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Wednesday - June 24, 2009

Congratulations to the 2009 Texas Longhorns

Texas made it to the Championship Series of the 2009 College World Series. That's a remarkable feat. Congratulations, to the 2009 team. It's sad that they lost the game tonight. But, it's pretty cool that they were there.

Personally, I'm disappointed but not terribly upset. Which strikes me as a bit odd. Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Or maybe it's just that I love this team and no matter how sad it is, I can't be upset because I know they did everything they could to win the CWS. What a great bunch of guys. They gave us some great memories this year...particularly in the last month or so of the season. Maybe that's why I'm not very upset. I sincerely appreciate what this group of guys did this year.

And, hey. Maybe they'll be like the squad that came back after a disappointing 2nd place finish in 2004 and won it all in 2005. I have every confidence that the Horns will be back in Omaha next year. Just think about who's coming back. The starting rotation will all be back: Ruffin, Jungmann, and Green. And, they'll have Workman, Dicharry, Carrillo, Thomas, and McKirahan...all back. And, then there's Rupp and Rowe and Loy and Moldenhauer and Keyes. And, you know some of the guys that didn't play much this year will be sure to contribute. Just look at that team. And, who knows what'll come with the new guys joining the squad next year.

Thanks to the Seniors and Brandon Belt. I'll really miss those guys. Travis Tucker made some really fine plays this season. The capper has to be the start of that double-play in Tuesday's game, though. Wow. Preston Clark. To go through all the surgeries and rehab that he went through and still go out and lead this team every day? Awesome. Michael Torres. He made an amazing transition to become our third baseman this season...I can't remember worrying about a ball hit to the hot corner during the last half of the season. Keith Shinaberry. I loved watching him come to the mound with runners on. And, watch him throw a couple of pitches, get the double play we needed, and go back to the bench. It was a thing of beauty. I wish he'd been able to do it more this year. But, 'turns out he had a sore shoulder. He played through the pain tonight, though. Cool. And Austin Wood. What he accomplished this season is simply amazing. I'm sure I'll never see anything like that BC game again. I'm throwing Brandon Belt into the group 'cause I'm pretty sure he'll sign and move on. You could always count on him with that goofy stance to get a hit when you needed it. I don't know what we'll do for a first baseman next year. He sure turned into Mr. Reliable over there, didn't he? Thanks, again, guys.

And... Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:13 PM | Permalink

Game 67: Louisiana State at Texas (CWS)

Texas played home to the Louisiana State Tigers in the 3rd and final game of the 2009 College World Series Championship Series this evening. As in the last few games, I watched the game on ESPN and listened to the KVET radio broadcast by Craig Way and Keith Moreland, streaming over the Internet (I synced the Internet radio stream with the ESPN broadcast on my TiVo). This report is based on that combination.

Today's starting line-ups:

Texas Louisian State
1 DJ LeMahieu, 2b
2 Ryan Schimpf, lf
3 Blake Dean, dh
4 Sean Ochinko, 1b
5 Jared Mitchell, rf
6 Mikie Mahtook, cf
7 Micah Gibbs, c
8 Derek Helenihi, 3b
9 Austin Nola, ss
- Anthony Renaudo, p
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Cameron Rupp, c
6 Kevin Keyes, rf
7 Connor Rowe, cf
8 Preston Clark, lf
9 Brandon Loy, ss
- Cole Green, p

Same line-up for the Horns as Game 2 of the Championship Series.

Here's how things played out:

Here's the line (from GameTracker):

[Final line score]

Post-game press conference comments: In his opening statement, Coach Garrido said that the CWS is a fabulous event and they appreciate being a part of it. LSU is a fine college baseball team. They have a lot of talent and character. He thinks it was more that LSU won the tournament than that Texas lost it. They came back from adversity, got good pitching when they needed it, and good defense. A well-deserved win for LSU. Asked about "leaving meat on the bone" in the early part of the game, Garrido said he's not willing to pick his team apart. LSU beat Texas twice and deserved to win the championship. Travis, when asked about Keyes' homerun, said they were all excited and thought they'd keep on rolling but... (He got choked up and didn't continue.) Asked another question, he agreed that it was deflating when LSU came right back after Texas tied the game. In hind sight, Garrido said taking Workman out doesn't look so good but they played their cards and it didn't work out. Give credit to the opponent, though: they are the best team Texas has played this year. By far. Clark said this was the best team he's ever been a part of. It was a great run but they just came up short today. LSU took it to another level and the Horns couldn't get another rally going. It was a great run for the team. Garrido said his players are not losers, they lost the game, and if you think about it, they accomplished a lot more than they were expected to this year...it's pretty cool. He thinks this is the start of a new era for Texas baseball. This is the best team he's ever brought to the CWS with no experience...it's amazing that they made it to the finish. He thinks it's important how the players react to the loss and said that his teams that have finished 2nd in the CWS have gone on to higher personal success after college baseball than his teams that won championships. As a teacher on a personal level, he gets to enjoy all of their careers...not just the players that stay in professional baseball. Travis reiterated Preston's comments that they love each other, they've made life-long friends, and that is a big part of why they did so well this year. When asked how much longer he wants to do this, Augie asked if the reporter was asking about the press conference. Heh. He said that for him, it's a lifestyle...not a job. As long as he's healthy, feels the way he does about the players, and it's working, he plans to keep coaching.

I hope y'all don't mind but I don't think I'll cover the LSU side of the press conference tonight.

I sure wish it had gone the other way.

Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:34 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

Game 66: Texas at Louisiana State (CWS)

Texas played visitor to the Louisiana State Tigers in the 2nd game of the 2009 College World Series Championship Series this evening. The start of the game was delayed until about 7:40 by rain. As in the last couple of games, I watched the game on ESPN and listened to the KVET radio broadcast by Craig Way and Keith Moreland, streaming over the Internet (I synced the Internet radio stream with the ESPN broadcast on my TiVo). This report is based on that combination.

Today's starting line-ups:

Texas Louisian State
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Cameron Rupp, c
6 Kevin Keyes, rf
7 Connor Rowe, cf
8 Preston Clark, lf
9 Brandon Loy, ss
- Taylor Jungmann, p
1 DJ LeMahieu, 2b
2 Ryan Schimpf, 1b
3 Blake Dean, dh
4 Micah Gibbs, c
5 Mikie Mahtook, cf
6 Jared Mitchell, rf
7 Leon Landry, lf
8 Derek Helenihi, 3b
9 Austin Nola, ss
- Austin Ross, p

Coach Garrido switched Rowe and Loy in today's line-up.

And, here's how things played out:

Wow. I wonder how many games LSU has played this year where they only scored 1 run? Fantastic. And, now we go to a third game.

(I went and checked on that 1-run thing...the Tigers were limited to 1 run on 3 other occasions this year. Not surprisingly, they lost those games as well. Texas, oddly enough, is 2-2 in games in which they scored only 1 run this year.)

Here's the line (from GameTracker):

[Final line score]

Post-game radio comments from Tommy Harmon: Asked about Belt's first at-bat, Harmon said it helped a lot to set the momentum in the game. Asked about Moldenhauer, Harmon said he's being more aggressive and confident at the plate and being smart about when he swings. Before that, he joked that Moldenhauer had told him at the beginning of the season that he'd hit 18 balls to the warning track last year and Harmon told him he needed to start hitting them farther than that! Harmon said his nickname for Jungmann is "Shoulders" and he told Jungmann at the start of the game that they were gonna get on those skinny shoulders and ride 'em to a win. Heh.

Post-game radio comments from Belt: asked about his first at-bat, Belt said he was just trying to put the ball in play. He said he'd been putting too much pressure on himself earlier in the tournament and he was more relaxed and confident today. Asked about the team's mental attitude tonight he said they didn't enjoy the feeling of losing but everyone on the team knew that if they played their own kind of baseball they'd win tonight.

Post-game news conference comments from LSU: Coach Mainieri complimented Jungmann's performance, calling it outstanding. He said he did a great job of mixing it up. Both teams made a few mistakes but they're going to put the loss behind them and go with their Friday night starter on the mound and they're excited about that. He said they had a terrible start right off and felt, honestly, that they were lucky to get away with only giving up 2 runs in the first two innings. He did not consider changing the pitching decision after the weather changed. Asked about Jungmann, Jared Mitchell said he just changed speeds well and gave the hitters fits, he stayed in the zone and made it tough on them. Coach reiterated that this was their first loss in 15 games and they have nothing to be ashamed of. Nolan Cain said he and the rest of the team feel confident that they will win tomorrow. The coach said it just wasn't their night tonight but he doesn't want to make more of it than it was. He also pointed out that they shut the Horns out for the last 6 innings of the game so they showed that they can get it done. They just had too much of a hole to climb out of with the way Jungmann was pitching. Mitchell said they've done a good job all year bouncing back after losses and they'll be fine tomorrow. He said at the end of the day, you just need to win the series. When asked why he used Leon Landry Mainieri said he was just trying to put more lefties in the line-up and he got a hit and made a great play in rf...and Jungmann was tough on the right-handed batters.

Looking over the scoresheet, I see that LSU's four right-handed batters went 1-for-14 tonight. The team as a whole, only managed 4 hits, though. Jungmann was really on fire. Wow.

Post-game news conference comments from Texas: Garrido said the rain made a difference in the game...it took the temperature down and helped Jungmann out a lot. Jungmann was brilliant in his performance and his teammates helped by getting a lead early in the game. We hit some bumpy spots, we made three errors, but we battled every inning. The early lead held up and now we've created just a little bit of drama. Asked if he was concerned about Jungmann after last night, Coach Garrido said he was very confident. The decision to put Jungmann in last night was a bad decision. Jungmann said he just had a really good feel for the ball today. When asked about the complete game, he joked that he was saving it for the end. He said he did watch the LSU batters closely last night and it helped. Clark said it feels great to have such a good offensive game. He said he's been pressing too much earlier in the series. He said he loves to play and it's great being out there. Asked about Moldenhauer's homerun in the 3rd, Coach Garrido said it was obviously a great thing to get that response after LSU had scored in the 2nd. And, he'll join about 350,000 Longhorn fans in thinking he was wrong to take Moldenhauer out in last night's game. Jungmann said he thinks he bears down a little more when he has runners on base. Clark said he thinks they play better when their back is to the wall and when things count more. Coach Garrido said that just like last night, the team has to "flush" tonight's game before tomorrow's game. They can't just be satisfied that they won tonight...they need to win another one tomorrow. Asked about Cole Green, Garrido said he's been very effective and is now in the position they put him in a month ago when they decided how'd they'd pitch through the post-season. All of the players have confidence in Green, they followed their plan, and now here they are.

Things that make you go hmmmm...a graphic shown on ESPN after the game (during SportsCenter, I think):

[ESPN graphic]

The Horns will be the home team tomorrow night. Hook 'em, Horns!!!

Posted by Joanna at 11:42 PM | Permalink

Monday - June 22, 2009

Game 65: Louisiana State at Texas (CWS)

Texas played home to the Louisiana State Tigers in the 1st game of the 2009 College World Series Championship Series this evening. As in the last game, I watched the game on ESPN and listened to the KVET radio broadcast by Craig Way and Keith Moreland, streaming over the Internet (I synced the Internet radio stream with the ESPN broadcast on my TiVo). This report is based on that combination.

By the way, as I was rushing to get home in time for the first pitch, I was wondering what I could put together for a quick meal before the game. And, then I remembered. I brought left-overs home from the wonderful Father's Day meal my mom cooked yesterday. Yummm! Thanks, Mom!

Anyway...

Today's starting line-ups:

Louisian State Texas
1 DJ LeMahieu, 2b
2 Ryan Schimpf, lf
3 Blake Dean, dh
4 Micah Gibbs, c
5 Mikie Mahtook, cf
6 Jared Mitchell, rf
7 Sean Ochinko, 1b
8 Derek Helenihi, 3b
9 Austin Nola, ss
- Louis Coleman, p
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Cameron Rupp, c
6 Kevin Keyes, rf
7 Brandon Loy, ss
8 Preston Clark, lf
9 Connor Rowe, cf
- Chance Ruffin, p

And, here's how things played out:

Damn. That was painful. I sure wish the Horns had put the Tigers away in the 9th. Sigh. It was all so exciting for awhile, eh? And, answer me this: if you'd been told Texas would hit 5 homeruns in a game, would you ever have believed they'd lose that game? Wow. And, yes...m'thinks the Horns can still win it all. I just wish they'd done it in two.

Here's the line (from GameTracker):

[Final line score]

Post-game comments from Texas: Coach Garrido was at the table ready to go very soon after the game was over and waited for the players (Moldenhauer and Ruffin) to join him for 3 minutes or so. Weird. Coach Garrido opened saying it was an incredible game with two teams doing everything they could to win. The team that would lose was going to have to deal with the wrath of baseball. We became that team and have to refocus and get ready for tomorrow's game. When asked about his homeruns, Moldenhauer said he was just feeling relaxed and good today and put good swings on the balls that went out. Asked about his cramps, Ruffin said they didn't take him out of the game...he was going to fight through it. Coach Garrido has talked to the team about how they're going to handle the adversity and what they're going to do now. The players need to have the courage to leave tonight's game behind them and battle back tomorrow. All things are possible in a 2-out-of-3 series. Asked if he saw anything in Jungmann that could explain his trouble tonight, Garrido said he felt confident that what happened would not happen and the trouble was more with his decision than with anything Jungmann did. Jungmann will start tomorrow. Moldenhauer said the difference in their power surge is that they're not playing at Disch-Falk which is a bigger park. When asked what he says to the team in this situation, Coach Garrido said he thinks that really should stay with the team. They got down to the end in the Super Regional as well but won it. He said the performance tonight was really good so the problem is the loss. The secret is to let go of the imperfections instead of nit-picking them to death. Moldenhauer said they just need to forget the loss and come back tomorrow with the feelings they had at the beginning of tonight's game and everything will be fine.

Post-game comments from LSU: Coach Mainieri opened saying that was the most courageous never-say-die performance by a team he's ever coached. Even when they were down, he never felt out of the game and they'd be able to rally. He thought Ott was a real key to winning the game. It was a total team effort. Mahtook said he got an IV after the cramps got him down but didn't have any more problems as the game went on. He saw that Workman was throwing the ball really hard and after fighting off some pitches he was able to find one to hit. Mainieri was happy to see his bullpen do a good job today. Ott said his arm felt good the whole time even though he usually just throws 1 or 2 innings but he's been working on his conditioning so he could go longer as the season went on. Mahtook said he had 3 terrible at-bats but got some encouragement from the older guys to keep him from getting his head down. LeMahieu said they focus on their own game and don't worry about what Texas might do. Coach Mainieri said winning 14 games in a row has added a little bit more to the team's confidence. He said he does not know who will start tomorrow. He said he thinks his team will have the correct mindset for tomorrow's game. He said they've had some great wins but, yes, this was the biggest win they've ever had. It was a very sweet win.

And, now their backs are to the wall. Go, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:03 PM | Permalink

Friday - June 19, 2009

Game 64: Arizona State at Texas (CWS)

Texas played home to the Sun Devils of Arizona State in the 12th game of the 2009 College World Series today. The start of the game was delayed a couple of hours due to rain in Omaha earlier in the day. I watched the game on ESPN2 and listened to the KVET radio broadcast by Craig Way and Keith Moreland, streaming over the Internet. I managed to sync the Internet radio stream with the ESPN broadcast on my TiVo and was in heaven (relatively speaking). Nice. It was so wonderful not hearing a word of the nonsense espoused by the folks in the ESPN broadcast booth. 'Wish I'd tried that earlier. This report is based on that combination.

Anyway...

Today's starting line-ups:

Arizona State Texas
1 Drew Maggi, ss
2 Jason Kipnis, cf
3 Carlos Ramirez, c
4 Kole Calhoun, lf
5 Johnny Ruettiger, dh
6 Jared McDonald, 1b
7 Raoul Torrez, 3b
8 Matt Newman, rf
9 Zack MacPhee, 2b
- Mike Leake, p
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Kevin Keyes, rf
6 Brandon Loy, ss
7 Cameron Rupp, c
8 Preston Clark, lf
9 Connor Rowe, cf
- Cole Green, p

And, here's how things played out:

I can't believe it. Wow. I love this team. I really do. Wow.

Here's the line (from GameTracker):

[Final line score]

Radio post-game comments. From Coach Harmon: I don't know that you can have many endings like that and survive them! He gave credit to Cole...and then Leake who he said made a very gutsy performance. From Skip Johnson: Cole battled and got out of some tough innings. No doubt Cole's ability to get the change-up across made a great difference. They will probably go with Ruffin, Jungmann, and then Green in the Championship series.

Post-game comments from ASU: Coach Murphy opened saying that it's a pretty emotional time...pretty tough. Mitch has been good all year and again tonight but give credit to Texas for pulling through in the end. He's really proud of his club and what they accomplished this year. They are a team. A team. He said he's seen some great performances from some guys. He's privileged and grateful that he's been able to be around the players on this team. It's sad but he'd like to give great credit to Texas for winning the ball game. He thinks they'll be watching Mike Leake get inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame one day. Whenever we needed him to step up he did...and he did it again today. This team did all the things you want kids to do so they can go on in life and not be afraid as they go forward. They've done it all year, win or lose. He's as proud of this team as any team...maybe more proud...he's been around in the past. Mike Leake said this was the best team he's ever been on. Jason Kipnis said the loss will sit with him for awhile but the team is made up of a great group of guys. Kole Calhoun echoed the thoughts of the other two players. Mike Leake said he wanted the ball and wanted to be the player to take the team into tomorrow's game. He made a couple of mistakes but had the team in mind as he tried to make his pitches. Leake said Texas battled well and responded to every mistake. Jason Kipnis, regarding the final at-bat, gave credit first-off to Austin Wood and then said he was just determined to get on base. He battled off pitches until he put the ball in play. Then Zach Wilson who has such good potential came through for them and got the hit to score the run. Hats off to Texas for winning the game, though. Kole Calhoun said playing at the CWS was one of the best things he's ever gotten to do. This is something that he'll remember forever. Coach Murphy repeated again that he's proud of his team, adding that it's tough to handle when you lose and your season is over.

Before getting to the post-game comments from Texas we learned that the home team rotation for the final best-of-three series will go: Texas, LSU, and Texas (if it goes to 3 games).

Post-game comments from UT: Coach Garrido opened by recognizing ASU and the job they did with their program, the competitiveness of their team, their great pitching. He said you saw two great teams not being ready to give up. The two homeruns are about as dramatic as you can get. We struck out 12 times which is pretty amazing. He feels blessed that Texas won. How does it happen? It just does. Connor Rowe regarding his mindset said he was not thinking homerun and was surprised to be given the green light. He was sitting on the change-up which is what he'd been seeing all night so it worked out for him. Austin Wood said they're just going out there to do their jobs and we'll know by Wednesday if they're a team of destiny or not. Coach Garrido said he thinks LSU has played the best baseball all around in this tournament and most people will probably pick them as the favored team; but if it's about drama, we've got that. Rupp said they came into the dugout to start the bottom of the 9th a little upset but, like they do all year, they just competed and picked each other up. Rupp said he knew the ball was out when he hit it. Coach Garrido said losing today's game would've been the final good thing to happen to LSU and would've weakened Texas considerably in relation to where LSU is. He said they needed to win to give themselves a chance. When asked if they felt obligated to pick Austin Wood up in the bottom of the 9th, Rupp joked that it wasn't the first time the team had to pick up after him but it felt great. Rowe said he felt they still owed Wood a bit for the 25-inning game. Coach Garrido said he would expect Chance Ruffin to pitch the first game. They need to prepare by getting back to the fundamentals of the game. Two of the errors were really tough plays but they have to work more on getting back to their fundamentals because LSU has not made any mistakes so far this tournament. Augie talked about what a cruel game baseball can be but joked that it's better than gun-fighting or gladiator-fighting where you only get to lose once. Rupp said they'll take any win they can get. He said for the team to show composure and not get down helps them a lot...they'll play the same game no matter the situation.

So, Texas faces LSU in the Championship Series on Monday at 6 pm. Go, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:28 PM | Permalink

A bit of a delay

The start time for this evening's game has been delayed due to rain in Omaha earlier this afternoon. That rain pushed back the start of the early game by nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes. The early game (won by LSU) ended at 6:52 so our game will likely start at about 7:45 or so.

Posted by Joanna at 7:02 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - June 16, 2009

Game 63: Texas at Arizona State (CWS)

Texas played visitor to the Sun Devils of Arizona State in the 8th game of the 2009 College World Series today. I watched the game on ESPN and this report is based on that viewing.

Today's starting line-ups:

Texas Arizona State
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Kevin Keyes, rf
6 Brandon Loy, ss
7 Cameron Rupp, c
8 Preston Clark, lf
9 Connor Rowe, cf
- Chance Ruffin, p
1 Drew Maggi, ss
2 Jason Kipnis, cf
3 Carlos Ramirez, c
4 Kole Calhoun, lf
5 Johnny Ruettiger, dh
6 Matt Newman, rf
7 Raoul Torrez, 3b
8 Jared McDonald, 1b
9 Zack MacPhee, 2b
- Mike Leake, p

Here's how things played out:

Oh. My. Goodness. You just gotta love this team, eh? Heh. Taylor Jungmann gets his 2nd win in as many chances at the College World Series. Pretty cool. And, Cameron Rupp, who struggled behind the plate, hits two homeruns. Defensively, the Horns only recorded 4 outs via ground out. They didn't get their first one 'til the 5th. Then they had another in the 7th, one in the 8th, and one more in the 9th to end the game. How bizarre is that for this team?

Everyone expected a pitcher's duel but no such luck. I love college baseball. I especially love UT baseball. I feel so sorry for the talking heads in the ESPN broadcast booth. They just don't have a clue.

Here's the line (from GameTracker):

[Final line score]

Post-game comments from ASU: Coach Murphy started with crediting Texas for doing such a good job getting back into the game. He said that just goes to show you how great baseball is. Leake is 16-1 and hasn't had an outing like that in 3 years. That is not a typical outing for him, obviously. That was the first time Leake went out of the game before the 7th inning all year. Texas played great and had timely hitting...their experience showed. Leake said he hadn't had too long of a rest; he has too much going through his mind right now to tell you what happened to him tonight. Calhoun said that the offense might have laid back a bit after getting the 6-run lead. He said that "Jungmann kid" pounded the strike zone and pitched really well. Coach Murphy said they're not done and will work on winning the next three games.

Post-game comments from Texas: Coach Garrido said that baseball creates enough adversity but we added to it 10-fold both defensively and offensively so for the team to find a way to win was nothing short of a miracle and quite a testimony to their will to win and belief in each other. They got it done. It was rough and it was ugly but they got it done. When asked what he said to the team before the 4th inning, he said he thought that was a better question for the players to ask what stuck with them. Tucker said Coach Garrido asked them how good it would fell to come back and win. Rupp said the coach reminded them they'd scored 11 runs in an inning, 8 in an inning, and on; they just put the first 3 innings behind them and decided to move on. When asked about the coach's demeanor, Rupp said the coach stayed calm and told them it could be done if they put the bad stuff behind them they'd be successful. Tucker, when asked if the team knew they'd win after the speech, said they didn't know it but felt good about it. Rupp said that he had a terrible defensive game but left it all on the field and from the 3rd inning on played his own game. Tucker said he had a conversation with his glove...that it was all the glove's fault...and after that, everything was good. Heh. Garrido said after the 3rd inning, the Horns stopped swinging at stuff in the dirt and that helped turn things around. Jungmann said the team knew they had the game when they tied it up. Coach Garrido said going to Jungmann in the situation with the score tied is where the team wants to be. He said he probably wouldn't have put Jungmann in the game if the Horns had been behind by 2 when they took Dicharry out...they probably would've stuck with Dicharry. He pointed out that the team found yet another way to win a game. He said it's all about attitude and the sense of responsibility to pick each other up...where the intangibles and luck factor come in. The team has been taking the blows thrown by the other teams and fight their way back. When asked what they've learned over the last 8 games, Tucker said they've learned that you can't ever give up and that they trust each other and rally for each other. Rupp said they appreciate that the coach never gives up on them. When asked about the plans for the next couple of days, the coach said they'd probably run around and try to take the edge off tomorrow afternoon, have a team meal, go to a movie, hang out...then have a structured practice on Thursday and get back into their normal routines.

Texas is off until 6 on Friday evening when they will face the winner of Thursday night's game between North Carolina and Arizona State. Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:18 PM | Permalink

Sunday - June 14, 2009

Game 62: Southern Miss at Texas (CWS)

Texas played home team to the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss in the 4th game of the 2009 College World Series today. I watched the game on ESPN2 and this report is based on that viewing.

Today's starting line-ups:

Southern Miss Texas
1 Bo Davis, cf
2 James Ewing, 2b
3 Kameron Brunty, lf
4 Corey Stevens, rf
5 Joey Archer, 1b
6 Michael Ewing, dh
7 B.A. Vollmuth, ss
8 Travis Graves, c
9 Taylor Walker, 3b
- Todd McInnis, p
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Kevin Keyes, rf
6 Brandon Loy, ss
7 Cameron Rupp, c
8 Preston Clark, lf
9 Connor Rowe, cf
- Taylor Jungmann, p

UPDATE (Monday): I don't know why or how but I had the wrong line-up listed for Texas. All fixed now.

Here's how things played out:

That was ugly. But, a win's a win. And, I'll take it.

Cole Green pitched a very nice game. He sat the Golden Eagles down in order 3 times (4th, 6th, and 7th innings) and got 2 double plays turned by his defense in the 2nd and 3rd innings. He also struck out 8 and only walked 1. And, what about Russell Moldenhauer? He got his first homerun of the year. Yay, Russell!

If the yahoos on ESPN had looked at a stat sheet for 3 or 4 seconds, they would've realized that he had limited appearances this year and that he seems to be getting back to the form he showed last year. But, they couldn't be bothered. After all, it's only college baseball and none of it really matters. Their attitude seems to be: "Why is ESPN even bothering to carry college baseball games?" They don't know anything about the way the game is played at the college level and can't be bothered to watch what's actually happening on the field. I miss Harold Reynolds. And, let me tell you: I never really knew I was a fan of Harold Reynolds 'til he lost his job and I found out how truly awful everyone else would be. Ugh.

Here's the line (from GameTracker):

[Final line score]

Post-game comments from USM: Coach Palmer said his team just didn't throw strikes and that led to the loss. He said he'd much rather have lost on a grand slam than the way they did lose. He said they walked 9 while Texas walked 4...and there's your ball game. James Ewing commented that the game was kind of sloppy on both sides...pitching wise. He knows Austin Wood's a better pitcher and so are the USM pitchers. But, Texas managed to do just enough to win the game.

Post-game comments from Texas: Coach Garrido thought the ending of the game was not befitting the performance. He commented once again that baseball's a brutal game. He thought the breakdown by Southern Miss at the end of the game misrepresented the team. He thought being in the environment for the first time created some nerve problem that eventually led to the demise of an otherwise very courageous team. It was a tough way for the game to end. From the Texas side of things, the team responded to adversity they way they've been doing of late. It's just about team work. He said they could play 50 games and the same thing wouldn't happen again. He thought Cole Green pitched very well. Championships are decided by the unexpected and all of that took place tonight. When asked what he said to Brandon Loy in the 9th, he told him to take until he got 2 strikes...but to work on his rhythm and timing as he went through that at-bat. After Torres hit the 4th ball for an out, Coach Garrido decided that none of the batters would swing without 2 strikes for the rest of the inning. Loy said getting the bases loaded is what put pressure on the other team's pitchers. Moldenhauer said he thinks he's hit the ball well all year and Coach Garrido believes in him so he's glad he could help out tonight; hitting the homerun was great but they need to move on now and focus on the next game. Asked if the homerun gave him confidence later in the game he said it definitely helped; he felt comfortable swinging. Coach Garrido on Arizona State: they're a well-constructed team, very aggressive, good pitching, they go to war, they battle, they make a lot of things happen, they play a highly-fueled up-beat offensive game with some power; it ends up being about the pitchers again. Green said he was very excited to get to start in the first game, that it wasn't a surprise, that he had command of all his pitches and that Southern Miss capitalized whenever he did make a mistake but he felt confident. Coach Garrido again gave props to the way the Southern Miss team plays.

Next up: Arizona State on Tuesday at 6. Texas will be in the visitor dugout for that game. Go, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 10:41 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - June 10, 2009

MLB Draft, Day 2

Checking the draft news over my lunch break, I find that Brandon Belt and Austin Wood were taken in the 5th round. Brandon was picked by San Francisco (147th pick overall) and Austin was picked by Detroit (3 picks later...150th). Congrats! I'll be back with more as I have time. Hook 'em!

UPDATE. Four more Texas signees have been drafted. Watch my 2009 Draft Summary page for more info.

Posted by Joanna at 12:22 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - June 9, 2009

MLB Draft note

The MLB Draft got underway this evening. They got through the first 3 rounds before calling it a day. So far, the only draft pick that'll likely have a direct impact on the Horns is center fielder Everett Williams out of McCallum HS (here in Austin). He's a Texas signee. He was drafted in the 2nd round (52nd overall) so I'm guessing he will not be on campus next year. As usual, I'll be keeping track of things on my own draft summary page. I'll update as often as I can. There's a handy link in the sidebar on the main page if you lose track of this post.

Also of note, through the first 3 rounds:

This is the first time in a long time that Rice didn't have someone selected in the first 3 rounds.

Posted by Joanna at 9:58 PM | Permalink

Monday - June 8, 2009

Game 61: TCU at Texas (Austin Super Regional)

Omaha bound! Very cool. Texas beat TCU 5-2 this evening to win the Austin Super Regional and advance to the College World Series. First trip to Omaha for the Longhorns since 2005. Very very cool.

The starting line-ups:

TCU Texas
1 Corey Steglich, 2b
2 Taylor Featherston, ss
3 Matt Carpenter, 3b
4 Matt Vern, 1b
5 Bryan Holaday, c
6 Chris Ellington, rf
7 Jason Coats, lf
8 Matt Curry, dh
9 Aaron Schultz, cf
- Tyler Lockwood, p
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Russell Moldenhauer, dh
5 Kevin Keyes, rf
6 Brandon Loy, ss
7 Preston Clark, lf
8 Cameron Rupp, c
9 Connor Rowe, cf
- Taylor Jungmann, p

Texas won the coin toss and got to play Home team. Which I always prefer. Heh. Coach Garrido also slipped Russell Moldenhauer into the line-up. I watched Moldenhauer taking batting practice yesterday and he hit several balls out of the park. I didn't see him before this evening's game so don't know if he did the same today. I suspect, but have no way of knowing, that Coach Garrido was hoping to give the Horns a bit of power this evening by inserting him into the dh spot.

And, here's how things played out:

Jungmann got the win, moving his record to 8-3. And, Ruffin got his 2nd save of the year. Nice.

Final line:

[Final line score]

I had to include the image on the video portion of the scoreboard with the line this evening. Isn't it great? I did doctor the photo a bit to remove the ads to the left and right of the screen since they just cluttered things up.

And, another photo...the last pitch of the game (the ball's about a quarter of the way to the plate):

[Last pitch]

Texas moves on to the 2009 College World Series. Their first opponent is Southern Miss. They play on Sunday at 6 pm.

Posted by Joanna at 11:51 PM | Permalink

Sunday - June 7, 2009

Game 60: Texas at TCU (Austin Super Regional)

Today's game was not nearly as fun as yesterday's game. At least, not for Texas fans. Texas lost 2-3 to TCU in the second game of the Austin Super Regional. The Horns are now 8-5 on the season in 1-run games. Bah.

The starting line-ups were identical to yesterday's for both teams:

Texas TCU
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Kevin Keyes, rf
5 Brandon Loy, ss
6 Preston Clark, dh
7 Cameron Rupp, c
8 Connor Rowe, cf
9 David Hernandez, lf
- Cole Green, p
1 Corey Steglich, 2b
2 Taylor Featherston, ss
3 Matt Carpenter, 3b
4 Matt Vern, 1b
5 Bryan Holaday, c
6 Chris Ellington, rf
7 Jason Coats, lf
8 Matt Curry, dh
9 Aaron Schultz, cf
- Paul Gerrish, p

And, here's the sad story of today's game:

Texas just couldn't seem to figure Gerrish out until late in the game. And, then they ran out of time. The Horns only got the lead-off man aboard in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. They scored in the 7th and 8th. After the record-breaking small ball day yesterday, the Horns only attempted 1 sac bunt today and failed to execute on the one attempt. Interesting. I suppose. Texas only managed 6 hits...all singles except for the lead-off double by Keyes in the 7th. TCU only had one more hit than the Horns but...two of their hits left the park. All of TCUs runs in the first two games of the Super Regional have been scored on homeruns. Cole Green took the loss, by the way, to move his record to 5-3.

Final line:

[Final line score]

Texas and TCU play again tomorrow at 6. We've been told that Texas will be back in the Home dugout.

Posted by Joanna at 8:51 PM | Permalink

Saturday - June 6, 2009

Game 59: TCU at Texas (Austin Super Regional)

Wow. Texas won the first game of the Super Regional 10-4. Michael Torres hit 2 (two!) homeruns today. He doubled his season homerun total. Heh heh. And, Chance Ruffin threw his 3rd complete game of the season. Oh, my. What fun! So, how'd they do that? Read on.

First off, the starting line-ups:

TCU Texas
1 Corey Steglich, 2b
2 Taylor Featherston, ss
3 Matt Carpenter, 3b
4 Matt Vern, 1b
5 Bryan Holaday, c
6 Chris Ellington, rf
7 Jason Coats, lf
8 Matt Curry, dh
9 Aaron Schultz, cf
- Kyle Winkler, p
1 Michael Torres, 3b
2 Travis Tucker, 2b
3 Brandon Belt, 1b
4 Kevin Keyes, rf
5 Brandon Loy, ss
6 Preston Clark, dh
7 Cameron Rupp, c
8 Connor Rowe, cf
9 David Hernandez, lf
- Chance Ruffin, p

And, here's how the game went:

Chance Ruffin pitched his third complete game of the year to move his record to 10-2. By my count, he threw 127 pitches. He faced 35 batters and gave up 4 earned runs on 7 hits (3 homers and 4 singles). He struck out 7 and walked only 1. Sigh...what a game.

And, going down the line, here's how the batters did:

  1. Torres: 4-for-5, 2 homeruns, 2 singles, 4 rbi, 3 runs scored...WOW
  2. Tucker: 2-for-4, double, single, rbi, run scored, strikeout, caught stealing
  3. Belt: 1-for-3, single, sac bunt, intentional walk
  4. Keyes: 1-for-5, double, 2 rbi, strikeout
    - Kyle Lusson: no plate appearances
  5. Loy: 1-for-4, single, run scored, walk, strikeout
  6. Clark: 1-for-2, single, 2 runs scored, walk, sac bunt
  7. Rupp: 1-for-2, single, run scored, 2 sac bunts
  8. Rowe: 1-for-2, single, 2 rbi, run scored, 2 sac bunts
  9. Hernandez: 2-for-2, rbi, sac bunt
    - Moldenhauer: 0-for-0, walk
    - Maitland: no plate appearances, run scored

The 7 sac bunts hit by Texas set a single-game NCAA record. And, look at Loy's line. He did not participate in the sac bunt parade. Going into today's game, Loy led the team with 24 sac bunts on the year. Next in line? Brandon Belt with 8. Loy's 24 sac bunts, by the way, also lead the country. Through games played as of June 1st, he was tied at 24 with Joe Scott of Cal State Fullerton. And, he didn't get one today. Heh.

Final line:

[Final line score]

Texas and TCU play again tomorrow. Texas will play visitor. Go, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:38 PM | Permalink

Friday - June 5, 2009

Quick note about Game 58

Whew. I managed to finish the game report for the Army game. If you're interested, check it out. Just in time for the Supers.

Posted by Joanna at 11:47 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - June 3, 2009

Quick note about Game 57

Late last night I managed to finish the game report for the epic Texas/Boston College game. If you're interested, check it out.

Posted by Joanna at 7:39 AM | Permalink

Tuesday - June 2, 2009

Austin Wood article

In the Statesman: Pitcher Wood reflects on his place in Longhorns lore by Alan Trubow. "This has been a dream. It's been amazing."

Posted by Joanna at 9:31 PM | Permalink

"Inning by Inning" giveaway results

I just went to random.org to generate a couple of random numbers and the two winners of the "Inning by Inning" DVD are:

  1. Joe in California Florida (sigh...I don't have any idea why I initially wrote "California")
  2. Bary in Austin

Congratulations, Joe and Bary! I'll be in contact via email.

Posted by Joanna at 8:20 AM | Permalink

Monday - June 1, 2009

Quick post regarding the Texas Super Regional

Four of the Super Regional Tournaments are scheduled to start on Friday and four on Saturday. The Austin Super Regional (in which Texas plays host to TCU) will start on Saturday. Start times for individual games have not yet been announced. See the NCAA press release for more info.

UPDATE (about 10 minutes later). The start times have been announced on the TexasSports.com site:

The first pitch for Saturday's game is set for 5 p.m. Central, and the game will be televised live on ESPNU. Sunday's game is slated for 2 p.m. with television booked for ESPN. If necessary, Monday's game will start at either Noon or 6 p.m. and will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

Posted by Joanna at 10:40 PM | Permalink

Elsewhere, Day 4

The six regionals that went to a 7th game are all over. The Big 12 did not fare well:

So, Texas is the only Big 12 team to advance to the next round.

And, what about that next round? Well, there were only three upsets when all the dust settled. OU and UC-Irvine lost their regionals yesterday. And, Georgia Tech lost today. So do all the #1 seeds automatically host the next round? I'm not sure; we'll know shortly. The NCAA was supposed to make an announcement at 11 o'clock (Eastern time, I believe) and there's still no news. The top 8 National Seeds (Texas, Cal State Fullerton, LSU, North Carolina, Arizona State, and Florida) will host by virtue of being top seeds. OU and UCI were in that group and lost. I rather expect that the "upsetters" will be the traveling teams come next week. But, you never know. At any rate, we do know who will be playing:

I'll be back with more info when I have it.

UPDATE. I predicted correctly. Ole Miss and Florida State have been selected to host the next round.

UPDATE #2. The teams on the "1-4-5-8" side of the CWS will play their super regionals on Saturday through Monday. The teams on the "2-3-6-7" side will play on Friday through Sunday.

Posted by Joanna at 10:14 PM | Permalink

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