Stan-UT: Cardinal Shining at the Diamond

By Glenn Tanner - February 16, 2007

Stanford leads Texas 2-1 at the end of three innings in Round Rock.

Texas starter James Russell got the first four outs of the game on strikeouts, but managed to allow two runs during that time. In the first, Sean Ratliff walked, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Brent Milleville. In the second, Ryan Seawell scorched a line drive over the 375-foot mark in left-center.

After we discussed in the press box whether the homer was wind-aided, Texas slugger Kyle Russell hit what appeared to be a lazy fly ball to left. . . but it carried. . . and carried. . . and ended up landing on the grass berm behind the fence. Since the San Diego Torero pitching staff left town, Russell is 11-for-17 with six walks and four homers.

Stanford ace Nolan Gallagher has struggled with his control a bit, walking two and hitting one, but has registered five ground ball outs through three innings. James Russell has six strikeouts so far for Texas.

(Warning: if you read the UT-USD blog a couple of weekends ago, the next two paragraphs will give you a flashback, so skip ahead.)

Because of renovation delays to UT's Disch-Falk field, this weekend's series is again being played in Round Rock, a northern suburb of Austin. The Dell Diamond, home of the AAA Round Rock Express, is a wonderful facility. A few years back, Baseball America named it the top minor league facility in the country. This guy describes its splendor better than I can.

The Disch's renovation is long overdue, but Texas is doing it in a big way, of course -- $21 million of work. The renovation is going in two stages -- this season, there will be new restrooms and concessions, new chair seats replacing the old bench seats, plus new bench and berm seating down the third-base line. Those damn light poles have also been moved back to provide unobstructed viewing. You can get progress pictures and more info here. Next season, new box seating, new dugouts, and luxury boxes will appear.

At some point, the horrid artificial carpet will also be upgraded -- not to grass, unfortunately, but to FieldTurf.

Though the UT SID tells me that lots of the amenties will be on a temporary basis this season -- temporary concession stands, portable toilets, a makeshift pressbox -- we will get to see the semi-finished product on Tuesday when Disch-Falk opens for its first game this season.

Posted by Glenn Tanner at 04:07 PM on February 16, 2007

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