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Wednesday - June 25, 2008

CWS: That was fun

Fresno State beat Georgia 6-1 tonight to win the 2008 College World Series. Good for them! I rooted for them all the way and they won it. In the 6th, with 2 aboard, FSU leading 3-0, 2 out, and facing a 3-1 count, I said something along the lines of: "C'mon, Detwiler, hit another homer...you can do it!" And, about 2 seconds later, he did. Heh. He went 4-for-4 tonight with 2 homers, a single, and a double. And, he batted in all 6 of those runs scored by the west coast Bulldogs. What a fun bunch of guys. There was just no way they were gonna win it. But they did. Fun fun fun. I do love college baseball. 'Love it!

Posted by Joanna at 10:20 PM | Permalink

Thursday - June 19, 2008

CWS: Rain delay humor

From Baseball America's College blog:

North Carolina coach Mike Fox and Louisiana State coach Paul Mainieri had an impromptu press conference to address tonight’s game, which was suspended after a three-hour, five-minute weather delay. [...]

"I’d like to announce that Mike Fox has agreed to give us a mulligan, and we can start the game over tomorrow," Mainieri said at the start of the press conference. Then he turned to Fox and said, "Didn’t you agree to that?"

Fox quickly and firmly responded, "No."

Heh heh. Be sure to read the whole story.

The NC/LSU elimination game will resume tomorrow night at 6:08 with UNC leading 2-0, bases loaded, 1 out, and Garrett Gore at the plate (0-1 count). LSU will likely go with another pitcher in relief. You never know, though. Maybe the starter (who hit two and walked in a run on a 4-pitch walk...yikes!) will be all better tomorrow evening.

By the way, the games scheduled to be played tomorrow will be pushed back to Saturday and final games will be played on Sunday if needed. I think the best-of-three Championship series schedule is unchanged.

Posted by Joanna at 10:40 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - June 17, 2008

CWS: Two and bar-b-que

If you'd asked me to take a guess late last week on which two teams would be the first to head home, I would've been hard-pressed to predict Rice and Florida State. Wow. I would've been even less likely to predict that Georgia and Fresno State would be sitting pretty at 2-0 today. Double wow. Truth be told, I would very likely have predicted that Georgia and Fresno State would be the first two teams heading home. And, I guess I rather expected North Carolina and Miami to be the 2-0 teams.

Last Monday, I said I'd be rooting for Fresno State and I'm still doing that. Sadly, I didn't get to watch their game this evening. I was out listening to some fantastic music. But, I hope to watch them play on Friday. Again, I say: go, Bulldogs!

I just love college baseball. That is all.

Posted by Joanna at 11:34 PM | Permalink

Off-topic: GameTracker

Have you ever paid attention to GameTracker when a game is in progress? There are lots of entertaining little things going on all the time that give me a chuckle. Clearly, the programmers and graphic designers are having some fun. I remembered to "tune in" this afternoon just in time to "watch" the bottom of the 9th in today's LSU/Rice game. LSU (home team) was behind 2-5 with an out and a runner at 1b. The first batter I saw (Ochinko) was hit by a pitch. His little avatar (or whatever you want to call it) glowed bright red momentarily and advanced to 1b. Ouch. The red glow made me laugh out loud. And, I ended up getting some screen caps for you while I watched the news this evening. Here's the hit batter in pain:

[GameTracker screen grab]

And, here's the sequence as he runs down the line:

[GameTracker screen grab]

I've "watched" quite a few games on GameTracker and that's the first time I ever noticed the red-hot pain of being hit by a pitch. Heh.

The next batter singled up the middle, scoring one. The next reached on an error by ss. I have no idea what the actual error was but according to the GameTracker graphics, the ball hit the shortstop in the chest and landed on the baseline in front of him:

[GameTracker screen grab]

Note how the ball is just laying there on the ground?

The final batter (Dean) hit a bases-clearing double to lf. According to the GameTracker graphics, the ball bounced right to the left-fielder who just held onto it and didn't bother to throw home.

[GameTracker screen grab]

See how the left fielder (Luna) is hanging onto the ball?...while Hollander's avatar turns an eerie shade of yellow as he heads back to the dugout after scoring and Mitchell runs toward the plate? We all know that's not what really happened, though, right? I saw a replay on the news and the double went off the wall in lf and bounced back into the field past Luna. By the time he caught up to the ball, it looked like the 3rd run was crossing the plate.

They've modified the field graphics a bit for the CWS. The CWS logo now shows up on the scoreboard in lf for most of the game. There's a big "Rosenblatt" banner above the scoreboard. And the astro-turf "College World Series" ring around home plate has shown up as well (making it difficult to read the names of the catcher and batter).

What are some of the regular things that happen? When a strike is recorded, you see the ball cross the plate while the batter swings ineffectually...whether he really took a swing or not is immaterial. Whenever a ball is hit, the batter drops his bat on the ground before running to 1b. The same thing happens on a walk. When a game ends in the bottom of the 9th, the final "frame" usually reflects conditions on the field at the time of the last out or final score. In today's game, it ended on that bases-clearing double by Dean:

[GameTracker screen grab]

I love how they don't clear the field. When the home team is ahead and doesn't have to bat in the bottom of the 9th, GameTracker usually clears the field and the last batter's bat lays discarded near home plate.

Ah well. If only they could get the system to the point where it wouldn't freeze up for minutes at a time. I'm sure that's on the way. In the meantime, those little things do entertain.

Posted by Joanna at 11:01 PM | Permalink

Kyle Russell signs

According to the Statesman, Kyle Russell signed with the Dodgers today. Best of luck, Mr. Russell! We'll sure miss you 'round these parts.

UPDATE. I found him listed on the Ogden Raptors roster sporting jersey number 46.

UPDATE #2. I was going over that Raptors roster again and noticed the manager's name: Mike Brumley. I'm pretty sure that's the Mike Brumley that played for the Horns when I was a student at UT...the one on the 1983 National Championship team. Cool! I also noticed that Brian Ruggiano (Aggie second baseman) is listed on the roster.

Posted by Joanna at 6:09 PM | Permalink

Quick note: Coach Garrido movie

I got a note this morning (Hi, Bill!) alerting me to the fact that the documentary profile of Coach Garrido will air again tomorrow (Wednesday) on ESPN Classic at noon. I think that's west coast time...it should be on at 2 here in Austin. So, if you missed it the first time around and have access to ESPN Classic (which I do not), set your DVR!

I've also received a few notes from people asking if the movie is available for purchase. It does not seem to be at this point in time. If I see any news of a DVD release, I will be sure to post.

Posted by Joanna at 11:55 AM | Permalink

Sunday - June 15, 2008

Inning by Inning: Portrait of a Coach

Don't forget, ESPN2 will be airing Richard Linklater's documentary about Coach Garrido on Sunday evening. A few links about the movie:

It airs at 9 here in Austin.

PS: Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there...especially mine!

Posted by Joanna at 12:11 AM | Permalink

Friday - June 13, 2008

A few signings

A few of our drafted players have signed:

It's also being reported that the Dodgers and Kyle Russell have reached a preliminary deal (scroll down to the "Dodger Blue Notes" heading near the bottom of the page).

And, the usual note: check my 2008 MLB Draft Summary page for additional info.

Posted by Joanna at 8:07 PM | Permalink

Thursday - June 12, 2008

Alumni news: Horns playing pro ball

Make sure you check out this post on TexasSports.com (posted earlier today): Catching up with Longhorns in professional baseball. Lots and lots of good stuff.

PS: I didn't notice at the time but my last post (the one about the CWS field) was my 500th post to this blog. That makes this one #501.

Posted by Joanna at 10:38 PM | Permalink

Monday - June 9, 2008

CWS News: the field is set

I watched several of the Super Regional games this weekend. There were some good games. But, there's really no beating the final game this evening between Fresno State and Arizona State. Well, the 11-inning game between Arizona and Miami on Friday was pretty sweet. But, it was early on. What have you done for me lately? Heh.

As soon as I saw that Fresno State won the Long Beach Regional, I knew I had to root for them in the Tempe Super Regional. The Sun Devils won the first game 12-4 on Saturday. Yesterday, the Bulldogs had a big 4th inning, scoring 5, and managed to hold on to win 8-6. Which led to the deciding game this evening.

It was a very close game through 6. With the score tied 5-5 going into the top of the 7th, the kids from Fresno State pushed 6 runs across. What? Amazing. And, then they held the Sun Devils scoreless in the 7th and 8th. They tacked on another run to go up 12-5 in the top of the 9th. And, then the kids from Arizona State started their own big inning. With one out and runners at 1b and 2b, the Bulldogs sent their closer (Brandon Burke) to the mound. Burke walked the bases loaded. Then he gave up a single (and the 6th ASU run). And, then another single (along with the 7th and 8th ASU runs). Then he got the next batter to fly out to lf. Two out, runners at 1b and 2b. The 8th batter of the inning singled, driving in the 9th ASU run and putting runners at the corners. The 9th batter, representing the tying run, walked (!) to load the bases!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. This was the final game of the Super Regionals. The LSU/UC-Irvine game had ended 10 or 15 minutes earlier.

Everyone who cared about college baseball was glued to ESPN2, just waiting to see what would happen. We were all watching the Fresno State closer struggle. He'd get his first pitch over for a strike, pull ahead of the batter, and then give up a single. We watched. And couldn't believe what we were seeing.

The 10th batter of the inning went to the plate. He'd struck out to start off the inning. Now he was getting a second chance. Now he represented the winning run. If he homered, ASU would go to the CWS. And, he'd already hit 2 homeruns earlier in the game! Two of 'em. One in the 4th and another in the 5th. Wow. He lifted a pitch toward lf. And, it was caught by the Fresno State left fielder. Game over.

Amazing.

This is the first time a 4th seed from the Regional round has made their way to Omaha since the Regional/Super-Regional 64-team format was instituted. Wow. I'm gonna keep on rooting for the kids from Fresno State.

The field is now set:

Miami, Florida State, Stanford, and Georgia are on the 1-4-5-8 side of the bracket. North Carolina, Fresno State, Rice, and LSU are on the 2-3-6-7 side. The winners of each 4-team bracket will face each other for a best-of-3 series in a couple of weeks.

Fresno State faces Rice at 1 PM on Saturday. Usually, I'd be rooting for Rice. But, I can't do that this year. I have to root for the underdog. Go, Bulldogs!

Posted by Joanna at 11:19 PM | Permalink

Friday - June 6, 2008

More draft news

The final rounds of the draft went fairly quickly today since they were not broadcast and a few more Texas players were drafted. Here's the full list including those of interest from yesterday:

Will they all sign? I have no idea. I'd be very surprised to see Kyle Russell, Jordan Danks, Kyle Walker, or Kenn Kasparek on campus next year. Very surprised. The others? No idea at all.

'Notice a name or two missing from the list? I was very surprised that Preston Clark and Austin Wood were not drafted. I was particularly surprised about Preston since he was drafted last year. But, I guess his injuries have scared some people away. At least for the moment.

Other random notes:

We'll have quite a few more seniors on the squad next year than we've seen in several years. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Don't forget to check my draft summary page for additional notes of possible interest to Texas fans.

Posted by Joanna at 7:05 PM | Permalink

Thursday - June 5, 2008

Kyle Russell drafted in 3rd round today

Sad to say, I was too busy at work today to follow the draft. And, then I went out after work so just now found time to check things out.

Kyle Russell was drafted in the 3rd round (93rd overall) of the draft today. He went in the 4th round (142nd overall) last year so he improved his stock by quite a bit...despite his slow start this year. Also drafted was Texas signee Robbie Grossman (outfielder from Cypress). He went in the 6th round.

So far, those are the only Texas-related draftees that I've been able to find. As usual, I've set up a draft summary page with info on our drafted players along with a list of Big 12 and SWC players. Check that page out for periodic updates.

The draft stopped at the end of the 6th round and will resume tomorrow at 10:30 Central time.

Posted by Joanna at 11:36 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - June 3, 2008

Regionals - Day 4 summary

In the final day of the Regional tournaments, most of the games went the way they were "supposed" to go. If'n you go by the seedings. The Aggies handled Houston quite easily. I watched a bit of the game and felt bad for the Cougars. I was rooting for the Aggies. But, I still felt bad for the Cougars 'cause they just could not find any pitching. At least, not while I was watching. So, the Aggies head to Rice. Again. They did the same thing last year and the Owls won in 2. The games were rather close but, still. Repeat? Ugh.

Florida State beat Tulane late. I'd forgotten that Josh Prince had transfered to Tulane. He went 2-for-5 with a double and 2 runs batted in this evening. For the season (according to GameTracker), he hit .231, had 143 at-bats, scored 22 runs, had 33 hits, with 8 batted in, 1 homerun, 19 stolen bases, 14 walks, 23 strikeouts, and 3 doubles.

Number 1 seeds Stanford and Georgia also won to advance. The final #1 seed still playing is Cal State Fullerton (CSF up 5-3 over UCLA in the 6th as I type).

The most entertaining result of the day: #4 seed Fresno State won the Long Beach Regional. They now get to travel to Tempe to play #3 National Seed Arizona State. I think I kinda have to root for the Bulldogs in the next round.

So, 7 of the 8 National seeds won their tournaments this year...with the result of the #5 National seed Regional still pending. The last time all of the National seeds won their Regionals was in 2005. Interesting. Texas, by the way, beat the #5 National seed (Mississippi) in the Super Regional round and went on to win it all. Of course, the Titans might still lose.

In the bottom-half of the National bracket, #2 seed UC-Irvine, #2 seed Wichita State, and (as mentioned) #4 seed Fresno State played the role of spoiler in their Regional tournaments.

UPDATE: Cal State Fullerton won 5-4. So, the top 8 National seeds all won their tournaments and will now host the 8 best-of-three Super Regional tournaments.

Posted by Joanna at 12:21 AM | Permalink

Sunday - June 1, 2008

Press conference quotes from final game

Rice, very annoyingly, puts the post-game quotes in a PDF file that's embedded within a web page. They did post them, though, so I guess I should be grateful. Right? I'm re-posting them here so you don't have to mess with the PDF file.

Posted by Joanna at 11:59 PM | Permalink

Regionals - Day 3 summary

Needless to say, I'm kinda down on the whole Regional thing this evening. Texas did win the first elimination game of the day, surviving a 9th inning rally to beat St. John's 4-3. Alas, the Horns could not mount their own late-inning rally to beat Rice later in the day, falling 4-7 in the night cap.

In the post-game press conference, Coach Garrido described the season as good for the first part as the team went 16-6, then pretty lousy as the team lost their way in the middle of the season, and then very good again at the end of the season. Rice just out-pitched and out-hit the Horns in the final game.

If you think about it, it's it absolutely stunning that there were 6 errors in the final game of the year and not one was committed by Texas. The fact that the Rice pitchers limited the Horns to 6 hits really did make all the difference in the world. If the Horns had been able to get just one or two more hits, they likely would've won the game. Baseball really is a cruel sport sometimes.

Sigh...

And, how did things go elsewhere? Let's see...

Houston beat Illinois-Chicago to earn their way into the Championship game in College Station. And, then they managed to beat the Aggies this evening. So, they will meet again tomorrow evening to determine who'll be headed to Houston to play Rice in the Super Regional. I still think it sucks that they paired those two Regionals.

Elsewhere, the Big 12 did not fare well. Oklahoma State eliminated TCU in the first game but then fell in 10 innings to Wichita State in the second game. Nebraska was eliminated in the first game of the day in Lincoln; UC-Irvine won that Regional and now heads to Baton Rouge to play LSU. Missouri was also eliminated in the first game of the day by Ole Miss who went on to lose to Miami in the late game. Oklahoma beat Vandy in the first game of the day but they lost to ASU 0-12 just a few minutes ago.

That also brings us up-to-date on the rest of our old SWC conference-mates that were still in the tourney at the start of Day 3 (Houston and TCU).

A summary of the entire field (in seeding order):

  1. Miami moves on to the Supers.
  2. North Carolina moves on.
  3. Arizona State moves on.
  4. Florida State will play Tulane (#3 seed) tomorrow night; winner moves on.
  5. Cal State Fullerton: UCLA (#2 seed) is the unbeaten team and is tied with CSF 1-1 in the 2nd as I type (CSF has men aboard in the bottom and is threatening). If CSF wins, the teams play again tomorrow night.
  6. Rice moves on.
  7. LSU moves on.
  8. Georgia will play Georgia Tech (#2 seed) tomorrow night; winner moves on.
  9. North Carolina State moves on.
  10. Nebraska lost; UC-Irvine (#2 seed) moves on.
  11. Texas A&M will play Houston (#3 seed) tomorrow night; winner moves on.
  12. Stanford will play Pepperdine (#2 seed) tomorrow night; winner moves on.
  13. Oklahoma State lost; Wichita State (#2 seed) moves on.
  14. Long Beach State lost; San Diego (#2 seed) and Fresno State (#4 seed) play tomorrow night; winner moves on.
  15. Coastal Carolina moves on. Coastal Carolina, by the way, scored 47 runs in the three games they played this weekend.
  16. Arizona (#1 seed at Michigan) moves on.

For those of you that don't generally follow the CWS, please note that there will not be a re-seeding of teams at any time. You're put into the tournament at a certain spot in the bracket and those spots do not change. If, for example, Bethune-Cookman (#64 seed in the tourney, by virtue of being the #4 seed in the #1 Regional) had somehow managed to win the Miami Regional and then the following Super Regional, they would be the #1 see at the CWS. Very odd, if you ask me. But, nobody asked me. I just report the facts. Although, I guess you could argue that if a #64 team did manage to get to that point, they just might deserve a #1 seed, eh? Heh.

And so it goes...

UPDATE. I forgot to post the All Tournament Team for the Houston Regional. So here you go:

Posted by Joanna at 11:23 PM | Permalink

Game 61: Rice at Texas (Houston Regional)

I watched the CSTV stream again. They were using the Rice radio broadcast for the audio, though, so I listened to the radio broadcast from KVET (with Craig Way and Keith Moreland). That meant that the audio was always about 2 or 3 pitches ahead of the video. You get used to it.

The Texas lineup: (1) dh Michael Torres, (2) cf Jordan Danks, (3) rf Kyle Russell, (4) 1b Brandon Belt, (5) 3b Preston Clark, (6) ss David Hernandez, (7) c Cameron Rupp, (8) 2b Travis Tucker, and (9) lf Kyle Lusson. Riley Boening got the start.

And, the game went like so:

And, thus ends the season as the Horns fall 4-7.

They almost pulled it off. It was looking good there when the Horns tied things up in the 3rd and then again in the 6th. But, that mess of a 7th. Ugh. The injuries to Russell Moldenhauer and Preston Clark sure did suck and, I'm sure, did not help. I have to give big props to Kyle Lusson and Tant Shepherd for stepping up and doing well when pressed into service. Kyle made a couple of great catches in lf. And, Tant Shepherd had the only two hits of the game for the Horns in the final 24 plate appearances of the game. Amazing. Bobby Bell really shut the Horns down once he went into the game. Had it not been for all the Rice errors, the Horns barely would've had any threats at all in the final four innings of the game.

Bah. Baseball sure does suck sometimes, eh?

I can't do the post-game press conference justice. Two notes, though: Russell Moldenhauer popped his patella out of it's socket which he's done before. He will have a long hard recovery. Preston Clark will very likely require surgery to fix his knee. Both were serious injuries. I'm sure quotes from the press conference will be posted to the official Houston Regional site and the official Texas site soon. Check them if you want to know what Coach Garrido and Kyle Russell had to say about the game and the season.

The line from GameTracker:

[Final line score]

Posted by Joanna at 10:34 PM | Permalink

Game 60: Texas at St. John's (Houston Regional)

Texas played visitor again today in the game against St. John's. Like yesterday, I watched the CSTV stream. Once again, they carried Craig and Keith's KVET broadcast for the audio.

The Texas lineup: (1) dh Michael Torres, (2) cf Jordan Danks, (3) rf Kyle Russell, (4) 3b Preston Clark, (5) 1b Brandon Belt, (6) ss David Hernandez, (7) c Cameron Rupp, (8) lf Russell Moldenhauer, and (9) 2b Travis Tucker.

Oh. My. I cannot believe it. What an ending. Texas wins 4-3. Wow. Heart break (likewise heart attack) narrowly avoided.

The line from GameTracker:

[Final line score]

I'm not gonna post anything else now as I've got another full game coming up in an hour.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 5:00 PM | Permalink

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