years old, has contributed a lot to the University, and so it's not surprising he'd sign.
- Next up: Bradley Suttle. He was drafted by the Yankees who are notorious for ignoring the Commissioner's office so they might come up with the 1st round money Bradley is looking for even though he was drafted in the 4th round. So, no telling.
- He thinks Preston Clark will be back, saying he has everything to gain and nothing to lose by coming back.
- It appears that James Russell will be coming back to school as well.
- If those four players come back next year, that will really enrich the team, giving them maturity and quality players, and a balance of left-handed hitting.
- Asked why he thought Kyle and Bradley slid to the 4th round: he said they all thought they'd go in the first or sandwich round. He says there's no explanation he can provide. MLB has their own way of viewing things and it's unfortunate that the players were led to believe they'd go higher but it's a business and there are lots of points of view regarding what a team is going to spend, who they'll spend it on, etc.
- He thinks the fans will really enjoy seeing a resurgence of the power arms of the past...the 80s with the likes of Clemens. Schiraldi, and the boys. [The "the boys" thing made me laugh.]
- Asked about Coach Johnson's contribution in his first year and as they look forward: he thinks he's absolutely the right man at the right time for this job. He knows Texas baseball at every level inside and out. He's a baseball guy that loves to be at every game.
- He thinks we'll have a real good team next year. He says he hesitates and stutters a little bit making that statement because he was so surprised to lose the Regional.
- Was the rain delay in the final UCI game a good thing or a bad thing? He thought it was good for Texas because they'd been out in the heat all day. If anything, the team tried too hard and that surprised him a bit.
- Regarding the construction:
- He visited the site yesterday with the job site manager.
- They've got all the steel work done for the suites and press box.
- They've got the outside walls done.
- They've cut out the backstop.
- They've got the foundation work in for all the new buildings on the 1b side.
- They're not on schedule but they're not behind, either. [That confused me!] He explained that the team doesn't need to be back out on the field until September and they should be able to do that. Prior to the first game on February 22nd, everything's supposed to be completely finished. So, they're behind schedule due to the recent rains but the delay won't cause problems because things will still be completed before the team and fans actually need access. [I get it, now.]
- The facility will be awesome.
- He made a comment about ESPN being the only entity that has the power to force the changes that would bring a higher level of consistency and quality to each of the colleges that have baseball programs around the country. Those changes would include an effort to increase scholarships to reflect the level of commitment of a school to its baseball program. That would help prevent kids from signing right out of high school because they would be taken care of financially by going to college. He added that UT's most recent CWS championship game outdrew the Detroit/St. Louis World Series game. Everyone (the media included) likes to see UT at the CWS because they bring fans to the games and the NCAA has confidence in those fans. He thanked the fans for being such great supporters of the team.
- He thanked the folks at Dell Diamond for the great job they did hosting the tournament.
- Asked about the new start date: the Big 10 is the conference that pushed the legislation through...and it took them about 3 years to do it. The first spring practice cannot happen before Feb. 1 and the first game will take place the weekend of Feb. 22. Georgia will be coming to Austin for opening weekend next year and it should be an exciting weekend. The change in start date does move everything back and makes player development a bit more complicated: they'll end up doing more individual things, less team stuff. But, that's all part of the fun of the time management that goes along with the process. [That last bit was said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.]
- Going back to ESPN and the ratings. What will happen with no big teams in the field this year? Coach Garrido things the parity is so clear now: when a 5th place team in a conference can go to the CWS, that goes beyond being a miracle. That means everyone's the same and anything can happen on any given day. With the parity the way it is, anything can happen and it is going to hurt the TV ratings. Again he stresses that ESPN is the only one with enough clout to push the NCAA into making some changes that will benefit College Baseball. He says that the 11.7 scholarship limit really hurts teams. Texas had two injuries to pitchers (Boening and Kasparek) that really set the team back all season long. Because of the scholarship situation, you don't have the depth to absorb that kind of thing.
- He said that it isn't that we (Texas) want more than everyone else but all the schools should be able to flex their financial muscles a little bit better. The expectation level at UT is a couple of hundred miles different that the expectation level at UCI. Our players play under a lot more stress and scrutiny. It's good for them in the long run, teaching them responsibility, accountability, life's lessons, and how to perform consistently at a high level. [They ran out of time before Coach Garrido could really finish his thought on this one but it sounded like he was going to say that despite those "life lesson" benefits, UT should still be able to decide if it wants to spend more money on baseball and not be hindered by the 11.7 rule.]
And, that's about it. Whew.
Posted by Joanna at 9:40 PM | Permalink
Jordan Danks will spend the summer with Team USA
The Statesman is reporting that Jordan Danks has made the Team USA roster. Good for him! Quote:
"I've never been outside the United States," Danks said, "so I'm excited about the opportunity to play overseas. We will be busy playing baseball, but I'm going to try to soak up as much of the experience as I can."
Sadly, the official page has no current info. But, check back. Maybe they'll get their act in gear soon.
Posted by Joanna at 5:59 PM | Permalink
First round of MLB signings
The Statesman is reporting that Adrian Alaniz has come to terms with the Washington Nationals and will be signing a contract on Friday. So, he will not be back for his senior year. This news does not surprise me and I hope it doesn't surprise you!
They also reported that seniors Nick Peoples and Chance Wheeless had signed with their respective drafting teams (the Cardinals and Diamondbacks).
I heard Coach Garrido on the radio this morning say that undrafted seniors Brett Lewis and Chais Fuller have also been offered contracts by Major League teams. He did not say which teams, however.
Posted by Joanna at 10:33 AM | Permalink
Friday - June 8, 2007
MLB Draft, Day 2
More Texas players (and signees) were drafted on the 2nd day of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft:
- Randy Boone - 7th round, Blue Jays (last year he was drafted in the 38th round by the Twins)
- Adrian Alaniz - 8th round, Nationals (last year he was drafted in the 36th round by the Cardinals
- Taylor Grote (Texas signee, cf, The Woodlands HS) - 8th round, Yankees
- Runey Davis (Texas signee, cf, Geoergetown HS) - 11th round, Pirates
- James Russell - 14th round, Cubs
- Joseph Krebs - 14th round, Cincinnati
- Chance Wheeless - 17th round, Arizona
- Nick Peoples (apparently drafted as a second baseman) - 19th round, St. Louis
- Kevin Keyes (Texas signee, rf, Connally HS) - 26th round, Rangers
- Preston Clark - 33rd round, Cubs
- Kenn Kasparek (who did not play this season while recovering from Tommy John surgery) - 34th round, Washington
- Garrett Clyde (Texas signee, rhp, San Jacinto College) - 43rd round, Cubs
- Cameron Rupp (Texas signee, c, Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano) - 43rd round, Pittsburgh
- Clay Van Hook - 45th round, Seattle
And, don't forget to check out my 2007 MLB Draft Summary page. I'll be updating it over the coming weeks with signing info as the summer goes along.
Posted by Joanna at 7:00 PM | Permalink
Thursday - June 7, 2007
MLB Draft, Day 1
I almost forgot about the draft. I remembered to check on things around 5 o'clock and was surprised to find that they were only in the 2nd round (or maybe early in the 3rd). And, they only got through the first 5 rounds today. They usually get through the first 20 rounds or so on the first day. This year, though, at least part of it was being televised. Clearly, that slowed things down.
Of direct interest to Texas, 3 players have been drafted so far:
- Brandon Workman (Texas signee, rhp, Bowie HS) - 3rd round, Phillies
- Kyle Russell - 4th round, Cardinals
- Bradley Suttle - 4th round, Yankees
I suspect they'll all be signing. But, you never know. According to one thing I read, Bradley's advisors are wanting him to hold out for $1M. I'm not sure the bottom of the 4th round will get him that sort of money.
Major League Baseball has instituted a new rule this year: draftees must be signed by August 15th. (College seniors are exempt from this rule.) In the past, a team could draft a player and then take up to 51 weeks (aka, the week before the next draft) to come to terms with the player. The player could continue in school during the interim. The new rule could definitely affect players' decisions on whether or not they sign. I tend to think we'll see more players from the later rounds signing. I guess we'll know by the middle of August.
By the way, for info on other players of interest (mostly of interest to me but maybe of interest to you as well!), see my 2007 MLB Draft Summary page.
Posted by Joanna at 11:14 PM | Permalink
Prince and Demperio leaving UT
According to the Statesman, Josh Prince and Michael Demperio have decided to transfer. They want to be closer to home and their families.
Posted by Joanna at 11:10 PM | Permalink
Wednesday - June 6, 2007
Austin Regional, Day 4
Texas lost to UC Irvine 6-9. And, that was that. We were all hoping for a nice long (and, please don't forget: hot!) day at Dell Diamond. Alas, that did not happen. UC Irvine moves forward. They're headed to the Wichita State Super Regional to fight for the privilege of moving on to Omaha. If they keep playing the way they played last weekend, they could win the whole thing. It's a lot easier for me to say that than for them to do that, though. If they start getting giddy about their victory here, if they start thinking too much about the prospect of winning it all... Well, last weekend may be it. We'll know in a few days. I do wish them well and hope they go far.
Sorry I didn't get to this sooner. I was tired on Monday after I finished my write-up on the game. Since then, I've had a tough time deciding just what to write.
One thing I'd like to point out is that the team never gave up. They kept battling away. And, I admire them for their effort. I hope to see a lot of the players back on the turf at Disch-Falk next year.
I've read some of the stuff other folks have written. And, people stop me in the halls at work and ask what happened. There are plenty of things that happened. Things that didn't go "our" way. Things that went wrong. Among them:
- UC Irvine played nearly perfect baseball. They had fantastic pitching. Their center fielder made a couple of plays that I have not seen anyone else (except for Nick Peoples...and Kyle Russell a time or two) make this year.
- The Horns had a problem with pitching depth. Early in the season, they thought Riley Boening would be back. But that didn't happen. And, Kenn Kasparek was never an option. I saw them sitting behind home plate running a radar gun and charting games (or whatever it was they were doing) all season long. But, they never made it onto the field.
- Preston Clark hurt his knee the Tuesday before the Regional and wasn't in the lineup. That hurt. Brett Lewis did a great job in his stead. But, it was not the same. It changed the dynamic.
- Nick Peoples broke his collarbone in the second defensive play of the early game on Sunday so he missed the final two games of the year. That changed the dynamic even more. Jordan Danks tried to make a play on a ball that, had Nick been in his normal position, would've been caught or, at worst, fallen for a single. Instead, it went for a triple. Kyle Lusson and Josh Prince both did admirably in lf. But, there were a couple of plays that surely would've gone differently had Jordan Danks been in his normal position. By the way, I wish Nick a speedy and thorough recovery. I still don't know how he held onto that ball. Wow.
- That first game on Sunday went 3 extra innings. In 100-degree heat. That was tough. On all of us.
- Texas hit .299 over the course of the tournament and .269 in the games against UCI. They were hitting .317 going into the Regional. The top of the order (Jordan, Kyle, Chance, and Bradley) hit .353 in the games leading up to the tournament. UCI limited them to .300 in the tourney (.214 in the Saturday night game).
But, you know what it all really boils down to? It all boils down to Skip Johnson. Not one time all season did we see him on the baseball field dressed in anything other than a sort of pull-over wind-breaker thing. If you never looked at a roster but went to every Texas game, you would have no clue what his roster number was. 'Cause his jersey was always covered up. Always. I commented on it several times during the year. And, wondered what he would do when the heat of late May and early June hit us. But, he continued to wear the wind-breaker thing. Always. And, he had it on before the game started on Monday. For a while. I was doing my usual thing: watching the game, keeping score, trying to stay out of the sun, rooting the team onward, etc. And, time was called. And, folks gathered at the mound to talk things over. And, I noticed an unfamiliar jersey number. I saw a 47. My brow furrowed slightly. And, then it hit me. Skip Johnson was out on the mound and he was dressed like everyone else. He was not wearing that wind-breaker thing he had worn all season long. Rain or shine. That was all we ever saw him in all season long. And, here it was: do or die time. And, Skip Johnson had changed the routine. What was he thinking? Sigh. I blame it all on him. All of it.
Posted by Joanna at 6:59 PM | Permalink
Monday - June 4, 2007
Game 63: Texas at UC Irvine (Austin Regional)
Texas tried but just couldn't come up with the answers needed to beat the UC Irvine Anteaters as they lost this afternoon's rain-delayed game 6-9. UCI moves on to play in a Super Regional against the winner of the Wichita State/Arizona game to be played tonight at 7.
Texas was the designated Visitor and here's how things played out:
- Texas, 1st inning
- Eric Pettis on the mound for UCI
- Jordan Danks grounded out to 1b unassisted.
- Kyle Russell singled to 2b.
- The second pitch to Chance Wheeless was down in the dirt and got away from the catcher. It dribbled into foul territory on the 3b side and away from 1b. Kyle hesitated and then broke for 2b. If he'd broken immediately, he might've had a chance to make it. Instead, the catcher got to the ball and threw to the shortstop covering 2b to catch Kyle stealing. Sigh.
- Chance Wheeless flew out to lf.
- UCI, 1st inning
- Austin Wood started for Texas
- Holiday grounded out to 3b.
- Orloff grounded out to 3b.
- Cipriano struck out looking.
- Texas, 2nd inning
- Bradley Suttle, after falling behind 0-2, reached on an 8-pitch walk.
- Russell Moldenhauer advanced Bradley on a sac bunt to the pitcher.
- Chais Fuller hit a double down the rf line, scoring Bradley.
- Kyle Lusson struck out.
- Brett Lewis did likewise.
- Texas up 1-0.
- UCI, 2nd inning
- Morris flew out to lf.
- Petersen singled up the middle.
- Cusick flew out to cf.
- Linton flew out to lf.
- Texas, 3rd inning
- Travis Tucker doubled to the lf corner.
- Jordan Danks lined out to cf. Travis took off at the crack of the bat, thinking the ball would fall in for a hit. Alas. He tried to get back to 2b but was not able to beat the throw. Double play.
- Kyle Russell grounded out to 1b.
- UCI, 3rd inning
- Lowenstein grounded out to 3b.
- Vaughn singled to lf.
- Holiday singled up the middle, moving Vaughn to 2b.
- Orloff, much like Bradley Suttle in the 2nd, fell behind 0-2 but then worked his way on via an 8-pitch walk to load the bases.
- Cipriano doubled down the lf line, scoring 2.
- Runners at 2b and 3b with 1 out. Texas sent Keith Shinaberry to the mound.
- Morris grounded into a sac bunt (1-3). Orloff scored on the squeeze bunt and Cipriano moved to 3b.
- Petersen grounded out to 2b.
- UCI up 3-1.
- Texas, 4th inning
- Chance Wheeless singled up the middle.
- Bradley Suttle struck out looking.
- Russell Moldenhauer flew out to lf.
- Chais Fuller doubled to the lf corner, moving Chance to 3b.
- Josh Prince went to the plate to pinch hit for Kyle Lusson. He fell behind 0-2, fought off several pitches, and finally hit a 2-2 pitch to the lf/cf gap for a 2-run double! Wow!
- Brett Lewis went down swinging.
- Game tied at 3.
- UCI, 4th inning
- Cusick grounded out to 2b.
- Linton grounded out to the pitcher on a bunt attempt. Keith Shinaberry made a great athletic effort to get to the ball and throw Linton out. Wow.
- Lowenstein struck out.
- Texas, 5th inning
- Travis Tucker popped out to ss.
- Jordan Danks singled to cf.
- Kyle Russell grounded out to 1b, moving Jordan to 2b.
- Chance Wheeless flew out to cf.
- UCI, 5th inning
- Vaughn grounded out to 3b.
- Holiday singled to lf. He tried to stretch the hit into a double, thinking the inexperienced Josh Prince would not be able to field the ball and get it in quickly enough to make the out. However, Josh's throw was right on target and Holiday slid past 2b slightly as Travis Tucker held the tag on his arm to get the out.
- Orloff struck out.
- Texas, 6th inning
- Bradley Suttle singled to rf.
- Russell Moldenhauer popped out to the pitcher. He was trying to bunt but could not get the ball down. On the play, the pitcher tried to double up Bradley at 1b but the throw was wild. It bounced off the wall and back into the field of play before Bradley could advance, though.
- Chais Fuller singled to cf, moving Bradley to 2b.
- UCI sent Dylan Axelrod to the mound.
- His first pitch got past the catcher and both runners advanced. Ruled a passed ball.
- Josh Prince grounded out to 1b. Sadly, neither runner could advance.
- Brett Lewis doubled to the rf corner, 2 rbi.
- Travis Tucker struck out.
- Texas up 5-3.
- UCI, 6th inning
- Cipriano doubled to the lf/cf gap.
- Morris reached on a 6-5 fielder's choice. Nice play.
- Petersen doubled (again to the lf/cf gap) to score Morris.
- Cusick tripled to cf, scoring Petersen. Jordan Danks dove, trying to catch a sinking liner. He did not make the catch, though, and the ball rolled into deep cf.
- Texas sent Joseph Krebs to the mound (his 4th appearance in as many Regional games).
- Linton was hit on his right shoulder by a 2-1 pitch and stole 2b on the second pitch to Lowenstein.
- Lowenstein grounded out to 2b. Cusick scored and Linton moved to 3b.
- As Vaughn settled into the batter's box, Linton tried to steal home. He was thrown out, though, on a very nice play by Joseph and Brett. I hadn't seen someone attempt to steal home in a long time.
- UCI up 6-5.
- Texas, 7th inning
- Jordan Danks grounded out to 2b.
- Kyle Russell struck out.
- Chance Wheeless singled through the right side.
- Bradley Suttle walked on 4 pitches.
- UCI sent Tom Calahan to the mound.
- Jeff Boes (pinch-hitting for Russell Moldenhauer) popped out to 3b.
- At this point, the game was sent into delay due to looming storms. The teams cleared the field and the grounds crew pulled out the tarp. A light rain (more drizzle than anything else) had been falling for quite some time. Oddly, when they called the game, the rain had almost completely stopped. But, within about 10 minutes of getting the tarp out, hard rain started pouring down. It was almost 8:30 when they called the game. We stood around on the concourse for about 90 minutes before they announced that the game would be resumed the next day at 1 o'clock. And, so...
- UCI, 7th inning
- Joseph Krebs continued on the mound for the Horns.
- Vaughn flew out to lf.
- Holiday grounded out to ss. Chais Fuller made a great play. He charged the slow grounder, fielded it with his bare hand, and threw Holiday out in one smooth motion. If he'd tried to field the ball with his glove, Holiday would've been safe.
- Orloff was hit on the knee by a 2-2 pitch to reach.
- Cipriano grounded into a 4-6 fielder's choice. Another nice play, this time by Travis Tucker.
- Texas, 8th inning
- Scott Gorgen went to the mound for UCI. Remember him? He threw that complete game against the Horns on Saturday. Not happy to see him up and throwing.
- Chais Fuller grounded out to the pitcher.
- Josh Prince struck out.
- Brett Lewis grounded out to 2b.
- UCI, 8th inning
- Randy Boone went to the mound for Texas.
- Morris grounded out to 2b.
- Petersen reached on (what was ruled) a fielding error by 1b. Chance tried to field the hard-hit ball and it went off the tip of his glove into shallow rf. I'm not sure it really was an error. But, whatever.
- Bell (pinch-hitting) singled to rf. Kyle Russell tried to throw Petersen out at 3b and the throw sailed way over Bradley Suttle at 3b and out of play. Petersen scored and Bell was awarded 3b on the error. Tough luck. Kyle managed to catch a few players on exactly that sort of play several times this year. Alas, this time, his throw was bad.
- Madigan went in to pinch-run for Bell.
- Linton was then hit by a pitch (second time in the game) to put runners at the corners.
- Texas sent Pat McCrory to the mound.
- Linton stole 2b on the first pitch to Lowenstein.
- Lowenstein lined out to rf. This time, Kyle's throw in was a bullet and neither player even thought about tagging and advancing.
- Vaughn doubled to the cf/rf gap, scoring Bell and Linton.
- Holiday grounded out to the pitcher for the final out of the inning. On the play, the hard hit ball knocked the glove off Pat McCrory's hand. It bounced into the air and Pat grabbed it in the air and threw Holiday out at 1b. Unusual (and cool) play.
- UCI up 9-5.
- Texas, 9th inning
- Wherein Texas does not go away quietly.
- UCI sent Blair Erickson (their closer) to the mound.
- Travis Tucker singled through the left side.
- Jordan Danks doubled to the cf/rf gap, moving Travis to 3b.
- Kyle Russell struck out. Ouch.
- Chance Wheeless walked to load the bases.
- UCI sent Wes Etheridge to the mound. Texas sent Michael Demperio in to pinch run for Chance and Clay Van Hook to pinch hit for Jeff Boes.
- Clay worked the count full but struck out. Ouch.
- Chais Fuller grounded out to ss to end the game. And, the Regional. Damn.
Oh so close. And, yet...oh so far.
Posted by Joanna at 6:03 PM | Permalink
Austin Regional, Day 3
Texas won Game 5 and was playing UC Irvine in Game 6 when play was suspended due to bad weather. I sat up in the "Home Run Porch" area of the Dell Diamond for much of the evening game and enjoyed watching the lightening storm for a couple of hours before the game was called. Play resumes today at 1 pm with Texas trailing 5-6 in the bottom of the 7th. If (ahem...when) the Horns prevail, that will force a 7th game. Which will start approximately 50 minutes after the conclusion of Game 6.
I'm sorry I haven't been able to post more but the long days are wearing me out. By the time I get home, I just want to sleep! And, yesterday? Geesh. It was 100 degrees (or hotter) in the sun during the afternoon game. And, we were all pretty much stuck in the sun. And, then when the thunderstorms rolled in, it actually got rather cold. And, since we'd all been out in the 100-degree weather, we weren't really prepared for such. It was a long day.
Posted by Joanna at 11:25 AM | Permalink
Game 62: Texas at Wake Forest (Austin Regional)
Texas survived the first game of the elimination round, beating Wake Forest 7-4. In 12 innings. Yes, 12. Nick Peoples was hurt badly (broken collarbone) in the first inning, though. On the play, he made a long run and diving catch to rob Dustin Hood of a double. He dove, caught the ball, fell on his shoulder, rolled a couple of times, and somehow managed to hold onto the ball despite the pain of the injury. What a tough way to end his career at Texas.
James Russell started for the Horns and went 3.2 innings. He got into a bit of trouble in the 4th. With one out and runners at 2b and 3b (the first had reached on an error by 3b and the second on a walk; both then advanced on a double steal), he struck the WF dh out on 4 pitches. Due up next, though, was Ocheltree. He'd struck out in the 2nd inning but put James through his paces...eating up 10 pitches. So, in went Joseph Krebs...for his 3rd appearance in as many games. Ocheltree flew out to cf to end the inning. On 9 pitches! He certainly got his money's worth. Joseph went 5 innings. He gave up a solo shot in the 6th. Going into the 9th, the Horns had a 4-1 lead. Joseph gave up a single and then got a couple of quick ground outs to 2b. With a runner at 3b, he gave up another single. Texas up 4-2 with two outs. So, on came Randy Boone to face the right-handed batter and shut things down. Wake Forest countered with a lefty pinch-hitter (Linnenkohl). Linnenkohl took a 2-2 pitch into the rf bullpen to tie the game up. The next batter grounded out to 1b. Extra innings. Randy stayed in the game for the 10th and 11th. He gave up singles in each inning but that was it.
We interrupt this game report to go back and go over how the offense was doing. Texas scored their first run on a solo shot by Russell Moldenhauer in the 4th. The ball landed on the walkway above the rf bullpen and bounced into the parking lot. Wow. What a shot. They scored 3 more in the 5th. Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch to start things off but was erased at 2b on a fielder's choice (Jordan Danks now at 1b). Jordan stole 2b during Kyle Russell's at-bat. Kyle ended up drawing his 3rd walk of the game in as many plate appearances. Wake Forest really didn't want to give Kyle anything to hit. Chance Wheeless then doubled down the rf line. Jordan scored on the play and Kyle moved to 3b. Wake Forest replaced pitchers and Bradley Suttle hit a single (0-2 count) through the left side (2 rbi). Russell Moldenhauer then ended the threat by grounding into a 4-6-3 double play. The Horns almost scored another in the 8th. With one out, Bradley Suttle walked and moved to 2b on a ground out. Kyle Lusson (in for the injured Nick Peoples) singled to rf. Bradley was thrown out at the plate. He looked safe to me but was called out by the home plate umpire. Texas also got a runner to 3b (with 2 outs) in the 10th but he was stranded there. In the 12th, Jordan Danks singled to start things off. He moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Kyle Russell and to 3b on a single by Chance Wheeless. Both runners scored on a double to the cf/rf gap by Bradley Suttle. Bradley then scored on a double off the rf fence by Russell Moldenhauer.
And, back to the pitching story. Up by 3, Texas sent Austin Wood (projected starter for the evening game, assuming Texas gets to the evening game) to the mound. The first batter struck out. The Wake Forest coach argued the call vehemently, saying the batter did not go around on the third strike. I have to agree with him that it was probably a bad call by the home plate umpire. But, he'd been making bad/questionable calls all day. I'm thinking they probably mostly balanced out. And, if not, the balance was surely in Wake Forest's favor. The next batter flew out to rf. The third reached on a single just out of Chais Fuller's reach at ss. Then a couple of walks to load the bases. Game winning run at the plate. Two outs. Yikes. Murray struck out swinging to end the game. Wow.
Posted by Joanna at 10:10 AM | Permalink
Saturday - June 2, 2007
Austin Regional, Day 2
Game 3: Wake Forest and Brown played a great game. The starting pitchers came close to throwing complete games for both teams. But, Wake Forest had just enough "more" than Brown to win the game 4-2.
Game 4: As I've already reported, Texas lost (1-3) to UC Irvine.
So, now what? Texas will face Wake Forest in an elimination game at noon tomorrow. If (ahem...when) they win that, they'll have to turn around and beat UCI at 6. And, then they'll have to beat UCI again at 1 o'clock on Monday afternoon.
Texas was in the same position in 2005. After losing the 2nd game of the Austin Regional that year, they turned around and won three games. They then lost the first game of the Super Regional in Oxford, Mississippi, before going on to win the Super Regional and move on to the College World Series. And, then they...you know...won the College World Series. So, it can be done. The Longhorns have done it. Here's hoping they can do it again!
Posted by Joanna at 11:35 PM | Permalink
Game 61: UC Irvine at Texas (Austin Regional)
Texas lost to UC Irvine this evening 1-3. There were two main factors in the loss: (1) the Horns ran up against a pitcher (Scott Gorgen) who threw a whale of a game and (2) the UCI center fielder (Ollie Linton) made two amazing catches that took extra-base hits away from the Horns (both plays, by sad coincidence, robbed Russell Moldenhauer of hits). Looking at the boxscore, you might think errors played a part in the loss as well. But, they really didn't. Only one of the errors led to a run. Nope. The main problem was that pitcher and the fact that Texas could not string two hits together to save their lives. The only inning in which the Horns did get more than one hit was the 6th. It started off when Chance Wheeless flew out to lf. Bradley Suttle followed that up with a single. Then, Russell Moldenhauer flew out to the lf/cf gap. That was one of those hits stolen by the center fielder. Suttle would've definitely ended up at 3b on the play...he might well have scored. And, Moldenhauer would've been standing on 2b with 1 out. Instead, Suttle was still at 1b with 2 outs. Nick Peoples then singled through the left side. If runners had been standing on 2b and 3b, at least one of them would've scored on that single. But that's not what happened. And, Chais Fuller followed that up with a ground out to 3b. Which should've been the 2nd out of the inning. But, Linton made that catch. And, Texas did not score.
Adrian Alaniz got the start and took the loss. He did not pitch one of his "wow" games but he was not bad. He went 6.2 innings and gave up 3 runs (1 unearned) on 6 hits with 2 walks, 1 hit batter, and 7 (!) strikeouts. Normally, that would be more than good enough for Texas to win a game. But, not today. Joseph Krebs and Randy Boone combined for near-perfect relief for the final 2.1 innings of the game.
Texas gave up a run in the top of the first when Holiday tripled to lead things off. Orloff followed with a single (rbi) and was stranded at 2b. In the bottom of the inning, Jordan Danks singled, moved to 2b on a bunt, and then to 3b on a ground out. Then, Russell Moldenhauer hit a ball to the rf/cf alley. A ball that should've fallen for at least a double. But no. That was the first amazing play made by Linton to rob Russell of an extra-base hit.
UCI scored their second run in the 3rd. Holiday (him, again) reached on a throwing error by ss (high throw). It was a close play. It looked like Chance Wheeless, who had to jump off the bag to make the catch, might've landed on the bag before Holiday crossed but that's not what the 1b ump saw. Holiday moved to 2b on a sac bunt and then to 3b on a single. He then scored on a sac bunt down the 3b line. On the play, Bradley Suttle charged the ball, fielded, and looked Holiday back. Holiday was way off the bag, though, and as soon as Bradley threw the ball to 1b (to get the batter), he broke for home and beat the throw from 1b. It was a tough play and Bradley really couldn't have done anything else. If he'd held onto the ball to keep Holiday from scoring, the bases would've been loaded with only one out. Anyway, unearned run. In the bottom of the inning, Bradley Suttle hit a 2-out solo homerun onto the berm over the lf fence.
UCI scored their final run of the game in the 7th. Lowenstein started the inning off with a single through the left side. He then moved to 2b on a sac bunt and then scored on a double (by Holiday, of course).
It was a very tough loss.
Posted by Joanna at 11:27 PM | Permalink
Game 60: Brown at Texas (Austin Regional)
Note: I started working on this last night but it got too late and I fell asleep. So, you get the game report today.Yesterday's game didn't go exactly as expected. Texas jumped to a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 1st when Kyle Russell hit the first pitch he saw off the lf foul pole. Then they fell behind (1-2) in the 4th. The Horns didn't get the ead back until the 6th. Once they got it, though, they kept it and went on to beat Brown 8-2.
James Russell started for Texas. The first two Brown batters he faced reached on the first two pitches he threw! Daniels reached on a throwing error by Chais Fuller at ss. Murphy then reached on a bunt to the pitcher. On the play, he bunted toward the area between the mound and 1b. James fielded the ball but nobody was covering 1b. Chance Wheeless also went for the ball but was too far away to make the play. James made an effort to beat the batter to the bag and almost made it but was a bit late. Runners at 1b and 2b on 2 pitches. Yikes! James then threw three balls to Thomas. After a visit to the mound by Skip Johnson, the next pitch was popped up to 1b in foul territory. Dietz then flew out to rf. And, with Nuzzo at the plate, Murphy was picked off by Brett Lewis to Chance Wheeless. Which reminds me: Preston Clark sprained his knee while jogging on Tuesday and is not on the roster for the Austin Regional. So, Brett Lewis is starting in his place. He's expected to be healthy enough to be back with the team for the Super Regional. Should Texas play in a Super Regional, of course.
In the bottom of the inning (Jeff Dietz on the mound), Jordan Danks flew out to cf (1st pitch). Kyle Russell hit a home run off the lf foul pole (1st pitch, again) to take a 1-run lead. Chance Wheeless then reached on a very pretty bunt single down the 3b line but he was erased when Bradley Suttle hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
In the 2nd, Nuzzo reached on a single to rf. He was then erased on an unusual double play. He broke (hit and run, I suppose) on a ball that was lined hard to cf by Tews. Nick Peoples made a nice play on the ball and then threw Nuzzo out at 1b pretty easily. Papenhause struck out. In the bottom of the inning Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to 2b. Nick Peoples reached on a bunt single down the 3b line and moved to 2b on a single through the left side by Chais Fuller. Brett Lewis then hit into a double play. He hit a hard grounder to 3b. The third baseman fielded, stepped on 3b to get Nick out, and then threw to 1b to get Brett out.
In the 3rd, the first two batters flew out. James hit the third (on a full count). The next lined out to ss. Chais made a great play to back-hand a ball that was headed to lf. Yes. Travis Tucker started off the bottom of the inning by hitting a double down the lf line. At this point I have to say that I like Dell Diamond. But, it's very frustrating that you can't see anything happening down the line on your own side of the diamond. We were sitting on the 3b side and could not see anything happening in the lf corner. Bah. Anyway. Jordan Danks struck out and James Russell reached on a full-count walk. Chance Wheeless reached on a 1-4 fielder's choice. On the play, he bunted the ball toward the mound...a bit toward the 3b side. The pitcher fielded, thought about throwing to 3b but couldn't make the play, so threw to 2b. If he'd gone to 2b right away, Brown probably would've turned a double play. Chance stole 2b a few pitches later (no throw to 2b by the catcher). Bradley Suttle then fought off a bunch of pitches but ended up flying out to cf.
In the top of the 4th, after another couple of quick outs, Nuzzo reached on an infield single to ss. Chais almost made another fantastic play to make the third out but couldn't quite corral the ball. Tews then singled through the left side. Papenhause singled up the middle, scoring Nuzzo and moving Tews to 3b. Shapiro singled to lf scoring Tews. Kelaher then singled to cf. 5th single in a row! Ouch. Nick Peoples fielded the ball and gunned Papenhause down at the plate. Purty. In the bottom of the inning, Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to 2b and Nick Peoples singled to lf. Chais Fuller then popped out to 2b. With Brett Lewis at the plate, Nick tried to steal 2b but was thrown out (2-4).
In the 5th, Joseph Krebs went to the mound for James Russell. Texas down 1-2. Daniels lined out to ss. Murphy reached on an infield single to ss. Thomas and Dietz then struck out. In the bottom of the inning, Brett Lewis grounded out to 2b. Travis Tucker singled through the right side. Jordan Danks reached on a fielder's choice (4-6) and moved to 2b when Kyle Russell was walked on 4 pitches. Chance Wheeless ended the inning by flying out to lf.
Nuzzo started the 6th by hitting a little "nubber" at the plate. Brett Lewis grabbed the ball and threw Nuzzo out at 1b. Tews struck out. Papenhause was hit by a pitch and was then caught stealing with Shapiro at the plate. Bradley Suttle started off the bottom of the inning with a double off the wall in lf. Russell Moldenhauer popped out to 2b. Nick Peoples struck out. And, Chais Fuller hit a homerun just over the fence and onto the berm in lf. Texas up 3-2. Brett Lewis then reached on a bunt down the 3b line. That was the 2nd time in the game that a Texas batter reached on a bunt single after a home run. Heh. Travis Tucker hit a single to lf. Jordan Danks ended the fun by striking out.
In the 7th, pinch-hitter Nyadjroh singled up the middle. Puñal went in to pinch-run for Nyadjroh. Kelaher struck out looking (4 pitches). Daniels struck out swinging (3 pitches). And, Murphy struck out looking (3 pitches). Wow. Puñal stayed in the game and went into rf. In the bottom of the inning, Kyle Russell started things off by popping out to 3b (in foul territory). Chance Wheeless worked the count full and then walked. Bradley Suttle singled through the right side. Runners at the corners. Russell Moldenhauer then doubled to the lf corner, scoring Chance and moving Bradley to 3b. Nick Peoples, sadly, grounded out to 3b. The runners could not advance. Chais Fuller was then walked intentionally. Brett Lewis hit a ball up the middle. Sadly, Nuzzo (ss) fielded the ball right at 2b and stepped on the bag to make the 3rd out.
In the 8th, Thomas struck out looking. The Horns then sent Randy Boone to the mound. He struck Dietz and Nuzzo out. First 1-2-3 inning of the game for the Horns. Wow. Travis Tucker started off the bottom of the inning with a single...his 4th (!) hit of the game in as many chances. I think it was at this point that I couldn't believe that Texas had only scored 4 runs off 14 hits. That changed as the inning wore on, though. After Travis singled, Brown finally replaced their starter and sent Rob Hallberg to the mound. Alas, Hallberg struggled mightily, throwing 9 balls in a row (walking Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell). With the bases loaded, Chance Wheeless doubled to rf, driving home Travis and Jordan. Hallberg then threw 3 more balls. Oh my. The 2nd pitch got past the catcher, scoring Kyle and moving Chance to 3b. Bradley Suttle ended up grounding out to the pitcher, though. Russell Moldenhauer then grounded out to 1b. Chance scored on the play. Nick Peoples then reached on an infield single. Chais Fuller then popped out to 2b. Only, the second baseman dropped the ball. Nick advanced to 3b on the play. Chais stole 2b with Brett Lewis at the plate. There was no thought of throwing to 2b, though, so it might've been defensive indifference. Brett flew out to lf to end the inning. Texas up 8-2.
In the top of the 9th, Randy Boone gave up a couple of singles. He sandwiched them between 3 strikeouts, though, to end the game.
Wow. That's about all I have to say about that game. Wow. Brown put up a lot more of a fight than I was expecting. It'll be interesting to see what happens in today's game between Brown and Wake Forest.
Posted by Joanna at 8:48 AM | Permalink
Friday - June 1, 2007
Austin Regional, Day 1
In the first game of the day, UC Irvine jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The line:
Wake Forest actually loaded the bases in the top of the first inning but could not capitalize. Wes Etheridge pitched a great game for UC Irvine, giving up only 4 hits while walking 4 and striking out 10 (!) over 8 innings. He threw 126 pitches by my count. Christian Bergman pitched the 9th for the Anteaters and threw a 1-2-3 inning to end the game. The offensive stars for UC Irvine were Taylor Holiday who went 3-for-3 and scored 3 and Bryan Petersen who went 2-for-3 with 2 walks and 3 runs scored.
In the second game of the day, Brown put up a good fight but could not hold on and Texas came away with the win. The line:
Kyle Russell hit the first pitch he saw off the lf foul pole. I think the ball hit about one-third of the way from the top. Wow. Alas, the Horns gave up two in the 4th and seemed unable to get anything going against the Brown starter (Jeff Dietz). Until the 6th inning, when Chais Fuller hit his second home run of the year (also his 2nd at Dell Diamond!) to give the Horns the lead for good. James Russell started for the Horns and gave up the 2 runs on 7 hits with a strikeout in 4 innings. He did not have a great day. Joseph Krebs went 3.1 innings, gave up 2 hits and struck out 7. Randy Boone pitched the final 1.2 innings, gave up 2 hits and struck out 5. All of the outs on Randy's watch came via the strikeout. Texas pitching did not give up any walks, although James and Joseph each hit one batter. Everyone in the Texas lineup hit at least once except for Jordan Danks (who did reach on a walk and score in the 8th). Travis Tucker went 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Texas had a tough time getting going offensively but they kept at it and once they struck, the floodgates opened. It was a good day.
Full game report coming shortly.
In tomorrow's action, Wake Forest and Brown meet at noon. Texas and UC Irvine play at 6.
Posted by Joanna at 11:56 PM | Permalink