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Saturday - February 28, 2009

Game 8: Penn State at Texas

Texas beat Penn State 1-0 in the final game of today's double header. The wind was still blowing strongly from the north and it seemed to just get colder and colder as the afternoon wore on. As soon as Texas scored, I started rooting for very quick 1-2-3 innings! That didn't quite happen but we came close.

Cole Green got the nod for the Horns and very nearly threw a complete game. He threw 8.1 scoreless innings. He gave up 5 hits (all singles) while throwing 7 strikeouts. He did not give up any walks and threw 103 pitches by my count. Very very nice outing. Penn State only managed to get two base runners to 2b all day long. Green struck out the side in the 8th and struck out the 1st batter he faced in the 9th. He then gave up a single to cf to the next batter. Which prompted a pitching change. Austin Wood entered the game and got his second save of the day. He threw 7 pitches and got 2 strikeouts. Not a bad day's work, eh? In the two games, he threw 12 pitches, got 5 outs, and 2 saves. Not bad at all!

The lone Texas run was scored in the 2nd inning. Tant Shepherd (lf, #5 in the line-up) singled just past a diving shortstop into cf and then stole 2b with Kevin Keyes (rf, #6) at the plate. Keyes ended up striking out. Cameron Rupp (c, #7) did likewise. With 2 out, David Hernandez (ss, #8) singled over the second baseman's head, scoring Shepherd. Hernandez stole 2b with Connor Rowe (cf, #9) at the plate but Rowe went on to strike out. T. J. Macy (senior rhp) got the very hard luck loss for Penn State. He pitched a complete game. He faced 31 batters and gave up 5 hits (all singles) while striking out 7 and walking 3. He threw 106 pitches by my count. Poor guy. It really doesn't seem fair to pitch such a nice game and come away with a loss.

The two teams face off one more time tomorrow at 12:30. The temperature is likely to be about the same as it was today but the wind will be considerably calmer. So, it shouldn't be nearly as miserable for those of us in the stands as it was today. I plan to be there. Natch.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:54 PM | Permalink

Game 7: Penn State at Texas

The Horns won the opener of today's double-header against Penn State 6-2. There was a stiff (and very very cold) wind blowing in from the north for the duration. Brrrr...

This was the first game of the year that the Horns did not score first (okay, it was only the 7th game game of the year but the fact jumped out at me for some reason). The Nittany Lions scored a single run in the 2nd. Texas responded with 1 in the 3rd, 4 in the 4th, and a final run in the 5th. The Nittany Lions mounted a bit of a rally in the 7th (and final) inning but came up short.

Taylor Jungmann got the start for the Horns and threw a whale of a game to earn his 2nd win of the year. He went 6 innings, faced 24 batters, and gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits (all singles) with 5 striketouts, 2 walks, and one wild pitch. He threw 93 pitches by my count. Stayton Thomas went in at the top of the 7th and, in stark contrast, did not have a good day. He gave up a single, then hit a batter, and then walked another. Which prompted the Horns to send Austin Wood to the mound. The Horns had a 5-run lead but since the bases were loaded with no outs, he actually entered the game in a save situation. Wood threw 5 pitches and got his save. The pitch sequence: called strike, 6-4-3 double play (1 run scored, charged to Thomas), called strike, ball, ground out to the pitcher. Game over. Save accomplished.

The scoring for Texas went down like so:

The PSU pitchers struggled a bit in the first game of the double header; the Texas batters and base runners took full advantage. Quite a contrast to the second game of the day. Report coming soon...

Posted by Joanna at 10:47 PM | Permalink

Friday - February 27, 2009

Game 6: Penn State at Texas

The Horns did not change the start time for today's game to 5 or 6 o'clock so I was unable to attend. I did listen on the radio, though (off-and-on; mostly off through the first half as I was moving some stuff around in one of our labs).

The Horns starting line-up: Tucker (2b), Loy (3b), Belt (1b), Clark (dh), Keyes (rf), Rupp (c), Shepherd (lf), Hernandez (ss), and Rowe (cf). Chance Ruffin started on the mound.

Penn State's starting line-up: Borden (dh), Youngblood (cf), Deese (lf), Wine (1b), Glantz (ss), Steranka (3b), Marlin (rf), Heath (c), adn Nakata (2b). Lorenston started on the mound.

According to GameTracker, Texas scored 1 in the first: with one out, Loy reached on a 4-pitch walk. Belt flew out to cf; Loy tagged up and advanced to 2b. Interesting. Clark singled down the rf line, scoring Loy.

PSU tied things up in the 4th. Again, according to GarmTracker: Glantz hit a 2-out double and then scored on a single by Steranka. In the bottom of the inning, all hell broke loose and Texas scored 7. Connor Rowe hit a 1-out 2-run homer to start things off and then the second baseman for the Nittany Lions committed a couple of errors leading to a score by Travis Tucker. With 2 out and Loy at 2b, they intentionally walked Clark. After the walk, with Keyes at the plate, Loy stole 2b. Keyes then doubled down the lf line, scoring Loy and putting runners at 2b and 3b. PSU changed pitchers (Cianciolo for Lorenston). Rupp was hit by a 3-0 pitch to load the bases. Shepherd then tripled to the cf/rf gap. Texas up 8-1.

PSU scored a second run in the 6th. I missed it as well. With a runner at 2b and 2 out, Steranka singled to push the run across. Texas up 8-2.

I did hear the bottom of the 6th. Preston Clark (1b in the 1st, hbp in the 3rd, intentional bb in the 4th) led things off with a double and advanced to 3b on a ground out by Keyes. Alas, he was stranded at 3b when Rupp lined out to 2b and Shepherd flew out to rf.

In the 7th, Andrew McKirahan replaced Ruffin on the mound. Ruffin allowed the two runs (both earned) on 6 hits (2 doubles) with 1 walk and 9 strikeouts. Excellent. McKirahan threw a nice 1-2-3 seventh. In the bottom of the inning, Tucker reached on a 4-pitch walk. Loy then doubled to the lf/cf gap. The fielder tried to cut the ball off and did stop it but over-ran it a bit. Tucker scored (earned) and Loy moved on to 3b (E7). Loy was stranded at 3b when Belt grounded out to 2b. Texas up 9-2.

The Nittany Lions threatened to score in the 8th. Youngblood reached on an infield single that rolled into no-man's land (so described by Craig Way) between 1b and the pitcher's mound. He moved to 2b on an ground out to 1b. Wine then singled to shallow cf, putting runners at the corners. Glantz then flew out to rf and Debernardis (ph) grounded out to 3b. In the bottom of the inning, Clark led things off with his 3rd hit of the gime...a single to cf. Kyle Lusson (pinch-hitting for Keyes) flew out to lf. Clark alertly tagged and moved up to 2b. Rupp flew out to cf. Tim Maitland (pinch-hitting for Tant Shepherd) grounded out to 2b.

In the top of the 9th, the Horns sent Sam Stafford to the mound for his first action as a Longhorn. (McKirahan left after throwing 2 scoreless innings; he gave up 2 hits and struck out one.) Marlin flied out to cf. Heath grounded out to 2b. Nakata singled to cf. Borden walked (after falling behind 1-2). C'mon, Sam! The next pitch hit Youngblood to load the bases. Ouch. I repeat: c'mon, Sam! After a quick visit to the mound by Skip Johnson, Stafford threw one more pitch. Deese drove it to rf...where Kyle Lusson caught it to end the game. Texas win 9-2.

The line (according to GameTracker):

Penn State 000 101 000 - 294
Texas 100 700 10x - 9120

Note about tomorrow (from the post-game interview with Coach Garrido): tomorrow's double-header is scheduled to be a 7-inning game followed by a 9-inning game. However, if the first game goes into extra innings, the 2nd game will be scheduled for 7 innings.

Posted by Joanna at 5:48 PM | Permalink

Brandon Loy article

There's a nice article about Brandon Loy in the Statesman today: Loy's longtime love of baseball paying off on field (by Alan Trubow).

Posted by Joanna at 12:43 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - February 24, 2009

Game 5: UT-Arlington at Texas


That is all.

Just... Wow.

And, again: wow.

Okay...one more time: WOW!

That was so much fun. I wasn't gonna go to tonight's game. It was scheduled for a 3 o'clock start. And, I had to work. But, late last night I saw a note on the TexasSports.com site stating that the start for today's game had been moved to 5 o'clock. Cool. I could probably make that. And, I did. I managed to make my way to the park just a couple of minutes before 5.

The Horns scored early. Kevin Keyes hit a line-drive solo homerun in the bottom of the 2nd that actually hit the TimeWarner sign on the scoreboard. There was no doubt about that ball the second it left the bat. In the bottom of the third, Brandon Belt followed suit with an opposite-field dinger that just cleared the lf fence about 10 feet left of the 375-foot marker. Horns up 2-0. On the strength of Austin Dicharry's first start as a Longhorn, Texas stayed on top through the first 7 innings. Dicharry held the Mavericks scoreless through 6; he gave up 2 singles with 1 walk and struck out 5. He also presided over four 3-up/3-down innings (the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th). Chance Ruffin took the mound for the start of the 7th. He promptly gave up a single and shortly found himself with 1 out and runners at 2nd and 3rd. He struck the next batter out and got the final batter of the inning to ground out to the pitcher. He actually bobbled the ball and just got the out...to make things even that much more exciting than necessary!

In the 8th, with the Horns still up 2-0, Ruffin got into more trouble. Pitschka walked (full count, 7 pitches). McCoy then reached on a fielder's choice (1-6, very nice play by Ruffin). Steggall singled into rf. Keyes had trouble fielding the ball and McCoy was able to advance to 3b (E9). With runners at the corners, Choice doubled off the wall in cf to score both runners. Ouch. Game tied. The error, by the way, ended up not making a difference and both runs were earned. Austin Wood then took the mound. With a runner at 2b and one out, he got the first batter he faced to ground out to ss. Then he threw a 3-pitch strikeout. Nice.

In the bottom of the 8th, Belt led things off with a double to rf. Which brings to mind an interesting data point: Belt and Keyes each hit a single, a double, and a homerun. How cool is that? Anyway, Belt's double prompted a pitching change (the 2nd of the game) for the Mavs; they sent in a lefty. Then, with Belt at 2b, Preston Clark (pinch-hitting for lefty dh Michael Torres) hit a sky-high fly ball into rf. It fell safely in front of the right fielder. Since it looked like the right fielder might catch the ball, Belt had to hold up close to 2b to avoid being doubled up; Clark ran hard, though. And, as the ball fell clear of the Mav fielders, Belt made it to 3b while Clark ended up at 2b. The Mavs changed pitchers again...sending a right-hander back to the mound. Texas countered with lefty Russell Moldenhauer pinch-hitting for Tant Shepherd. Sadly, Moldenhauer struck out swinging. Which brought Keyes back to the plate for the 4th time (with, if you remember, that single, double, and homerun under his belt). So, the Mavs intentionally walked Keyes...loading the bases with 1 out. Yes. Only? No. Cameron Rupp ground into a picture-perfect 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Game tied at 2. Sigh...

Top of the 9th: fly out to cf, fly out to lf, single through the left side, ground out to the pitcher. Whew. Bottom of the 9th: David Hernandez singled through the left side and moved to 3b on a sac bunt by Connor Rowe. Travis Tucker, sadly, lined out to ss. There was no way Hernandez could beat the throw back to 2b. Another double play. So sad.

Which brings on extra innings. Top of the 10th:

Time to buckle down. Bottom of the 10th:

Wow. 'Twas a thing of beauty. First guy out to 2b with Rupp standing on the bag? Kevin Keyes. Big bear hug! Then, the rest of the team mobbed them. What fun. Texas wins 4-3. Woo hoo!

The line:

UT-Arlington 000 000 020 1 - 380
Texas 011 000 000 2 - 4131

Oh, my. I can only hope they move the start for Friday's game to 5 o'clock. I don't want to miss any games this team plays.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:04 PM | Permalink

Sunday - February 22, 2009

Game 4: Illinois-Chicago at Texas

Texas completed a four-game sweep of the UIC Flames today, winning 1-0. Both teams struggled to get hits early in the game. Texas finally put a 3-hit rally together in the 6th to score the only run of the game.

The line:

UIC 000 000 000 - 030
Texas 000 001 00x - 170

Brandon Workman threw a perfect game through the first 5.2 innings of the game. It was a thing of beauty. Alas, with two out (on great catches by Connor Rowe and Tant Shepherd in cf and lf), McGuiggan hit a grounder to deep ss. David Hernandez made a valiant effort to field and get the ball to Brandon Belt covering 1b but just couldn't get the ball there. End of perfect game. Workman went on to get the next four batters out in order. The first batter of the 8th managed to hit a single into rf which prompted a pitching change. Workman ended up going 7+ innings. He faced 23 batters, gave up 2 singles, with 7 strikeouts, no walks, and no hit batters. Wow. Austin Wood replaced Workman on the mound and got his first save of the season. He did give up a walk in the 8th and a single in the 9th but preserved the lead for the Horns.

The Horns threatened to score in the 5th but couldn't quite get it done. In the 6th, with one out, Brandon Loy singled through the right side. He moved to 2b on a balk by the UIC starter (Adam Worthington, who also pitched a very good game) and then scored on a double by Brandon Belt to the cf/rf gap. Michael Torres (dh, replacing Preston Clark in the line-up for today's game) followed with an infield single. The UIC second baseman made a great play to stop the ball behind 2b and keep Belt from scoring. The rally was brought to an abrupt end when Cameron Rupp grounded into the 3rd double play of the day turned by the Flames.

I have to say I was rather surprised at the efforts put forth by both of the pitching staffs today. You really don't expect that sort of performance on the 4th game played in 3 days...by any team. Much less by teams playing their 4th games of a brand new season. It was impressive. And, I really do hope the Horns can keep it up. It's awfully early in the season but our pitching staff is looking really good. I hope I'm not jinxing anything by point that out!

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:28 PM | Permalink

Saturday - February 21, 2009

Game 3: Illinois-Chicago at Texas

The second game of today's double-header was a lot closer than the first two. The game was tied at 1-1 for a long time but the Horns pulled it off in the end and won 3-1. Good times at Disch-Falk!

The line:

UIC 000 100 000 - 131
Texas 100 000 02x - 3100

Cole Green got the start for the Horns and pitched a solid 7 innings...including five (!) 1-2-3 innings. Very nice. He gave up 1 run on 3 hits (including 2 doubles) with 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, and 1 hit batter. Alas, the game was tied at 1 when he was replaced so he left with no decision. Austin Wood pitched the final two innings of the game. He threw two 1-2-3 innings with 1 strikeout and came away with the win.

Texas has scored at least 1 run in the first inning in all three games against UIC. In today's late game, with 2 out in the first, Brandon Belt drew a full-count walk. He moved to 2b when Cameron Rupp singled through the left side. Tant Shepherd then singled up the middle, scoring Belt and moving Rupp to 3b. Sadly, Kevin Keyes grounded out to 3b to end the rally. The Flames tied things up in the 4th on the strength of three 2-out hits. By the way, the first out of the inning would've made ESPN's highlight reel if they'd been playing on TV today. On the play, Schaefer hit a hard grounder up the middle. Travis Tucker charged hard to the hole and caught up to the ball. There was no way he could stop, turn, and make the throw to 1b, though. Realizing this, he fielded the ball and flicked it to David Hernandez (with his glove hand). Hernandez, about 6 feet away, scooped up the toss and gunned the ball to Brandon Belt covering 1b for the out. Wow!!! It was a beautiful play.

Going into the 8th, the Horns had stranded a runner in scoring position in every inning but the 2nd. In the 8th, with the game tied at 1-1, Shepherd reached on an infield single to 2b and then advanced to 2b when Keyes reached on a 5-pitch walk. That prompted a pitching change by the Flames. Both runners advanced on a sac bunt down the 3b line by Preston Clark. With the infield pulled in, David Hernandez singled to cf, scoring Shepherd and Keyes. Hernandez, expecting the throw from the outfield to go home, got caught in a run-down between 1b and 2b and was tagged out. Kyle Lusson grounded out to 2b to end the inning.

So, the Horns win 3-1. I have to say, I'm very happy with the way the Horns have played their first three games. They've had solid pitching and fielding and are doing very well at the plate. Here's hoping that trend continues.

Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 10:55 PM | Permalink

Game 2: Illinois-Chicago at Texas

The Horns had a double-header (a 7-inning game followed by a 9-inning game) against the UIC Flames scheduled for today. The Horns won the first game 10-1. The line:

UIC 000 100 0 - 113
Texas 511 210 x - 1091

Nice, eh? I thought so. The only problem? Yesterday's beautiful weather was replaced with a cold wind from the north today. The temperature was in the high 50s all day. But, that stiff wind from the north made it rather miserable for us in the stands. Brrr....

Freshman Taylor Jungmann pitched the first 6 innings, giving up the one run on 1 hit (yes, just one hit in 6 innings), with 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 1 hit batter. The one run was scored in the 4th like so: (1) Altavilla, 2b, reached on a full-count walk; (2) Carr, lf, grounded out to ss; (3) Schaefer, dh, grounded out to the pitcher, moving Altavilla to 2b; and (4) Ganek, 3b, doubled to the rf corner, scoring Altavilla.

Andrew McKirahan, another Freshman, pitched the 7th (3-up/3-down) for the Horns with a couple of ground outs and a strikeout. Nice.

Offensively, the Horns scored at least one run in every inning but the 6th. Cool. In the first: (1) Travis Tucker, 2b, walked (full count). (2) Brandon Loy, 3b, reached on a bunt single down the 3b line, moving Tucker to 2b. (3) Brandon Belt, 1b, singled to lf to load the bases. (4) Cameron Rupp, c, singled to the cf/rf gap, scoring Tucker and Loy. The outfielder made a bad throw in and as it rolled passed the middle infielders, Belt saw that nobody was going to get to the ball so he broke for home and easily scored on the error. (5) Tant Shepherd, lf, doubled down the lf line, moving Rupp to 3b. (6) Kevin Keyes, rf, singled off the shortstop's glove into lf, scoring Rupp and Shepherd. On the play, Keyes tried to stretch his single into a double but didn't make it for the first out of the inning. (7) Preston Clark, dh, singled into lf, again off the shortstop's glove! (8) David Hernandez, ss, popped out to the shortstop in shallow cf. (9) Connor Rowe, cf, grounded out to the pitcher. Whew.

In the second, Tucker led off with a double to lf. He advanced to 3b on a sac bunt and then later scored on a sac fly by Rupp. In the 3rd, Keyes led things off with a monster shot to lf. Alas, that stiff north wind kept the ball in the park. If it had been yesterday, that ball might have landed on the Texas Press building. It was monstrous. Alas...that's baseball. A couple of batters later, with one out on the board, Hernandez reached on a fielder's choice, stole 2b, and then scored on a single by Rowe.

The 4th went like so: Loy grounded out to the pitcher. Belt walked on 5 pitches and moved to 2b on a ground out to 3b by Rupp. Shepherd was hit by the first pitch he saw. Keyes singled through the left side, scoring Belt and moving Shepherd to 3b. Hernandez reached on an error by 3b, scoring Shepherd. On the play, the UIC third baseman made a beautiful diving stop, jumped up, and gunned the ball to 1b. He pulled the first baseman off the bag, though, for the error. Rowe flew out to lf for the final out of the inning.

In the 5th, Tucker reached and moved to 2b on a throwing error by ss. He then advanced to 3b on a passed ball and scored on a sac fly by Loy. The 6th proved to be the only 1-2-3 inning for the Texas offense.

Again, a really nice game for the Horns. I'll be back shortly with a game report for the 2nd game of the double header.

Posted by Joanna at 9:55 PM | Permalink

Friday - February 20, 2009

More news

Two more things:

  1. The start time for Sunday's game has been moved up to 12:30. Don't be late!
  2. The volunteer assistant coach is Tommy Nicholson! I was very surprised to see him on the field coaching the runners at 1b. I just did a quick look through the TexasSports.com site and could find no mention of him joining the team. Things that make you go hmmm... Regardless, I was happy to see him out there.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 11:35 PM | Permalink

Game 1: Illinois-Chicago at Texas

Texas won their opener today, beating the Flames from the University of Illinois at Chicago 6-1. It was a lovely day at the ballpark. The weather was gorgeous (about 71 °F for the duration) and the sun shone brightly. There was a pretty stiff wind out to lf and I was rather expecting a homerun or two. But, no such luck. By the way, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the crowd...what with it being a weekday afternoon game. It was a big crowd. Maybe lots of other people took the day off like I did.

The line:

UIC 010 000 000 - 151
Texas 140 001 00x - 6110

Note: The official scorer and I differed at one point so I show one more hit than will show up in the official boxscore. Shrug. That's life. Heh.

And, here's how things played out:

All-in-all, I thought it was a very good opening-day effort by the Horns. One more note: the start time for Sunday's game has been moved up 30 minutes to 12:30.

Posted by Joanna at 11:10 PM | Permalink

Thursday - February 19, 2009

A few quick notes

The Daily Texan ran a couple of nice articles last week:

And, the Statesman posted a few stories and blog posts over the last couple of days:

And, one more note: sorry I didn't get the Alumni game photos posted. I was busy. And, then the logic board on my desktop machine went belly up. I'm working on getting the machine repaired (or, more likely, replaced) but it won't be ready by tomorrow. I'll be able to post this weekend from my laptop but won't have my usual set of tools so probably won't post as much as I usually would. I'm so glad the season is finally starting.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 6:32 PM | Permalink

Monday - February 9, 2009

Disch-Falk renovation photos, part 19

'Made it out to Disch-Falk Field yesterday for the Alumni game. It was a nice (albeit very windy) day for baseball. I took my camera and have lots of photos to post. I started going through them last night and just ran out of time. I'll be back with those before the weekend. In the meantime, within seconds of walking into the stadium, I noticed a change:

[Retired jersey numbers]

UT announced (back in July) that they were going to retire 4 more baseball jersey numbers. And, the retired numbers are being displayed in "ring of honor" fashion around the top of the grand stand. They look really nice. Here's a close-up of each of the retired numbers:

[Retired jersey numbers]

I'm rather pleased that Brooks' number is over my section. That's very cool. Roger and Greg pitched when I was in school and I went to some games as a student but not more than three or four games a year. Burt was before my time. And, Scott played during the 'tweener years. But, Brooks was the guy playing when I really started getting into Texas baseball. I think I got my first set of season tickets in the spring of 1990 (yes, 20 years worth of season tickets). And, I watched Brooks play. I really loved watching him play. While I've loved watching all the rest of the guys over the years, Brooks will probably always be my favorite Texas baseball player. I'm glad that I'm sitting in "his" section.

Posted by Joanna at 7:21 PM | Permalink

Saturday - February 7, 2009

Schedule posted

Just a quick note to point out that I finally got around to setting up a copy of the 2009 baseball schedule here on my site. I've added links to all opponents' web pages and will add links to game posts as the season progresses. It's always easy to get to...see the right-hand column of the main page for the link.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 3:36 PM | Permalink

Monday - February 2, 2009

Coach Garrido plea

Coach Garrido entered a guilty plea in his DWI case today. He will receive his sentence on April 30th. See this News 8 report for more info.

Posted by Joanna at 7:33 PM | Permalink

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