OU-UT: Texas Leads Early

By Glenn Tanner - March 30, 2007

After three innings, Texas leads Oklahoma 2-1. Skies are still cloudy, but the rain looks to be staying away.

Texas has had lots of baserunners so far against OU starter Stephen Porlier, but they've also had lots of LOB's. Chance Wheeless and Brad Suttle each singled in the first, but with both in scoring position, Kyle Russell popped out to end the inning. The Horns loaded the bases in the second on a Josh Prince single and two HBP's, then pushed across a run when Chance Wheeless laid down a two-out bunt single. (A first baseman bunting for a hit with two outs and the bases loaded? You think Texas practices bunting just a little bit?) Porlier, however, remained composed and caught Jordan Danks looking to escape further damage.

OU centerfielder got that run back when he led off the second with his first D-I homer in 139 career at-bats. Yes, the strong wind helped him, but it still went on the scoreboard.

Texas immediately jumped on Porlier in the third. Brad Suttle doubled to the deepest part of the park, and Kyle Russell moved him to third with a bloop single. A walk loaded the bases, and Texas re-took the lead on a fielder's choice. Porlier escaped more damage again, though, by getting an inning-ending double play.

Porlier has what looks like a really filthy slider, but he's either having trouble locating it or the Longhorns are sitting on his other pitches.

I mentioned Texas' offense in the preview, but here's some historical perspective. The Longhorns are batting .338, and the team record is .325 in 1975. The team slugging percentage is .535, well above the record of .508 from 1974. Much of the damage is done by hitters 2-5 in the lineup, all of whom are on-base machines -- Wheeless (.477), Danks (.476), Suttle (.511), and Russell (.489). The Longhorns used to bunt the opposing pitchers to death. This year, though, they're wearing them out.

Posted by Glenn Tanner at 08:13 PM on March 30, 2007

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