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Monday - May 30, 2011

Austin Regional info

Texas was announced as a Regional host yesterday. Today, we found out that they earned the #7 National Seed spot. Here's who'll be playing in the Austin Regional:

  1. Texas (43-15)
  2. Texas State (40-21) - won the Southland Conference tournament
  3. Kent State (43-15) - won the MAC (Mid-Atlantic) Conference tournament
  4. Princeton (23-22) - won the Ivy League Conference tournament

All three of the teams coming to Austin are automatic bids by virtue of winning their conference tournaments.

The National Seed means that if Texas wins the Regional, the Super Regional will also be played in Austin. The Austin Regional winner will play the winner of the Tempe Regional:

  1. Arizona State (38-16) - Pac10 at-large selection
  2. Arkansas (39-20) - SEC at-large selection
  3. Charlotte (42-14) - won the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament
  4. New Mexico (20-39) - won the Mountain West Conference tournament

I'm so glad the Austin Regional isn't paired with Fort Worth or Houston. Finally...something different! And, the only team we've seen this year in either Regional is Texas State.

Other Big 12 teams that got in:

Here's a link to the NCAA's Championship Bracket. It looks like all of the Regionals are scheduled to start on Friday.

UPDATE. The guy(s) at College Splits ran some numbers and...

That's not the first place I've read that Kent State is a dangerous #3.

UPDATE #2. I have updated my Post Season Info page with info about the Austin Regional...including start times for the games.

Posted by Joanna at 12:41 PM | Permalink

Big 12 Tournament, Day 5

Missouri at Texas A&M

The Championship game proved to be a bit of a nail-biter. Which came as a surprise after the first couple of innings. Missouri jumped to a 6-0 lead, scoring 2 in the 1st and 4 in the 2nd. Missouri's season was on the line. A win would mean they'd make the Field of 64 and have a shot at the World Series. A loss would mean their season was over. They played like it. But, they gave up 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd and 2 more in the 4th to fall behind by 1 run. But...ta da!...they scored a run the the 6th to tie things back up at 7-7. The Aggies scratched another run across in the 7th, though, to go up 8-7 and things just didn't look good for the Tigers. But they came back in the 9th, scoring 2 in the top of the frame to take a 9-8 lead. Could they hold on? Nope. They gave up a game-tying run in the bottom of the inning. Free baseball! Missouri got a runner to 2b with 2 outs in the 10th but he was stranded there. In the bottom of the inning, the first A&M batter hit a monster shot to deep cf but, the center fielder ran back to the wall, adjusted to the ball as it was blown around by the wind, and made a last-second lunge to catch the ball. Whew. Nice play. The next batter grounded out to 1b. You could tell this was going to go another inning. Up to the plate came Andrew Collazo, the #9 batter. He'd made a throwing error in the 9th that helped Missouri score those 2 runs that gave them that temporary lead. Last year, tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 10, the Aggie shortstop (Brodie Green) hit a 2-run homer in the Championship game to beat Baylor. This year? Yep. Andrew Collazo hit a homerun over the left field wall to win the game for the Aggies in the 10th inning. Texas A&M won the game 10-9.

The Horns got 3 players onto the all-tournament team:

What's next?

Now, we wait to hear about Regional pairings and seedings. It was announced yesterday that 4 Southwest Conference teams would host: Texas, Texas A&M, Rice, and TCU. Those are also the 4 Texas schools that were selected. Heh. I've seen 2 projections that list Texas as a National Seed and 2 that don't. I do not have a good feel at all for whether or not the Horns will be a National Seed. I'm thinking they might've been edged out by not making the Championship Game of the tournament. I hope I'm wrong about that. But, there's no way to know ahead of time.

Posted by Joanna at 9:06 AM | Permalink

Saturday - May 28, 2011

Big 12 Tournament, Day 4

Game 1: Texas at Missouri

Texas won the first game of the day 6-1 over Missouri...forcing another game later in the afternoon between the two teams. A good start by Sam Stafford and a great relief appearance by Kendal Carrillo along with "slow and steady" on the offensive side of things were all the Horns needed to force that second game. So nice to see the team firing on all cylinders. See my game report for the full story.

Game 2: Kansas State at Texas A&M

Texas A&M beat Kansas State 9-8 in 11 innings. I missed the game (attended a high school graduation) but followed a bit on Twitter. The game was scoreless through the first 3 innings. Kansas State scored 5 in the 4th, though. And, stayed in the lead through the 8th inning when they gave up 4 runs...which tied things up 8-8. The game remained tied at at that score until the bottom of the 11th when a double, a single, an intentional walk, and another single gave the Aggies the win...and pass to the Championship game on Sunday.

Game 3: Missouri at Texas

Alas, the Horns could not pull off another loser's-bracket win of the Big 12 Tournament as they lost to Missouri 1-2 this evening. They played a good game but just could not get two hits strung together to save their Tournament lives. So sad. I've posted a game report as usual. Check it out for full details.

Posted by Joanna at 7:40 PM | Permalink

Game 58: Missouri at Texas (Big 12 Tournament)

The third and final game of the day started almost an hour late. The Horns played home team. I listened to the game on the radio while watching the Big 12 Internet stream.

The lineups:

Missouri  Texas
Conner Mach (lf)
Brannon Champagne (cf)
Eric Garcia (1b)
Jonah Schmidt (dh)
Blake Brown (rf)
Ben Turner (c)
Jesse Santo (ss)
C.J. Jarvis (3b)
Andrew Thigpen (2b)
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (lf)
Paul Montalbano (lf)
Jonathan Walsh (dh)
Cohl Walla (cf)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Jacob Felts (c)

Please note that both schools went with the same lineups they used in the first game. Interesting? Texas used a bazillion lineups through the year but seem to have finally settled on this one.

Play by play:

The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Missouri 010 000 100 2 3 1
Texas 000 000 010 1 5 0

Well, that sucked. Texas got what they needed out of their pitchers (Milner got saddled with the loss) but the bats just did not come through this evening. In his post-game comments on the radio, Coach Garrido said the Horns competed in the game....but sometimes balls just get hit right at people. He said the team wasn't flat but they just didn't get any of the breaks. The pitchers did a good job and the team gave themselves a chance to win the game. He added that it won't hurt the team to head on back to Austin and have an extra day to recover before getting ready for the Regional.

In the post-game news conference, Coach Garrido said that Missouri earned the victory. He added that the game reinforced the importance of the Big 12 tournament...since it will allow another Big 12 team in if Missouri goes on to win. He thought the quality of the pitching and defense by both teams was outstanding. It was just a good old-fashioned game where little things made the difference. Championships are decided by the unexpected. They expected this game to be high-scoring. He said the team has struggled against that type of pitcher (soft-throwing lefty) all year. He said the team was asked to take quality at-bats and they did that...with the exception of only one batter (who went unnamed). The team just ran into a really fine game played by Missouri who had few bad at-bats and capitalized on the opportunities they did have. Interesting side note: Augie said he would favor the change to the 32-regional format because all teams are built for 3-game series. Hoby Milner said he'll pitch whenever the team needs him...stating, out of the pen, whatever. Brandon Loy said it was just one of those games where you keep hitting balls right at people. They team is not going to let this game get them down, though.

Tomorrow we'll find out if the Horns will host a Regional. I'm sure they will. On Monday we find out if they're gonna be a National Seed. I think think they will. We'll also find out who's coming to play in Austin for the Regional on Monday. Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 7:27 PM | Permalink

Game 57: Texas at Missouri (Big 12 Tournament)

I've got a high school graduation I might go to today. As I sit here waiting for the game to start I'm torn! To go...or not to go? I've decided to let the Horns decide. If they've got control of the game at 11 o'clock, I'm going. If not, I'm staying put. My plan is to have the Big 12's video stream open so I can see things. But, I have a tough time listening to those guys so I'll listen to Craig Way and Bill Little on the radio. That seems to work best! And, so...

The line-ups:

Texas  Missouri
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (lf)
Paul Montalbano (lf)
Jonathan Walsh (dh)
Cohl Walla (cf)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Jacob Felts (c)
Conner Mach (lf)
Brannon Champagne (cf)
Eric Garcia (1b)
Jonah Schmidt (dh)
Blake Brown (rf)
Ben Turner (c)
Jesse Santo (ss)
C.J. Jarvis (3b)
Andrew Thigpen (2b)

Play by play:

The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Texas 001 110 120 6 11 0
Missouri 000 100 00- 1 5 1

Props to Carrillo and Loy from Bill Little and Coach Garrido in the post-game interview on KVET. Garrido is happy with the team's attitude. The starter this afternoon will be Hoby Milner. He also noted that Thomas, Urban, and Dicharry have not yet pitched.

And, I'm outta here...high school graduation, here I come! Sorry for any typos...no time to check before I leave. Horns play the Tigers again at 4...I think Texas will be the home team for that game.

Posted by Joanna at 11:53 AM | Permalink

Friday - May 27, 2011

Big 12 Tournament, Day 3

Game 1: Oklahoma State at Texas

The Longhorns took care of business this afternoon, beating Oklahoma State 9-3 (and sending them home). Cole Green started and got the win, improving his record to 7-3. Brandon Loy paced the Horns with 3 hits while Tant Shepherd, Mark Payton, and Paul Montalbano each collected 2 hits apieace. See my full game report for more info. Texas next plays Missouri tomorrow morning at 9 am. Sam Stafford has been tabbed to start for the Horns.

Game 2: Oklahoma at Kansas State

I missed most of this game. I did tune in from time-to-time but it just wouldn't grab my attention for some reason. And, maybe it should have because K-State surprised the Sooners and sent them home, winning the game 4-3. OU scored first, a solo run in the 1st, but K-State answered with their own run to tie things up and went ahead by one in the 3rd. This time it was OU answering as they re-tied the game in the 4th. The Wildcats scored a couple of runs (aided by a catcher's interference) in the 5th to go up by two. OU scored another run in the 7th and got runners aboard in the 8th and 9th but could not get either guy home. Kansas State is now set to face the Aggies tomorrow.

Posted by Joanna at 11:51 PM | Permalink

Game 56: Oklahoma State at Texas (Big 12 Tournament)

I listened to today's game between the Horns and Cowboys at work (Craig Way and Bill Little sharing their insights via KVET). Which means I did miss some of it. Sorry!

Cole Green started for Texas...who played home team. Cowboys went 1-2-3 in the first. Yay. Brandon Loy started things off with a double and things looked kind of exciting for a couple of minutes. Alas, the Horns left runners stranded at 2b and 3b.

The Cowboys got a 1-out runner aboard in the 2nd to no avail. In the bottom of the inning, Cohl Walla reached on a strikeout wild pitch that went to the backstop but he was erased when Jordan Etier grounded into a double play.

I missed the 3rd inning which turned out to be pretty exciting. OSU hit a 2-run homerun (1 out at the time). Happily, Texas answered with 3 in the bottom of the inning! With one run across for Texas in the bottom of the inning, the OSU shortstop made an error (booted the ball, I think) on a double play ball that kept the inning alive. With the bases loaded, Paul Montalbano singled, scoring 1 run. And, then Jonathan Walsh hit a sac fly to cf, scoring the third run of the inning.

I also missed the 4th and top of the 5th but they were apparently uneventful. There were no runs scored at any rate.

Got back to my office in time for the bottom of the 5th. Mark Payton led things off with a triple! First pitch. Tant Shepherd hit the next pitch (!) up the middle, scoring Payton. Erich Weiss sturck out swinging and Paul Montalbano was hit by a pitch. Which prompted a visit to the mound by Frank Anderson (who ended up making a pitching change). Craig and Bill then started chuckling a bit about Frank apparently being very disgusted with the job Randy Bruns was doing behind the plate. Walsh went down looking. Walla lined a single down the 3b line. Shepherd scored and Montalbano moved up to 3b. With Etier at the plate, Montalbano scored and Walla advanced to 2b on a passed ball. Etier did go on to strike out swinging. Texas up 6-2 through 5. Nice.

The Cowboys got a lead-off homer in the 6th. So glad the Horns scored 3 in the 5th! Right before the homer was hit, Craig and Bill had noted that Nathan Thornhill and Hoby Milner were up in the bullpen. A come-backer to the mound and a ground out to 2b got the next two batters down. And, a line-drive to ss ended the Cowboys' half of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Felts flew out to cf. Loy then reached on a single to lf (first pitch). I do love first-pitch hits. Payton then drew a walk. Sadly, Shepherd popped out to 1b and Weiss struck out looking. Craig commented that the last two pitches to Weiss (both called strikes) looked to be very far inside. In the post-game news conference, Coach Garrido said the first inside pitch actually hit Weiss on the elbow but the ump ruled Weiss was crowding the plate and had his elbow in the strike zone.

Texas sent Nathan Thornhill to the mound to start the 7th and he tossed a lovely 1-2-3 inning (pop-up to ss, fly out to cf, and a groundout to 3b). In the bottom of the inning, Montalbano flew out to lf. Walsh singled through the right side. Walla reached on an error by the right-fielder who lost a fly ball in the sun. It his his glove and went past him. Walsh moved up to 3b on the play and Walla to 2b. With the infield pulled in, Etier lined a single into lf, scoring Walsh and moving Walla to 3b. With runners at the corners, the infield moved to double-play depth. The first pitch to Felts went behind him. Yikes. (With Felts at the plate, Craig commented that Coach Garrido said in his pre-game remarks that he'd rather have the UT pitching staff over any other in the current situation...where they have to win 4 games in 3 days). Felts struck out swinging after fouling off a few balls. Loy then reached on a 4-pitch walk. Payton was called out on strikes. He was not happy with the call of two of the called strikes...feeling they were very far inside. Sounded like the same thing that got Weiss upset earlier in the game. If I were calling pitches, I think I'd just call for all of them to be there, wouldn't you? Texas up 7-3.

The first OSU batter of the 8th inning flew out to lf at the warning track. The next flew out to cf. And, the third hit a fly ball over Walla's head to the warning track for a double. Texas sent Hoby Milner to the mound, replacing Thornhill. Texas had said that, ideally, Thornhill would only be used for 1 or 2 innings and that Milner would only come in for very short relief in specific situations since he might be needed to start tomorrow. Two pitches later, the fourth batter of the inning popped out to ss. Nice. In the bottom of the inning, Shepherd lined a single into rf. With Weiss at the plate, Shepherd moved up to 2b on a wild pitch. Weiss (the only Texas batter without a hit today...but he did reach base on a walk and a hit-by-pitch) drew a full-count walk. Montalbano singled through the right side, scoring Shepherd and moving Weiss to 3b! Walsh plated Weiss on a sac fly to deep cf. Walla grounded out to 3b, moving Montalbano to 2b. Etier flew out to cf. Texas up 9-3. Nice.

The Horns sent Corey Knebel to the mound to pitch the 9th inning. The first batter he faced went down looking on 3 pitches. The next batter, sadly, singled past Shepherd into rf. The third? Another strikeout looking. Sweet. The final batter of the game grounded out to 1b (unassisted). Texas wins 9-3.

The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Oklahoma State 002 001 000 3 7 2
Home 003 030 12- 9 13 0

In the post-game comments on the radio, Coach Garrido sounded very excited by the win. He said that the team played the game today instead of the scoreboard which is what they've been wanting the team to do all season. Asked about pitching for tomorrow, he said they'd go with Sam Stafford in the first game and Hoby Milner in the second game.

The Horns will now face Missouri again tomorrow at 9 am. Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 6:44 PM | Permalink

Thursday - May 26, 2011

Big 12 Tournament, Day 2

Game 1: Texas at Baylor

In the first elimination game of the day, Texas gave up a first-inning run but then Taylor Jungmann buckled down and made an adjustment or two...which spelled out the end of the tournament for Baylor. Texas scored 4 runs (3 unearned after an unusual error by the ss who failed to tag 2b on a force out) in the 4th. Single runs in the 7th and 9th led to a 6-1 victory for Texas. Jungmann got the complete-game victory, moving his record to 13-0 on the season. He only gave up the one hit in the first inning. Outstanding. See the complete game report for full details. The Horns will play the loser of this afternoon's matchup between Oklahoma State and Missouri.

Game 2: Oklahoma at Texas Tech

In today's second elimination game, Oklahoma scored single runs in the 3rd (on a sac fly), the fourth (homerun), and 5th (bases-loaded balk!), to go up 3-0 over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders managed to string a few singles together in the 8th to put a run across and got out of the top of the 9th without allowing the any further damage. However, they were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th and wound up being the second team eliminated from the tournament. The Sooners will play the loser of this evening's A&M/K-State game tomorrow evening (scheduled start time is 7 o'clock).

Game 3: Oklahoma State at Missouri

Oklahoma State blew a chance with one out and runners at the corners in the top of the 5th. Missouri got runners to the corners with no out in the bottom of the inning and did not do the same. A single scored a run and a couple of bases-loaded walks scored two more. And, another single broke the game wide open (as they say) putting the Tigers up 5-0 through 5. The Cowboys fought their way back, though, and scored 3 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th to tie things up. Bottom of the 9th? A pair of singles, a fielder's choice, and one more single were enough to give the Tigers a 6-5 win and move OSU into the loser's bracket where they'll face Texas tomorrow at 3:15.

Game 4: Texas A&M at Kansas State

Kansas State scored a first-inning run to take a very short-lived early lead over Texas A&M. It did not hold up, however, as the Aggies answered with two in the 2nd, one in the third, and one more for good measure in the 9th. The Aggies won 4-1 to stay in the winner's bracket while sending Kansas State to the loser's bracket where they face Oklahoma in an elimination game tomorrow evening.

Posted by Joanna at 11:48 PM | Permalink

Game 55: Texas at Baylor (Big 12 Tournament)

I stayed home this morning and listened to the game on the radio while watching the Big 12 video stream...which did not get started on time. That was very frustrating. Oh well. Life (and baseball) went on anyway.

Texas won 6-1 to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Texas 000 400 101 6 11 0
Baylor 100 000 000 1 1 3

The line-ups:

Texas Tech  Texas
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (lf)
Paul Montalbano (lf)
Jonathan Walsh (dh)
Cohl Walla (cf)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Jacob Felts (c)
Brooks Pinckard (rf)
Max Muncy (1b)
Josh Ludy (c)
Cal Towey (dh)
Dan Evatt (lf)
Joey Hainsfurther (3b)
Logan Vick (cf)
Jack Miller (ss)
Steve DalPorto (2b)

Play by play:

That's the first 1-hitter in the Big 12 tournament since 1999. Nice.

Baylor coach Steve Smith gave big props to Jungmann's performance in his remarks in the post-game show. Muncy said Jungmann's slow/smooth motion makes the hitter believe the ball's coming at you a lot slower than it really is. An interesting closing comment by Coach Smith: he said the umpires are being encouraged to keep things going...that the final check swing was not a strike but the umps are being pressed to keep things going so it's called a strike. Hmmm...

In the Texas side of the post-game news conference, Coach Garrido said he was happy to see everyone on the team supporting every other player for the whole game. He asked the team if they had more fun today or yesterday and said it's a choice they have to make every day to go all in. Jungmann admitted that he got a little tired toward the end of the game but thought he pitched well after being shaky early and then making an adjustment to what he was doing. He rated his performance a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. Garrido was happy to see the team's commitment to the effort last the whole game. He commented that Jungmann is one of the few pitchers he's seen that gets consistently better every time he plays. He said Jungmann likes his role and is there every day to be the best pitcher he can be.

The Horns will play the loser of this afternoon's Oklahoma State/Mizzou game tomorrow at 3:15. Hook 'em!


UPDATE. Direct quotes from the post-game news conference (taken from the PDF file posted on the Big 12's site):

Posted by Joanna at 12:24 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 25, 2011

Big 12 Tournament, Day 1

Game 1: Baylor at Oklahoma State

In the first game of the day, Baylor jumped to a 2-run lead in the 3rd but then could not hold on as they gave up 4 runs in the 6th and 2 more in the 8th to go down 2-6 to Oklahoma State. Baylor now faces an elimination game against the loser of the Mizzou/Texas game.

Game 2: Missouri at Texas

Texas lost 4-6 to Missouri. See my game report for details and a few thoughts on the matter. Sigh...Texas plays Baylor in an elimination game tomorrow at 9 am. OSU and Missouri face each other in the 3rd game of the day tomorrow. The winner of that game will be in the driver's seat on the Division I side of the bracket (Seeds 1, 4, 5, and 8) as the tournament winds down.

Game 3: Texas Tech at Texas A&M

The Aggies did not play well early in the game (they fell behind 0-5) but buckled down, scored 10 unanswered runs (they scored 6 in the 6th), and came back to beat Texas Tech 10-5. John Stilson was scheduled to start for the Aggies but did not feel well in his pre-game warmups so was replaced...which may have contributed to the early A&M struggles. The Aggies will now play the winner of the OU/KSU game tomorrow evening and Tech will face the loser following the Texas/Baylor game tomorrow morning.

Game 4: Oklahoma at Kansas State

Kansas State jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but gave up a 4-spot in the 3rd to fall behind the Sooners. They battled back, though, and tied the game in the 7th and then went on to take the lead in the 9th and win 5-4. OU joins Texas Tech in the loser's bracket for Division 2 while KSU will now have to face the Aggies.

Posted by Joanna at 11:21 PM | Permalink

Game 54: Missouri at Texas (Big 12 Tournament)

I was at lunch when the game started and got back to my office to find the game tied 1-1 in the 3rd. Based on the video stream, I'd guess there were fewer than 1,000 folks in the stands; the seats looked pretty empty at any rate. At some point Bill Little commented that the crowd for the first game of the day (Baylor/OSU) was even smaller. Anyway...

Nathan Thornhill (who started today's game for Texas) got into trouble in the 4th. He struck out the first batter he saw but then a single, a walk, and another single loaded the bases. Texas sent Hoby Milner to the mound at that point. And, he promptly hit a batter (1-3 count) to score the go-ahead run. Ouch. A pop-up and fielder's choice ended the threat. Erich Weiss led off the bottom of the inning with a solo-shot over the rf fence to tie the game again at 2-2.

The Tigers retook the lead in the 5th on a single, sac bunt, a fly out that did not advance the runner), a walk, and a single up the middle. Texas then sent Kendal Carrillo to the mound, replacing Milner, with runners at 1b and 2b and 2 out. A groundout to the ss ended the top half of the inning. With one out, Brandon Loy reached on an infield single to 2b and Mark Payton drew a full-count walk, putting runners at 1b and 2b. Tant Shepherd flew out to cf; Loy tagged up on the play and moved up to 3b. With runners at the corners and 2 out, Weiss singled into rf, scoring Loy (to tie the game up 3-3) and moving Payton to 2b. Paul Montablano, sadly, grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning. Through the first 5 innings of the game, Missouri scored single runs in the 1st, 4th, and 5th. Texas responded with single runs in the 2nd, 4th, and 5th to tie the game up each time.

With 2 out in the 6th, Missouri loaded the bases on 2 infield singles to 2b sandwiched around a walk. A double to the gap in left-center cleared tbe bases, giving Missouri a 6-3 lead. Oh my. Another infield single off Carrillo's glove put runners at the corners. A ground out to 2b (which sounded like it was almost another infield single!) finally ended the top of 6th. (By the way, I tried to watch the Internet stream of the game but had too much going on so just ended up listening to Craig Way and Bill Little on the radio.) Texas got a runner to 2b in the bottom of the inning but he was stranded there. No answer in the 6th, alas.

I missed the 7th inning but, according to the LiveStats page, not much happened. Andrew McKirahan did go to the mound for Texas and threw a 3-up/3-down inning. Shepherd reached on a 2-out single in the bottom of the inning but was stranded at 1b.

After getting two quick outs to start the 8th, McKirahan walked a batter, prompting Texas to send Corey Knebel to the mound to face Jonah Schmidt (who hit the bases-clearing double in the 6th). Interesting. This was not a save situation...not even close. Apparently, the Horns were just getting Knebel a bit of work after his struggles in the final game of the Aggie series. Knebel (ahead in the count against Schmidt) actually picked off the runner at 1b for the 3rd out. In the bottom of the inning, Missouri went to their bullpen, sending Phil McCormick (Missouri closer) to the mound replacing starter Eric Anderson. Montalbano promptly doubled to right-center. Jonathan Walsh grounded out (to 2b, I think), moving Montalbano to 3b. Kevin Lusson struck out looking (2-2 pitch). Sad. Jordan Etier doubled down the rf line, scoring Montalbano. Yes! Cohl Walla (pinch-hitting for Jacob Felts) drew a 4-pitch walk. Loy grounded out to ss. Shucks. Little had commented that the Mizzou center fielder had shifted to right-center opening up a big-time gap in left-center big-time. Loy did pull the ball in that direction but on the ground. Texas down 4-6.

In the 9th inning, Texas moved Kevin Lusson from dh to catch which put Knebel into the line-up (taking Walla's pinch-hitting spot). No more DH for Texas today. The Tigers went down in order. Nice. In the bottom of the inning, the Horns had their 2-3-4 batters (Payton, Shepherd, and Weiss) due up. Sadly, Payton struck out swinging on three pitches. Shepherd blooped a full-count pitch into rf! Weiss grounded out to the pitcher, moving Shepherd to 2b. Montalbano fouled off several pitches and managed to work the count full, before he was called out looking. Sigh. Texas ended up losing 4-6. Carrillo was saddled with the loss, dropping his record to 4-1. The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Missouri 100 113 000 6 12 1
Texas 010 110 010 4 11 0

In the post-game conference, Coach Garrido said he thought Missouri really wanted to win the game and you could tell. He said the Horns played well but didn't get the breaks they needed. He added that the Horns have won the tournament from the loser's bracket before and they can do it again. He said he didn't get the sense that the players feel any undo pressure. He said he thinks they're ready to compete and they just haven't bought into the inning-by-inning concept yet. He said they were in the game in the 8th and 9th but needed to be more aggressive earlier in the game. He said the team is letting the other team set the tone...and it's not the first time they've done this. He said it's hard to get the team to commit to the killer instinct. You can't wait until the other team does something and then strike back. He said they're not fighting to gain the momentum...they're playing to win the game and those habits are hard to break. Loy and Weiss seemed to agree with the assessment. They said they're good enough to win the National Championship...they just need to figure out how to do it.

My response: umm...okay. I'm frustrated that the team has not yet figured these things out. I'm having flashbacks to 2008. I don't like it but there you have it.

Texas will now face Baylor (in an elimination game) in the first game of the day tomorrow morning. I believe Texas will be the visiting team. Start time will be 9 o'clock. Sigh. I hate to say it but wonder if the Horns will go out in two and lose their National seed in the Regionals? I'm guessing they pretty much have to start Jungmann tomorrow, right? Maybe they go with Green? Dunno. Coach Garrido did not say who would be starting in the post-game conference (I don't think anyone asked him who the starter would be, though.)


UPDATE (5:30pm). Direct quotes from the post-game news conference (taken from the PDF file posted on the Big 12's site):

Posted by Joanna at 3:52 PM | Permalink

Monday - May 23, 2011

Ready for the Big 12 tourney

Got my post season 2011 schedule set up. Check it out. I will update as often as I can during the Big 12 tournament. But, I will be at work and won't be able to listen to (or watch, if they're streamed) the games very much...especially the daytime games. I really hope the Horns win the tournament. Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:31 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 22, 2011

Game 53: Texas A&M at Texas

Yes, I know...late again. I admit it. I just didn't want to face reality. And, frankly, you get what you pay for around these parts. Sigh...

So, here's what happened in Game 3 of the Texas/Texas A&M series:

[boxscore]

Yeah.

The Horns got one runner (yes...count him, one) into scoring position. One. During the whole game. Get this...he was the very first batter of the game. Brandon Loy reached on a fielding error by the third baseman who was in place to catch an infield pop-up and it bounced off the heal of his glove onto the field. Loy made it to 2b on the error. Mark Payton then reached on a beauty of a bunt single down the 3b line, moving Loy to 3b. Tant Shepherd (who...I can't believe I'm typing this...went 0-fer the series!) struck out swinging. And, Erich Weiss (who went 0-fer on the day) grounded into a 3-6-3 double play to end the only chance Texas really had to score. Ross Stripling threw a really nice game for the Aggies. By my count, he threw 107 pitches (71 for strikes). He faced 30 Texas batters. He struck out 6 and gave up 4 hits. He didn't walk any. He didn't hit any. It was a miserable day at the plate for Texas hitters.

The first three pitchers for Texas combined for 8 innings that were nearly as impressive. Sam Stafford, Nathan Thornhill, and Hoby Milner combined to face 31 batters. They didn't allow any runs, struck out 7, walked 3, and gave up 5 hits. Alas, Corey Knebel (who's had one of the best, if not the best, freshman seasons ever by a Texas pitcher) did not have a good night as he went in for the 9th. He struck out the first batter he faced and then gave up a single past the ss, a bunt single down the 3b line, and then a bloop single down the line into shallow lf (Loy almost got to it but...alas...) to load the bases. What??? With everyone pulled in, Knebel gave up a triple that soared just over Paul Montalbano's outreached glove and rolled to the wall (a play that normally would have been a line-drive out to cf, had not the outfield been pulled in...and, yes, Montalbano did initially misjudge the ball and take a couple of steps in before realizing it was hit harder than he first guessed). Knebel did bear down to get a strikeout and a ground out to end things but the damage was already done. In the bottom of the 9th, the Horns went 1-2-3...as they'd done in the 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Ugh.

I was very disappointed that the Horns could not pull off the sweep. But, sweeps are hard. Especially when you come up against a pitcher who's throwing a career game. And, Texas has not been a team that sweeps other teams this year. They only swept two 3-game series this year...as opposed to six (!) last year.

I really don't know what to expect from this team in post-season play. They have shown flashes of brilliance this year. But...so far...they just don't seem to have what it takes to slam the door shut.

They did earn the #1 seed in the Big 12 tournament. They ended up tied with the Aggies for the regular season crown but by virtue of the series head-to-head win, they earned the top spot. The tournament has returned to the 2-bracket double-elimination format this year (as opposed to the round-robin pool format they'd used the last few years). The winners of each bracket then meet for a winner-take-all game on the final day of the tournament. The Horns are set to play Missouri (who they did sweep in Austin the first weekend of April) at 12:30 pm on Wednesday. Subsequent game times and opponents will depend on how things go as the tournament plays out.

Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 11:31 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 21, 2011

Game 52: Texas A&M at Texas

It was very muggy at Disch-Falk for the start of Game 2 of the A&M series. And, we were warned that thunderstorms were in the offing. Sure enough, just as "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was drawing to a conclusion in the middle of the 7th, lightening struck. And, the teams retreated to their respective locker rooms and a tarp was brought out to cover the mound. And, then the rain came. And, it came and came and came. With the game tied 4-4, we waited. After 90 minutes, the teams were back on the field. And, Texas scored the go-ahead run right away and an insurance run in the next inning and went on to win 6-4! The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Texas A&M 010 003 000 4 8 2
Texas 001 003 11- 6 12 0

The line-ups:

Texas  TAMU
Tyler Naquin (rf)
Krey Bratsen (cf)
Matt Juengel (dh)
Jacob House (1b)
Adam Smith (3b)
Kevin Gonzalez (c)
Brandon Wood (lf)
Kenny Jackson (ss)
Andrew Collazo (2b)
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (3b)
Paul Montalbano (lf)
Jonathan Walsh (dh)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Cohl Walla (cf)
Jacob Felts (c)

And, the play-by-play:

Milner earns the win to move his record to 6-3 and Knebel gets his 16th save of the season!

Nice win for the Horns. Here's hoping they can complete the sweep. The game will be on Fox Sports so you can watch on TV if you can't make it to Disch-Falk field. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 2:34 PM | Permalink

Thursday - May 19, 2011

Game 51: Texas at Texas A&M

I got home just in time to tune into tonight's game via the Aggies' free Internet video stream (thanks, Aggies!) and boy...was I frustrated. The Horns managed to get two runners picked off and a third tagged out on a hidden-ball trick in the first few innings. Ack! But, somehow, they managed to overcome that bit of madness and went on to win 4-2. The line:

[Final line score]

The line-ups:

Texas  TAMU
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (3b)
Paul Montalbano (lf)
Jonathan Walsh (dh)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Cohl Walla (cf)
Jacob Felts (c)
Tyler Naquin (rf)
Krey Bratsen (cf)
Matt Juengel (3b)
Jacob House (1b)
Gregg Alcazar (dh)
Kevin Gonzalez (c)
Brandon Wood (lf)
Kenny Jackson (ss)
Andrew Collazo (2b)

Play by play:

What a game. The Horns looked so very flat. But, they came back in the 7th and did what they needed to do to win. Wow. By my count, Taylor Jungmann threw 120 pitches for a complete-game win to move his record to 12-0 on the year. I love watching him pitch. Oh, and he also struck out 12. Really nice effort by Jungmann.

The final two games of the series will be played here in Austin. Both will be on TV. Check your local listings.

Posted by Joanna at 10:58 PM | Permalink

Game 50: Texas Southern at Texas

As I mentioned in the game report for the first game of the double-header against Texas Southern, I did not actually get to watch the 2nd game of the day. My friends and I drove down to Gruene Hall and took in the Kelly Willis show that night and had a great time. I followed the game on Twitter and was very frustrated that the Horns seemed to save all of their offense for the game we did not get to watch. Since the first game went extra innings, the second game was only scheduled for 7 innings. The Horns won easily:

Team 123 456 7 RHE
Texas Southern 000 000 0 0 1 0
Texas 413 102 - 11 12 0

Cole Green started and got the win for the Horns, improving his record to 6-3. A link to the TexasSports.com game recap: No. 5 Baseball takes nightcap from Texas Southern, 11-0.

Posted by Joanna at 10:46 PM | Permalink

Game 49: Texas Southern at Texas

Sorry for not posting sooner. I had friends visiting from California over the weekend and did not have time to post about the Texas Southern double header. I didn't even have time to watch the second game! The horrors! But, Texas did win both games. They were scheduled to play a 7-inning game followed by a 9-inning game. But, the first game went extra innings so things were switched around. Game report for the first game of the day...

The Horns did not play a particularly good brand of baseball in the opener. Taylor Jungmann started, went 7 innings, and gave up the lone Texas Southern run but ended up with no decision in the game. Corey Knebel threw the 8th and 9th. And, Hoby Milner threw the final 2 innings of the game to get the win and improve his record to 5-3 on the year.

Texas Southern scored their lone run in the 6th inning when, with two out, Terrell Jones moved to 2b on a passed ball and then scored on a single to right. They managed to get runners into scoring position in the 8th, 9th, and 10th but were unable to score again.

The Horns scored their two runs in the 7th and 11th:

The line:

Team 123 456 789 1011 RHE
Texas Southern 000 001 000 00 1 7 0
Texas 000 000 100 01 2 4 1

The Texas bats sure were dead for that first game of the day. But, the weather was gorgeous. And, the Horns won. So, it was mostly a good day for me and my company. My friends were able to see their first-ever Longhorn baseball game and we came away from the experience with a win. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 10:37 PM | Permalink

Sunday - May 8, 2011

Game 48: Texas at Nebraska

Happy Mother's Day! I came out to Bastrop to share the day with my mom. Listened to the KVET stream while Dad cooked a brisket on the grill. Yummm...

Alas, the Horns did pretty much everything they could to make the day go sour. The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Texas 000 002 010 3 7 1
Nebraska 001 140 00- 6 7 0

The line-ups:

Texas  Nebraska
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (3b)
Paul Montalbano (cf)
Jonathan Walsh (lf)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Cohl Walla (dh)
Jacob Felts (c)
Kale Kiser (lf)
Bryan Peters (2b)
Cody Asche (3b)
Kurt Farmer (1b)
Kash Kalkowski (rf)
Chad Christensen (ss)
Josh Scheffert (dh)
Patric Tolentino
Khiry Cooper (cf)

Play by play:

That was a very disappointing loss...on many levels. In the post-game interview, Coach Garrido sounded as frustrated as I feel. He was very upset that the team seems to be satisfied winning 2-out-of-3 games and cannot seem to get their killer instinct in gear. He said they spoke about how important today's game was and they still went out and made mistakes on offense, gave up extra outs, and just did not execute. Sigh...

The Horns are off (they've got finals this week) until Saturday when Texas Southern comes to town for a double-header.

Also of note: Coach Garrido will be signing his new book at Book People on Tuesday evening.

Posted by Joanna at 1:55 PM | Permalink

Saturday - May 7, 2011

Game 47: Texas at Nebraska

I didn't feel like paying for the video feed so just listened to the game on the radio this afternoon. So, this report is based on the description provided by Craig Way and Bill Little. Texas jumped all over the Cornhuskers who had a terrible 1st inning and never looked back. The Horns won 16-5.

The line-ups:

Texas  Nebraska
Brandon Loy (ss)
Mark Payton (rf)
Tant Shepherd (1b)
Erich Weiss (3b)
Paul Montalbano (cf)
Jonathan Walsh (lf)
Jordan Etier (2b)
Cohl Walla (dh)
Jacob Felts (c)
Michael Pritchard (dh)
Bryan Peters (2b)
Cody Asche (3b)
Kurt Farmer (1b)
Kale Kiser (lf)
Kash Kalkowski (rf)
Chad Christensen (ss)
Patric Tolentino
Tanner Krietemeier (cf)

The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Texas 604 000 105 16 17 1
Nebraska 001 110 011 5 10 3

Play by play:

That was a really nice win for Texas. It was frustrating that the defense and pitching were somewhat flat in the middle innings but it's hard to keep focussed when a team is so far ahead. And, I'm not about to argue with the results!

Here's hoping the Horns finish off the sweep tomorrow. Don't forget that the start time has changed...first pitch at 12:05. Hook 'em, Horns!

Posted by Joanna at 3:02 PM | Permalink

Friday - May 6, 2011

Game 46: Texas at Nebraska

Texas traveled to Nebraska for their final series as Big 12 rivals. Interestingly, the local PBS station seemed to be underwriting a free web broadcast of the game. I tuned in a bit late...somewhere around the 4th inning or so. Which means I missed seeing a lot of weirdness in the first couple of innings...wherein the Longhorns were apparently replaced by the Bad News Bears. Or something like that.

The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Visitor 021 000 101 5 12 2
Home 120 000 000 3 5 1

Taylor Jungmann started for the Horns and struggled a bit...as did his infield. I was listening on the radio as I drove home from work. During the first two innings of the game, three of the Nebraska batters reached on infield singles off the gloves of the Texas shortstop, second baseman, and first baseman. Jordan Etier also made an error on what Craig Way and Bill Little described as a tailor-made double play when he threw behind the shortstop. Jungmann also walked 3 batters in the first 3 innings...after walking only 14 all year. There were also passed balls and wild pitches. It was just bizarre. The team really settled down after the 3rd inning, though, and started playing more like their usual selves. I finished my dinner at the end of the 6th inning so decided to document the end of the game. And, so...the final 3 innings...

Jungmann gets the win. Knebel gets his 15th save of the year! Walsh and Shepherd hit solo homeruns. (UPDATE. Oops. Walsh hit a 2-run shot.) All-in-all, a spectacular win after the way the first three innings went for the Horns. Hook 'em!

Posted by Joanna at 9:54 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - May 4, 2011

Sunday game time change

I just saw a tweet from Texas Baseball that the start time for Sunday's game has been moved from 1 o'clock to noon. They're hoping to avoid a travel curfew. Hook 'em, Horns! Beat the hell out of the Cornhuskers!

Posted by Joanna at 5:58 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - May 3, 2011

Game 45: Prairie View A&M at Texas

Texas beat Prairie View A&M 8-0 tonight. The line:

Team 123 456 789 RHE
Prairie View A&M 000 000 000 0 3 1
Home 100 231 01- 8 8 0

Nathan Thornhill got the start and threw a perfect 5 innings. Yes...perfect. That was, of course, the story of the night. By my count, he faced 15 batters and struck out 4 of them. He threw 61 pitches (41 for strikes). It was his first start. It was really quite lovely. Andrew McKirahan threw the 6th and 7th innings. He was not quite as perfect...but he was close. He faced 7 batters, struck out 3, and gave up a single. He threw 16 pitches...14 for strikes! Kirby Bellow threw the 8th. He faced 4 batters, struck out 1, and gave up a lead-off double (the runner was stranded at 2b). He threw 16 pitches (10 for strikes). And, Stayton Thomas pitched the 9th. He faced 4 batters, walked 1, and gave up a single. A double-play got him out of the inning. He also threw 16 pitches (9 for strikes).

Erich Weiss made three really nice defensive plays at 3b. The first one came in the 4th when he dove to his left to the ground in front of Brandon Loy (playing deep in the hole at ss), stopped the ball, jumped to his feet, and fired to 1b in time to make the out. In the 5th, he had to charge hard on a ball hit softly down the 3b line. He grabbed the ball and threw to 1b, again, in time to make the out at 1b. And, in the 9th, to shut down a mini-rally, he charged hard on a softly hit ball, grabbed it, twisted in the air, and threw to 2b to make the first out on a 5-4-3 double play. Purty! Jordan Etier also made a really nice defensive play in the 7th. He managed to dive and stop a ball that was headed into cf for a single, turn, and throw to 1b from his knees in time to make the out at 1b. So nice.

Offensively, it was also a good night...for the most part. Going down the line:

On Walsh's triple, he might've scored on an in-the-park homerun if only they'd realized the throw in from left-center would be way off-target, missing the cut-off. Alas, Skip Johnson (who was coaching 3b today instead of Tommy Harmon...I don't have any idea where Coach Harmon was) did not guess that outcome so Walsh had to score one batter later. I do believe speed-demon Mark Payton would have scored on that play (even without an errant throw) if he'd been in Walsh's shoes. That kid really burns up the base pads.

And, now the Horns travel to Nebraska for their last regular-season series against the Cornhuskers for the foreseeable future. I sincerely do hope the Horns pull off a sweep.

Posted by Joanna at 9:47 PM | Permalink

Game 44: Oklahoma at Texas

[Note: I sat down to do the game report for tonight's game against Prairie View A&M and discovered that I never finished my game report for Sunday's game. I don't know how that happened. 'Looks like I was about half-way through when I stopped for whatever reason and didn't remember to come back. So, I've chucked some of it and am finishing it off now. Sorry it's so late...and incomplete. But, I have to move on. And, so...]

The Horns did not play their best ball this afternoon. Well, not until the 9th inning at any rate. And, by then it was too late. They ended up losing to Oklahoma 2-5. They still won the series but...that's of little comfort.

The line:

[boxscore]

Sam Stafford started and took the loss. He only lasted 3.2 innings, gave up 4 hits (double, 3 singles), 2 runs (1 unearned), walked 2, and struck out 3. He faced 18 batters and (by my count) threw 69 pitches (41 for strikes). Nathan Thornhill threw 0.2 innings, faced 5, gave up 2 hits (singles), 0 runs, walked 1, and threw a wild pitch. By my count he threw 18 pitches (11 for strikes). Andrew McKirahan faced 1 batter and got him to fly out to cf...3 pitches (2 for strikes). Kendal Carrillo had his worst outing of the year (at least, I think it was his worst). He went 1.2 innings, faced 8 batters, gave up 2 hits (single, triple), 2 runs (both earned), walked 1, struck out 2...on 31 pitches (20 for strikes). And, Hoby Milner threw the final 2.2 innings. He faced 11 batters, gave up 1 hit (homerun), 1 run (earned), walked 1, hit 1, and struck out 4...on 39 pitches (28 for strikes).

Offensively, the Horns were pretty flat...with the marked exception of Tant Shepherd who went 3-for-3 (double in the 1st, homerun in the 4th, single in the 6) with a walk. Mark Payton and Shepherd hit back-to-back 1-out singles in the 6th but were followed by a strikeout (looking) by Erich Weiss, a 5-pitch walk by Paul Montalbano to load the bases, and a swinging strikeout by Jonathan Walsh. Ugly. The Horns might've won the game if they could've somehow managed to get Shepherd back up to the plate one more time in the 9th. Alas, that did not happen. Instead, the 9th went like so:

Again, the team didn't seem to be quite back to the "Saturday blahs" that they'd been exhibiting earlier in the season. But, they did not seem to be "on" for much of the game. Maybe it was the Oklahoma pitching? I don't know. But, they did go down in order 4 times. Which makes for a disheartening kind of day.

Posted by Joanna at 9:19 PM | Permalink

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