« February 2008 | Main | April 2008 »

Monday - March 31, 2008

Game 26: Nebraska at Texas

Night and day. That's the difference between the Friday and Sunday games between Nebraska and Texas. Nebraska won the Friday game in spectacular fashion. Texas turned the tables on the Huskers on Sunday, winning 12-3. It was awfully sweet.

The highlight of the game pretty much has to be Kevin Keyes' MONSTER shot in the 8th. That was something else. Wow. That was the first one of the 2008 season. Preston Clark and Kyle Russell hit MONSTER shots last year; Preston hit his on February 23rd against Washington State and Kyle hit his on March 30th against OU.

Riley Boening got the start and the win for the Horns. He went 6.1 innings and gave up the 3 runs (all earned) on 3 hits (single, double, homerun) with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks. Cole Green pitched the final 2.2 innings for his first save of the year. He gave up 3 singles, struck out 2, hit a batter, and committed an error.

The line:

Nebraska 100 000 200 - 364
Texas 303 000 24x - 12141

The Horns made another couple of changes to the defensive set-up: Russell Moldenhauer, Jordan Danks, and Kyle Russell started in the outfield; Tant Shepherd, David Hernandez, Travis Tucker, and Brandon Belt started around the infield; Preston Clark started behind the plate; and Michael Torres was in the line-up at dh.

Here's how things played out:

- - - -

By the way, in my game report for Saturday's game, I mentioned that the Horns hadn't been swept in a 3-game series at home since before the Garrido era started. Here's the rest of the story: Texas was last swept in a 3-game home series in 1996. The team that came into town and beat the Horns? Cal State Fullerton. Think about that. Think about who was coaching Cal State Fullerton in 1996. Yep. There's the twist. The Titans' coach in 1996 was none other than Augie Garrido. Where was he coaching come 1997? Uh-huh: Texas. I'm betting Coach Garrido did not have to look back through his media guide to find out the last time the Horns were swept at home in a 3-game series. Heh.

By the way #2: before this past weekend, Texas had lost the first two games of 3-game home series (and were, thus, in danger of being swept at home) on 5 separate occasions since 1996. Three times to Stanford: 1998 (they actually tied the last game but were not swept...just barely), 2001, and 2003. Once to Iowa State in 1998. And, once to OU in 1997. Funny how that had all faded from my memory and I actually had to look it up, eh? I bet it'll all fade away again and I'll have to look it up the next time Texas falls behind 0-2 in a 3-game home series. Well, I don't think I'll forget all of it. I'll probably remember the specifics on who and when the last actual sweep took place. I just won't remember the close calls.

Posted by Joanna at 11:37 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 30, 2008

Quick note about today's game

Texas avoided being swept by Nebraska this afternoon. And, they did it in fine fashion, winning 12-3. I'm sorry to say that I spent most of the afternoon and evening away from my computer and am just too sleepy to do the story justice this evening. I will try to give y'all a good write-up tomorrow.

Posted by Joanna at 10:24 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 29, 2008

Game 25: Nebraska at Texas

Quick shout out to Goeff who told me before this evening's game that I was very lucky I had to work yesterday and missed the first game of the series. Too bad I didn't have to work tonight!

Oh. It wasn't that bad. It wasn't good, though. Texas lost 0-2. The main problem? A pitcher from Nebraska named Thad Weber. He gave up lead-off singles in the 1st and 3rd. And, that was it. Well, not quite, he also gave up lead-off walks in the 5th and 7th. The Nebraska second baseman committed an error to allow the lead-off batter aboard in the 2nd. That pitcher, though. He was a buzz saw. Ugh. The Horns could not get two (or more) men aboard at the same time all evening. If a second batter did get aboard in an inning, it was a result of a fielder's choice cutting down the first. Did I mention the fact that Weber pitched a complete game? He didn't even get his first strikeout until the 6th. And, then he ended the game with 5 of 'em. Geesh. And, sigh...

Austin Wood started for the Horns and faced the minimum through the 4th inning. The defense made a couple of very nice plays behind him, including turning a double play in the 3rd. He got into a bit of trouble in the 5th but a beautiful play by Pat McCrory brought that to a halt. Alas, the 6th. Kline led off the 6th with a double to the cf/rf gap. He stumbled after crossing 2b (I'm not sure if he was trying to go back to 2b or what but he fell to the ground in pain) and was a pretty easy out. He got up and walked off the field under his own power...and ended up staying in the game. Belfonte then grounded out to 2b. Mort hit a (2-out, don't forget) double to lf. Michael Torres (starting in lf for the 2nd time) dove for the ball and missed it. No error was charged but, if he'd stayed on his feet, it would've been a single. No matter, though, because Opitz walked (full-count). And then Abeita singled, sending Mort home and putting runners at the corners. And, then Corriston doubled over Michael's head in lf, driving in the second run of the game. Farst finally grounded out to 1b for the 3rd out of the inning. Cole Green pitched the final 2.2 innings of the game for the Horns and did his own buzz-saw impersonation.

So, take away the top of the 6th and the teams played pretty much the same game. Too bad the top of the 6th counts.

On a positive note, Texas went with yesterday's defensive setup (Torres, Danks, and Russell in the outfield; McCrory, Hernandez, Tucker, and Belt around the infield; and Clark behind the plate) and it seemed to hold up rather nicely. The buzz-saw, alas, did the team in.

Please: no sweep tomorrow. I went looking and found the last time the Horns were swept in a 3-game series at home. It was before the Garrido era started. Although, there's an eerie twist to that note. Here's hoping that record stays just the way it is.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:54 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 28, 2008

Game 24: Nebraska at Texas

Coach Garrido said, after Monday's game (remember the 5 errors?), that the team would have 3 days of practice this week and that they'd be trying some new defensive looks. And, here's what he came up with for today's game:

Interesting. I'll miss Cameron's bat but am hoping that having Preston behind the plate will give the Horns some needed leadership. More importantly, I hope what worked in practice translates to game situations.

I got all of the above written as the game was about to start and hoped I'd be able to take in the game while working. Alas, that did not happen. I was out of my office for much of the afternoon or had people in my office which meant I had to listen (and respond) to them. Which greatly inhibited my ability to listen to the game. It sounded like the Horns did pretty well through the 4th, scoring 1 in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd, and another in the 3rd. Texas was up 4-1 at the start of the 5th when trouble struck. I was out of my office so didn't hear many details. I returned about the time Keith Shinaberry replaced Kenn Kasparek on the mound. Alas, Keith walked the sole runner he faced. Brandon Workman then went to the mound. He gave up a couple of singles before getting the final two outs of the inning. Texas behind 4-5 at that point. Opitz hit a solo homerun in the 6th to put the Huskers up by 2. Texas, meanwhile, went 3-up/3-down in the 4th and 5th. Preston Clark led off the 6th with a double but was stranded at 3b.

In the 7th, Bryce Nimmo reached on an error by Travis Tucker at 2b. I didn't hear the details. 1st error of the game for the Horns. Nimmo scored (hit-and-run) when Dan Johnston doubled to the lf/cf gap. Ben Kline then reached on a bunt single down the 1b (I think) line. Brandon Workman decided to let the bunt roll foul but it stayed fair. Runners at the corners with no outs. So, Texas sent Kyle Walker to the mound. Johnston scored on a passed ball with the next batter at the plate. Sigh.

And, then I had to leave my office. When I came back? Texas down 4-10. Ouch. Travis Tucker was at the plate in the bottom of the 7th...3rd batter of the inning. Bill Little made a comment that only one of the previous 13 batters for the Horns had reached base. Travis went on to ground out to 3b for the 3rd out of the inning.

So, the Huskers scored 4 in the 5th and 4 in the 7th. 10 unanswered runs in all starting with a single run in the 4th. Casey Whitmer, who'd gone to the mound to get the final out of the 7th, gave up a single to start things off in the 8th. With the count full, Casey tried to catch the runner at 1b but a bad throw allowed the runner to advance to 2b (E1). Casey did end up getting the batter to strike out (looking). Johnston singled to rf, scoring the runner from 2b. Kline doubled to the rf/cf gap and then advanced to 3b (I couldn't really tell what happened to allow the batter to advance but Live Stats indicated an error by Travis Tucker at 2b). Naturally, the runner at 1b scored on the play. 12 unanswered runs. Double ouch. Stayton Thomas to the mound.

And, another work-related break in the action for me. And, like the earlier one...nothing good came of it. I came back to discover that Stayton gave up a double to put another run across and then threw a wild pitch to put the runner at 3b. The next batter popped out to 2b. The next batter walked after working the count full and fouling off a few pitches. And, then a single scored another run and put runners at 1b and 2b. The 9th batter of the inning, thankfully, struck out. Texas down 4-14 going into the bottom of the 8th. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

So much for the new defensive line-up, eh? Crap.

Horns down in order in the bottom of the 8th. I've seen the Horns come back from being down by 9...scoring 9 in the 9th to tie things and then going on to win in extra innings. It's been a loooonnnnnnnng time since I've seen a Texas team do that, though. Somehow, I don't have a lot of faith that it'll happen today. It sure would brighten my day if they'd do it, though!

Preston Clark fouled a ball off his foot in the bottom of the 8th. 'Not sure if that figured into the decision or not to replace the catcher, but Kawika Emsley-Pai went in behind the plate for the Horns in the top of the 9th. 3-up/3-down. First time in the game that the Horns pulled that off.

Kyle Russell flew out to cf to start things off in the bottom of the 9th. Cameron Rupp (who'd pinch hit for Russell Moldenhauer earlier in the game) struck out looking. Pat McCrory grounded out to 3b to end the game. Texas loses 4-14.

Did I mention it was ugly? Well, it was. Here's the line:

Nebraska 000 141 440 - 14170
Texas 121 000 000 - 473

Texas got only one baserunner aboard in the final 6 innings of the game. Wow. I sincerely hope they get things turned around and win the next two games. 'Cause I don't think I could stand to watch this happen all weekend long. And, we certainly don't need the Horns to do this on TV tomorrow night. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 4:33 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 24, 2008

Game 23: Oral Roberts at Texas

Well. All-in-all, that was downright painful. Texas did manage to win. But, oh...my. Did they have to go about it like that? Really? Sigh...

Here's the line:

Oral Roberts 001 000 300 0 - 460
Texas 300 000 100 1 - 575

I did not make that up. Texas up to bat in the 1st: Michael Torres leads off with a double to the lf/cf gap. Travis Tucker follows that with a full-count walk. Jordan Danks then hits a homerun over the lf wall. And, we all thought it was just gonna be one of those days. Ha! What kind of fools are we? Look at that line again. 5 runs. 5 errors. Oh. My.

Error #1: charged to David Hernandez in the 3rd. With a runner at 1b, the ORU batter hit a ball toward the hole between 1b and 2b. Brandon Belt fielded the ball and threw to David covering 2b to get the lead runner. Very nice play. Kyle Walker quickly covered hoping to complete the double-play. Alas, the throw was too late and way too high. It sailed into the Texas dugout, putting the runner at 2b. He went on to score.

Error #2: charged to Brandon Belt in the 5th. With a runner at 1b and 1 out, the ORU batter hit a grounder to 2b. Michael Torres fielded the ball cleanly and tossed it to David covering 2b to get the lead runner. Brandon Belt dropped the back-end throw from David on the double-play ball. Frankly, that's kind of an odd error to be handing out. But, the ump did rule the batter out...'til he saw that Brandon did not manage to keep hold of the ball. No runs scored, though.

Error #3, #4, and #5: charged to Travis Tucker, Michael Torres, and David Hernandez in the 7th. Yep. 3 errors in one inning. 2 on one play. Genao singled up the middle to start the inning for ORU. He moved to 2b when Price walked. Martinez then put a bunt down the 3b line. Stayton Thomas (who'd gone in at the start of the inning) made a very nice play to field the ball and get the lead runner out at 3b! Fantastic. Sadly, Travis Tucker threw off-line to 1b, trying to turn a double play. The ball went all the way to the wall and ricocheted back onto the field of play behind 1b. Michael Torres (who'd covered 1b on the bunt) ran after the ball and as he tried to reach down to pick it up, he kicked the ball past Kyle Russell who was charging in from rf. If Michael (or Kyle, for that matter) had managed to pick up the ball, we would've had runners at 2b and 3b with one out. Instead, with the ball headed into rf, both runners actually scored on the error. See? Two errors on one play. The next ORU batter (Duffy, leading the Golden Eagles in stolen bases) walked on 4 pitches. Which prompted a pitching change. With Minissale at the plate, Duffy stole 2b. Minissale then hit a line drive to ss. It wasn't right at David. It was more to his left and a bit low. But, he got to it in time and was in place to catch the ball in the air. Maybe he was anticipating a double play (catching Duffy off 2b) or something. Whatever it was, he took his eye off the ball for just long enough that he booted it into shallow rf. Duffy made it to 3b and Minissale reached safely. Duffy went on to score.


Texas had a chance to score an extra run in the 3rd and another in the 6th but did not capitalize. In the 3rd, Travis Tucker reached on a 1-out astroturf single (it bounced over the third baseman's head) and stole 2b. He moved to 3b when Jordan Danks grounded out to ss. He was stranded at 3b when Preston Clark grounded out to 3b. In the 6th, Travis reached on a lead-off walk. Again, he stole 2b (with Jordan, who went on to strike out, at the plate). He then moved to 3b on a wild pitch with Preston at the plate. Preston went on to walk, putting runners at the corners with 1 out. Brandon Belt lined out to ss. Runners still at the corners, now with 2 out. Preston stole 2b with Kyle Russell at the plate. Kyle went on to walk to load the bases. ORU changed pitchers and Cameron Rupp ended the threat by grounding into a 6-4 fielder's choice. Bah.

Kevin Keyes led off the 7th with a full-count towering homerun over the lf fence...just in front of the scoreboard. The next three batters went down in order. In the 8th, Jordan Danks started things off with a walk and was then thrown out on a fielder's choice. Preston Clark reached on the play. He then stole 2b (2nd steal of the game for Preston!) with Brandon Belt at the plate. Brandon flew out to lf. Preston moved to 3b on a wild pitch with Kyle Russell at the plate. Kyle walked (after getting behind 3-0, ORU threw an intentional 4th ball to turn it into an intentional walk) to put runners at the corners with 2 out. Cameron Rupp struck out looking to end the inning. Sigh...

In the 10th, Travis Tucker grounded out to 1b to start things off. Jordan Danks then singled through the right side. Preston Clark followed that with a single to cf. Runners at 1b and 2b with 1 out. Brandon Belt reached on a 4-6 fielder's choice. Runners at the corners with 2 out. Interestingly, ORU intentionally walked Kyle Russell to load the bases. The Horns sent Russell Moldenhauer in to pinch-hit for Cameron Rupp. Russell looked at a called first strike and then chopped at a ball that went down the 3b line. The catcher and pitcher both went after the ball. Neither could field cleanly and they collided. By the time the catcher managed to get his hand on the ball, it was too late to throw Russell out at 1b and Preston scored easily. Game over. Thankfully.

There's plenty more to say. But it's late and I'm tired.

Oh, wait. One more thing. Brandon Belt threw the final 1.2 innings to get the win (5 batters faced, 5 outs). The other particularly noteworthy pitching performance was Pat McCrory's; he pitched the 6th and struck out the side.

Posted by Joanna at 11:55 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 23, 2008

UFCU Disch-Falk ruminations

Time for some thoughts on the new and improved UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Now that we have a few games under our collective belt.

First and foremost (before I mention any negatives) I have to say that, overall, I'm very pleased with how the renovation turned out. There don't appear to be any bad seats in the house. You can pretty much see the entire field of play from any seat you pick. I'm glad that they didn't build the seats down the right and left field lines in such a fashion that the corners are blocked off from view. Like they are at Dell Diamond and lots of other places. Yeah, there's still a corner down the lf line that I can't see from my seats, but it's in foul territory and it just affects my ability to see a ball that's rolling around on the ground. If a fielder goes after a fly ball in the corner, I can see if he catches it. At parks like Dell Diamond, the left fielder disappears into a black hole for folks on the 3b side if a ball is hit into the corner. You have to wait for the folks on the 1b side of the stands to cheer or groan to let you know what happened.

The seats are quite comfortable. I'd still like a seat that doesn't spring up...so I can set my scoresheet or camera (or whatever) on the empty seat next to me (when it's empty). But, that's not a big deal. I would love to have a drink holder. Why didn't they put drink holders at every seat? It's such a pain when someone behind you spills their drink. The only way you get a drink holder at your seat is if you're in a luxury box or one of the new seats in the first three rows at field level. It's just weird to have such a nice park and no drink holders. What's up with that? Are the folks in charge really using drink holders as some sort of incentive to get people to pay for luxury boxes and field-level seats? Frankly, I always buy a drink with a screw-top lid so my concern isn't for my drink...it's for the drink behind me. And, guess what?...the spilled drinks from higher rows still find their way down onto the purses and bags on the ground around those field-level seats.

Here's a huge improvement: they added handrails up and down all of the stairways. That's something they've needed at Disch-Falk for years and years and I was delighted to see them.

On to the atmosphere during games...

The story going around is that UT "stole" the game announcer away from Dell Diamond. I like some of the things he brought with him. But severely dislike others. And, I know that all of these things aren't directly attributable to him but they seem to be part of a concerted effort to make games at Disch-Falk more like games at Minor League parks everywhere. The kids running the basepads on Sundays is cute. The fireworks shooting out over the scoreboard are entertaining. The giveaway gift cards and pizza boxes designed to...what? What's the purpose of getting people to jump up and down and holler between innings? Oh yeah...those bring in advertising bucks. That's fine. If only those advertising bucks would go toward bringing down the price of a 20-ounce bottle of soda. Four dollars? Ouch. The constant little musical ditties and sound effects are annoying. "Everybody clap your hands!" Ugh. The video movie clips. Eh.

One thing I really resent: all of a sudden we're getting an a cappella boys band version of the National Anthem if we don't have a live singer (or harmonica player). Where is the Longhorn band? This is the University of Texas. Dammit. I want my band playing the National Anthem if we're not having a live singer. I want more Longhorn band music, period. Play the fight song after "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. Get rid of some of that other nonsense. Please. There's plenty of fine tradition right here for those people up in the booth to be drawing from. If they've only been on campus for a month or two, can't they talk to Bill Little? Or someone else? Talk to someone who's been associated with the the band for a few years. Work up some "hey, people, perk up" musical clips that are based on UT band music. Don't forget that this is The University of Texas at Austin. It's not a generic Minor League baseball park.

And, I know I'm gonna get mail about this. "What's with all the whining?" they'll ask. I guarantee it. No matter how much I post about how much I like Texas baseball (and certainly, you can tell that if you read this page, can't you?), every time I open up and complain about something on this page, people I've never heard of pop out of the woodwork telling me to shut up. It's amazing. I tell you what, though: if nobody speaks up, things won't change. Or, they will change. Each one of these little changes don't mean much on their own. But, each one of them takes a little more away from the tradition and history of Texas baseball. Speaking of which: I love the Longhorn Legends thing they started doing, the thing where they highlight a player from the past and tell us about their time as a player at UT and what they went on to do when they left. More of that. Please.

Posted by Joanna at 9:46 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 22, 2008

Game 22: Texas at Texas Tech

Texas came into the game today really needing a win as they look forward to facing Nebraska next weekend. They jumped on the Red Raider starter for 4 runs (on two 2-run homers) in the 1st (one by Brandon Belt and one by Preston Clark). Astoundingly, those 4 runs held up with the Horns going on to win 4-3. The Horns followed that 1st inning with five 3-batter innings (one double play in there). They got runners to 3b in the final three innings and failed to score any of them. Ack! It was very nerve-wracking. I'm just glad it's over. Riley Boening got his 1st win of the year and Brandon Workman got his first save of the year. Of particular note: Roger Kieschnick failed to get a hit in the series.

Here's how things played out (as heard on the radio with Craig Way and Keith Moreland on the air):

Posted by Joanna at 3:14 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 21, 2008

Game 21: Texas at Texas Tech

I ended up working late this evening. I was in my office but unable to do any sort of "keeping notes" sort of thing. Kevin Keyes started in lf and Preston Clark in rf today. Bill Little did say that Kyle Russell has a pulled muscle in his neck, explaining his absence in the series.

Texas (with Kenn Kasparek on the mound) was mostly in control through the top of the 5th. In the bottom, ahead 3-0, the Horns gave up 3 runs (2 of them on a 2-run homerun by Rindels). The Horns managed to put another run across in the top of the 6th to retake the lead. That's about the time I finished the project I was working on and, sadly, that's when the game took an ugly turn. The Horns sent Chance Ruffin (coming off his 4-game suspension) to the mound in the bottom of the inning. Horrifyingly, Chance threw 10 balls in a row! So, Texas sent Stayton Thomas to the mound. Stayton (going in with 2-balls to the batter) threw a couple of strikes but ended up completing the walk to load the bases. And, then he walked the next batter on 4 pitches to let the tying run cross the plate. Bases still loaded with no outs. Then he hit the next batter to put the go-ahead run across! So, in went Keith Shinaberry. Keith gave up a bunt single to put the Horns down by 2. But, the next batter, also trying to bunt, ground into a 2-unassisted fielder's choice (runner from 3b out at the plate). With the bases loaded and 1 out, Cole Green entered the game for the Horns and, thankfully, got the only batter he faced in the 6th to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Wow. Four pitchers in one inning. Astounding.

In the top of the 7th, Jordan Danks led off with a 4-pitch walk and I started to hope that, maybe, the Horns might play a little bit of "turnabout is fair play" but, no. Brandon Belt flew out. The Raiders changed their pitcher, and Preston Clark grounded into a double play. The Raiders started off the bottom of the 7th with back-to-back doubles to push another run across. Seefeld (who hit the 2nd double) advanced to 3b when he tagged on a fly out to cf and was then thrown out (p to c) when the next batter hit a ground ball in front of the mound. Whew. The final batter flew out to lf.

In the 8th, Cameron Rupp reached on a 1-out walk and moved to 2b on a passed ball. Kevin Keyes singled, moving Cameron to 3b. Russell Moldenhauer (pinch-hitting for David Hernandez) hit a sac fly to cf, scoring Cameron. Michael Torres grounded into a fielder's choice to end the Texas half of the inning. Pat McCrory went in at ss for the Horns in the bottom of the inning. Rindels got his 3rd hit of the game but was stranded at 2b as Jordan Danks made a diving catch to end the 8th inning.

Travis Tucker grounded out to 2b to start the 9th. Jordan Danks singled up the middle (extending his hitting streak to 14 games). This is when I checked the line-up to confirm that if they next three Horns managed to get aboard somehow, Cameron Rupp would get a chance to extend his hitting streak. Brandon Belt, though, struck out. Preston Clark did likewise. Texas loses 5-7. Damn.

Posted by Joanna at 9:25 PM | Permalink

Thursday - March 20, 2008

Game 20: Texas at Texas Tech

Texas went into Dan Law Field and took care of business this evening, beating the Red Raiders 22-6. Wow. The line:

Texas 226 004 035 - 22222
Tech 032 010 000 - 6110

Again I say: wow. I didn't hear all of the game and, in fact, missed the two errors. I have no idea what happened there. But, I did hear Kevin Keyes and Tant Shepherd hit back-to-back homeruns in the 9th (1st homerun of the year for both of them). Michael Torres hit another (his 2nd of the year) a few batters later. Every Texas player that made a plate appearance got at least one hit. Michael Torres, Jordan Danks, and Tant Shepherd paced the team with 5, 4, and 3 hits apiece. Cameron Rupp scored 4 runs. Michael Torres, Preston Clark, and Tant Shepherd each scored 3. Michael Torres and Jordan Danks had 5 RBIs each. Austin Wood made the start. He went 2+ innings (he pitched into trouble in the 3rd) and gave up 5 runs (2 unearned) on 7 hits with 2 doubles and a homerun while striking out 2 and walking 2. Keith Shinaberry replaced Austin on the mound in the 3rd and got a couple of ground outs before giving way to Brandon Workman. Brandon went on to pitch 5.1 innings (he went through the end of the 8th) and got the win. He gave up 1 earned run on 3 hits (including a double) while striking out 6 and walking 2. Hunter Harris pitched the 9th. He gave up a single but only faced 3 as the Horns turned a nice 5-4-3 double play to end the game. Of particular note: the Horns kept Roger Kieschnick off the basepads. I did hear him throw someone out at 3b on a single to rf. He's good. [Added later for clarity: Kieschnick threw out a runner who was at 1b when the single was hit to rf; the runner tried to push his luck and paid the price.] Kyle Russell did not play again tonight. Preston Clark started in rf and Russell Moldenhauer in lf. Kevin Keyes went into the game in lf (defensive substitution) in the 8th. I was very happy that he got that homerun. It came against a righty. Excellent.

Coach Garrido's post-game comments to Bill Little (as best I can remember them): He was very glad the players stayed with the hitting plan they had in place. They scored every inning they possibly could. Brandon Workman turned the game around when he went in. Coach Garrido was happy with how well the defense played in the 9th, getting those three hard outs instead of relaxing and easing up. If the team can keep this up, they'll do very well.

I sure do hope the Horns keep it up. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:50 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 19, 2008

Schedule change note

Just a quick note. The start times for 2 of the Texas Tech games this weekend in Lubbock have been changed: Friday's game will start at 6:05 and Saturday's game will start at noon.

Posted by Joanna at 10:56 PM | Permalink

Game 19: Texas State at Texas

[Note: Sorry I didn't post this last night. I wrote it up and then forgot to post it. Sad, eh? Oh well.]

It rained a lot today. And, we doubted the teams would play. But, the rain started to clear out about 4 o'clock or so and by 5:30, the sun was trying to break through. I don't think it ever did break through. But, it cleared up. It was very windy...which helped dry things off a bit. The rain and wind also cooled things off quite a bit. We went out at lunchtime and I actually had to use the A/C in my car for a bit. It was that warm. It was down to 59 deg. F by the start of the game. It did start a bit late...about 6:20 or so. And, the wind whipped in from left. A very stiff and mean wind. I wasn't really expecting it to be quite that cold when I left home this morning. I'd thrown a sweatshirt and windbreaker in the car on my way out the door. I had a hoodie at the office. So, I layered up. And, luckily, my fleece cap was in the car as well. It was still cold at Disch-Falk. But, not unbearably so. At some point...during the 4th inning or so...the rain came back. It rained, sometimes pretty hard, until about the start of the 9th. The temperature also dropped down to 53 when the rain was falling and wind was blowing hardest. And, then it eased up enough for us to make our way to our cars and head home.

The line:

Texas State 000 203 100 - 692
Texas 301 230 00x - 9112

Casey Whitmer started for Texas and went 2.1 innings. He kept the Bobcats scoreless while giving up 2 hits, throwing 2 strikeouts, and giving up 2 walks. He also hit a couple of batters. The bases were loaded with 1 out in the 3rd when Keith Shinaberry took over. Keith got the Bobcats catcher to ground into a very pretty 6-4-3 double play. Surprisingly, he stayed in the game and pitched the 4th. He gave up a lead-off single and then got the next two batters to fly out to lf and cf. He then gave up a single, putting runners at the corners. The next batter doubled down the lf line, pushing 2 across. The next batter grounded out to 1b. Hunter Hill then took the mound for the 5th to get a win in his first collegiate start. He fell behind the first batter he faced but then got him to groundout to 2b. He walked the next two batters. The 4th batter hit what looked like a double to left. Preston Clark (starting in lf again today) was playing a fairly shallow lf due to the stiff wind. He got on his horse and ran after the ball. I didn't think there was much chance he'd catch up to it. But, somehow he did. He made a spectacular stretch at the last second and grabbed the ball. Amazing. The baserunners quickly scurried back to 1b and 2b. The next batter hit a hard ground ball right at Hunter on the mound. It hit one of his feet (or an ankle) very hard and ricocheted right at Brandon Belt behind 1b. Brandon scooped the ball up and beat the batter to the bag for the last out of the inning. Exciting. Pat McCrory pitched the 6th and 7th. In the 6th, he gave up a 1-out single and made a bad pick-off throw to 1b to let the runner advance to 3b. He struck the next batter out but then gave up a full-count walk. With runners at the corners, he gave up a towering homerun over the rf fence to Bobcats dh Jonathan Farrow (his 4th of the year). He ended the inning with a strikeout. In the 7th, he gave up a couple of singles before getting a couple of groundouts and a fly out. One run did score. Brandon Belt went in for the 8th and 9th (necessitating a couple of defensive shifts and substitutions) and got his first save of the year. He hit a batter and walked one in the 8th but sandwiched those bugaboos with a groundout, a strikeout, and a fly out. In the 9th, he got a pop out to ss (scary basket catch by David Hernandez!), a groundout to 3b (fantastic barehand scoop and throw by Travis Tucker!), and a fly out to lf to end the game.

On the offensive side of things, the Horns jumped out to a nice 3-run lead when Brandon Belt (he of his first save of the year later in the game!) hit a 1-out 3-run homerun waaaaaaay over the rf fence. Those 3 runs ended up being the difference in the game. Go, Brandon! Going down the line-up, the offense went like so: (1) Jordan Danks in cf went 2-for-4 with a double, 2 walks, a stolen base, a run batted in, and 2 runs scored; (2) Travis Tucker at 3b went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, a walk, scored 3 runs, and was hit by a pitch twice; (3) Preston Clark in lf went 2-for-3 with a double, 2 walks, a run batted in, and 2 runs scored; (4) Brandon Belt at 1b and p went 3-for-4 with a homerun, 5 runs batted in, a walk, and 1 run scored; (5a) Russell Moldenhauer at dh went 2 for-4 with a double, a strikeout, and 1 run batted in; (5b) Tant Shepherd, pinch-hitting in the dh spot, went 0-for-0 with a 4-pitch walk; (5c) Kyle Lusson who went in at rf when Brandon moved to p in the 8th, did not make any plate appearances; (6a) Kyle Russell in rf, sadly, went 0-for-4 with a couple of strikeouts; (6b) Kevin Keyes, pinch-hitting for Kyle (who seemed to hurt or tweak his shoulder) grounded into a fielder's choice in his only at-bat; (7) Cameron Rupp at c went 1-for-4 to keep his hitting streak alive at 13 games, with a strikeout and he got hit by a pitch; (8) David Hernandez at ss went 0-for-4 with a walk, a strikeout, and he did reach on an error once; and (9) Michael Torres at 2b went 1-for-4 with a walk, a strikeout, and a run scored. Whew! Texas won 9-6.

Posted by Joanna at 10:22 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 17, 2008

Game 18: Texas at UT-San Antonio

Today's game against UT-San Antonio was played at the San Antonio Missions' home field (Nelson Wolff Stadium) in San Antonio. I tuned in after the game had already started and heard Keith Moreland say something about the Longhorns having experienced some sort of accident on the bus before leaving town. So, I went looking around and found a note on the Statesman's Bevo Beat blog saying the team bus was hit by a milk truck as it was leaving Disch-Falk today. There were no injuries. The team had to wait about an hour for a replacement bus and they arrived in time to take infield practice (but no batting practice) before the start of the game.

The Horns jumped out to a 3-run lead in the top of the 1st. Jordan Danks struck out to start things off. Travis Tucker reached on a bunt to 3b and was nearly picked off at 1b but was hit by the ball (throw from 1b to ss?) in the rundown and reached 2b safely. This was blandly recorded in the UT-SA GameWatcher as a stolen base. Heh. Preston Clark doubled to score Travis. Cameron Rupp struck out. Tant Shepherd walked. And, Brandon Belt doubled, scoring Preston and Tant. Russell Moldenhauer flew out to end the top of the 1st. Riley Boening started for the Horns and gave up a lead-off double. The next three batters went down in order, though.

David Hernandez led off the 2nd with a single, moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Michael Torres, and on to 3b when Jordan Danks grounded out to 1b. David was stranded at 3b when Travis Tucker grounded out to ss. In the bottom of the inning, the lead batter got aboard (single). He was erased on a fielder's choice (very nearly a double play). The Horns then got another ground ball and completed the double play this time to end the inning.

And, then, I left work, drove home, and tried to listen from the car. So, no details of the missing innings will be provided. I did hear Preston Clark making a great catch in right field at one point. He started in rf today. Russell Moldenhauer started in lf. And, Tant Shepherd played dh. I have no idea why Kyle Russell was not in the line-up. And, I never heard Keith say anything about it.

Texas scored 2 more (both unearned, I believe) in the 4th. They gave up 3 in the bottom of the 5th. Riley Boening could not get out of the 5th so still no wins on the year. Keith Shinaberry went in for Riley to get the final out of the 5th. The audio dropped out during the bottom of the 5th so I don't have any real details. The UT-SA GameWatcher thing on the Internet is really bad for trying to catch up on previous innings. It kept refreshing every 5 seconds or so and popping back to the current action...making it difficult to figure out what had happened in earlier innings. Aggravating.

Ah well. I was able to get back to a computer (so I could continue with this game report) at the top of the 7th. Jordan Danks led off with a single through the right side, prompting a pitching change for the Roadrunners (Holton replaced Ruepke). Travis Tucker moved Jordan to 2b on a sac bunt. Preston Clark tripled to lf, scoring Jordan. On the play, the left fielder appeared to have no idea where the ball was and by the time it fell and he caught up to it, Preston was standing on 3b. Cameron Rupp hit a sac fly to rf to score Preston. Tant Shepherd doubled but was stranded at 2b when Brandon Belt grounded out to 2b. Hunter Harris replaced Keith Shinaberry at some point (the start of the bottom half of the 6th, perhaps?...assuming Keith faced his customary solo batter) and was still in the game for the 7th. Hutson grounded out. Keithley doubled to rf. This seems as good a place as any to point out that there was a very stiff wind blowing around the stadium causing all kinds of trouble for the fielders on any balls hit into the air. Keith Moreland couldn't believe how far off-line high-hit balls were traveling. Keithley moved to 3b on a wild pitch with Palincsar at the plate. Palincsar struck out swinging (3rd K for Hunter). Rockett popped out to 2b to end the inning.

UT-SA sent Graham to the mound to start the 8th. Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to 1b (p covering the bag). David Hernandez reached on a 4-pitch walk. Michael Torres singled to cf, moving David to 2b. Jordan Danks flew out to cf. The center fielder overthrew the cut-off man, allowing the baserunners to move up to 2b and 3b (E8). Travis Tucker reached on a full-count walk to load the bases. Keith Moreland happily pointed out that Preston Clark, due up, needed only a homerun (and look: bases loaded!) to hit for the cycle. Heh. The Roadrunners sent Griffin to the mound to face Preston. With a 1-2 count, the pitcher plonked Preston on his helmet (rbi)...no cycle for Preston. A wild pitch moved everyone ahead, scoring another run (2nd runs scored on wild pitches for the Horns on the day, according to Keith who seemed to be working alone this evening). Cameron walked on 4 pitches to re-load the bases (apparently ending his 12-game hitting streak). Tant Shepherd singled through the shortstop (who tried to field the hard-hit liner while protecting his body) to score two more (Travis and Preston). Brandon Belt singled up the middle to score Cameron and put runners at the corners. Hmmm...maybe Cameron will get another chance to bat, after all. Heh. Probably not. Russell Moldenhauer singled to rf, scoring Tant and moving Brandon to 2b. Mysteriously, the Horns sent Kevin Keyes in to run for Russell. David Hernandez walked to re-load the bases (yet again!) prompting Keith to make the same observation I made earlier about the possibility of Cameron getting another at-bat. It also prompted the Roadrunners to send Crocker to the mound. Michael Torres grounded out to 2b to end the bleeding. Texas up 13-3.

Kyle Walker went to the mound for the Horns in the bottom of the 8th and Kevin Keyes stayed in at lf. Lockwood walked to start things off (full-count). Allen (pinch-hitting) reached on a 3-6 fielder's choice. Carpenter singled to put runners at 1b and 2b. Etheredge doubled to left-center to score one. Runners at 2b and 3b. Rummell struck out. Carpenter then scored on a wild pitch with Hutson at the plate. Etheredge moved to 3b on the play. Hutson struck out swinging, though, to end the inning. Texas up 13-5.

Which brings us to the 9th. Jordan Danks singled up the middle on the first pitch of the inning. Cameron might well get that plate appearance! Travis Tucker singled through the right side, putting runners at the corners. Preston Clark doubled to right-center, plating Jordan and Travis. And, that brings Cameron and his hitting streak to the plate. And, he got his hit: a double to lf, driving in Preston! Tant Shepherd lined out to rf for the 1st out of the inning. Brandon Belt singled (I didn't hear the specifics), putting runners at the corners. Which brought Kevin Keyes to the plate for his first plate appearance of the day. Kevin, sadly, went down swinging. David Hernandez struck out swinging as well. Texas up 16-5.

In the bottom of the inning, Kai Emsley-Pai replaced Cameron behind the plate and Juston Street went to the mound for the Horns. Keithley flew out to rf. Palincsar singled to lf. Rockett singled to rf, putting runners at 1b and 2b. Lockwood lined out to cf. Allen walked (full count). Powell (pinch-hitting) grounded out to 2b to end the game.

Wow. That was a long game. Texas won 16-5.

The post-game interview with Coach Garrido: Keith brought up the killer instinct issue and Coach Garrido said he was very glad to see the team responding. He said with all the teams possibly having pitching troubles this season, the Horns need to out-hit their opponents and he thinks they clearly can do that. He also joked that the problem with the bus may have been a blessing in disguise...that the team didn't waste time taking batting practice before they game; they got it out of the way in the game.

I'm pretty sure Keith said, at one point late in the game, that the start time for the Saturday game in Lubbock had been moved to noon instead of 1 o'clock. The TexasSports.com page does not reflect this change but you should probably check back before Saturday to verify the start time.

Posted by Joanna at 9:54 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 16, 2008

Chance Ruffin suspended for four games

As I speculated in yesterday's game summary, Chance Ruffin has been given a four game suspension for intentionally throwing at a batter. Was it intentional? As I said yesterday, I don't know. Regardless, he will not be allowed to play (or suit up) again until Friday's game against Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Posted by Joanna at 11:44 PM | Permalink

Game 17: Kansas at Texas

No sweep this weekend. Texas lost the third game of the series 2-7 to Kansas this afternoon. The Horns just could not get much going offensively. The Kansas starter was able to keep the Longhorns off balance and on their heals. Weather-wise, it was overcast and very windy (wind blowing across from rf to lf). I think it started out at 71 deg. F and got up to 75.

And, here's how the whole ugly mess played out:

The final line, direct from the scoreboard:

[Final scoreboard]

I'm not really sure what to say about today's game. Obviously, it was very disappointing. Nothing seemed to go right for the Horns today. On the offensive side of things, they just couldn't seem to hit the ball much at all. The Kansas starter (Freeman) really did seem to have them off-balance. They hit so many soft grounders to ss, it wasn't funny. When they did make good contact, it was right at someone. The best descriptor, I suppose, came from my mom who kept saying they looked flat. Indeed they did.

Ah well...a few pictures...

Casey Whitmer on the mound:

[Casey Whitmer]

Preston Clark motoring into 3b in the 1st inning:

[Preston Clark]

Cameron Rupp, after hitting a double in the 1st:

[Cameron Rupp]

Cole Green on the mound:

[Cole Green]

Brandon Workman on the mound, showing off his high kick:

[Brandon Workman]

Brandon Belt cruising the basepads between 2b and 3b after his 6th-inning homerun:

[Brandon Belt]

Kyle Russell made a nice running catch of a foul ball near the fence for the first out of the 7th:

[Kyle Russell]

Too bad the Horns didn't get another out in the inning 'til the 8th batter got to the plate, eh?

Marcus Tackett on the mound:

[Marcus Tackett]

Stayton Thomas on the mound:

[Stayton Thomas]

Austin Woods on the mound:

[Austin Woods]

Russell Moldenhauer rounding 1b after his double in the 9th:

[Russell Moldenhauer]

The newly renovated UFCU Disch-Falk Field now hosts "kids running the bases" after Sunday games. It's fun to watch. The most fun, of course, is watching the smallest of the little kids. They frequently don't understand what's going on. They're just happy to be running. Here are some of the little ones that ran today:

[Russell Moldenhauer]

That last little girl was knocked down when she rounded 3b and was dusting herself off. The age limit is 14 and the bigger kids tend to overtake the smaller ones. And, sometimes, there's a bump or two as they round corners.

Posted by Joanna at 11:35 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 15, 2008

Game 16: Kansas at Texas

'Got to the park early and got settled in. It was a beautiful day: 77 deg. F with a pretty stiff wind blowing in from lf early in the game and then in from cf as the game went on. Which meant, of course, that homeruns would be few and far between. Or, you know, non-existent.

[Prevailing conditions]

See what I mean? I snapped that photo about 10 minutes before the game started. Texas played well. "Hallelujah and praise the Lord!" said Coach Garrido afterward...referring to the fact that no errors were charged to the defense. Hallelujah indeed. Heh heh. Texas won 6-1.

Kenn Kasparek started for the Horns:

[Kenn Kasparek]

He went 4.2 innings and gave up the lone Jayhawks run.

In the top of the 1st: Faunce struck out, Robby Price walked, Allman reached on a fielder's choice, and Land struck out. In the bottom: David Hernandez walked, Travis Tucker flew out to rf, David was picked off by the pitcher (sigh...) while Jordan Danks was at the plate, and Jordan popped out to ss.

The second produced that one run for Kansas. Ryne Price (he of the 2 homeruns yesterday) doubled down the lf line. Morrison singled through the right side, putting runners at the corners. Southers singled (off Travis Tucker's glove at 3b) through the left side (rbi, runners at 1b and 2b). Larson hit a soft liner to ss for the first out and Thompson grounded into the only double play of the day (6-4-3) to end the threat. Horns down 0-1.

The Horns went down in order in the bottom of the inning: Preston Clark (starting in lf again) flew out to deep cf, Cameron Rupp struck out, and Brandon Belt grounded out to 2b.

Kansas went down in order in the top of the 3rd: strikeout, ground-out to ss (great play by David Hernandez to field the ball behind 2b and throw in one motion to 1b), and fly out to cf.

Texas, sadly, also went down in order in the bottom of the inning: Tant Shepherd lined out to 2b, Kyle Russell struck out looking, and Michael Torres grounded out to 2b.

Kansas got close to scoring another run in the 4th. Land grounded out to 2b. Ryne Price (yep, him again) doubled to the cf/rf gap. Morrison grounded out to ss (7-pitch plate appearance), moving Price to 3b. Southers walked (8-pitch plate appearance!), putting runners at the corners. Larson struck out to end the threat.

Esther noticed the guys in the bullpen doing the wave when Kenn struck out the first batter in the 3rd. So, I got ready with my camera. And, then had to wait 'til the end of the 4th (and 7 batters later!) for him to get his next strikeout. I was ready:

[The wave!]

Heh heh heh.

Texas tied things up in the bottom of the 4th. David Hernandez grounded out to ss (I wrote 4-3 in my book by "diagrammed" 6-3 so am going with that). Travis Tucker singled to cf. Jordan Danks worked the count full and then struck out. Here he is, on that strikeout pitch:

[Jordan Danks]

With Preston Clark at the plate, Travis moved to 2b on a wild pitch. Preston then doubled off the lf wall to drive Travis home. Here's Preston stopping at 2b after his hit:

[Preston Clark]

Cameron Rupp singled hard off the pitcher. The pitcher almost made a great play to field the liner (mostly trying to protect himself) but couldn't hang onto the ball. It rolled away from him to the 1b line. By the time he caught up to the ball, Cameron was safe at 1b and Preston was safe at 3b. Brandon Belt flew out to lf to end the inning. Game tied 1-1.

Thompson started off the 5th with a pop out to 1b. Faunce singled to rf. Robby Price struck out looking. Allman walked. Which prompted the Horns to send Chance Ruffin to the mound:

[Chance Ruffin]

Land flew out to lf for the 3rd out.

Texas pulled ahead in the bottom of the 5th. Tant Shepherd singled up the middle and moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Kyle Russell:

[Kyle Russell]

Tant moved to 3b on a wild pitch with Michael Torres at the plate. Michael then drove Tant home on a sac fly to lf. David Hernandez ended the inning by grounding out to 3b.

[David Hernandez]

Yep...it looks like the throw probably beat him, eh? Texas up 2-1.

The Jayhawks went down in order in the top of the 6th: Ryne Price grounded out to 2b (finally...he didn't reach base!), Morrison struck out looking, and Southers struck out looking.

The Horns came up short in the bottom of the 6th. Travis Tucker doubled down the lf line to start things off. Jordan Danks reached on a 6-5 fielder's choice. Travis took off at the crack of the bat and was called out at 3b. It was a pretty close call at 3b. And, frankly, it didn't appear that the third baseman got the tag down. But, the ump said he did. Kansas sent Bollman to the mound. Preston Clark lined out to lf and Cameron Rupp flew out to rf to end the inning.

Here's a shot of Jordan stretching while Clay Van Hook guarded 1b during the 6th-inning pitching change:

[Jordan Danks and Clay Van Hook]

Or, maybe, Clay was just standing on the base. There really is no telling what was going on.

Kansas went down in order again in the top of the 7th. Larson grounded out to 2b. Thompson struck out swinging. And, Faunce struck out swinging. Faunce's at-bat was rather eventful. He was actually hit by the first pitch. He was batting from the right. On the play, he twisted to his right, stepped toward the plate, and was hit on his left calf. The home plate ump (Chris Coskey) immediately indicated that he leaned into the pitch. Faunce dropped his bat and started trotting to 1b. But he had to go back to the plate. Coach Price argued the call but, as usual, to no avail. The next pitch was way inside and hard. Frankly, it looked like a brush back pitch to me. Faunce eventually worked the count full but ended up, like I said, striking out.

Texas scored two more in the bottom of the 7th. Remember my comment earlier about the wind shifting as the game went on? See this?

[Prevailing conditions #2]

Cameron Rupp hit a deeeeeeep fly ball into the teeth of that wind. Sadly, the wind won and rather than hit his 3rd homerun of the series, he flew out just shy of the rf wall. Damn wind. Russell Moldenhauer (pinch-hitting for Tant Shepherd in the dh spot) singled to rf. Kyle Russell then walked, moving Russell to 2b. (Hmmm...Russell and Russell. Confusing.) Michael Torres followed that with a double to lf, driving in both runners. Kyle flew around the bases:

[Kyle Russell]

Sadly, Michael was stranded at 2b when David Hernandez and Travis Tucker both struck out looking to end the inning. Texas up 4-1.

The Jayhawks went down in order again (!) in the top of the 8th. Not without some controversy, however. Robby Price lined out to rf. Allman then flew out (on a 10-pitch plate appearance!) to rf. Chance Ruffin's first pitch to Land went behind his back. Chance was immediately ejected by Coskey (home plate ump). It would appear that Coskey thought Chance was intentionally throwing at the batter. I looked through the rules to see if the pitcher had to first be warned before being ejected and the rule book says "maybe." Here's what the 2008 rules say:

Rule 9, Section 2, part g (Intentionally pitch at the batter):

PENALTY: If the umpire believes such a violation has occurred, a warning shall be issued to the pitcher and both opposing coaches that future violations by any pitcher will be cause for immediate ejection of the pitcher and the coach from the game.
(1) If, in the umpire’s judgment, the situation warrants drastic action to defuse a potentially volatile situation, the umpire may eject the pitcher without a warning. Each coach should be warned, but the coach of the offending team should not be ejected at that time unless the umpire believes it is appropriate (see 5-16-d).
(2) A warning may be issued to both teams before the start of the game or at any time during the game.
(3) A pitcher who is ejected from a game for intentionally throwing at a batter shall be suspended under the provisions of the fight rule.

The home plate umpire did have a couple of conversations with Coach Harmon and Coach Price between the strikeout of Faunce in the 7th and the ejection of Chance in the 8th. It may be that he warned both teams during those conversations. I don't know. Also, note that in part (2) above, it says the warning can come at any point during or before the game. He may have warned both coaches in the pre-game meeting at home plate for all we know. Or, it might be that he thought the throw was egregious enough that it might start a fight so he ejected Chance without any warning. That seems rather unlikely since there was not a lot of jawing or anything going on between the teams. At least, none that was apparent to me up in the stands. Regardless, this could be very bad news for Chance and the Horns. Chance might be suspended for the next 4 games:

Rule 5, Section 16, part d (Pitcher Intentionally Throwing at a Batter):

If a pitcher is ejected for intentionally throwing at a batter, the following penalties shall be enforced (see 9-2-g provisions):
(1) For the first offense by the individual, ejection plus suspension from the team’s next four regularly scheduled contests.
(2) For a second offense by the individual in the same season, ejection plus suspension from the team’s next eight regularly scheduled contests.
(3) For a third offense by the individual in the same season, ejection plus suspension for the remainder of the season, including postseason competition.
(4) If the coach has been warned during or before the contest, the coach also shall be ejected and suspended for the next regularly scheduled contest (one game).
A.R. 1—The suspended pitcher shall not be allowed to participate in any manner during the suspension (see 5-16-b-[4]-[b]).
A.R. 2—If a pitcher has been ejected while pitching, the substitute shall be allowed an adequate time to warm up, similar to the time allowed when an injured pitcher is replaced.

Anyway. Stayton Thomas went to the mound after the ejection and got Land to pop out to ss. Here's Stayton:

[Stayton Thomas]

In the bottom of the 8th, the Horns scored two more for good measure. Jordan Danks led things off with a single up the middle and then moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Preston Clark. The sac bunt played out in an unusual manner. Preston bunted toward no-man's land between the mound and 1b...closer to 1b. The pitcher, the first baseman, and the second baseman all converged on the ball. The pitcher got to it first and the 1st baseman realized he was way out of position. The pitcher realized the same and raced forward, just barely beating Preston to the bag to make the out. Cameron Rupp hit a ground-rule double to the cf/rf gap, scoring Jordan. The right fielder came very close to catching the ball. Whew. Here's Cameron after his double:

[Cameron Rupp]

Brandon Belt singled through the right side, scoring Cameron. Which prompted the Jayhawks to send in a new pitcher: Hiarali Garcia. Russell Moldenhauer walked on 4 pitches. Kyle Russell flew out to lf (foul) and Michael Torres grounded into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning. Texas up 6-1.

Stayton Thomas struck out the side in the 9th but had to go one better to get out of the inning. He struck Ryne Price out. And, then he struck Morrison out. Morrison offered at a (3rd strike) pitch way out of the zone. The ball bounced in the dirt and skidded past Cameron Rupp all the way to the wall. Morrison easily made it to 1b on the wild pitch. Southers struck out looking. And, Larson grounded out to 2b to end the game.

The final line, direct from the scoreboard:

[Final scoreboard]

Posted by Joanna at 11:37 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 14, 2008

Game 15: Kansas at Texas

Texas beat Kansas this evening...8-6. Ryne Price hit 2 homeruns for Kansas. Cameron Rupp hit 2 homeruns for Texas. Price's homeruns were solo shots. Preston Clark was on 2nd base when Cameron hit both of his homers. There's the difference in the game for you. Right there. 'Twas great fun being in the stands.

The line-up was a bit different again. Preston Clark started in lf and Tant Shepherd played dh to start the game. Austin Wood got the start on the mound.

The Jayhawks took a quick lead in the top of the 1st. With one out, Robby Price singled up the middle. Allman followed that with what looked to be a tailor-made double play ball to 2b. Alas, Michael Torres booted the ball into shallow lf. Runners at the corners after the error. Land then doubled down the lf line. One run across and runners still at the corners with one out. Morrison then hit a high fly to rf. It was rather shallow and we were all expecting there to he a play at the plate. Alas, Kyle Russell fell back and down as he caught the ball and a second run scored (sac fly). Ouch. Affenir struck out for the 3rd out. The official scorer apparently ruled one run earned and one unearned. The way you're supposed to record earned runs, is to play out the inning as though the error didn't happen and the out was recorded. So, I think I would've ruled them both unearned (in fact, I did do that on my scoresheet). If Michael had made the play on the booted ball, the Jayhawks would've had a runner at 1b and 2 outs. In actuality, both runners would probably have been out (double play ball, remember) but you can't assume the double play. So, I don't think the run scored by Price should've been viewed as earned since he would've been the 2nd out (and thus, unable to score). Allman made it to 3b on the double by Land. Barring the error, he would've been at 3b with two outs. So, he could not have scored on the sac fly by Morrison. So, to my mind: 2 unearned runs. But, I wasn't the official scorer so I guess it doesn't matter, eh? Texas down 0-2.

In the bottom of the inning, Travis Tucker walked and then was thrown out at 2b on a rather poor bunt by David Hernandez. He bunted the ball a bit too hard and right at the pitcher. Jordan Danks walked, putting runners at 1b and 2b. They both advanced on a balk with Preston Clark at the plate. Preston then hit a sac fly to lf. Danks still at 2b with 2 out. With the count at 1-2, Jordan took off on the 4th pitch to Cameron Rupp. Rupp hit a nice single up the middle. The center fielder might've had a play at the plate but since Jordan took off (hit-and-run or sb attempt?...I don't know) so early, he scored easily. Brandon Belt then struck out to end the inning. Game tied at 2-2.

Kansas scored two more in the top of the 2nd on back-to-back homeruns by Ryne Price and Joe Southers. Ouch. Thompson reached on an error by David Hernandez (who misplayed the ball a bit and then had to eat the ball) and advanced to 2b on a sac bunt. He was stranded there, though. Texas down by 2 again.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Kyle Russell reached on a 1-out walk but was stranded at 1b.

Texas sent Brandon Workman to the mound to start the 3rd. He struck out the first two batters he saw before giving up a double (misplayed by Kyle in rf) to Affenir. Ryne Price flew out to cf to end the threat.

Texas took the lead in the bottom of the 3rd. David Hernandez singled up the middle and then moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Jordan Danks. Preston Clark doubled off the wall in lf, scoring David. And, Cameron Rupp hit his first homerun of the game...over the fence between the scoreboard and the Green Monster. Brandon Belt and Tant Shepherd flew out to cf for the final two outs of the inning. Texas up 5-4.

Kansas went 1-2-3 in the top of the 4th (one strikeout and two groundouts). Kyle Russell singled to lead off the bottom of the 4th. He moved to 2b on a sac bunt by Michael Torres and then to 3b on a groundout to ss by Travis Tucker. Alas he was stranded at 3b when David Hernandez flew out to lf.

The Jayhawks went down in order again (!) in the 5th (fly out to cf, ground out to ss, fly out to rf).

The Horns scored some insurance runs in the bottom of the 5th. Jordan Danks doubled to cf. The Jayhawks sent Esquibel to the mound. Then we had an interesting play. Preston hit an "excuse me" dribbler down the 1b line. He was actually trying to get out of the way of a pitch but his bat somehow connected with the ball. He had enough presence of mind (of course he did, he's Preston Clark!) to take off running hard for 1b. The pitcher fielded the ball about 1/3 of the way down the line and tried to throw Preston out at 1b. Rather than take a step or two outside the runner's lane, he tried to throw through Preston. And, well, that didn't have much chance of working! His throw hit Preston's helmet and ricocheted out of play to the fence about half way down the rf section of seats. Preston ended up standing safely at 2b and Jordan scored on the play. And, then Cameron Rupp hit his 2nd 2-run homerun of the day...this time over the rf fence! Brandon Belt then lined out to cf. Russell Moldenhauer (pinch-hitting for Tant Shepherd) grounded out to 2b. And, Kyle Russell flew out to cf to end the inning. Texas up 8-4.

In the top of the 6th, Ryne Price hit his 2nd homerun of the day...a 2-out solo shot. Southers followed that with a single but was stranded at 1b. Texas up 8-5.

The Horns went down in order in the bottom of the inning: Michael Torres grounded out to 1b (unassisted), Travis Tucker grounded out to 2b, and David Hernandez flew out to rf.

Faunce started off the 7th with a double down the lf line. With two balls thrown to Robby Price, Texas sent Cole Green to the mound for Brandon Workman. Price grounded out to 1b, moving Faunce to 3b. Allman then singled to lf, scoring Faunce. Land walked, putting runners at 1b and 2b with 1 out. Morrison then popped out to 1b (in foul territory) and Afenir struck out (third strikeout of the day for him). Texas up 8-6.

In the bottom of the 7th, Jordan Danks drew a full-count walk and stole 2b a couple of batters later. Sadly, he was stranded at 2b.

Cole Green struck out the first two batters he faced in the 8th before giving up a single to Thompson. Faunce then grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Kansas sent Smyth to the mound in the bottom of the 8th. After getting 2 quick outs, he gave up a single to Michael Torres. Michael was stranded at 1b, however, when Travis Tucker flew out to cf.

The top of the 9th was rather interesting. Texas sent Brandon Belt to p from 1b. They moved Preston Clark to 1b from lf. And, sent Kyle Lusson to lf, removing the dh from the game for the Horns. Robby Price grounded out to p for the first out. And, then Brandon moved back to 1b. Preston moved back to lf (sending Kyle Lusson back to the bench). And, Stayton Thomas took the mound (and went into the batting order in the dh spot). Stayton made us all very nervous by plunking Allman with the first pitch he threw. Yikes. He then got Land (who'd worked the count full after falling behind 0-2) to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game! Whew.

In the post-game interview, Coach Garrido gave lots of credit to the young guys on the team really coming through. He did add that he'd like to see the team work on having more of a killer instinct rather than a survivor instinct...talking about the fact that they did not score in their final 3 at-bats. When asked specifically about Cameron Rupp, he said he's a great guy to have on the team, always showing up with a smile on his face and just being happy to be able to play the game.

Posted by Joanna at 11:47 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 12, 2008

Last night's game

I was just reading the Statesman's article about last night's game and was a bit taken aback to read the following:

All the Longhorns looked different in their second outing against the Owls. It helped that Rice showed a video of all the Texas mistakes on the video scoreboard before the game.

"We all were watching that," Hernandez said. "I couldn't believe they showed that right before the game. It definitely got us fired up."

Rice did what? Wow. That's showing some class, huh? Rubbing the Horns' noses in the mistakes they made in their previous meeting? Wow. I honestly can't imagine the folks at Disch-Falk ever doing that sort of thing. Wow.

I'm glad it back-fired on whoever decided to pull that stunt. Very glad.

Posted by Joanna at 12:13 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 11, 2008

Game 14: Texas at Rice

So. I decided to try the CSTV streaming service since they were airing the Texas/Rice game. Overall grade? D. I don't know if it was due to the fact that I have a Mac. Or "slow" DSL. Or what. But, the picture was jumpy and pretty poor quality. The MLB.TV service was a lot better. It did not have buffer issues at all. The CSTV broadcast kept freezing. I had to reload the page every 5 minutes or so. There was a progress bar running across the bottom of the screen under the video and pretty much every time the bar would get to the right-hand edge, I'd lose the signal and have to re-select the game. I tried making sure that I reloaded at the end of each half-inning but that didn't really help since the half-innings were lasting longer than 5 minutes, of course. Texas scored their first run (in the top of the 4th) during one of those reloading periods. Very frustrating. The only reason I don't give the service a grade of "F" is that I could see some of it. And, I suspect it's better for Windows users.

The game was fairly uneventful until the top of the 4th (except for a 20-minute glare delay in the 2nd when they had to wait out the setting sun which was reflecting off a nearby hotel, blinding the batters...yes, really, a "glare" delay). Cole St. Clair (who started for the Owls) gave up a walk and 5 hits to allow 4 across before being lifted for Bryan Price. Price promptly threw a couple of wild pitches to allow another run to cross the plate, giving the Horns a 5-0 lead. I'd give more details but I just don't have them. The video basically sucks. What the heck...here's what GameTracker said: (1) Rupp singled to rf. (2) Belt hit a sac bunt to 1b, moving Rupp to 2b. (3) Russell walked. (4) Hernandez singled to lf, scoring Rupp and moving Russell to 3b. (5) Lusson singled to rf, scoring Russell and moving Hernandez to 3b. (6) Torres singled to lf, scoring Hernandez and moving Lusson to 2b. (7) Tucker flied out to rf. (8) Danks singled to cf, scoring Lusson and moving Torres to 3b. (9) Rice sent Price to the mound. (10) A wild pitch scored Torres and moved Danks to 2b. (11) Danks moved to 3b on a wild pitch. (12) Clark struck out swinging.

In the bottom of the inning, Casey Whitmer (in for Riley Boening, who pitched the first 2 innings) got Buenger to ground out to 2b. Luna then singled and stole 2b. Zornes walked. Prompting a change to Cole Green on the mound. He caught Padron looking for the 2nd out of the inning. Hague struck out swinging to end the inning.

"There's not much rhyme or reason to Augie." That is a direct quote from the Rice radio guy as Augie called Kyle Russell over for a quick offensive timeout in the top of the 5th. Kyle had gone to the plate with 2 out and nobody on, causing the announcer to wonder at the timing of the mini-conference. 'Made me laugh. Kyle flew out to rf for the 3rd out, by the way.

Rice got 2 aboard in the bottom of the inning but stranded them at 1b and 2b. Cole Green still pitching in relief.

After 2 quick strikeouts (to David Hernandez and Kyle Lusson) in the top of the 6th, Michael Torres reached on a throwing error by the third baseman. And, then I had to reload the video feed. I do believe I'm going to have to change that grade from a D to an F. While reloading, Travis Tucker apparently grounded out to 3b. Or so said GameTracker. Sigh...

Brandon Workman went to the mound for the Horns in the bottom of the 6th and started things off by giving up a full-count single to Luna. Zornes followed that with a fly out to cf. And, reload the video. Sigh... Padron singled up the middle. On the hit-and-run, Luna made it to 3b. Hague flew out to lf (sac fly) to score Luna. Seastrunk singled to cf, putting runners at 1b and 2b with 2 out. And, reload video. It's official: the grade for this service is a big fat F. Dodson walked (full-count, I think) to load the bases...prompting a visit to the mound by Skip Johnson. Mozingo grounded out to end the inning. Leaving the Horns up 5-1.

Rice sent a new pitcher (Ojala) to the mound to start the 7th. And, I pretty much decided to give up on the video feed...switching instead to Keith Moreland and Bill Little on the radio. Ahhh...much better. Jordan Danks flew out to deep cf. Preston Clark, alas, struck out looking...for the third time in the game, according to Keith. Cameron Rupp grounded out to 3b. And, then Keith made me laugh by saying we had 7 innings in the book and were headed to the 8th before realizing we were actually headed to the bottom of the 7th...and thus, the 7th inning stretch.

Chance Ruffin went to the mound for Texas in the bottom of the 7th. Gayhart flew out to cf. Camerota (pinch-hitting for Buenger) worked the count full and then flew out to rf. Luna was hit by a pitch. Zornes followed that with a strikeout to end the inning.

Brandon Belt tripled to the rf/cf gap to start off the 8th! Rice sent Runnels to pitch for Ojala. Kyle Russell worked the count full and then struck out looking. David Hernandez flew out to cf (sac fly), scoring Brandon and putting the Horns back up by 5. Kyle Lusson reached on a throwing error by the second baseman and then moved to 2b on a wild pitch. Michael Torres hit his first homerun of the year down the rf line to score 2! Rice sent Haynes to the mound and Travis Tucker grounded out to 2b to end the top of the 8th. Texas up 8-1.

Stayton Thomas replaced Chance Ruffin on the mound for the Horns. Padron flew out to lf. Hague lined out to 1b. Nice play by Brandon Belt, according to Keith. Seastrunk struck out looking. 3-up/3-down for Mr. Thomas. Cool.

Jordan Danks started off the 9th with a single to rf. Preston Clark drew a full-count walk to put runners at 1b and 2b. Cameron Rupp grounded out to the pitcher to move the runners to 2b and 3b. The pitcher made a mistake on the play. He should've thrown to 2b to kick-off a double play but looked at 3b instead and was then too late to make a throw to 2b. So, Rice had to settle for one out. Which prompted Wayne Graham to replace his pitcher. Evers went to the mound for the Owls. Brandon Belt grounded out to the pitcher, scoring Jordan and moving Preston to 3b. The infield was pulled in but a high chopper left the pitcher with no choice but to go for the out at 1b and allow the run to score. Kyle Russell struck out to end the top of the 9th. Horns up 9-1.

Marcus Tackett went in for the Horns to close out the game. Dodson reached on an error by the shortstop. David Hernandez stopped the ball but then bobbled it and could not get a throw away so he just held onto the ball. Mozingo flew out to lf. Kyle Lusson made a nice long run to grab the ball and rob Mozingo of a single. Gayhart reached on a 3-6 fielder's choice. Comerota hit a ground ball that would've been a single through the right side but, instead, it hit Gayhart running from 1b to 2b for the final out of the game. What a weird way to end the game. Texas wins 9-1.

By the way, I tuned back in to the video for the bottom of the inning and it worked just fine. For 5 minutes. And, then it got to the point where I had to reload the feed. But, it was just after the final out so it wasn't too aggravating. My mom also watched the CSTV feed (also with a Mac) and did not have nearly as many problems as I did. She did not have to reload every 5 minutes like I did but the video was about 1/2 inning behind for the entire game. She said the service was very poor. When pressed to give it a letter grade, she gave it an F. When pressed further, she said it might not have been quite that bad. I'm still giving it an F and am very glad I did not have to spend any money on it. I'm going to go ahead and cancel my free trial so I don't have to remember to do something about it later and end up paying for it by mistake.

Posted by Joanna at 10:25 PM | Permalink

Quick note about tonight's game

I got a note from a reader (hi, Ben!) this afternoon asking if I'd ever tried CSTV's streaming video. He pointed out that they'll be streaming tonight's game against Rice. I have not tried the service but I may do so tonight if I get home in time. 'Just thought I'd point out the service to anyone else interested in watching the game. And, check out the College Sports TV Coupon Codes for a coupon that might get you the game for free.

UPDATE (7 pm). I got home a bit after 6:30 and went ahead and signed up for the service. The 1st inning was just ending by the time I got signed up and connected. And, now...as the bottom of the 2nd was about to get underway...the game went into "glare" delay. There's a bad glare off a nearby hotel that apparently impedes the batter's ability to see the ball. This is apparently a common occurrence during Rice home games. The announcer pointed out that glare delays usually last about 20 minutes. As for the service? I'm not impressed so far. I am using a Mac and that probably makes a difference but the signal has already dropped out 2 or 3 times. And, the picture isn't that great. I have to reload the page and then choose the game again. Causing me to miss things. They're also using the Rice radio announcers. I'd, of course, much prefer Texas audio. But, that may just be me. Heh.

Posted by Joanna at 3:31 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 10, 2008

Dallas Baptist game postponed

Today's game against Dallas Baptist has officially been postponed. It's been raining off-and-on all morning. At about 11:30 or so it looked like things might actually clear up enough to get the game in but now it's looking worse again. The water is flowing along the gutter pretty freely in the street outside my office. And, my office is a bit more than a mile from the stadium. So, really, things cannot be much better over there. A make-up date has not yet been set.

Posted by Joanna at 1:04 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 9, 2008

Game 13: Stanford at Texas

Texas needed a win today to take the Stanford series. Alas, it was not to be as the Horns lost 9-12 in 8 innings. The teams agreed before the game began that no inning would start after 4 pm due to Stanford's travel plans. It'd be nice to think that the Horns could've pulled the win off if they'd had a full 9 innings but...eh.

Today was Letterman Day at Disch-Falk. They honored a whole bunch (numerically specific, eh?) of former Letterman before the game started. A player from the 1938 team showed up. Wow. Here's a shot of the oldest of the old-timers:

[Lettermen from th3 30s and 40s]

And, before things started, I spotted Coach Gus in the crowd:

[Coach Gus]

And, these are the Letterman who showed up from the 1983 Championship team (other players from the 70s and 80s are standing behind the guys from the '83 squad):

[83 Champs]

That's "my" Championship team since they won the CWS the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years at UT. Cool.

It was fun seeing the Letterman out on the field. Alas, once they left the field, most of the fun was over for the day.

Stanford improved their record to 8-4 while the Horns fell to 9-4. Cole Green started for the Horns and had a really bad day. He faced 7 batters and gave up 6 hits before handing the reigns over to Casey Whitmer. Giving up a 5-spot to Stanford in the 1st inning was bad enough. Grounding into 6 (yes...six!) double plays in 8 innings is what really did the Horns in, though.

I have to give the offense credit. They did not give up. But, every time they'd start to make a little bit of comeback, they'd ground into one of those double plays and then the defense would give up another run or two. Very frustrating. Stanford scored 5 in the 1st, 1 in the 2nd, 3 in the 5th, 1 in the 7th, and 2 more in the 8th. Every Texas pitcher (there were 6 of 'em) gave up at least one run. Surprisingly, 4 of the 6 Stanford pitchers also gave up at least one run.

Four Stanford players had multiple hits but the standout was Sean Ratliff who went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, and 2 homeruns. Entertainingly, he went 0-for-3 on Friday with 3 strikeouts. You really never know who's gonna get hot.

Texas scored 1 in the 3rd, 1 in the 5th, 2 in the 6th, 4 (!) in the 7th to draw within 2 while Stanford did everything they could to drag the game out and avoid having to play an 8th or 9th, and 1 final run in the 8th. It's really rather remarkable that they managed that much offense with all those double plays. I honestly don't think I've ever seen a game where a team grounded into 4 double plays to start off a game. And, then? To top those off with 2 more...one in the 6th and another in the 8th to end the game? Sometimes, baseball really isn't fair. And, you know what? If Michael Torres hadn't managed to steal 2b after walking in the 5th, the ground ball David Hernandez hit to 3b would almost surely have been turned for another double play. Can you imagine if Stanford had managed to turn double plays in 7 of 8 innings? Wow.

Today's offensive power came from Preston Clark and Cameron Rupp who hit back-to-back homers in the 6th. And, Jordan Danks hit his 2nd homerun of the year in the 7th.

A few more photos since, really, I can't think of much more to say about the oddness that was today's game...

Cole Green on the mound:

[Cole Green]

Brandon Belt watches the action from 3b in the 2nd:

[Brandon Belt]

Prevailing conditions in the top of the 3rd:

[Prevailing conditions]

Note the clouds, stiff wind, and the lights...already on at about 1:45. These conditions were not unique to the 3rd. They were that way for most of the game. The wind, coming from the south, was cold but a bit more forgiving than the wind on Friday. We were not miserable in the stands. Well, we were somewhat miserable but it wasn't really the weather that was causing the misery.

Keith Shinaberry on the mound:

[Keith Shinaberry]

Michael Torres appearing to hover above the ground near 2b in the 3rd:

[Michael Torres]

Chance Ruffin's hand disappears in a blur as he pitches in the 5th:

[Chance Ruffin]

Travis Tucker stole 2b in the 5th and was then stranded there:

[Travis Tucker]

Preston Clark takes a curtain call after hitting a homerun in the 6th:

[Preston Clark]

Cameron Rupp gets props from his teammates after he followed Preston's homerun with one of his own:

[Cameron Rupp]

Brandon Workman on the mound:

[Brandon Workman]

Jordan Danks gets props after his homerun in the 7th:

[Jordan Danks]

The final line...as displayed on the scoreboard:

[Final scoreboard]

Posted by Joanna at 10:42 PM | Permalink

Game 12: Stanford at Texas

Texas couldn't quite do enough to pull off a win in the 2nd game of the Stanford series and ended up losing 5-6. The difference maker, alas, was a 2-run homerun by Stanford catcher Jason Castro in the 7th inning. He hit a 2-run homer late in Friday's game but that one was a bit too little, too late for the Cardinal. That was not the case, alas, in Saturday's game. The weather, by the way, was quite a bit nicer than in Friday's game. It was still cool and a little windy...but it wasn't too bad.

Kenn Kasparek made his 3rd start of the year. He threw 4 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits (4 singles and a ground-rule double) with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. Kyle Walker started the 5th and had a bad day. He faced 5 and gave up 2 earned runs on 2 walks and 2 singles while getting only one out. Keith Shinaberry went in with one out in the 5th and faced his customary 1 batter. He coaxed a 4-6-3 double play out of the lone batter he faced. Marcus Tackett pitched the 6th and 7th, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits with 1 strikeout. Alas, one of the hits was the aforementioned 2-run homer which saddled him with the loss. Stayton Thomas threw the last 2 innings and faced the minimum 6 batters. He got 5 ground outs and 1 fly out to cf. Discounting Kyle's outing, it was actually not a bad day for Texas pitching. Alas, the offense did not manage to keep up.

Offensively, the Horns scored single runs in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th. They scored a couple in the 6th to take their first lead of the day but were not able to hold on. Travis Tucker and Jordan Danks were the only players with multiple hits. Travis went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk, a run batted in, and 2 stolen bases. Jordan went 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and a strikeout. Russell Moldenhauer went 1-for-4 with a single and 2 driven in. The Horns stranded 6 runners, 5 in scoring position. Four of those 5 runners got into scoring position with only 1 out. Opportunities sadly wasted.

Posted by Joanna at 7:53 PM | Permalink

Game 11: Stanford at Texas

Texas won the first game of the Stanford series 5-2. Austin Wood got the start and pitched into the 8th inning, giving up 2 runs (in the 8th on a 2-run homerun by catcher Jason Castro) on 5 hits with 8 strikeouts (!) and 1 walk. Chance Ruffin closed out the game to get his 2nd save of the year.

On the offensive side of things, Travis Tucker drew a full-count walk to start the game for the Horns. He moved to 2b on a sac bunt by David Hernandez and scored on a ground rule double by Jordan Danks. That was the last earned run of the game for the Horns. They scored 3 in the 3rd like so:

The Horns scored one more in the 5th. David Hernandez reached on a single through the left side. Jordan Danks bunted to the pitcher who made a bad throw to ss trying to get the lead runner rather than getting the batter out. David made it to 3b on the play. Preston Clark walked to load the bases. And, Cameron Rupp walked to drive David home. With the bases still loaded and no outs, Brandon Belt struck out. Kyle Russell then popped out to 3b in foul territory. With Kevin Keyes at the plate, the catcher threw behind Cameron at 1b and picked him off to end the inning.

Going down the batting order: Travis Tucker went 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, and two runs scored. David Hernandez went 2-for-2 with a sac bunt, a walk, and 2 runs scored. Jordan Danks went 1-for-4 with a double and a run batted in. Preston Clark went 0-for-3 with a walk and 1 run scored. Cameron Rupp went 1-for-3 with a walk and 2 runs batted in. Brandon Belt went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts. Entertainingly, he went 4-for-4 with a walk in Sunday's game. That just goes to show that you have good days and bad days. Kyle Russell with 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Kevin Keyes, like Brandon Belt, went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts. And, Michael Torres went 1-for-4.

It was a nice win but those four unearned runs made me nervous for the rest of the weekend. Rightly so, it turned out...

Posted by Joanna at 7:19 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 7, 2008

Quick update: Stanford at Texas

Just a quick update. Texas beat Stanford 5-2 this afternoon. Austin Wood pitched a great game and Stanford gifted the Horns with a couple of timely errors. I went out to the park and was as bundled up as I could get. And, I was still cold. You would not think that 57 degrees could feel all that cold. You'd be wrong. That stiff wind bearing down on us from the north was miserable and unforgiving. Brrrrr...

I will try to post a full game report sometime late tonight.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:14 PM | Permalink

Thursday - March 6, 2008

Disch, Hooten, and Swindell to the College Baseball Hall of Fame

I noticed yesterday that the TexasSports.com page had a story about Coach Billy Disch, Burt Hooten, and Greg Swindell being inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame but didn't have time to link to it. Congratulations to the three of them! They join Coach Cliff Gustafson and Brooks Kieschnick, inducted in the inaugural class in 2006, along with Coach Bibb Falk, inducted last year.

Posted by Joanna at 12:11 PM | Permalink

TexasSports.tv note

I noticed recently that the TexasSports.tv stuff has switched to a free service. And, they stream and archive home games. Which is nice. Alas, if you're on a Mac, you're out of luck. I asked about the situation yesterday and got the following response:

The current TexasSports.TV player is not compatible with the Mac OS. We have requested that the software developers allow Flip4Mac technology to work with the player and are waiting to hear back from them regarding that request.

So, if you're in my boat, you might want to drop them a line. Just so they know we're out here. The more people ask, the more incentive the developer will have to add Macintosh compatibility.

Posted by Joanna at 12:11 PM | Permalink

Game 10: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Texas

Sorry I didn't post about the game yesterday. I simply forgot to do it when I got home. Oops.

I was not in my office for much of the afternoon so missed most of the game. I heard a few things here and there but even when I was in my office, I had to concentrate too much on what I was doing to really get many of the details. I had the Live Stats page open so got caught up from time to time on what was going on. I have to say that, for the most part, it was just ugly. Texas won 22-3. Ouch.

I did hear Kawika Emsley-Pai get his first hit of the year (along with his first start). And, Brandon Workman got the start. Looking at the boxscore, I see that Keith Shinaberry, Kyle Walker (awarded his first win of the year), Stayton Thomas, Marcus Tackett, and Brandon Belt (!) also saw a bit of action on the mound. Four Longhorns scored 4 runs: Travis Tucker, Michael Torres, Jordan Danks, and Kawika. Brandon Belt knocked in 8 of the runs on 4 hits (including 2 doubles) and then threw a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.

While it's nice to see the Horns putting up such big numbers, I hope it keeps up when we play Stanford this weekend. The Islanders walked 17 batters and I don't think we can count on that sort of thing very often. We saw how the team responded to the loss to Rice with the victory over Houston the next day. It'll be interesting to see how things go against Stanford after two very easy wins.

By the way, Preston Clark was not in the line-up again. There's a quick note in the Statesman's story about Tuesday's game saying that Preston "saw a doctor in Dallas on Tuesday for his injured shoulder and will start throwing again this weekend." Now you know as much as I do about that situation. (Thanks to Dad for the pointer to the article.)

Posted by Joanna at 11:34 AM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 4, 2008

Game 9: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Texas

I listened to the game from my office today. I want to take Friday afternoon off and catch the Stanford game so have decided not to take in either of the TAMU-CC Islanders games. Alas, no way I can recap the whole game inning-by-inning since I am working.

Today's line-up presents a couple of changes: (1) Travis Tucker at 3b, (2) Michael Torres at 2b, (3) Jordan Danks in cf, (4) Cameron Rupp at c, (5) Brandon Belt at 1b, (6) Kyle Russell in rf, (7) Tant Shepherd at dh, (8) Connor Rowe in lf, and (9) David Hernandez at ss. Riley Boening gets the nod to start. And, good for Connor Rowe...getting rewarded for that game-winning single on Sunday. And, no mention (that I heard, at any rate) on whether or not Preston Clark is just getting an extra bit of rest or if his sore arm has gotten worse.

Pre-game comments from Coach Garrido (as best I can para-phrase): Adversity is good for the team. He hopes the eye-opener of how many things can go wrong when you let the environment kick you around helps the team. He said the team let fear get to them and he thought they did a remarkable thing in their turnaround in the game against Houston. He said there are a lot more positives than negatives...Riley Boening's comeback is one of those positives. It's about how the team responds to adversity. He thinks the game against Houston speaks well to the team's character.

Riley Boening started off nicely with a 3-up/3-down inning. The Horns followed by stranding Travis Tucker at 2b in the bottom of the 1st.

Texas scored a couple on the bottom of the 2nd: rbi double by Tant Shepherd (driving Kyle Russell in) and rbi single by Travis Tucker (driving Tant in). The Horns did strand a couple.

The Islanders took the lead in the 4th...after 3 very quiet innings. The second batter of the inning reached on an error by Travis Tucker at 3b (I did not hear the specifics of the error). The next batter doubled down the rf line to put runners at 2b and 3b. That was followed by a single to drive one in and put runners at the corners. The next batter hit a 2-run double to put the Horns behind by one run. Riley got out of the inning by striking out the next batter and fielding a "come-backer" to throw the final batter out at 1b.

I was out of my office and missed most of the bottom of the 5th. I heard the final two Texas batters...out of 9, it turns out. I got back just in time to hear Tant Shepherd hit a 2-run single to drive in the last 2 of 4 runs scored by Texas...in response to the 3 scored by the Islanders in the top of the inning. Good job. According to the Live Stats page, the bottom of the inning went like so:

Texas sent Casey Whitmer in to pitch for Riley at the top of the 5th. The Islanders got a couple aboard (via a single and a walk) but they were stranded at 1b and 2b. In the bottom of the inning, the Horns scored another couple...both unearned. Travis Tucker reached on a 1-out walk. He stole 2b and then tagged and moved to 3b on a fly out to rf by Michael Torres. Jordan Danks then hit a fly ball to cf. The center fielder lost it in the sun and, on the error, Travis scored and Jordan ended up at 2b. Cameron Rupp singled to rf, scoring Jordan. Brandon Belt flew out to lf to end the inning. Texas up 8-3.

I missed the top of the 6th (turned out to be a 1-2-3 inning) and the first three batters of the bottom of the inning. However, according to Keith (conveniently re-capping as I got back to my office): Kyle Russell doubled to start things off and was followed by consecutive walks by Tant Shepherd and Connor Rowe. The Islanders changed pitchers at that point and the new pitcher struck David Hernandez out. The Live Stats page, by the way, seemed to be dead dead dead at this point. No idea what happened there. At any rate, Travis Tucker walked in a run putting the Horns up 9-3. Michael Torres then walked in another run. Jordan Danks went down swinging. Keith said that was the first strikeout by the pitcher but I think it was the 2nd...unless I misheard regarding how David Hernandez went down (and, again...no Live Stats to confirm one way or the other). Cameron Rupp doubled to lf, clearing the bases and putting Texas up by 10. Brandon Belt doubled to left center, scoring Cameron. Kyle Russell flew out (I did not hear to which field) to end the inning.

Hunter Harris went to the mound for the Horns in the 7th and threw a 1-2-3 inning. I tuned into the bottom of the inning to hear that Tant Shepherd was at 2b and Kevin Keyes was at the plate (batting for Connor Rowe, I guess). He was hit by a 3-0 pitch to put runners at 1b and 2b with no out. A wild pitch to Pat McCrory (pinch-hitting for David Hernandez) sent the runners to 2b and 3b. A second wild pitch moved the batters up again, scoring Tant this time and moving Kevin to 3b. Pat was also hit by a 3-0 pitch to put runners at the corners. The Islanders went to their 5th (I think) pitcher of the day at this point. Keith then re-capped so I found out that Tant reached on a double to the lf corner. Travis Tucker reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. The 3rd baseman tried to get the runner out at 2b but had a tough play and did not make it. Michael Torres grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Kevin scored on the play and Pat ended up at 3b. Jordan Danks made the final out but I did not hear how. Texas ahead 16-3 going into the 8th.

I pretty much missed the rest of the game. Texas gave up 4 more runs (1 unearned) in the 8th but did go on to win 16-7. 'Wish I had time to post more but I'm running late for dinner...

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:38 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 2, 2008

Game 8: Houston at Texas (Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park)

Texas played home team to Houston in the final game of the Houston College Classic this evening. Frustratingly, they started the game a few minutes early. There's no winning, apparently. Sigh...

The Texas line-up: (1) Travis Tucker at 3b, (2) Michael Torres at 2b, (3) Jordan Danks in cf, (4) Preston Clark at dh, (5) Brandon Belt at 1b, (6) Kyle Russell in rf, (7) Cameron Rupp at c, (8) Kyle Lusson in lf, and (9) David Hernandez back in at ss. Cole Green got the start for the Horns. Keith Moreland and Bill Little on the radio. I went ahead and paid for the MLB.TV thing so I could watch the game. They used the Texas radio team as announcers. I wonder if folks in the Houston area got the Houston radio broadcast (assuming the Cougars broadcast their games)?

At some point in the game, Bill Little announced the field for next year's Houston College Classic: Rice, Houston, Texas A&M, Baylor, USC, and UCLA.

Here's how the game played out:

Wow. Texas wins 8-7 in 10 innings. Connor Rowe gets the game winner in his first ever at-bat. Very cool.

Post game comments from Coach Garrido: the team didn't give up and did a lot of things right. There was a lot more hustle to the team which is hard to do after the last two games. He thinks today was a step forward as they get ready to play the games ahead. He's proud of the players for coming out and turning things around.

As a bit of an aside: throughout the game, Keith complained that his glasses were missing. Everyone had been searching for them to no avail. As the 7th inning pitching change ended he happily announced that Bill Little was coming back to the booth with his glasses in hand. Someone in the Texas dugout had found them on the steps in the darkest part of the dugout. Only one problem when they arrived: they weren't Keith's glasses! Heh heh heh. I guess they never did show up.

Posted by Joanna at 9:56 PM | Permalink

Game 7: Texas at Rice (Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park)

Today's game (Saturday's game, actually, since this didn't get posted until 12:30 in the morning on Sunday) against Rice was set to start at 7 o'clock. Alas, the Texas Tech vs. Tennessee game was only in its 3rd inning at 7. The first game of the day (OU vs. Houston) went 10 innings and lasted over 3-and-one-half hours before OU finally won 8-5. That 2nd game started just over an hour late and didn't end until after 8 (Tech won 7-3, by the way...putting the Big 12 up on the day). Which meant the Texas game couldn't start until about 9. Which, yes, means they started 2 hours late. Yikes.

Today's line-up (facing Rice starter Cole St. Clair): (1) Travis Tucker at 3b, (2) Michael Torres at 2b, (3) Jordan Danks in cf, (4) Preston Clark at dh, (5) Brandon Belt at 1b, (6) Kyle Russell in rf, (7) Cameron Rupp at c, (8) Kevin Keyes in lf, and (9) David Hernandez at ss. Note that Kyle Russell moved down a couple of spots in the line-up. Kenn Kasparek started for the Horns. And, Rice got the home team nod.

And, things went thusly:

Texas loses 4-10. Ouch.

Coach Garrido spent a lot of time pacing in the dugout during tonight's game. He was clearly not happy with the team's performance.

In the post-game visit, Coach Garrido said it's a situation where we had 3 really good innings. Unfortunately the game lasted 9 innings. It shows how much the team needs to do to win at a high level. The team is seeing how fast the game plays at this level and had a hard time with the speed of the game. The defensive players' skills and quickness are being challenged. This game belonged to Rice and reveals where the Horns are and where they need to be. He thinks we have good athletes that can learn and can get the job done. (That's more-or-less what was said...the stupid field mike kept cutting out.)

And, with that...I'm headed to bed. 'Night.

Posted by Joanna at 12:30 AM | Permalink

« February 2008 | Main | April 2008 »