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Friday - February 29, 2008

Game 6: Tennessee at Texas (Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park)

The two UT's had never played each other in baseball before today. The game got a late start (more than an hour late) due to the length of the earlier games (wherein Rice beat OU 7-2 in the early game and Houston beat Texas Tech 5-4 in a very long second game). Texas clearly needed to step up and take care of Big 12 business!

The Tennessee Vols were the visiting team. The Horns were the home team and started with the following line-up: (1) Travis Tucker, 3b; (2) Michael Torres, 2b; (3) Jordan Danks, cf; (4) Kyle Russell, rf; (5) Preston Clark, dh; (6) Brandon Belt, 1b; (7) Russell Moldenhauer, lf; (8) Cameron Rupp, c; and (9) David Hernandez, ss. Austin Wood started on the mound.

In the pre-game interview, Coach Garrido said Preston’s got a bit of sore arm and will be playing as dh for the next week…or possibly a bit longer. The coach also said that he wanted to rotate Russell Moldenhauer, Kevin Keyes, and Preston Clark in the dh slot. In general, he intends to use Kevin in lf against right-handed pitching and Russell in lf against left-handed pitching.

The game went like so:

The final line:

Tennessee 001 000 310 - 581
Texas 110 000 110 - 4104

Four errors are never a good thing, eh? Alas, the Horns did not pull things out for the Big 12. I do hope all three Big 12 teams (especially the Horns!) turn things around tomorrow. Sigh...

The wireless field mike failed, as often seems to happen when the Horns are on the road, so we could not hear the post-game interview with Coach Garrido.

Keith summed the interview up after he got back to the booth as follows: Coach Garrido loved the way the team battled but was disappointed with the number of extra outs given to the other team. Extra outs always get you into trouble. He said they'll find out how this team responds to adversity since they'll have to come back and play a very good Rice team tomorrow.

By the way, the "2 runners standing on a base rule" reads as follows:

If a runner is in a run down between bases and the following runner occupies the same base the first runner has left, the second runner cannot be put out while occupying said base. If the first runner, however, returns safely to the base last touched and both runners then are occupying the same base, the second runner is out, if touched with the ball and there is no force.

So, if neither runner was tagged off the bag, I guess the ruling in the 7th inning was correct. Of course, Coach Garrido was arguing about something and we don't know what it was. He may have seen something else that would affect the ruling.

UPDATE (Sunday afternoon). I got a note from Paul Talbot (hi, Paul!) with an explanation for what Augie was arguing about. Paul confirmed that, by rule, the runner from 2b (Brown) should've been called out. The 3b ump (Ken Eldridge) wrongly ruled the runner from 3b (Davis) out and sent him to the dug-out. The Texas fielder tagged Davis as he left 3b. That's when Coach Garrido started arguing that it was a double play: Brown out by rule and Davis out for being tagged off the base. During the discussion, the umps decided to bring Davis back out to 3b and sent Brown into the dugout. The only way the umps could justify that action was to say that time had been called before the tag was applied or to say it was the ump's fault...not the baserunner's...so the baserunner should not be penalized. As an aside, as I was typing this up, I was listening to the Texas Tech v. Rice game and guess who was getting grief from the Texas Tech bench? Yep. Ken Eldridge...behind the plate for their game. Sigh...

Posted by Joanna at 11:49 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - February 27, 2008

Game 5: UT-Pan American at Texas

I was busy and didn't get to tune into the game until about 3 o'clock. The game was in the top of the 2nd and scoreless. UT-Pan American stranded a runner at 2b and then the Horns got down to business in the bottom of the inning (after apparently going down in order in the 1st). Preston Clark was hit by a pitch to get aboard (with one out). Brandon Belt hit a ground-rule double to put runners at 2b and 3b. Russell Moldenhauer singled to score Preston and put runners at the corners. Cameron Rupp then singled to get his first rbi as a Longhorn. Alas, David Hernandez grounded into a double play to end the 2nd inning.

The Horns had Russell Moldenhauer in lf today, Cameron Rupp at c, and Preston Clark at dh. A bit of a different line-up. Chance Ruffin started on the mound.

Casey Whitmer (sophomore transfer from Florida State) got his first work of the year in on the mound. He started the 4th for the Horns and tossed a 1-2-3 inning. Nice. Chance Ruffin, by the way, threw 3 shut-out innings. He faced 12 batters and gave up 3 hits with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk.

Not much of interest seemed to happen (I missed quite a few details by being away from my desk) until the bottom of 6th. Kyle Russell opened things up by reaching on a 4-pitch walk (the Broncs changed pitchers at the start of the inning). Preston Clark struck out swinging. Brandon Belt then hit a ground-rule double to put runners at 2b and 3b. Russell Moldenhauer then hit a stand-up triple off the lf wall to drive in 2. Which caused another pitching change. Cameron Rupp then grounded out to 3b. The ball was hit hard enough that Russell had no opportunity to score on the play. David Hernandez then singled up the middle to plate Russell. Travis Tucker then singled through the right side to put runners at the corners. Which prompted yet another pitching change. Michael Torres walked to load the bases. Which brought Kyle Russell to the plate as the 9th batter of the inning. Oddly, David Hernandez tried to steal home and was thrown out at the plate. Keith gave props to the pitcher for staying in his motion and to the catcher for getting out after the pitch to make the tag in time. Texas up 5-0 going into the 7th.

I left my office as soon as the 6th ended and was out for quite some time. When I got back, the talking heads had taken over the broadcast. But, the Live Stats page was frozen at the end of the 7th. Weird. So, I called my folks to see what was up. Apparently, the Broncs had to get away by a certain time (which was why, no doubt, the game time was moved back to it's original 2:30 start time) and the teams had agreed before the start of the game not to start any inning later than some pre-determined time. So, the game ended after the Horns batted in the 7th. Texas won 5-0.

It would appear, looking at the Live Stats boxscore, that the Horns had some terrific bullpen pitching today. Casey Whitmer went 3 innings and set all 9 batters he faced down in order. Marcus Tackett went in for the 7th and also went 3-up/3-down. Very nice. On the offensive side of things, Brandon Belt, Russell Moldenhauer, and David Hernandez all went 2-for-3.

The Longhorns now head to the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park this weekend. I hope they continue their winning ways. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:18 PM | Permalink

Saturday's game against Rice

I just pulled up the TexasSports.com page so I could "watch" the Live Stats page as I come and go and noticed a little "TV" icon on the schedule next to the listing for this Saturday's game against Rice. And, lo...the game has apparently been snatched up by FOX for broadcast. The UT Athletics Television Schedule page lists the network as FOX Sports Houston so I have no idea how wide the broadcast will go. Check your listings. There are several games scheduled to be broadcast this year. To this point, they were all home games. I hope Saturday's game will be broadcast in Austin.

UPDATE. I've been watching my local listings, as recommended above, and no sign of the game. So, I checked the page linked above again to see if they had more info and...lo!...they do:

"The Baseball vs. Rice game broadcast can be seen on FSN Houston, Fox College Sports Pacific (nationwide). DirectTV Ch. 639, Dish TV Ch. 451, TWC Austin Ch. 77, TWC Waco, and FSN Plus viewers outisde the FSN Houston area."

So, for those of us here in the Austin area with TimeWarner cable, we'll get the game on Channel 77. Whew.

Posted by Joanna at 3:07 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - February 26, 2008

Game 4: UT-Pan American at Texas

I listened to Craig and Keith on the radio off-and-on as I went in and out of my office this afternoon. I was thinking about heading to Disch-Falk for the latter 3rd of the game or so but got a call from my dad saying it was very cold and windy. Since I did not think to put a heavy coat or blanket in my car this morning, I decided to stay at work. I really wish I had something like TiVo for the radio...so I could pause things whenever I have to step away from my desk or am concentrating on something else. Keith and Craig frequently repeat things that happen...but not always.

The game was rather uneventful until the top of the 2nd when Jeremy Johnson managed to hit an infield single (swinging bunt) down the 3b line with runners at 1b and 3b. The Horns waited or the slowly-hit ball to roll foul. But, it stayed fair (kept fair by the wind, according to Keith), scoring the run and putting runners at 1b and 2b with an out. Said runners were then stranded at 2b and 3b. Horns down 0-1 going into the bottom of the 2nd.

I left my office for a bit and came back in the top of the 4th to find the Horns had tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd. Travis Tucker reached on a 6-4 fielder's choice, stole 2b, and scored on a single by Michael Torres.

Brandon Workman struck out the side in the 4th...for 8 strikeouts through the 4th. Way to go, Brandon!

I had to leave my office for about 30 or 40 minutes and got back to find the score tied at 2. Almost immediately, Brandon Belt hit a bases-loaded 1-out single to score two. Russell Moldenhauer singled to drive in Preston Clark and put runners at 1b and 2b. Whew. 'Got back just in time! Kevin Keyes then walked to load the bases (the 4th walk of the inning). The Broncs changed their pitcher at that point (3rd pitcher of the inning) and the new pitcher proceeded to walk David Hernandez to drive Belt in for the 5th run of the inning, putting the Horns up 6-2. Travis Tucker ended the rally with a line drive to 3b that the third baseman turned into a double play by stepping on the 3b bag.

Texas scored a couple more in the 6th while I was away. Jordan Danks reached on a 1-out single and moved to 2b when Kyle Russell walked. Preston Clark hit a sac bunt to 3b to move the runners to 2b and 3b. Brandon Belt then singled to drive Jordan and Kyle in. Russell Moldenhauer then walked. That's when I got back to my office to hear one of the Broncs' assistant coaches being ejected for arguing with the 2b umpire. (UPDATE: Mom and Dad said the argument took place with the 1b, not 2b, umpire after the assistant coach complained that the ump at 1b did not make a ball/strike signal regarding whether or not the batter went around when he tried to check his swing. The ump said he did make the call. The assistant did not think so. The ump made a second call to toss the coach. Heh.) The head coach had apparently argued with the home plate ump earlier in the inning. 'Sounded like the Broncs weren't at all happy with the job the umpires were doing. Kevin Keyes struck out swinging to end the inning.

Hunter Harris went to the mound to start the 7th. Brandon Workman did a great job as the starter; he went 6 innings while giving up 2 earned runs on 6 hits with 11 strikeouts and 1 walk. Wow. I think Keith said he threw 81 pitches. Hunter retired the first batter he faced but walked the 2nd who then stole 2b and moved to 3b on a wild pitch. He scored on a ground out to ss. The final Broncs batter flew out to lf. Texas up 8-3.

The Horns scored two more in the bottom of the 7th but I didn't hear the details.

The Horns went on to win the game 10-3. The teams meet up again tomorrow at 2:30. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:36 PM | Permalink

Monday - February 25, 2008

Another schedule note

One of the changed game times for this week has been changed again. The Wednesday game against UT-Pan American has been moved back to its original start time of 2:30. Again, I urge you to watch the official schedule page for the latest info. Although, they did take a couple of days to update things after they first announced the time changes at Friday's game.

Posted by Joanna at 11:44 PM | Permalink

Game 3: Virginia Commonwealth at Texas

I had every intention of writing up a full account of yesterday's game against VCU but it just didn't happen. Alas.

The upshot is that Texas completed the sweep...winning 10-2. Several Longhorns made their first appearances of the year: Cameron Rupp started at catcher while Tant Shepherd, Todd Gilfillan, Pat McCrory and Kawika Emsley-Pai all made appearances late in the game. Kenn Kasparek made his first start since the 2006 season and got his first win of the 2008 season. Riley Boening also made his first appearance since the 2006 season and threw the 6th and 7th innings. Stayton Thomas threw the 8th and Marcus Tackett threw the 9th. The all looked pretty good. See the write up on the TexasSports.com page for more info.

I took a few ("few" being a relative term here) photos...

A small contingent of the band showed up. Cool. Here they are (along with Kyle Lusson, Jordan Danks, Kyle Russell, Travis Tucker, David Hernandez, Michael Torres, and Brandon Belt) as they stood out in cf and played the National Anthem:

[Longhorns Band]

Here's Kenn Kasparek on the mound:

[Kenn Kasparek]

I love the shadow in this photo. 'Just love it.

Here's Cameron Rupp making sure the dirt behind home plate is just right as he gets ready for the first batter of the game:

[Cameron Rupp]

Here's Kyle Russell beating a throw from the catcher to 3b after a wild pitch in the 1st inning:

[Kyle Russell]

And, Riley Boening on the mound:

[Riley Boening]

Tant Shepherd replaced Russell Moldenhauer as dh in the 5th. He flew out to rf. But, in the 7th, he led off with a single off the third-baseman. Pat McCrory (who'd gone in at ss in the top of the inning) doubled down the lf line, driving Tant home. Here's Tant rounding 3b (and VCU third-baseman Chris Jackson):

[Tant Shepherd]

A shot of Stayton Thomas going through his motion:

[Stayton Thomas]

And, here's Kawika Emsley-Pai (I'm loving the idea of how much trouble that name will be giving Keith Moreland...heh heh) behind the plate in the top of the 9th:

[Kawika Emsley-Pai]

And, the final line...straight from the scoreboard:

[Game 3 Scoreboard]

Posted by Joanna at 11:01 PM | Permalink

Saturday - February 23, 2008

Game 2: Virginia Commonwealth at Texas

Today proved to be another day of firsts at the newly renovated UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Yesterday, for the first time in my memory, the Texas Cowboys showed up at a baseball game with Smokey the Cannon. And, boy...was he loud! Today, for the first time in my memory, Bevo showed up at a baseball game. Here he is with Jennie:

[Jennie with Bevo]

And, the APO kids showed up with one of those giant Texas flags they cart around:

[Big Texas Flag]

The Horns won again. It was a actually a fairly close game into the 6th inning. Alas, the VCU Rams had a bit of a melt-down in the 7th and 8th innings. Texas won 17-4. Rather than write much about the game, I thought I'd post some photos today. So, here's a link to the story on the TexasSports.com site.

Here's the new home dugout getting a workout:

[New Home Dugout]

Brandon Belt went 4-for-5 with a double, 3 singles, and a strikeout. He also scored 4 runs. Good day, eh? Here he is hanging out at 2b:

[Brandon Belt at 2b]

Kevin Keyes went 2-for-3 with a couple of singles, a strikeout, a walk, and he was hit hard in the helmet in the 8th inning. He scored 3 runs. Kyle Lusson pinch ran for him in the 8th and went on to score that run as well. Here he is hanging out at 2b:

[Kevin Keyes at 2b]

Kevin went down hard after being hit but got up and walked off the field under his own power. He was out on the field with the rest of the team for the "Eyes" at the end of the game so I hope that's a good sign that he wasn't hurt too badly. He also participated in the post-game interview posted to the game summery I linked above. All around, good news, I think.

Michael Torres went 3-for-6 with a single and 2 doubles. He scored 2 and drove in 4. Here he is reaching 3b safely after a wild pitch:

[Michael Torres sliding into 3b]

Some of the Rams enjoy the Texas sun:

[Visitor dugout]

Cole Green started and did a fine job. He went 4 innings and gave up 1 earned run on 3 hits with 3 strikeouts and 4 walks. Here's an "action" shot of him from last Sunday's Orange/White scrimmage:

[Cole Green at Orange/White scrimmage]

Keith Shinaberry went in at the top of the 5th. He was in for 1.2 innings and gave up 3 earned runs on 6 hits with a strikeout. It wasn't one of his best outings but he did enough to earn the win. At least one of his pitches was "way" on. A few of the VCU batters just looked silly swinging at it. But, then they managed to hit others so...shrug. He's got a rather unique delivery:

[Keith Shinaberry in motion]

It's always fun watching Keith pitch.

Chance Ruffin went to the mound in the 6th with a runner at 2b and 2 outs. He tossed a few pitches to the batter and then picked off the runner at 2b. Cool. He went on to close out the game by setting the next 9 batters down in order. Four of those outs were by strikeout. Here he is in motion:

[Chance Ruffin in motion]

Kyle Russell went 2-for-3 with a run scored, two batted in, and two walks. He hit his first homerun of the season. Here he is rounding 3b and getting congratulated by Coach Harmon after hitting said homerun:

[Kyle Russell rounding 3b]

He almost looks like he's hovering above the ground. Heh.

Another new thing this year:

[Fireworks after the game]

I dunno if they're gonna shoot fireworks off every time the Horns win. Or if it's just for the re-dedication weekend. I was surprised by them yesterday. But, as you can tell, I was ready for them today.

And, here's the final line...direct from the scoreboard:

[Final score]

Posted by Joanna at 11:53 PM | Permalink

Friday - February 22, 2008

Schedule note

They announced during the game today that the start times for the UT-Pan Am and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi games have all been pushed back to 3:15. Keith and Craig seemed to think that most of the rest of the weekday games that are currently scheduled for 2:30 starts might also be changed to 3:15. Hmmm. I just took a look at the schedule and there are only two more weekday games scheduled for afternoon starts (Stanford on March 7th and Dallas Baptist on March 10th).

Regardless, do make sure you watch the on-line schedule as the season goes on. You cannot count on the pre-printed schedules they've been handing and mailing out.

Posted by Joanna at 11:42 PM | Permalink

Game 1: Virginia Commonwealth at Texas

Texas hosted Virginia Commonwealth in their 2008 season opener today. The weather was great. The atmosphere was great. The crowd was very big for a February week-day game (close to 6,000). Not unexpectedly, there were a few hiccups with the newly renovated stadium. But, the Horns took care of business and won the game 6-2.

Sadly, I did not take my camera to the game. I figured I'd taken enough photos last weekend. I was wrong. Pauline Reese (sorry to say, I'd never heard of her...oops) sang the National Anthem and did a fine job. The best thing that happened all day? Coach Gus threw out the opening pitch. It was great seeing him out there. I was really wishing I had my camera when I realized who they were introducing as the special first pitch guest. Ah well. Later in the game, when the yahoos three rows above us dumped their a glass of coke on the floor and it started making its way toward us, I was glad my camera bag wasn't there to get all wet.

Austin Wood started on the mound for the Horns. He went 6 innings, faced 25 batters, and gave up 2 earned runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 hit batter. He did not give up a hit until the 5th inning. Brandon Workman took over at the top of the 7th. I'm guessing the atmosphere got to him a bit. He seemed a bit erratic (getting behind to the first four batters he faced) but he settled down nicely, going 2 scoreless innings. He allowed only one baserunner on a walk while striking out 3. Kyle Walker tossed the last inning. He gave up a couple of walks sandwiched around a fly out to cf and two strikeouts.

Here's a shot of Brandon Workman going through his motion last Sunday during the Orange/White scrimmage:

On the offensive side of things, Travis Tucker started the game for the Horns with a single to deep 3b; a good hustle on his part beat the throw from 3b for the hit. He moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Michael Torres and on to 3b on a sac fly by Jordan Danks. Kyle Russell worked the count full, hit a couple of foul balls, and ended up drawing a walk to put runners at the corners. Preston Clark then singled to shallow cf to plate Travis. Russell Moldenhauer was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Brandon Belt grounded out to 1b to end the 1st inning. Keven Keyes led off the 2nd with a single off the shortstop but was stranded at 3b.

In the 3rd, Jordan Danks reached on a walk and stole 2b on the first pitch to Kyle Russell. Kyle then hit a high fly ball to cf. The center fielder lost the ball at the last second and it scooted off toward lf. Jordan had tagged up at 2b and took off the second he saw the ball misplayed and scored easily. Kyle made it to 2b on the error. He then stole 3b n the fist pitch to Preston Clark. Preston deove him home on a sac fly to cf.

The Horns scored a 4th run in the 4th. Kevin Keyes led off with his 2nd single in as many at-bats in a Texas uniform. Nice. He then moved to 2b on a sac bunt by David Hernandez. Travis Tucker then hit a nice bunt toward 3b to reach 1b and move Kevin to 3b. Michael Torres tried to bunt his way aboard but hit into a 3-6 fielder's choice instead. Kevin scored on the play. At that point, VCU changed pitchers and the reliever (Ian Thomas) kept the Texas bats quiet into the 7th except for giving up a single to David Hernandez in the 6th.

In the 7th, Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell reached base on back-to-back 1-out walks. They advanced to 2b and 3b on a wild pitch and then scored on a single to lf by Preston Clark. Those proved to be the 3rd and 4th runs batted in by Preston. Nice. Texas stranded runners at 2b and 3b in the 8th.

Defensively, the Horns made a couple of very nice plays. In the 2nd, David Hernandez made a diving stop to his left to rob Jaren Bolden of a single. He jumped up and threw a bullet to complete the out. In the 8th with a runner at 1b and no outs, Jordan Danks made a spectacular circus catch of a fly ball hit to the lf/cf gap. It was a thing of beauty. On the next pitch, the batter hit a lazy fly ball to cf and all I could think was "ho-hum" after the excitement of the previous catch.

Here's another "action" series from Sunday's scrimmage (Kyle Russell throwing a ball in from rf this time):

All-in-all, it was a fun day and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:23 PM | Permalink

Monday - February 18, 2008

Disch-Falk renovation photos, part 16

I made my way to the Fan Appreciation event yesterday afternoon at about 12:45. The Orange-White scrimmage was scheduled to start at 1:00. Guess what time it started? If you guessed before 1:00, you've been to a Fall World Series game or have been reading this page and were paying attention. Sigh... I really don't understand why the coaches keep doing this sort of thing.

Based on my experience with the current staff and its propensity for starting "un-official" events early, I'd decided beforehand that I was just going to soak in the atmosphere and take photos without making any attempt at keeping score. So, that's what I did. I took a ton of photos. Here are some of the photos of the stadium. I'll try to post photos of the players soon. This week promises to be very busy so I'm not sure I'll have time. I'll try, though.

'Looks like they're mostly done with the renovations. They're still working on a few things but, for the most part, everything is looking good.

First, a shot from outside the fence at the lf corner:

[From outside the lf fence]

'Not sure if they'll actually use these gates as "regular" exits or not. They did not use them today. But, it didn't look like they really had a full complement of ushers (or whatever they call themselves) on hand today so that's not too surprising.

I was standing on the north side of the grandstand looking south for this photo (so this is a shot of the concourse area behind the stands on the 3b side of the stadium):

[Under the 3b stands]

It feels a lot more open under the stands now. Of course, since they built outward so far to add the luxury boxes, there actually is a lot more room under the stands. Heh.

Looking up the stairs between Sections 108 and 109:


You can see that they've added hand-rails all the way up to the top. And, they did put in a row of seats along the top row (which was open during construction last year). I'm not sure what I think about those two seats at the very top of the aisle. Hmmmm...

I went up to the top of the stands on the 3b corner and took a photo of the area in front of the luxury boxes:

[Box seats]

So, two rows of cushioned seats in front of the boxes. 'Seemed nice. By the way, I have no idea if they gave tours of the boxes or not. I did not try to get into that area.

They've installed a new net behind home plate:

[New net]

That means folks (like me) who've gotten used to sitting behind the screen and not having to worry about foul balls will have to pay a little more attention. The screen will still stop line drive foul balls but lots of pop-ups and some liners that clear the net will end up in the stands. At least two or three ended up in the luxury box area today.

The new bullpen in the rf corner:

[RF bullpen]

A view of the concourse area stretching behind the seats and berm that run down the lf line:

[LF concourse]

It's hard to see in this photo but those folks sitting over the berm are actually sitting at picnic tables.

A shot of the new seating area that runs down the rf line:

[New rf seats]

Note that the tarp, once again, has a home outside the field of play.

The view back toward the grandstand from the far corner of the concourse that runs down the rf line:

[Grandstand from rf corner]

Under the grandstand on the south (1b) side of the stadium:

[Under 1b grandstand area]

The new Dugout Store (run by Longhorns, Ltd.):

[New dugout store]

It still seemed a bit too crowded. But, it does have two doors so traffic flow should be a bit better when there are a lot of people shopping. I broke down and bought a 2008 team shirt. It's got a full roster printed on the back. I don't recall seeing shirts like these in years past.

The new Women's bathroom on the 3b side:

[Women's bathroom]

I count about 25 stalls. This is a very big improvement, eh? Alas, no photos of the Men's room. Heh heh.

And, finally...a shot of the new ticket office:

[Ticket office]

I took quite a few more photos but think 13 should suffice for this last (I think) post of renovation photos.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 1:07 AM | Permalink

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