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Tuesday - February 24, 2009

Game 5: UT-Arlington at Texas

Wow.

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:

RHE
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