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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:

RHE
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