May 18, 2007

UT-A&M: Aggies lose control, game

Texas took advantage of Aggie wildness to plate two runs in the ninth inning and pull out a 6-4 victory in front of 7,224 at Olsen Field. The Longhorns' only hit in the ninth was an infield single, but they capitalized on three walks and two wild pitches to bust open game one of the series.

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UT-A&M: Texas Ties It

At the stretch, Texas has tied it 4-4. The Longhorns have knocked out the Aggies' biggest strength (Kyle Nicholson) and are into the Aggies' weakness (their bullpen).

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UT-A&M: Aggies add two more

After four innings, Texas A&M leads Texas 4-1.

A&M added to their lead with a quick strike in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Blake Stouffer doubled, and Luke Anders hit the next pitch just over the left field wall (and just over the glove of leaping Jordan Danks).

In the fourth, they nearly added more. Kyle Colligan fell behind 0-2, but worked a leadoff walk. Brodie Greene then beat out a bunt that Texas pitcher James Russell couldn't field cleanly. A sac bunt moved both runners up, and Texas played their infield back, potentially conceding a run. But a ground ball never came. The next two hitters both fouled out to the catcher, and Russell bounced towards the dugout pumping his fist.

Kyle Nicholson is cruising on the mound for the Aggies. Other than Russell's first-inning homer, he has allowed only an infield single and a walk. He has also recorded five strikeouts, including two in the fourth.

UT-A&M: Both teams show their stuff

Both UT and A&M did what they do best in the first inning, and after one, the Aggies lead 2-1.

In the top of the inning, Kyle Russell hit an absolute no-doubter that almost cleared the train tracks behind the right field wall.

In the bottom half, Texas A&M ran wild. Brandon Hicks led off with a single, then immediately stole second. Ben Feltner laced single to center to score Hicks and took second on the throw home. Then he stole third without a throw and without a slide. One out later, Luke Anders drove him home with a single.

Pre-game featured more great rivalry stuff. Texas players (and fans) always remain standing after the national anthem to sing "The Eyes of Texas." I couldn't hear a lick of it tonight, though, because the A&M student section whooped, hollered, and pounded on the metal seats, creating an incredible din.

This is going to be reeeeeally fun.

UT-A&M: Rivalry Weekend

The University of Texas sez hello:

Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And it's goodbye to A&M

And so does Texas A&M:

Good-bye to texas university
So long to the Orange and the White
Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies
They are the boys that show the real old fight
"The eyes of Texas are upon you..."
That is the song they sing so well

You know you've got a great rivalry when each school mentions the other in its fight song.

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May 06, 2007

MU-UT: Mizzou Does It Again

It really should be impossible to go 8-0 in one-run games.

Impossible, meet the Missouri Tigers, who are now 8-0 in one-run Big 12 games.

Scooter Hicks allowed a couple of singles in the ninth, but he and Mizzou escaped with a 5-4 win over Texas to take the series 2-1.

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MU-UT: I'm a Curse

After seven innings, Missouri leads Texas 5-3.

Texas had a golden opportunity to cut the lead in the 6th when Travis Tucker singled to lead off and Kyle Lusson advanced him to third with a double. But Kyle Gibson worked through the 1-2-3 spots in the Texas order and stranded both runners.

Texas did get a run back in the seventh on Preston Clark's solo homer.

I fear that I'm carrying a curse. I'm working on a feature story this weekend about Texas' Triplet Towers, all of whom are 6'5" lefties. I interviewed Jordan Danks after Friday's game, and he was injured yesterday. I talked to Kyle Russell after yesterday's game, and he left today's game with an injury. I'm supposed to talk to Chance Wheeless after the game today, but now I'm worried about his future health.

MU-UT: Texas Trails, Russell Injured

For the second straight day, Texas has lost a starting outfielder. Yesterday, Jordan Danks slammed his shoulder into the wall making a catch and is day-to-day.

Now, CSTV Player of the Year favorite Kyle Russell just fell awkwardly to the warning track trying to make a catch, and after lying on the ground for a minute or so, was walked off the field by a trainer. His gait looked fine, so his injury must be to an arm.

The Longhorns are now playing a pair of corner outfielders who had a combined 19 at-bats entering today.

Missouri has rallied to take the lead and completely take the air out of the crowd. In the middle of the sixth, the Tigers lead 5-2.

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MU-UT: Fashion Report

Sometimes you know it's going to be a rough day early. Missouri pitcher Ian Berger hit Nick Peoples with his first pitch of the game, and two runs were on the board before the inning was over.

Berger has settled down, though, and Missouri trails only 2-1 after three innings. Texas is six innings away from claiming the Big 12 title.

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MU-UT: Longhorns Look to Lock It Up

Missouri and Texas are about to begin the rubber match of their series at Disch-Falk Field, but this game is more important than deciding who wins the series.

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May 05, 2007

MU-UT: Longhorns Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Style

With a diverse population and an affinity for cerveza, the state of Texas is big on celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

The Longhorns did it right today, riding the strong arm of Adrian Alaniz and their right-handed bats to a 5-1 win over Missouri.

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MU-UT: Never Seen That Before...

Texas has finally busted it open and leads 5-0 at the seventh inning stretch.

Southpaw Rick Zagone had dominated the Texas lefties all day, but Kyle Russell delivered a bases-loaded single in the sixth to knock out Zagone.

Then hilarity ensued.

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MU-UT: Left is Wrong, but Right is All Right for Texas

Texas just broke through and leads 2-0 after four innings.

Mizzou hurler Rick Zagone is still dominating lefties, but the righties are scorching him.

Brad Suttle led off the fourth with an infield single and Preston Clark moved him to third with a double to the wall in left. (Clark's 2-for-2, so he's apparently not letting last night's game affect him.) Two lefties were up next, and Zagone struck out both Jordan Danks and Russell Moldenhauer for the second time today. But righty Chais Fuller delivered a two-run single to center that nearly took Zagone's head off.

So far, the Texas lefties are 0-for-8 with 5 strikeouts, while batters from the right side are 6-for-8.

MU-UT: Pitcher's Duel

Even with the wind blasting out to left, we have a bonafide pitcher's duel so far.

Through three innings, Texas and Missouri are scoreless.

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MU-UT: Luck and the Ghost of Mackey Sasser

Back for game two of the Missouri-Texas series, and game one was a doozy.

Mizzou-RAH pulled off an 11-inning 7-6 win last night to improve to 7-0 in one-run conference games this season.

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May 04, 2007

MU-UT: Mizzou wins in unreal fashion

Two outs in the 11th, tie game with a runner on third.

After a pitch, Texas catcher Preston Clark had the ball in his hand, preparing to do something he had already done over a hundred times tonight.

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MU-UT: Free Baseball!

Texas rallied for two in the ninth off Missouri closer Kyle Gibson, and we head to the 10th tied 6-6.

Texas mounted a threat in the eighth. Preston Clark smashed a two-out double that brought on Gibson. Gibson walked the first hitter he faced, then Travis Tucker reached on a swinging bunt to load the bases and bring up the top of the order. But with the crowd roaring, Gibson struck out Nick Peoples to end the inning.

In the ninth, Gibson gave up one-out singles to Chance Wheeless and Bradley Suttle. After a strikeout and a walk, Preston Clark squibbed a grounder that somehow snuck through the hole between first and second. With the runners going on contact with two out, both Wheeless and Suttle scored easily. Greg Folgia relieved Gibson and got a strikeout to strand the potential winning run at third.

Randy Boone, who entered the game in the 7th, is still on the mound for Texas.

MU-UT: Tigers Rally

Texas brought in the bullpen to start the 7th, and it backfired. At the stretch, Missouri leads 6-4.

After getting six strong innings from starter James Russell, Joe Krebs came on to start the seventh leading 4-2. Krebs was great last weekend in Stillwater, pitching 4.2 scoreless innings in two appearances. But Toto, we're not in Stillwater any more.

After getting the first out, Krebs gave up a single to John McKee, walked 9-hole hitter Gary Arndt, and allowed another single to Evan Frey to load the bases. Texas brought in closer Randy Boone, but he wasn't much help.

Boone, who had walked only two hitters in 24.1 Big XII innings, walked the first man he faced on four pitches. Ryan Lollis then sliced a single to left to give Mizzou a 5-4 lead, and Jacob Priday followed with a sac fly.

Russell's final line... 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, no walks, 3 K's, and a no-decision.

Rollins College's mascot? The Tars. What in tarnation is a tar?

Jean, you can find me in Row L of Rosenblatt's lot!

MU-UT: Would You Believe...Again?

So I'm sitting next to the Austin American-Statesman's Alan Trubow, and Kyle Russell is at the plate for Texas in the fifth.

"Does it smell like a two-homer game?" he asked.

Continue reading "MU-UT: Would You Believe...Again?" »

MU-UT: Russell Goes Deep, Again

After three innings in muggy, muggy Austin, Texas leads Missouri 3-0.

Kyle Russell has already parked his 25th homer of the season, an opposite-field blast that cleared the 375 mark in left by about 40 feet.

Whoops, update. Jacob Priday and Trevor Coleman just poked back-to-back homers just inside the left field fair pole leading off the fourth to make it 3-2.

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MU-UT: Battle at the Top

When this season's Big XII schedule was released, it's doubtful that anyone circled this series and said, "That's going to determine the conference championship."

But as the late, great Gomer Pyle would say, "SOOO-PRIZE, SOOO-PRIZE, SOOOO-PRIZE!!!!!"

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April 27, 2007

Stillwater: Oklahoma State and Texas Battle for Big 12 Supremacy

The top two teams of the Big 12 face-off in a battle for Big 12 supremacy.

The OSU Cowboys will be taking on perennial powerhouse in the Texas Longhorns. The 'Horns come to Stillwater sporting a 34-12 record overall and a 14-4 league record and a #4 ranking. The Cowboys come into the series with a 31-10 overall and 10-5 in league play and a #12 ranking.

Tonights game will be featured on ESPNU, with a 6:30 CST start, so tune into your local listings to check what time and channel in your area.

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April 15, 2007

Tech-UT: Horns finally break out the brooms

In a game completed in less than two and a half hours even with the bee delay, Texas broomed Texas Tech out of Austin with a 4-2 win.

Texas improves their record to 31-10, 12-3 in conference, and 5-5 on Sundays. Because of those Sunday struggles, this is only the Longhorns' third weekend sweep of the season.

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Tech-UT: Bee Delay?

BTW, we had an apparent "bee delay" during the seventh inning. With the Tech pitcher toeing the rubber and looking in for the sign, all of sudden center fielder Taylor Ashby was standing about 10 feet behind the second baseman. Ashby spoke with a nearby umpire for a moment, then Red Raider coach Larry Hays came out for the conference. The three very slowly walked out towards center, stopped about where Ashby normally plays, looked around, pointed out towards the wall, and talked for several minutes while everyone in the stands wondered what the hell was going on.

The umpire walked back in and said something to a curious Augie Garrido, who walked back to the dugout and play resumed.

A fan near the dugout said they heard Garrido chuckle something about bees as he entered the dugout.

Tech-UT: Horns chase Colt

Texas has broken through in the seventh to take the lead and chase Colt Hynes. 4-2 Longhorns after seven.

Travis Tucker led off the inning with a walk, then stole second and third. Texas is now 8-for-8 in steal attempts this weekend. After a ground out, Jordan Danks lasered a single to center to tie it, then Kyle Russell doubled him home with a gapper. Travis Young was summoned from the bullpen and promptly wild-pitched Danks to third. That came back to haunt him on the very next pitch as Chance Wheeless scored Danks on a sac fly.

The line on hard-luck Red Raider Colt Hynes: 6.1 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and 5 Ks.

Tech-UT: Moving right along

At the stretch, we're still moving along quickly (6.5 innings in about 1:45) and Texas Tech leads Texas 2-1.

The Red Raiders grabbed the lead in the fifth when Ben Baker walked, moved to second on a sac bunt, and scored on Kyle Martin's single.

Martin is an unlikely star of the game so far. In the first two games of the series, the little freshman was 0-for-6 with five strikeouts. Today, he doubled in the first, gave the Red Raiders the lead with his RBI single in the fifth, then preserved the lead in the bottom of the fifth when he leaped high and snared a line drive to strand a runner at second.

Though he's on the hook for the loss, Texas starter Joe Krebs had a good start, pitching a career-high six innings, allowing five hits, a walk, and only one earned run while fanning six. Closer Randy Boone came on to start the seventh for the Bovines.

Tech starter Colt Hynes has been even better, though. The soft-tossing lefty has allowed only four hits and a walk in six innings and has whiffed five.

Tech-UT: Eat your heart out, Etheridge

At the end of four innings, Texas and Texas Tech are tied 1-1 in an extremely fast-moving game.

And check out this weather.

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Tech-UT: Horns try to stop Sunday struggles

So far, Texas Tech (22-15, 5-8 Big XII) has had a miserable weekend in Austin, losing 7-2 Friday and 10-1 yesterday.

Frankly, I can empathize.

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April 14, 2007

Tech-UT: Everyone on Tech is hating Austin

Texas again pounded Texas Tech pitching, winning the second game of the series 10-2.

Adrian Alaniz shut down the Red Raiders over seven innings, and for the second game in row, every Longhorn starter reached base at least once.

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Tech-UT: I'd like to endow a relief pitcher, please

It's getting uglier here in Austin. Texas has pushed its lead to 8-0, and Tech is showing very little life.

Red Raider leadoff man Chris Hall at least got off the schneid in the sixth. No, he didn't get a hit, but when you've whiffed five times in a row, flying out to center is a huge moral victory.

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Tech-UT: Chris Hall is hating Austin

After four innings in cool, windy Austin, Texas still leads Texas Tech 5-0.

Poor Chris Hall. The Tech leadoff hitter came into this weekend with only 19 strikeouts in 142 plate appearances, but he is in a deep, deep funk. Last night he struck out his first three times, then was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Today, he fanned to lead off the game, then fanned again to start the fourth.

The Red Raiders did break up Adrian Alaniz's perfecto in the fourth when Kyle Martin blooped one into no-man's land behind third base. He was immediately erased on a double play, though, so Alaniz has still faced the minimum with five K's through four innings.

Paul Gonzales is doing an excellent job in relief for the Red Raiders. He's up to 3.2 innings of work and has allowed only two hits and has struck out four.

Tech-UT: Not Tech's Day

Texas Tech is off to a reeeeeeeeeally bad start today. They've already added another notch in their loss column, and now they're behind 5-0 after one inning in the regularly scheduled game.

The Josh Scofield that pitched so well last weekend against Kansas State didn't show up today for Tech. The Josh Scofield with the 6+ ERA did. Though Texas sent three consecutive lefties to the plate against the lefty Scofield, it was 3-0 when they finished. Jordan Danks led off with a triple and scored on Kyle Russell's single. Then Chance Wheeless lofted a big fly up into the strong wind, which easily carried the ball over the right field wall. Brad Suttle followed with a single, and the Tech defense didn't help Scofield. Preston Clark lofted an easy fly to center, but Doug Thennis muffed it. After a sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Russell Moldenhauer drilled a single up the middle to score both.

That was it for Scofield -- he faced seven hitters and recorded one out, thanks to that sac bunt, and his ERA jumped from 6.23 to 7.34.

Paul Gonzales came on in relief, and did much better, getting the final two outs of the inning.

Tech-UT: Now It's Over!

In four minutes, Texas has officially closed out Tech 7-2.

Texas closer Randy Boone walked Matt Smith to load the bases, then struck out Geoff Byrns looking to end game one.

Both coaches are now meeting the umpires at the plate and Adrian Alaniz is walking in from the bullpen, so we'll be starting the second game soon.

Tech-UT: It Ain't Over Till It's Over

We have maybe the world's shortest doubleheader today in Austin. Last night, Texas led Texas Tech 7-2 with two out in the ninth when a line of storms blew in, the outfield lights went out, and the umpires decided that final out could wait.

Today, we'll finish up that game, then play the regularly scheduled game following a short delay so that the umpires can change and rotate.

Game one will start with two out, two on, and a 2-1 count on Tech's Matt Smith.

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April 13, 2007

Tech-UT: Can't Beat Mother Nature

Well, they played "Texas Fight" and the teams shook hands, but it's not officially over.

I got word that they'll pick up the end of this game at 2pm tomorrow, before the start of the scheduled game.

Texas led Tech 7-2 in the top of the ninth with two outs and Red Raiders on first and second.

Texas SID Bill Little said he didn't know how much of a delay there would be between games, but he suspected that Texas will send Adrian Alaniz to the hill to get the final out, then have him start the next game as scheduled after a short (15 minutes?) break.

Tech-UT: Horns beat Raiders, weather

Texas just finished off Texas Tech 7-2 to take the opener.

I'm getting out of here fast, because a storm is going to hit in literally minutes.

The game was stopped with two outs in the ninth when the outfield lights went out. Maybe they'll finish it off tomorrow, but everyone's leaving.

James Russell gets his eighth win, with 6.2 innings of work and 11 strikeouts and no walks.

AJ Ramos takes the loss to drop to 7-2. He pitched 4+ and was charged with all seven runs.

Every Longhorn starter reached base tonight, but the 2-3-4 hitters in the Texas lineup did much of the damage. Brad Suttle had three hits and three ribbies, and Chance Wheeless and Kyle Russell both added two hits.

Game two tomorrow at 2 pm. Until then...

Tech-UT: Golden Sombrero Etiquitte Question

At the seventh inning stretch, Texas still leads 7-2.

Texas went to the bullpen to get the final out of the seventh. The final line on starter James Russell -- 6.2 innings, 9 hits, two runs, no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Can you split a Golden Sombrero between two players? Tech leadoff hitter Chris Hall fanned his first three times up. When his spot came due in the 7th, Chris Richburg was called on to pinch hit. Richburg was called out on strikes.

Tech-UT: Texas Tees Off

The Longhorns have pounded Tech starter AJ Ramos and lead 7-2 after five innings.

Longhorn lefty James Russell has nine strikeouts through five innings. He has been particularly effective on the top of the Tech order -- the 1-2-3 hitters have fanned six times. Leadoff hitter Chris Hall is particularly hating life right now, as he has whiffed three straight times.

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Tech-UT: Longhorns Lead Early

Texas has jumped on Texas Tech and leads 4-1 in the middle of the third.

Whoops, update -- Brad Suttle just homered leading off the bottom of the third. 5-1 Texas.

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Tech-UT: Preview

Texas Tech is in Austin for a weekend with Big XII leader Texas.

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April 01, 2007

OU-UT: Sooners Avoid the Broom

Oklahoma again got very solid pitching, but also woke up the bats today and avoided a sweep with a 5-2 win over Texas. 5 runs, 11 hits, and 1 error for the Sooners; 2-7-0 for Texas.

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OU-UT: OU Gets Another

In the middle of the 8th, OU now leads 5-2.

Jackson Williams' solo homer in the eighth gave the Sooners a little insurance.

OU reliever Nich Conaway is coming out for his third inning of work, and he's tough. Coming into today's game, he had pitched 22 innings, allowed only 18 hits and 7 walks, and had fanned 33. He's got a good hard fastball and really comes after hitters. So far today he has thrown two hitless innings with a strikeout.

OU starter Joseph Hughes' final line: Five innings, six hits, two (earned) runs, one walk and three strikeouts.

OU-UT: OU Fights Back

OU has countered UT's 4th-inning crooked two with an even more crooked three spot in the top of the fifth. After five innings, the Sooners lead 4-2. It's the first time all weekend that Oklahoma has put anything other than a one or zero on the board in an inning.

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OU-UT: The Elusive Crooked Number

For the second time all weekend, someone put a crooked number on the scoreboard. Texas now leads OU 2-1 after four.

Oklahoma blew a huge chance to add to their 1-0 lead in the fourth. Devin Shepherd led off with a ground rule double, then moved to third when Aaron Reza hit a roller that scooted between short and third. Then on a hit-and-run play, Jackson Williams hit a grounder up the middle. Fortunately for Texas, second baseman Travis Tucker was covering on the play, so he was able to field the ball near the dirt cutout around second. More fortunately for Texas, Shephard got a terrible jump, and Tucker was able to throw him out at home. A backwards K and a fly out got the Longhorns out of the inning unscathed.

Texas took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jordan Danks led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on Kyle Russell's deep sac fly. Preston Clark followed with an absolute no-doubter that easily cleared the Texas bullpen behind the left field wall and landed somewhere near Pflugerville.

OU-UT: Sooners Finally Get a Lead

After three innings in Austin, Oklahoma has its first lead of the series, 1-0.

In their first at-bat Texas uncharacteristically blew a chance to take control early. The first three Longhorns singled, but two were wiped out by baserunning blunders. OU catcher Jackson Williams picked Travis Tucker off second, then Chance Wheeless was doubled off after right fielder Joe Dunigan made a nice running catch.

Oklahoma took the lead in the third after the bottom of their order set the table. Vincent Biancamano (batting .178) and Aaron Ivey singled, and one out later, Joe Dunigan delivered a two-out single to get the Sooners on the board.

It's worth noting that Texas has had Sunday troubles before. The Horns are only 4-4 on Sundays this season, compared to 21-4 on the other days of the week.

OU-UT: Broom Day?

You honestly couldn't order up more perfect weather than we have today in Austin for round three of Texas-OU. We have a cloudless sky so blue it makes you squint, a light southeasterly breeze, and temps right around 80.

Oklahoma looks like a very good team, but they've run into a great team that really has their number. The Sooners haven't won a game in Austin since 1997, losing 15 in a row.

Continue reading "OU-UT: Broom Day?" »

March 30, 2007

OU-UT: Texas Closes It Out

Texas held off Oklahoma to take the opener of the series, 4-3.

This game really looked like it was being played in June. No errors by either team, nothing in the linescore except ones and zeros, and most importantly, both teams battling on every at-bat in every inning.

Texas even went all Tony LaRussa with the bullpen, using three pitchers on three hitters in the eighth inning.

Both starting pitchers had their struggles, but both bore down when they had to and put up pretty good lines. James Russell went 5.2 for the win, allowing two runs on six hits, walking none and fanning seven. Stephen Porlier suffered from some wildness, hitting three batters, but somehow went seven innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. And with the wind blowing out to left at about a 20mph clip, both guys did well to avoid big innings.

Texas closer Randy Boone notched his eighth save, striking out the last two in the ninth to end it.

Four runs on nine hits for the Longhorns. Chance Wheeless, Brad Suttle, and Kyle Russell had two hits each.

OU produced three runs on eight hits, with each of the top eight hitters in the lineup getting a hit.

Game two tomorrow at 2pm, and the threat of rain is supposed to be gone by noon.

OU-UT: Texas Gets Insurance

Texas just pushed across a run in the 7th to make it 4-2. Jordan Danks led off with a single, stole second, and moved to third on a grounder. With Kyle Russell at the plate and only one out, OU surprisingly passed on an intentional walk and brought the infield in. It didn't matter, because Sooner pitcher Stephen Porlier lost his focus and committed an obvious balk to allow Danks to score.

Though he only went 5.2 innings tonight, James Russell was effective again for Texas. He allowed two runs on six hits, but one run was a wind-blown homer and the other could have been scored as unearned. Russell also fanned seven without walking a hitter.

The rain is coming fairly soon, but the good news is that it looks light enough to play through as long as the game doesn't go extras.

OU-UT: Monster Shot

After five innings, Texas leads Oklahoma 3-2.

The luck just didn't go Texas pitcher James Russell's way in the fourth. With two out, Aaron Baker reached on a check-swing single. Jackson Williams followed with a roller down the third base line that bounced off the bag and went for a double. Aaron Ivey then bounced one right back at Russell. Russell instinctively tried to bare-hand it, but couldn't hold on, then fumbled the ball when he tried to pick it up off the ground, and Baker scored to tie it.

In the bottom of the fifth, Kyle Russell hit his NCAA-leading 17th homer to give Texas the lead back. This one was a blast, clearing the 20-foot 'Green Monster' centerfield fence that's 400 feet away. The bomb makes Russell the 30th player to clear the Monster in the history of Disch-Falk Field. Here's the list of the other 29.

Both pitchers are getting up there on the pitch counts. Russell is at 90 after five and will probably need a quick sixth inning to return for the seventh. Porlier's count is pushing 100 and is in the same boat.

OU-UT: Texas Leads Early

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

Continue reading "OU-UT: Texas Leads Early" »

OU-UT: Red River Rivalry, Stitched Ball Style

You are looking liiiiiiiive at Disch-Falk Field!

Actually, you aren't, but I am looking at it live, and I can't believe we're going to have baseball tonight. Four hours ago, I thought there was no way, because Biblical storms blew through the area earlier today -- sheets of rain, golf ball-sized hail, a tornado, and more thunder and lightening than a bad horror movie. But Texas and Oklahoma are on the field and ready to go. Artificial turf does have its advantages.

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March 27, 2007

Rice-UT: The Streak Reaches 10

Texas got clutch relief work late to hold off Rice, 6-4. Texas has now beaten the Owls ten consecutive times. Rice is now 19-10 on the year, while the Longhorns improve to 23-8.

Leading off the ninth, Joe Savery spun a double that bounced just inside third base. Texas then summoned closer Randy Boone from the pen. Boone had a horrible outing Sunday against Kansas State, blowing a late lead by allowing five runs to score over 1.1 innings. After a strikeout, Jess Buenger singled to right, but Savery wisely stopped at third. With the tying run on base, the tension started to build, but was wiped clean when Diego Seastrunk swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

I must be a Rice curse, because I've seen three of their games this season, and the Hooters have lost all three and looked bad in all of them. Their offense was anemic again tonight, with only six hits, two by Savery. All four of their runs were unearned. Starter Chris Kelley? Wild, wild, wild.

Texas has looked unbeatable at times this season, but they've been extremely sloppy in several of their losses. Tonight, they were sloppy but won. Kyle Russell and Chance Wheeless are excellent defenders, but both made Little League-like errors tonight.

On the good side, Texas got big offensive contributions from several players and solid pitching. Travis Tucker continues to be real catalyst at leadoff -- tonight he reached base three times and scored twice. Wheeless contributed three hits, and freshman Russell Moldenhauer is starting to show the power hitting that made him one of the country's top recruits.

In spite of the defense, the Bovine pitching was excellent, with starter Austin Wood probably nailing down the midweek starter role. (I also wouldn't be surprised if they handed him the start Sunday.) Wood retired the first fourteen batters of the game, and allowed only three baserunners in 5.2 innings of work. Joe Krebs, who started last Sunday, worked a solid 1.2 innings of relief, and Boone pulled out his seventh save in the ninth.

Rice will head back to Houston to face Marshall University this weekend. Texas welcomes the beloved Oklahoma Sooners to town, a matchup of perhaps the two best teams in the Big XII.

Rice-UT: Rice Counters with Two, Too

Thanks again to the Texas defense, Rice answered the Longhorns' 2-run sixth with a deuce in the seventh to make it 5-4 Texas.

With runners on first and second and one out, Jess Buenger hit a hard bouncer to first that should have been an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play. Perhaps looking for a throwing angle too early, Chance Wheeless whiffed on the grounder, and Danny Lehmann scored from second. Texas brought Joe Krebs out of the pen to face pinch hitter Diego Seastrunk. Seastrunk, a member of the 2007 All-Name Team, delivered a sac fly to make it 5-4.

Jared Gayhart takes the mound again to start the bottom of the seventh.

Edit: Whoops! Russell Moldenhauer just blasted a moonshot over the 375' mark in left to make it 6-4 Texas.

Rice-UT: Texas Widens the Gap

Texas has plated two more runs and now leads Rice 5-2 after six innings.

Austin Wood gave up a couple of hits in the sixth, and with runners at the corners and two outs, Pat McCrory came on in relief to get the Horns out of the inning.

Texas tacked on to their lead in the bottom of the inning. After an error, a fielder's choice, and a single, Chance Wheeless lined a single up the middle, his third hit of the night, to make it 4-2. Wayne Graham brought the hook to the mound, and Berry was replaced by Jared Gayhart (1.59 ERA in 5.2 innings over 5 games). With runners on second and third and one out, Rice played the infield back and conceded a run on a grounder.

Wood was excellent tonight. He retired the first fourteen Rice hitters and went 5.2 innings, allowing only three hits and no earned runs. He fanned two and walked none.

Rice-UT: Texas Counters

Texas coach Augie Garrido always talks about how important it is to immediately answer an opponent's rally with one of your own. The Longhorns did just that, pushing across two runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead, 3-2.

Handed a lead, Rice starter Chris Kelley blew it with wildness. Travis Tucker singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth, moved to second on another wild pitch, and scored on Chance Wheeless' double to tie it. After another Kelley walk, Wayne Graham went to the pen, bringing in Ryan Berry (3-1, 3.43 ERA in 42 innings). Berry started Rice's last two Friday games, but only went 2.1 innings (4 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks) in his last start against Southern Miss.

After striking out Brad Suttle, Berry issued a walk to load the bases, and Russell Moldenhauer delivered a sac fly to make it 3-2 Texas. Left fielder Jordan Dodson made a nice inning-ending running catch to prevent more damage.

Kelley's line is ugly, but it could have been a lot worse. Despite three walks, three wild pitches, and two hit batters, Kelley allowed only three earned runs in 4.0 innings.

Rice-UT: From Perfect to Very Imperfect

Rice just got two runs in the top of the fifth in pretty unbelievable fashion. 2-1 Rice after four and a half.

With two outs, Joe Savery broke up Austin Wood's perfect game by lining a single up the middle. Chad Lembeck then lofted a high fly to right that looked to be the third out. Kyle Russell camped out under it, but drifted to his right at the last second and missed the ball. Savery, running on contact with two outs, rounded third and headed home. Russell, who normally has an outstanding arm, compounded his first error with a throw that landed near the pitcher's mound and rolled into the Texas dugout. Umpires waved Lembeck around to score also.

When I was in Little League, we'd call that a home run (especially if I hit it), but it is scored as two two-base errors on Russell, and two very unearned runs.

Rice-UT: Russell Goes Yard Again

After four innings in Austin, Texas leads Rice 1-0.

In the top of the fourth, Texas pitcher Austin Wood worked his fourth consecutive 1-2-3 inning; I have him at 39 pitches for the game.

Leading off the bottom of the inning, Texas slugger Kyle Russell cranked his NCAA-leading 16th homer of the season down the right field line. Here's the Texas record book for homers in a season:

20 Jeff Ontiveros, 2002
19 Brooks Kieschnick, 1993
18 Scott Bryant, 1989
17 Mark Cridland, 1998, and Danny Peoples, 1996
16 Kyle Russell, 2007, and it's only game 31!

Rice-UT: Nothing But Goose Eggs

After three innings, we have a scoreless, quick-moving game here in Austin.

The top of the first inning went Reggie-Bush-fast. Texas starter Austin Wood retired the Owls on only six pitches, all strikes. Conversely, Rice starter Chris Kelley did his Nuke LaLoosh impression in the first. Kelly gave up a single and hit two batters, but struck out two, including Russell Moldenhauer to end the inning.

Wood had to work a little harder in the second inning, but the Owls still went 1-2-3, with Wood fanning Joe Savery for the third out. Kelley was sharp in the second, getting two ground outs and a backwards K.

Top of the third was more of the same -- three up, three down, and nine up and nine down on 28 pitches for the game for Wood. The spirit of LaLoosh again possessed Kelley in the third. Kelley walked two and threw two wild pitches, but escaped unscathed by getting Brad Suttle to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Lineup note: Rice CF Tyler Henley is ill today and did not make the trip. Also, injured Rice relief ace Cole St. Clair's throwing has been going well, and he could make his 2007 debut next week.

Big crowd here tonight, and people are still coming in. Texas always announces attendance at four-thousand-plus, because they go by tickets sold and they have about 4000 season ticketholders. Most of the seats are occupied tonight, though, and the roofs of the buses behind the left-field wall are really packed.

Rice-UT: Best Rivalry in Texas

Welcome to Austin, where tonight Rice and Texas will play round one of their annual hatefest!

Because of Rice's amazing national success (and Texas A&M's recent ineptitude), this has become the best rivalry in the state. Three emotional games in Omaha particularly set the rivalry ablaze. In 2002, Texas beat Rice in a CWS thriller (most remembered for Omar Quintinilla's throw to the plate that nearly scalped Wayne Graham) and went on to win the CWS title. In 2003, Rice beat the Longhorns twice in Omaha and went on to win the whole shebang.

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March 25, 2007

KSU-UT: No Brooms in Austin

Kansas State closer Daniel Edwards did his job efficiently, shutting down Texas over the last two innings and saving the Wildcats' 11-9 stunner here in Austin.

It was a great win for KSU to salvage the weekend. The RPI formula doesn't look at margin of victory, so getting a win in three games this weekend against top competition should boost both the Wildcats' strength of schedule and their overall #31 RPI ranking.

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KSU-UT: Shocker in the Making?

Texas closer Randy Boone didn't have it today, and an unbelievable blunder by the Texas defense just allowed Kansas State to take the lead in the 8th. It's now 11-9 Wildcats in the middle of the 8th.

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KSU-UT: K-State Tightens It Up

Though Texas brought on closer Randy Boone to start the 7th, Kansas State plated two runs in the inning to cut the Longhorn lead to one. We head into the 8th with Texas holding a 9-8 lead.

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KSU-UT: Wow, That Didn't Last Long

Augie Garrido always preaches about how important it is to answer after your opponent scores. The Longhorns definitely practiced his preaching in the fifth. After KSU hung five on the board in the top of the inning, Texas bettered that with six in the bottom half and now leads 9-6.

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KSU-UT: Salami Surprise

Wow, fortunes really turned for Kansas State in the fifth. Nine-hole hitter Rob Vaughn delivered a grand slam to give the Wildcats a 5-4 lead, their first lead of the weekend, and then KSU got a solo shot to make it 6-4 in the middle of the fifth.

Texas already looks to be mounting a rally in the bottom of the inning, though, with the bases loaded and none out.

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KSU-UT: The KSU Nightmare Continues

After falling behind 10-0 Friday and 14-0 yesterday, Kansas State really needed a good start today. But so far, not much has gone right for the Wildcats.

After three innings, Texas leads 3-1.

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KSU-UT: Broom Time?

Here at Disch-Falk Field in Austin, we're ready for the finale of the Kansas State-Texas series. Texas has rolled through the first two games of the series, winning 10-3 Friday and 14-3 yesterday.

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March 24, 2007

KSU-UT: It's Finally Over

Mercifully, it's finally over. Just like last night, Kansas State avoided the shutout with three runs in the ninth. Just like last night, though, the score ended lopsided, this time 14-3.

14 runs, 17 hits, 1 error for the Longhorns
3 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors for the Wildcats

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KSU-UT: History Lesson

At the 7th-inning stretch, Texas leads Kansas State 11-0. Things are getting better for the Wildcats, because in the sixth inning, they held Texas scoreless for the first time today.

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KSU-UT: Bad Trip Getting Worse

Last night, Texas pushed across two runs in the seventh to make their lead 10-0 over Kansas State. Today, they matched that 10-0 score after only four innings.

Texas second baseman Travis Tucker has batted in all four innings, and he's had a heck of a day -- singled and scored in the first, RBI tripled and scored in the second, walked and scored in the third, and RBI singled in the fourth.

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KSU-UT: Bad Trip

Kansas State's trip to Austin is not going well. The Wildcats are halfway to the 10-0 hole they fell into last night, trailing Texas 5-0 after two innings now.

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KSU-UT: Redemption Day

Welcome to game two of the series between Kansas State and Texas. It's a breezy 78 degrees here in Austin with partly cloudy skies. The weather can't be much better, and Kansas State is hoping that the game goes a little better than it did yesterday.

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March 05, 2007

OSU-A&M: It's over early!

Oregon State is leaving the field after eight innings with 6-5 win thanks to a travel curfew.

Texas A&M made it really interesting in the eighth, though, with a grand slam.

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OSU-A&M: OK to eat beaver during Lent?

At the end of six innings, Oregon State continues to lead Texas A&M 5-1, but I have some extremely fascinating beaver trivia, courtesy of Wikipedia...

"In the 17th century, based on a question raised by the Bishop of Quebec, the Roman Catholic Church ruled that the beaver was a fish. The legal basis for the decision probably rests with the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, which bases animal classification as much on habit as anatomy. Therefore, the general prohibition on the consumption of meat on Fridays during Lent did not apply to beaver meat."

Beaver -- it's what's for dinner.

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OSU-A&M: Star of the Game

Oregon State has jumped all over A&M and leads 5-0 after three innings.

The Beavers have seven hits, including two homers.

Edit: Let's make that 5-1, because A&M's Spencer Jackson just led off the 4th with a homer over the centerfield wall.

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OSU-A&M: Cure for a case of the Mondays

Remember how all of the annoying people in "Office Space" kept telling Peter, "Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays?"

Well, we've found the cure for a case of the Mondays! It's college baseball, played between two nationally-ranked teams on a warm, beautiful, cloudless day at Olsen Field in College Station.

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March 02, 2007

OSU-A&M: Aggie Celebration

What better way to celebrate Texas Independence Day than by beating the defending national champs?

Texas A&M did just that, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead and cruising to a 5-2 victory over Oregon State.

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OSU-A&M: Running Wild

After six innings here at Olsen Field, Texas A&M is still holding off Oregon State 5-2, thanks partly to a productive and coordinated running game.

5-9-1 for the Aggies and 2-4-1 for the Beavers.

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OSU-A&M: Whooping it up at Olsen

After three innings in College Station, Texas A&M leads Oregon State 3-1 and the crowd is whooping appreciatively.

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OSU-A&M: History Lesson

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression...

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February 18, 2007

Stan-UT: Instant Classic

Getting paid to watch this game almost feels like stealing money.

Stanford scored four ninth-inning runs, then got a huge defensive play to hold off a Texas rally and collected a much-needed 10-8 win.

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Stan-UT: Big Bats, Big Media Guides

Compared to the first two games of the series, we're having a slugfest today.

After six innings, Texas and Stanford are tied 5-5. The teams have combined for 19 hits.

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Stan-UT: I Hate the Uniform Start Date

Because of the Uniform Start Date to be instituted next year, no baseball will be played on February 18, 2008.

I know my button is stuck on this issue, but I jeez, I just spent a couple of innings watching the game sitting in warm glorious sunshine.

It's 2-1 Stanford after three innings.

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Stan-UT: Horns Look for the Sweep

I'm back at Round Rock's Dell Diamond, where Texas will go for the series sweep against Stanford.

There are no must-wins in February, but Stanford needs to get their season turned around ASAP. The Cardinal enter the game with a 2-5 record, and when you consider last year's 33-27 record was the program's worst since 1993, this is threatening to be the biggest rut of Mark Marquess' 30-year coaching career.

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February 17, 2007

Stan-UT: Yo Adrian!

Texas rode great pitching by Adrian Alaniz to a 5-2 win over Stanford.

Maybe the breezy conditions here are being partly caused by the Stanford bats, because for the second day in a row, Cardinal hitters totaled double-digit strikeouts. They did improve on yesterday's 16 strikeouts, but I still have 10 K's on my Cardinal scoresheet today.

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Stan-UT: Britney Spears Shaved Her Head

Welcome to the millions of you who googled "Britney Spears shaved her head." My blog appreciates the page hits!

It's so windy in the press box that I'm about ready to shave my head, too. To hell with dressing professionally, I'm wearing a hat tomorrow.

After six innings, Texas leads Stanford 5-0.

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Stan-UT: Blowin' in the Wind

Any ball hit high in the air here is a complete adventure.

Texas took advantage of the wind and the sun to break out to a 4-0 lead after three innings.

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Stan-UT: Ready for Round 2

It's cloudless again and warmer today, but the biggest difference is the wind. At least two of Texas' four homers yesterday were breeze-aided, but the winds today have shifted, blasting from the northeast, and will knock down anything hit in the air to left.

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February 16, 2007

Stan-UT: Big Flies and Blow-Bys Power Horns

The Texas pitching staff racked up 16 strikeouts and Longhorn bats pounded four homers to beat Stanford 5-3 this afternoon at Dell Diamond.

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Stan-UT: Horns Play Long-Ball

At the end of six in Round Rock, Texas has uncharacteristically homered three times to take a 4-2 lead.

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Stan-UT: Cardinal Shining at the Diamond

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

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Stan-UT: Let's Play Baseball

Two teams that practically have standing reservations in Omaha meet for a three-game series here in Round Rock. Stanford and Texas have combined for 43 College World Series appearances and eight national titles. They met last year in the Austin Regional, where 3-seed Stanford shocked the Longhorns with a 12-8 beatdown, then bashed their way to a Super Regional berth.

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February 06, 2007

Rice-TxSt: The Owls Are Not What They Seem

One of the recurring lines of the dark 90’s TV show Twin Peaks was “The owls are not what they seem.”

Like just about everything else from that show, that line made no sense, but it fit tonight. Rice is ranked #1 in every college baseball poll I’ve seen, but they weren’t the best team on the field tonight.

Would you believe Texas State 3, Rice 2? The Bobcats rallied from a 2-0 deficit early, then got a ninth-inning run to shock the nation’s top-ranked team.

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Rice-TxSt: Henry Thoreau was a Rice Fan

"I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men...They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have." -- Thoreau in Walden

The maniacal hooting in San Marcos is actually coming from Texas State fans, and Rice coach Wayne Graham is looking unsatisfied. The Bobcats have tied it up at 2-2 at the end of six innings.

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Rice-TxSt: Business as Usual for the Owls

In San Marcos, top-ranked Rice leads Texas State 2-0 after three and a half innings.

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Rice-TxSt: Beware of the Owls

Word association time!


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February 04, 2007

USD-UT: The Art of Bullfighting

According to Wikipedia, bullfighting consists of a torero executing “various formal moves with the goal of appearing graceful and confident, while masterful over the animal; these manuevers are performed at close range, concluding with the death of the bull by a well-placed sword thrust as the finale.”

Just like they were supposed to, the San Diego Toreros were graceful and confident today and emerged masterful over the Texas Longhorns by a 4-1 score, with Shane Buschini providing the well-placed sword thrust.

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USD-UT: Pulling a Sorenson

San Diego and Texas have both finally broken through. The Toreros lead 2-1 at the stretch.

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USD-UT: Someone Check Webster's for Me

San Diego and Texas are scoreless after three innings.

Yesterday, USD coach Rich Hill said that in the dictionary, next to the definition of “small ball,” is a picture of a smiling Augie Garrido.

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USD-UT: *THIS* is Baseball Weather!

64 degrees and not a cloud in the sky! The press box windows are open and I can smell hot dogs! Does it get any better than this?

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February 03, 2007

Longhorns Get First Win

Texas broke its four-game losing streak to the University of San Diego in a 13-8 slugfest today at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

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Stretch Time

Texas leads San Diego 10-5 in the middle of the seventh here at Dell Diamond.

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Everybody Wants Some

In a game where both pitchers have struggled with control, Texas has jumped out to a 3-2 lead over San Diego after three innings.

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Bullfighters and Bovines: Nowhere But Dell Diamond

We’re back at Dell Diamond for game two of the San Diego-Texas series. San Diego’s 6-5 win last night was their fourth consecutive over the Longhorns.

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February 02, 2007

Toreros Chill Texas

San Diego got a great start from ace Brian Matusz and lots of hitting to beat Texas 6-5.

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San Diego Cruisin' with the 'Tus

Texas trails 6-1 at the seventh-inning stretch, and just blew a big chance to get back into it. The Horns got their first run in the sixth and loaded the bases with two outs, but San Diego freshman reliever AJ Griffin came on to get the final out.

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Toreros Piling It On

San Diego plated three runs in the top of the fifth to bump their lead to 5-0 and chase Randy Boone. Josh Romanski, Jordan Abrozzo, and Shane Buschini strung together singles to start the inning, and Kevin Hansen’s single off reliever Joe Krebs capped the rally. Torero nine-hole-hitter Logan Gelbrich just led off the sixth with a double, so USD could be going for the killshot this inning.

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Dell Diamond is a True Gem

San Diego leads Texas 2-0 in the middle of the 4th. Torero leadoff hitter Justin Snyder yanked a homer down the right field line to open the third inning for the game’s first run, and Sean Nicol's single just plated the second. Brian Matusz has been as advertised on the mound for USD. The tall lefty has allowed only two hits and has struck out five.

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It's Always Baseball Weather!

Round Rock, TX -- This is the last year for this. The northern schools have kicked, screamed, held their breath, and have finally gotten their way. The Uniform Start Date takes effect next season, meaning that no team will be allowed to practice before the first of February or play before February's final weekend.

You see, it’s just not fair that teams like the University of San Diego and the University of Texas get to play this early. After all, it’s not fair that while the northern schools are freezing to death, UT and USD are playing in balmy, sun-soaked… wait a minute… HOLY MOLY, IT’S COLD HERE! IT’S 39 DEGREES! FREAKIN’ ARCTIC COLD FRONT!

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