Longhorn Baseball Summary - 2004
Here's my running commentary on the state of Longhorn Baseball for the 2004 season...
September 12, 2004
The White Sox played in Anaheim last night. WGN broadcast the game so I TiVo'd the game on the off-chance that Scott Dunn might get his Major League debut. It's been almost 2 weeks since he was called up and he hadn't played yet. So, I didn't really think I'd get to see him but...you never know. So, I told TiVo to record the game. And, he played! He came into the game in the top of the 8th with his team behind 13-6, 2 runs already across, runners at 1b and 2b, and one out. The first batter reached on a fielder's choice (5-4). It was a very close play at 1b on the double play but the call went against the Angels. The next batter grounded out to 1b, though, to shut the Sox down. Andres Galarraga, pinch hit for the DH in the bottom of the 8th so Scott did not come back for the 9th. [Very mysteriously, the recap on the Angels' page says that "Dunn got a double play to get out of a jam" but that's just not so. Yet another example of how shoddy reporting can be found just about anywhere you look, I guess.]
Anyway: way to go, Scott!
September 9, 2004
I kept forgetting to check in on the USA baseball team. Tonight, I finally remembered. And, guess what! They won the Gold Medal in the World University Games on August 1st. Drew Stubbs hit the game-winning 2-run triple and J. Brent Cox pitched the last inning to get his 4th save of the tournament! Taylor Teagarden (the 3rd Longhorn on the roster) was the catcher for the game. How's that for our Longhorns? Cool. And, hook 'em!
September 5, 2004
No news yet on Scott Dunn. But, he's got a page on the Angels web site now. Cool. And, it looks like Brad Halsey is gonna get another shot as well (scroll all the way down to see the announcement).
Good for both of 'em!
September 2, 2004
Another former Longhorn gets his shot at the majors! Today, there's news that Scott Dunn is getting a shot with the Angels. I'm very happy for Scott. Woo hoo! [Bruce, if you see this, please drop me a line.]
Another couple of stories about Scott:
- An mlb.com "notes" article by Doug Miller (scroll down to the "Beginning for Dunn" heading)
- Stingers' Dunn rolling by Martin Renzhofer (The Salt Lake Tribune) - This story is a couple of days old and is about how well Scott's been doing in the minors.
June 28, 2004 (College World Series)
The Horns came back from Omaha this afternoon amid a swirl of controversy. And, who's the biggest trumpeter of the controversy? Take a wild guess. Yep. Kirk Bohls. His motto: if you can't say something bad about the team, what's the point of saying anything at all? Sigh. 'Turns out there's more to the story. Coach Garrido says he was told by the NCAA after the loss that they didn't have to go out onto the field (that their appearance was optional). Two things were on the coach's mind: his down-and-out players and CSF's celebration. He thought CSF should be allowed to enjoy their moment without it appearing that he was trying to take any of the credit or steal any of their thunder. After all, there's no doubt that he did, in fact, have something to do with CSF's success in baseball. Then someone from the NCAA (I think it was the same official who spelled out the optional nature of the Texas presence at the post-game ceremonies on the field) started going on about how Texas was the first team in 17 years (or some such) to fail to pick up their trophy. Was this history explained to Coach Garrido at the time? Or was it an afterthought? It's apparently true that the Horns did not open their locker room up to the press. You don't suppose this other story was given such big headlines as a bit of "sour grapes" on someone else's part, do you? Bohls complained in his "article" today in the Statesman that the Horns were poor sports. However, when it was time for the Texas half of the post-game press conference, Coach Garrido and the three players who were present to answer questions had to wait several minutes for the Austin and Texas press to show up. They were too busy hanging out on the field to show up for the scheduled press conference. You don't suppose those reporters were playing the old "take my ball and go home" game when they weren't allowed unfettered access to the team, do you? Nah. Me neither. I was sad to read about the behavior of the team after the game. It puzzled me. It seems so out of character for this team to act in a spiteful way. Win or lose, they stand in front of the Texas crowd at the end of every game with their "horns" and heads held high. There's really no telling what the whole story is but it's sad that I'm rarely surprised anymore by the way some people jump at the chance to put down the Horns. By the by...that's Dad up there shaking hands with Coach Garrido when he got off the team bus this afternoon. I'm glad we made it out to the park to welcome the team home.
June 27, 2004 (College World Series)
Quote of the day from Augie Garrido:
As difficult as this is, there is a theory of relativity. And, this beats the hell out of losing in the Colosseum in Rome.
Hard to beat that, eh?
When asked on Friday if the Horns would win it all I said sure. In two games. But, then I added: anything can happen in baseball and it's very rare that the #1 seed wins this tournament. 'Turns out I was wrong about winning but right about the fact that anything can happen. That's the joy (and heartache) of baseball. I love Longhorn baseball. I think the 2004 team has been great. I'm very sorry they didn't win it all. But, I'm very happy I got to watch them play all year. I wish only the best for those that will be moving on. And, can't wait to see those that stay play again next year. Hook 'em!
June 26, 2004 (College World Series)
Well...that pretty much sucked. It was a tough loss. I really wish the Horns could've pulled it off. As usual all season, I was confident the team would come back after CSF posted those 3 runs in the top of the 1st. And, they did. Then, J.P. Howell got into a bit of trouble. And, J. Brent Cox pulled the team back out of the fire with that 1-2-3 double play. It was a beauty. Sadly, CSF turned around and got their own double play in the bottom of the inning. And, that was about all she wrote. The Horns didn't give up but just couldn't pull it off. Ah well. Tomorrow is another day. And, I fully expect the Horns to bounce back and win Game 2. Hook 'em!
Oh. And, Brad Halsey lost in his second start as a rookie. Just another sad note on the day.
June 25, 2004 (College World Series)
Okay...how 'bout another link today? You got it: Texas' Maroul offers wide variety of weapons by Michael Murphy (Houston Chronicle).
June 24, 2004 (College World Series)
How 'bout some links today? (By the way, see BugMeNot.com if you don't want to register at any of the linked sites. It's a great service.)
- Horns' Holliday deserves title ring by Tom Shatel (Omaha World-Herald)
- Comebacks suit Longhorns fine by Rich Haipust (Omaha World-Herald)
- Power eruption sends UT to final by Michael Murphy (Houston Chronicle)
- Texas rides Street to CWS finale by Matthew Leach (MLB.com)
- Street paves way to Texas' title berth by Wayne Drehs (ESPN.com)
- Longhorns march on to CWS final, 7-6 by Brian Davis (The Dallas Morning News)
- Texas takes a different route to a similar result by Will Kimmey (Baseball America)
- Committee needs more time to study College World Series play in July by Chad Purcell (Omaha World-Herald)
On that last story, I see the point the "northern" schools are making about the weather but we are talking college sports, right? Are there other sports that get played well after classes are out of session? What happens to summer ball and going on to the pros for the players that get drafted if the post-season continues into the second week of July? Does the MLB start pressuring draftees to report in a timely fashion (forcing players to choose between their new team and the CWS)? Who pays the costs of keeping the players on campus well after other students have gone on to summer pursuits? What about student fan support in the stands? How do you fill the stands when a big chunk of your student body isn't around? We are talking about college sports, right? Do you think maybe some schools who never cared about baseball noticed that it was starting to get some national attention (I mean, every single game of the CWS has been broadcast on TV this year) and that...wow...money might actually be there to be had? I'm probably just being cynical, right? I'm sure those guys up north haven't thought about that at all. Uh-uh.
Anyway . . .
A very entertaining quote from a HornFans discussion thread about who they'd prefer the Longhorns face in the Championship series:
I want Fullerton so that we can finally avenge the '84 Championship loss. Who was that bastard they had for a head coach back then? I hated that guy!!!
He is, of course, talking about Augie. Heh.
And, on another thread talking about yesterday's game:
I learned 7 magic words in 2000, that have made everything ok.
I said it several times during today's nailbiter.
"I will let Augie coach the team."
. . . .
News from the Brad Halsey watch: he'll be starting again on Friday against the Mets in Yankee Stadium.
June 23, 2004 (College World Series)
Texas wins Bracket 1 by beating Georgia 7-6 in one of the best come-back wins I've seen in a very long time. I loved it. When I realized the Horns were gonna be playing in the afternoon game (rather than the evening game), I promptly sent my supervisors a note saying I needed to take this afternoon off. And, I am glad I did it!
Okay...the game. Both teams were scoreless in the first two innings. In the third, the Georgia batters figured Justin Simmons out. Jacobs singled. Keen sac bunted him to 2b. David Maroul made a spectacular play to field the ball and throw a bullet to Teagarden at 1b on that play to get the out after Keen hit a perfect bunt down the 3b line. Smith walked and then both runners successfully completed a double steal. Holmes reached on an error by 3b (so sad after David's great play on the bunt earlier in the inning). David bobbled the ball and, after realizing he had no play at the plate, threw over Taylor Teagarden's head at 1b. The runner from 3b scored, the runner from 2b moved to 3b. The batter was held at 1b. Szabo grounded out to 2b (rbi). Runner from 1b moved to 2b. Morris then reached on a bloop single into shallow cf (rbi). He stole 2b and was driven home on a single up the middle by Side. Enter J. Brent Cox in relief. Sammons singled on the second pitch he saw, moving Side to 2b. Felmy singled to lf off a diving Michael Hollimon's glove (rbi). Jacobs finally provided the third out of the inning by grounding into a 6-4 fielder's choice. 5 runs. 4 unearned. They all count, though. Texas was not to be outdone and came back with a bit of a vengeance in the bottom of the 3rd. Michael Hollimon took the second pitch he saw over the rf fence. Drew Stubbs popped out to 2b and Seth Johnston flew out to rf. Curtis Thigpen then singled to lf. Taylor Teagarden hit a 2-run shot over the lf fence. Dooley Prince singled to cf and Ryan Russ reached on a walk. Sadly, Carson Kainer ended the mini-rally by hitting into a fielder's choice. So, Texas answered 5 with 3. Not bad. Seth Johnston then hit a homerun over the lf fence in the 5th. In the 6th, still trailing 5-4, with 2 outs, David Maroul (remember him making that error in the 3rd?) hit another homerun for the Horns to tie things up, this time another one over the lf fence. Still with 2 outs, Michael Hollimon walked and moved to 3b on a single by Drew Stubbs. Georgia sent their 3rd pitcher in (Boggs). He gave up a 1-run double and intentionally walked Curtis Thigpen to set up the double play (and load the bases). His first pitch to Taylor Teagarden was a ball and he was pulled for Woods (the 4th pitcher of the game for Georgia). Sadly, Taylor then hit a ground ball to 3b for the final out of the inning. Texas up 6-5. In comes Huston Street to shut Georgia down. Alas...not quite. In the 7th, Smith singled, Holmes advanced him on a sac bunt, and Szabo hit a single to drive Smith home. Side then flew out to rf and Sammons went down swinging. Score tied 6-6. In the bottom half of the 7th, Dooley doubled to the lf/cf gap. Felmy made a diving effort in lf but failed to come up with the catch. Enter Georgia's closer (Will Startup, a lefty). J.D. Reininger (pinch hitting for Ryan Russ) grounded out to 3b. Carson Kainer then came up, swung rather wildly at the first pitch (low and inside), watched the second pitch (a ball), and then had a brief chat with Augie. Next pitch? Down the 3b line for a double (rbi). His first hit in Omaha. And that was enough. Georgia did not go down without a fight. They got runners at 1b and 2b in the 8th but could not capitalize. And, in the 9th, Szabo grounded out to ss...a nice defensive play by Michael to field the ball behind 2b and throw to Curtis (who'd switched with Taylor at the top of the 7th) to make the out. Morris then grounded out to p on the first pitch. And, Side took a 2-1 pitch for a very long ride just foul by a few feet but long enough for a homerun. Yikes! He hit a ground ball back to Huston on the next pitch, though, for the final out of the game. Whew. On to the Championship series for the Horns. Hook 'em!
June 20, 2004 (College World Series)
Go, Horns!!!!! I loved it. Since it was Father's Day, I went out to Bastrop and had a great day with my dad (and my mom, and the younger siblings). What a great Father's Day present. It's 11:30. I got home about an hour ago but have been on the phone with happy Longhorn fans and just don't have the energy to write about the game now. More tomorrow. Hook 'em!
By the way, if you watched the Yankees/Dodgers yesterday...remember the rather odd delayed steal? Ken Gurnick has the story the the Dodgers' mlb.com site. Scroll down to "A real steal"...it's a good story. And, some post-game news about Brad from the Yankees' site by Mark Feinsand (scroll down to "Southpaw celebration"). Geesh, maybe I should just make a Brad Halsey page. Heh! I'm sure the hoopla will die down. In the meantime, it's all kinda fun.
June 19, 2004 (College World Series)
2:50pm. Are you watching the Dodgers and the Yankees? Brad Halsey struck out the first batter he faced as a Major League pitcher. He turned around and got a single in the top of the next inning in his first plate appearance as a Major League pitcher. You just gotta love it!
Over at the CWS, the Titans are leading 1-0 in the 5th.
4:15pm. Brad's out of the game. He left with a 4-2 lead. He went 5.2 innings, threw 105 pitches, gave up 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, and struck out 3. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate. Entertainingly, after hitting a single off Hideo Nomo in his first at-bat, he gave up a home run to Nomo in the 5th. Heh.
And, at the CWS, the Titans still lead 2-0 in the 8th.
4:50pm. And, the Titans go on to win 2-0 behind a complete-game pitching performance by Jason Windsor (who threw in excess of 140 pitches). This was the first complete-game shut-out thrown at the CWS in 10 years. It's also the third year in a row that South Carolina was shut-out in their first game of the CWS. South Carolina came back in 2002 to meet Texas in the Championship game. They went 1-2 last year.
10:15pm. Miami beat LSU 9-5. Too bad.
In Brad Halsey news, I've got some links:
- From mlb.com: Halsey's debut a hit in Los Angeles by Mark Feinsand
- From the NY Times: Nice Cushion Softens Halsey's Yankees Debut by Tyler Kepner
- From the Star-Ledger: Yankees: Baby-faced Halsey doesn't rattle in debut by Dan Graziano
- From the New York Post: '1' to Remember by George King
- From the LA Times: Another Lost Nomo Cause by Bill Shailin
- From the Chicago Sun Times: Matsui homer off Nomo powers Yankees past L.A. by Beth Harris (the last sentence is the kicker)
Entertaining quote from the NY Times article:
But this was not Halsey's boyhood home in Houston, where his mother, Loretta, built a mound in the front yard and taught him how to pitch. And it was not the University of Texas, where Halsey helped the Longhorns to the 2002 College World Series title. He was pitching in a storied park for a team of All-Stars, and when Alex Rodriguez tossed him the ball before his first pitch, Halsey gave in to the moment.
"A-Rod just threw me that ball," Halsey said he thought to himself. "It was awesome."
The day got even better for Halsey, who lasted five and two-thirds innings, earning the victory as the Yankees beat the Dodgers, 6-2. Halsey, a 23-year-old left-hander, gave up two runs, five hits and a walk, and even singled in his first at-bat since his sophomore year in high school.
His "first at-bat since his sophomore year in high school." That is just too cool.
June 18, 2004 (College World Series)
8:45am. Quick post. 'Found another Brad Halsey article. This is the best one so far...
2:30pm. I'm listening to the Arizona/Georgia game (the Georgia broadcast) at the office while I try to troubleshoot a problem with one of our simulators. The process goes like so:
- Try suggested fix. It doesn't work. Send email to vendor. Wait for reply.
- Get reply. Try fix. It doesn't work. Send email to vendor. Wait for reply.
- Get reply. Try fix. It doesn't work. Send email to vender. Wait for reply.
- Rinse. Repeat. (At least 8 times so far today.)
Which leaves me with a bit of time on my hands. I found a great article by Bill Little on the TexasSports.com site. Coolest part:
With airline ticket prices skyrocketing and a limited number of flights coming into Omaha, Texas once again got great support from the folks at Southwest Airlines. A year ago, when the Longhorns were in a bind after qualifying late in Tallahassee, Southwest stepped up and provided a charter. This year, Southwest again won the bid to fly the Longhorns. Other schools took smaller charter services. Arkansas bussed the six and a half hours from Fayetteville.
Texas, with the help of Southwest, left on a charter at a time of Augie's choosing. And when they got ready to leave Austin, they learned just what good hands they were in. John Maroul, the father of the 'Horns' third baseman David, and a SWA pilot who has been flying for over 30 years, flew the 'Horns to Omaha.
How cool is it that David Maroul's father was the pilot for the trip? Wow.
11:00pm. And, the Horns start things off right by beating Arkansas 13-2. J.P. Howell got his 15th win of the season, going 6.2 innings, giving up 1 run on two hits (a single and a home run), throwing 8 strikeouts, giving up 6 walks, and he hit one batter. J. Brent Cox took over and pitched 1.1 innings while walking one, hitting one, and giving up the second earned run. That run was given up on a bad call at 1b, though. With one out and runners at 1b and 3b, the batter (Hamblin) hit a slow bouncer left of the pitcher's mound. Robby Hudson (who'd come into the game in the top of the inning) charged, fielded the ball on the infield grass, turned around, and threw to Seth Johnston covering 2b for the 2nd out of the inning. Seth made a great throw to 1b to turn the double play. Alas, the 1b umpire blew the call and said the runner beat the throw. So the runner from 3b was ruled safe at the plate. The 3b official had blown a call in the previous half-inning when he called a ball trapped by the Arkansas center fielder a catch. That was some good acting on the part of Rowlett in cf. Here's how that play unfolded. Seth Johnston (again! wow, I just realized he was screwed in both bad calls!) came to the plate with 2 outs. Hunter Harris was at 2b and Drew Stubbs was at 1b. Seth hit a fly ball to shallow cf. Rowlett dove for the ball and trapped it. He jumped up as if to say he'd caught the ball. Hunter, who'd taken off at the crack of the bat, scored easily. Drew, also leaving at the crack of the bat, rounded 2b (with a good view of the play in cf, he could see he had to hoof it to 3b) and tore on toward 3b. The cf, seeing that the runners were still running (and, frankly, knowing he'd trapped the ball) fired the ball to 3b in an attempt to catch Drew. The throw hit Drew in the back, though, and dribbled toward the 3b dugout. Seth ran to 2b on the throw from cf to 3b. When the runners saw the ball rolling toward the 3b dugout, they both kept running. Drew ran home as the third baseman ran down the ball. His throw home was wild (over the catcher's head) and Seth scored on the errant throw. Then, the 3b ump (Bob Homolka) who was not the closest to the play by any stretch of the imagination ruled the trapped ball in cf a catch! Unbelievable. So, Texas was screwed out of three runs in that inning and Arkansas was given an extra run in the following inning.
Thankfully, the game wasn't even close so those bad calls (along with another iffy call on a tag at 3b that also went against the Horns) didn't affect the final outcome. And, how did that come to be? Why...the Horns took advantage of a shaky outing by the Arkansas starter and then just started hitting the cover off the ball. Offensive highlights down the line: Stubbs went 2-for-5 (2 singles) with 2 rbi; Johnston went 1-for-4 (single) with a run scored and 1 rbi; Thigpen went 4-for-5 (3 singles, 1 triple, reached on an error) 4 runs scored and 1 rbi; Teagarden went 0-for-2 with a sac bunt and 1 run scored; Kainer 0-for-2 with 1 run scored and 1 rbi; Prince went 2-for-3 (a single and a triple) with 2 runs scored and 4 rbi; Russ went 2-for-4 (2 singles, 1 sac fly) with 1 run scored and 3 rbi; Maroul went 0-for-2 with a sac bunt and 2 runs scored; and Hollimon went 0-for-2 with a sac bunt and 1 run scored. Harris pinch hit for Hollimon late in the game and was walked with the bases loaded so he got 1 rbi. All in all, it was great. I can't wait for Sunday. Hook 'em!
June 16, 2004
Y'all remember Brad Halsey, doncha? Heh. 'Looks like he's gonna make the show this weekend. Cool. A couple of choice quotes:
The Yankees [...] plan to call up 23-year-old lefthander Brad Halsey from Triple-A Columbus, where he has shined recently, and start him Saturday in Los Angeles.
Picked in the eighth round in 2002, Halsey wasn't invited to spring training and isn't on the 40-man roster, but he has been impressive this season. In 13 starts covering 82 innings at Columbus, he has allowed 75 hits, 23 earned runs and 19 walks, striking out 51. His ERA is 2.52.
I went looking around for more news on Brad and came across news that he was selected as the International League's Pitcher-of-the-Week for the period of June 7-13. Quote:
The struggling Columbus Clippers managed only one win this past week, but it came in the form of a gem by left-hander BRAD HALSEY. The 23-year-old Halsey took the hill on Thursday, trying to stop the Clippers' three-game losing skid, and came through with a complete game victory. Halsey, a native of Houston, limited Rochester to a pair of hits and walked two batters in Columbus' 4-0 win. He fanned six in his second complete game of the season. Halsey has been a contender for the IL Pitcher-of-the-Week award over the past several weeks, going 4-0 with 21 strikeouts and a 0.32 ERA in his last four starts. His recent performance has seen the former University of Texas star move among the IL's leaders in ERA (4th), wins (T-4th), complete games (T-1st), shutouts (T-1st), and innings pitched (7th).
Halsey, the Yankees' 8th Round pick in the 2002 June Draft, is currently in his first season at the Triple-A level. He tied for the Minor League Baseball lead in victories last year in his first full professional season, going a combined 17-9 with a 4.21 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 29 games for Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Brad went 7-2 with a 2.74 ERA as a junior on Texas' 2002 College World Series Championship team prior to being drafted by New York.
I love it! Go, Brad!
UPDATE: Two more links:
- MLB News - scroll down to "Bring on Brad"
- The Staten Island Advance - scroll down to "THE SKINNY ON HALSEY"
June 14, 2004
Game times and pairings are now available. The info is available from many sources, including my 2004 post season info page. Texas will be playing in the 6pm (Central time) game on Friday. Hook 'em!
And, a bit of a "by the way"...
For the first time in a long time, I'm a little worried. I just ran into Dr. Schechter and he greeted me with the following: "I think they've got a shot at winning the College World Series!" Now, since most of y'all don't know Dr. Schechter, most of you won't realize the enormity of that statement. Dr. Schechter is, you see, the most skeptical man I've ever known. Ever. If he thinks, without one tiny bit of empirical evidence, that the Horns have a chance, I'm inclined to worry. You'd think just the oposite would be true. But, you'd be wrong. Oh, man. It all ties into that superstition thing. I've said I don't buy into that whole thing but...
If the most skeptical man I know isn't worried...
Well, it gives me pause.
June 13, 2004
Can there be too much college baseball? I've had my TV tuned to ESPN and ESPN2 for the past three days. I have to admit that I've also spent some time watching the two UT games saved on my TiVo box...even though I watched every pitch from my usual seat at Disch-Falk! My biggest complaint about the Super Regionals is that there aren't enough series going to 3 games. So far, in fact, only one. What's up with that? Here's hoping the Aggies can buck that trend! It's hard to believe Georgia Tech lost two at home this weekend. Looking back at the original field of 64, it's interesting to note that half of the top 8 National Seeds are out; three were out before this weekend even got started, though. Two #3 Regional seeds (Tulane and Arizona) made it to Super Regionals. Tulane's down 0-1 at Cal State Fullerton and Arizona's tied 1-1 at Long Beach State. Ah well. Texas will face Arkansas on Friday. I'm hoping ESPN will want to showcase the game and show it in the evening. If they don't, I guess I'll be asking for some time off at work. There's no way I'll be listening to that game on the radio when I could be watching it on TV! At the moment, the only scheduling info I can find is that Game 1 is scheduled to air at 1pm and Game 2 at 6pm (both on ESPN2). The Texas/Arkansas match up will be one of those games and the Georgia/(LBSU/Arizona) game will be the other.
I just realized I didn't write about yesterday's game. I was so tired by the time I got home, I basically just collapsed in a heap and took a long nap. I had a great time at the game. Sam LeCure pitched a great game. Buck Cody, J. Brent Cox, and Huston Street did great work in relief...to absolutely nobody's surprise. Hmmm...reading back over that, it sounds like there was lots of greatness going down, eh? Heh. I guess there was. Drew Stubbs hit his second homer of the year over the Green Monster. I'm sure that's the first time a freshman's ever done that. Seeing it done in back-to-back games (Taylor Teagarden did it on Friday) is also probably unprecedented. Curtis Thigpen hit his 7th homer of the year...bringing the team total to 50. That's a lot of home runs for a team with no power, doncha think? As Coach Garrido said in the post-game news conference, Texas plays in the Grand Canyon. They've hit more home runs in "away" parks against their opponents when they've had the chance to do so. The bats sure do seem to be coming alive at just the right time of the year. Ah well...on to Omaha! Hook 'em!
UPDATE: I watched the LSU/A&M game and rooted my heart out for the Aggies. I don't do that very often. But, they lost a heart-breaker 4-0. That score may not seem like much of a heart-breaker but it was. The starting pitchers for both teams held their opponents scoreless going into the 9th inning. Zach Jackson started to struggle in the top of the 9th, though, and allowed LSU to load the bases with no outs. LSU scored one on a sac fly. The next batter popped out to ss. With two outs and runners at 2b and 3b, it looked like maybe the Aggies could get out of the inning with very little damage. Alas, the next batter hit a 3-run homer to lf. I felt so bad for Jackson as he walked off the field. Poor guy. A heart-breaker, I tell you. So, now we know 6 of the teams bound for the CWS. And, I'm watching the LBSU/Arizona game. Another very good game. Arizona's leading 3-2 going into the 9th. LBSU is the visiting team. Hmmm...this could prove quite interesting. Will this be the 2nd upset of the Super Regionals? C'monnnnnn Wildcats!
UPDATE #2: Wow. Arizona wins 4-3 in 11 innings. Wow. One last team to be determined. It looks like Fullerton's in control of that game but you just never can tell.
UPDATE #3 (11:30pm): CSF just beat Tulane in a very hotly-contested game to fill the 8th spot in the CWS. It will be very interesting to see what the Tulane coaches have to say about the officiating as the dust settles. I do believe it says something when the talking heads on TV actually start making comments about the job being done by the officials on the field. They're always so very careful not to say anything even remotely negative (or questioning) about game officials. Hmmm...
June 12, 2004
The Horns are College World Series bound after beating Vanderbilt 10-2 this afternoon. Hook 'em, Horns! More later...
June 11, 2004
Hook 'em, Horrrrrrnnnnnsssssssss!!!! Heh. Texas took command of the Super Regional tonight and won 15-3. What a fun game. J.P. Howell pitched a great game. He pitched into the 8th, threw 13 strikeouts, and allowed all 3 runs (1 unearned). Michael Hollimon really started the offensive tear with his first at-bat by hitting a 2-run triple. He hit a home run on his next at-bat. What fun. Drew Stubbs and Taylor Teagarden also hit homers...Teagarden's going over the Green Monster in cf. Wow. Ryan Russ very quietly reached base each time he came to the plate and scored all four times. 'Looking forward to tomorrow. Go, Horns!
June 9, 2004
Just in case you're interested, here's a link for the new Texas Collegiate League. It's the "wooden bat" league they were talking about so much during the Big 12 Championship Tournament.
June 8, 2004 - 1:00pm (MBL Draft Day #2)
I'm "watching" the draft and updating the list of Texas-related draftees below (in yesterday's entry) as I get info. So, keep checking back. Be sure to hit reload in case an older page is stored in your browser cache.
Update (5:45pm): The draft is over. Nine players from the current Texas roster were drafted. Justin Simmons moved up from the 47th round last year to the 21st this year. Yay, Justin! Michael Hollimon was drafted last year in the 49th but not at all this year. I thought he played more and better this year than last but what do I know? Eight of our signees were drafted. I really wouldn't expect anyone drafted in the first 20 rounds to even think about coming here (or coming back...as the case may be). But, again...what do I know about these things? I was amused to note that Christopher Davis (Texas signee from Longview) was the third-to-last player picked! I always wonder about those guys at the end of the list. I recognized the names of three players who transferred away from Texas on the list. There might be others whose names just didn't click as I read through the list. If I did miss anyone, please let me know. The same goes for any signees, for that matter!
June 7, 2004 - 4:30pm (MLB Draft Day)
Here's how "out of it" I am: I didn't realize it was MLB Draft Day until about 30 minutes ago! I just looked at Round 1, though, and have a few things to say. Natch.
Philip Humber, Jeffrey Niemann, and Wade Townsend from Rice were the 3rd, 4th, and 8th picks. Yikes! How did they not win their regional? Were they just completely looking at the CWS and lose site of things that needed to get done before Omaha? Amazing. Jeremy Sowers who will be here this weekend with Vanderbilt for the Super Regional was the 6th pick. That's just a little scary. He's a lefty to boot! A couple of Big 12 pitchers also went in the 1st round: David Purcey (OU, 16th pick) and Joshua Fields (OSU, 18th pick). David (aka Homer) Bailey was the 7th pick. He's signed with Texas but, sadly, won't ever play here. Another Texas signee, Greg Golson from Connally HS, was the 21st pick (same story, I'm sure).
Several Longhorns were drafted:
- David "Homer" Bailey (Texas signee), 7th pick (1st round), by the Reds
- Greg Golson (Texas signee), 21st pick (1st round), by the Phillies
- J.P. Howell, 31st pick overall (first pick of the compensation round sandwiched between Rounds 1 and 2), by the Royals
- Huston Street, 40th pick (also in the compensation round), by the A's
- Curtis Thigpen, 57th pick (2nd round), by the Blue Jays
- Josh Wahpepah (Texas signee), 76th pick (3rd round), by the Brewers
- Joshua Johnson (Texas signee), 85th pick (3rd round), by the Royals
- Seth Johnston, 199th pick (7th round), by the Orioles
- Buck Cody, 210th pick (7th round), by the Cardinals
- Troy Patton (Texas signee), 274th pick (9th round), by the Astros
- Kyle Yates, 387th pick (13th round), by the Blue Jays
- Eugene Espineli (TCU, Texas transfer), 430th pick (14th round), by the Giants
- J.D. Reininger, 438th pick (15th round), by the Reds
- Nic Crosta (Santa Clara U., Texas transfer), 501st pick (17th round), by the Rangers
- Justin Simmons, 628th pick (21st round), by the Dodgers
- Matt Goodson, 695th pick (23rd round), by the Red Sox
- Preston Clark (Texas signee), 1157th pick (39th round), by the Indians
- Kenn Kasparek (Texas signee), 1236th pick (41st round), by the Cubs
- Tom Caple (U. San Diego, Texas transfer), 1380th pick (46th round), by the Red Sox
- Christopher Davis (Texas signee), 1496th pick (50th round), by the Yankees
June 6, 2004 - 11:00pm (Austin Regional)
What a great game! The Horns beat Oral Roberts 7-3. Oral Roberts scored 1 in the top of the 1st. Texas answered with 5 in the bottom of the 1st highlighted by a 3-run homer by Taylor Teagarden (who also hit a single and a double to lead the Longhorn offense). Curtis Thigpen also hit a home run for the Horns (a solo shot) in the 5th. Sam Lecure went 7.1 innings to get the win and Huston Street notched his 12th save of the season. Taylor Teagarden was named Most Outstanding Player of the Regional.
The All-Tournament team (as voted by...I have no idea!) consisted of: (c) Taylor Teagarden, Texas; (1b) Curtis Thigpen, Texas; (2b) Seth Johnston, Texas; (3b) Jim Phillips, Youngstown State; (ss) Shelby Ford, TCU; (of) Drew Stubbs, Texas; (of) Matt VanDerBosch, Oral Roberts; (of) Ricky Rivera, Oral Roberts; (dh-tie) Dooley Prince, Texas, and Jeff Tuttle, Oral Roberts; and (p) Sam Lecure, Texas, and Taylor McIntyre, Oral Roberts. I think those are pretty good selections and am particularly happy that Taylor McIntyre's efforts last night were recognized. He pitched an outstanding game to get Oral Roberts into this afternoon's championship game.
The Horns will now host the winner of the Charlottesville Regional at a "best of 3" Super Regional starting on Friday or Saturday. And, who will they be playing? The Vanderbilt Commodores. I guess we'll get news about dates and times by tomorrow.
In other Regional news, Texas Tech mounted a 2-run rally in the bottom of the 9th in their championship game against Georgia Tech but it wasn't enough as they lost 5-3. In the Houston (Rice) Regional, Rice won the first game (3-1) to force a 7th game against A&M. The game was tied 3-3 going into the 8th. Rice was the visiting squad and scored 2 to go up 5-3. The Aggies responded, though, with 4 in the bottom of the 8th (on a grand slam by Ruggiano!) and the Owls went 3-up, 3-down in the 9th. LSU will host the Aggies in the Super Regional round.
Several #1 seeds did not win their Regionals: Rice, Virginia, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Mississippi (the only #1 seed to go out in 2 games). I guess Rice and Stanford are the biggest surprises to me.
The start of the Kinston Regional (hosted by East Carolina) was pushed back one day so won't be completed until tomorrow. East Carolina, the #1 seed, is undefeated going into the championship game.
Of the regionals that went to seven games today (because the team from the loser's bracket won the first championship game), Arkansas and Cal State Fullerton came out of the loser's bracket to win. Both were #1 seeds hosting their regionals. Central Florida forced host Florida State into a 7th game but lost to the #1 seed. Likewise, Clemson forced host Georgia into a 7th game but lost in 10 innings. So, Rice was the only host team that made it to a 7th game that did not end up winning their regional.
June 6, 2004 - 9:00am (Austin Regional)
Yesterday sure was a long day at the park. I hope today is considerably shorter! Looking around at the other regional brackets, I see the Big 12 is not faring quite as well as I'd like. Oklahoma State lost their first-round game to Central Florida, came back to beat Bethune-Cookman yesterday morning, but lost again to UCF. Missouri lost their opening round game to Wichita State, came back to defeat Le Moyne but then were ousted from the tournament by Arkansas. Oklahoma lost their opening round game to UCLA, beat Central Connecticut State on Saturday, but then lost to UCLA again. So, that's 3-of-6 Big 12 teams on their way home.
Texas Tech is still alive despite a loss. They beat Mississippi State in their tournament opener, then lost to Georgia Tech, then defeated Mississippi State a second time to make it to the championship game. They need to beat Georgia Tech twice today to move on.
The Aggies are, rather surprisingly, in the driver's seat in the Houston Regional. A&M beat Lamar 14-3 in their first game. They were ahead on Friday night when the game was delayed until Saturday due to rain. They went on to beat Texas Southern (who'd stunned the Regional when they took the opener from Rice) later in the day to make their way into the championship game. Rice, meanwhile, defeated Lamar and then Texas Southern on Saturday to earn their way into the championship game against A&M. Today's game(s) in Houston should be very good.
So, I'm glad to see that all of the Big 12 teams that made it to regionals won at least one game. And, we've still got 3 teams alive on Championship day. Woo hoo!
By the way, there have been some rain problems in the Charlottesville Regional (the one the Horns are paired with) so we still don't know who the Horns will be hosting next week (assuming the Horns win today, natch). Virginia and Princeton are scheduled to play an elimination game this afternoon and the winner of that game will face an undefeated Vanderbilt for the right to move on. Princeton was one of those #4 teams that surprised the #1 seed and beat Virginia in a rain-delayed Game 2 yesterday morning. Both teams ended up playing two games yesterday. Vanderbilt is really sitting pretty at that tournament.
June 5, 2004 - 11:00pm (Austin Regional)
I got to Disch-Falk at about 10:15 this morning. The last game ended right at 10:19 this evening. I am one tired Longhorn Baseball fan! TCU won the first game 12-8 to send Youngstown State home. Then, Texas and Oral Roberts really battled it out. I nearly lost my voice yelling. Texas, trailing by two, managed to pull the win off by scoring 4 in the top of the 8th...two on a pinch-hit single by Dooley Prince! Huston Street came on in the bottom of the 8th to shut down what was left of Oral Roberts' offense. It was a sight, let me tell you! I stuck around for the last game and rooted my heart out for TCU but it was just not meant to be. Oral Roberts found the right pitcher at the right moment. Taylor McIntyre pitched a complete game (140 pitches by my count) 3-hitter to get the 10-1 win and move Oral Roberts into the championship game tomorrow. I'm off to get some sleep. Yawwwwwnnnnn...
June 5, 2004 - 9:50am (Austin Regional)
My favorite quote from the post-game press conference last night (by Youngstown State head coach Mike Florak): "I am impressed with the institution as well as the fans. I got chills down my spine in the seventh inning when one of the Texas players hit a fly ball, Justin Banks caught it and the whole crowd cheered. That shows the class that the Texas fans have, and their understanding of the game of baseball."
Banks made a great play in rf and we knew it. So, we saluted him. Steven immediately commented that was probably the most people who'd ever cheered for any of the kids on the YSU squad. Heh.
I'm outta here. 'Back sometime late this evening...
June 4, 2004 -11:00pm (Austin Regional)
I got home about an hour ago but was so hot from being at Disch-Falk all day that I had to take a long cool shower. I fill much better now! We had some fun today. The first game between TCU and Oral Roberts was great. TCU jumped ahead 2-0 in the 1st and Oral Roberts fought back to take a 6-2 lead by the end of the 6th. TCU scored 2 in the top of the 7th and 1 in the top of the 9th to make things very interesting. Oral Roberts managed to stay ahead, though, to win the game and move into the winner's bracket tomorrow to face...Texas! Justin Simmons did his job by pitching into the 8th for his longest outing of the year. However, the story of the night was the live bats the Horns brought to the game tonight! Every batter had at least one hit...for a total of 15 on the night. Taylor Teagarden led the offensive charge by hitting two 2-run homers. 'Twas sweet. Final score of 10-3, by the way. I can't wait for tomorrow. Although...ugh!...it's gonna be hot (!!) again.
In other news, Texas Tech beat Mississippi State in the Atlanta Regional to advance to the winner's bracket tomorrow (where they'll face Georgia Tech). Missouri lost to Wichita State (3-9) while Arkansas beat Le Moyne (4-1) in the Fayettefille Regional. In the shocker of the day, Texas Southern held on (though 2 lengthy rain delays) to beat Rice (4-3) in the Houston Regional. In the same Regional, Texas A&M currently leads Lamar (3-0). Rice wasn't the only #1 seed to lose today but it's the one that surprised me the most and I just can't get over it. Also in a bit of a surprise UCLA beat OU (9-1) in the Oklahoma City Regional. And, finally, Oklahoma State lost to Central Florida (7-3) in the Tallahassee Regional. I sure wish OSU was in the winner's bracket. These things are hard to win once you get into the loser's bracket. You have to win two games on Saturday and then two more on Sunday to come out on top. Not easy. Ah well...
June 1, 2004
I've had a bit of time to digest the seedings and what not and have a few thoughts. It seems weird that Arkansas is a National seed while LSU is not. It's doubly weird that the LSU and Rice regionals are paired up so there's no chance that both of them can make the CWS. And, why is it that despite the fact that UT and Stanford were the #1 and #2 teams for most of the season (swapping back and forth), Stanford got the #5 National Seed? That puts UT and Stanford in the same bracket for the CWS. So, there's no chance of a UT/Stanford championship finale. You get Texas, Georgia Tech, Stanford, and Arkansas on one side. And, South Carolina, Miami, Rice, and Arizona State on the other. Assuming the National seeds win out. Which, more than likely, will not happen. But, the brackets are set up with the assumption that things will end up that way, right? Frankly, I wish the CWS would go back to a true 8-team double-elimination tournament where any of the teams might end up meeting at some point during the tournament...and get rid of the two 4-team brackets. I suppose a best-of-three finale is better than the "1-game winner takes all, no matter how you got here" thing it replaced. But, a true double-elimination tournament would be so much more fun. Doncha think? Oh well. By the way, what's with Arizona State not even making a bid to host a Regional? I don't get that at all. You'd think bidding would basically be some sort of automatic behavior for ASU, wouldn't you? Oddness abounds.
As to the Austin regional, I'm looking forward to it. Of course. It turns out that Youngstown State got in by virtue of winning their conference tournament. Going into the tournament, they were at the bottom of the barrel in their 7-team conference (with a 7-10 conference record). They won 4 games to win it all, though, so got one of the automatic bids. Their overall record as they head out here is 22-30. Wow. It's been awhile since we've played TCU. My first reaction when I heard they were coming was: "Not TCU again." Simply because we've played them a lot and I think it's more fun to have a variety of teams playing each other at play-off time. But, it's been a couple of years and maybe this will inspire the teams to start playing each other at the Dell Diamond or Ameriquest again. I always enjoyed those games quite a bit.
On a melancholy note, I just read that the folks that run Ameriquest don't have any plans to bid on future Big 12 tournaments. I guess that explains the lack of publicity before this year's tournament. I couldn't get over the fact that there was no push at all before the tournament about buying tickets. Two years ago, we got info in the mail way ahead of time. This year, not a peep. I sure wish I would've known it was gonna be the last one. I would've made an effort to get up to Arlington if I had. But, things were busy at work and I thought there'd be another opportunity in a couple of years and I'd go then. I could have gotten out of work with a bit of planning. Sigh. Once again, I get the "seize the moment!" lesson. Do you suppose it'll take root this time? Sigh...
May 31, 2004
Woo hoo! Texas is the #1 National Seed! Hook 'em!
May 30, 2004 (Big 12 Tourney)
Oklahoma State won the Championship game (10-9) in 13 innings. Missouri was up 9-2 by the end of the 6th. OSU scored 5 in the 8th to make it interesting and then 2 in the 9th to tie things up and make it very interesting. They then scored an unearned run in the top of the 13th which Missouri was unable to match. I was torn throughout the game. I thought it would be really cool for Missouri to win. If the 7th seed wins the conference tournament, I think that says something good about the strength of our conference, doesn't it? On the other hand, I wanted Frank Anderson to do well. On the other other hand, we are still talking Oklahoma State. Heh. Anyway, 'twas an entertaining championship game.
In regional news, the 16 regional sites were announced (host institution and record as of yesterday in parentheses): Fayetteville, Arkansas (Arkansas, 39-21); Fullerton, California (California State, Fullerton, 36-20); Kinston, North Carolina (East Carolina, 48-11); Tallahassee, Florida (Florida State, 41-20); Athens, Georgia (Georgia, 38-20); Atlanta, Georgia (Georgia Tech, 41-18); Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Louisiana State, 41-17); Coral Gables, Florida (Miami, Fla., 44-11); Oxford, Mississippi (Mississippi, 39-19); South Bend, Indiana (Notre Dame, 49-10); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Oklahoma, 37-22); Houston, Texas (Rice, 42-12); Columbia, South Carolina (South Carolina, 44-15); Palo Alto, California (Stanford, 44-11); Austin, Texas (Texas, 50-13); and Charlottesville, Virginia (Virginia, 42-13). The remaining teams, the eight national seeds, regional pairings, and site assignments will be announced tomorrow at 11am (central) on ESPN2.
So, only two Big 12 schools are hosting. I guess that's not much of a surprise. I imagine A&M worked themselves out of a chance to host by going 2-and-out in the tournament. I'm guessing A&M, Tech, OSU, and Missouri will get invites. I think Missouri's on the bubble but they made it to the championship game so they've got a good shot. I don't know about Nebraska. And, the only shot Baylor really had at getting in was to win the tourney; which they didn't do.
All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 4, to Sunday, June 6. Some regionals started on Thursday last year. I wonder why they made the change this year? As I recall, the FSU/Texas Super Regional was delayed by rain and Texas barely had time to get to Omaha before the start of the CWS last year. You'd think they'd want all the regionals to start on Thursday after that fiasco. But, I'm sure there's a lot more money to be made by going Friday to Sunday...assuming you can get the games played in a timely fashion!
May 29, 2004 (Big 12 Tourney)
4:45pm. So, the Horns end up losing to OSU. Too bad. I did love watching David Maroul throw 5 strikeouts. How much fun was that?
It was quite painful listening to the talking heads on the TV broadcast, though. Ugh. What is it about announcers that makes them so terribly unobservant? It's very disheartening. They never know what's going on or who's involved in plays. And, then there's the speculation. Hello???? How incredibly dim do you have to be to think the Horns won't be hosting a Regional tournament next weekend? I know that the NCAA has done its best to screw the Longhorns over the past several years when it comes to Regional selection time. But, come on! The Horns will still be ranked in the top 3 in the country come Monday. Not only will they be hosting, they'll be a National Seed. Okay. Deep breath. The game is over. The TV numbskulls are no longer talking. Will I be able to listen to them tomorrow for the Championship game? Maybe it'll be easier if the Horns aren't involved and I don't know from first-hand knowledge just how wrong they are whenever they make their pronouncements about the teams, the coaches, and the players. Maybe.
Okay...moving on. Hook 'em!
10:30pm. I was just wandering around the web and came across a story about the reinstatement of four Texas Tech players and was amused to read the following:
"We are looking forward to going to the NCAA tournament with our entire team in tact," Hays said in the statement.
Now...do you suppose he really said "in tact"? Or do you suppose he actually said "intact"? Heh heh. I do hope it was the latter.
I also liked this part of the story:
Hays said [...] that the suspensions were for a curfew violation and he had no knowledge of whether it was related to the suspensions of University of Texas pitchers Justin Simmons and J. Brent Cox who were arrested on Tuesday and charged with public intoxication.
Hmmm...he had no knowledge of whether the Tech suspensions were related to the UT suspensions? As head coach and the person who (presumably) handed down the Tech suspensions, don't you think he'd know definitively if they were related or not? I mean, if they weren't related, wouldn't he just say that? Ah...obfuscation. Not quite effective though, eh? Things that make you go hmmm...
May 28, 2004 (Big 12 Tourney)
3:00pm. I just saw the picture to the right on a Yahoo! photo page. I guess it's clear that the Aggie catcher did not, in fact, have possession of the ball at the time of that collision at the plate yesterday. And, thus...had no cause to be blocking Robby's access to the plate, eh? Heh. It's a great photo! (Photo credit: AP/Tim Sharp)
7:00pm. There's no getting around it...baseball is an interesting game. After being run-ruled last night, Baylor turned around today and run-ruled Oklahoma. I left the office around 5:45 today. At the time, OU was ahead 4-2. Baylor had just scored a run in the bottom of the 5th. I figured we'd be seeing OU tomorrow and went about my business. I got home, had some dinner, and turned the radio on to listen to the Texas game which was due to start at 7. I was surprised to hear that Baylor had turned things around in a big way...winning 14-4 in the bottom of the 7th on a 2-run homer by Pankratz. Amazing. 'Turns out, Baylor scored 5 more in the bottom of the 5th, 5 in the bottom of the 6th, and 2 to end things in the bottom of the 7th. I do love this game! By the way, the Texas/Nebraska game is due to start at about 7:30.
10:50pm. Whew! Texas pulls off win #50 of the season! Yee haw! The first Texas/OSU game tomorrow (you gotta expect there will be 2, doncha?) will be on TV. 'Should be very interesting. OSU's only used two pitchers in the tournament. Texas pitching appears to be very thin going into the game tomorrow. Interesting, I tell you. Hook 'em!
May 27, 2004 (Big 12 Tourney)
2:00pm. The bad news is that Justin Simmons and J. Brent Cox were arrested in Arlington early Tuesday morning (sometime after 2:00am) on public intoxication charges. They apparently got into a bar fight with some Texas Tech players. Simmons and Cox have been suspended for the duration of the Big 12 Tournament and sent home. Coach Garrido said their status will be re-evaluated next week. Four Tech players were also suspended for their game against OU today. Tech lost that game (1-3) and has been eliminated from the tournament.
The good news is that the Horns are up 3-1 over the Aggies in the 4th. More later.
4:30pm. And things get better as Texas defeats A&M (13-6) to advance to the elimination game tomorrow evening against the loser of the game between OSU and Nebraska (coming up at about 8 o'clock tonight). Hook 'em!
10pm. I was "watching" the Game Tracker web broadcast of the Missouri/Baylor game (Game 7) when things came to a very long stand still. The system had been very slow earlier in the day so I didn't catch onto the situation right away. When I realized it was more than just an overloaded web server, I tuned in the Baylor audio web broadcast to discover that they were in the middle of an extended rain delay. It's too bad there doesn't seem to be a way to post that sort of info to the Game Tracker page, eh? Anyway, when it became clear play would not resume for several hours, the decision was made to push the start time for Game 8 to 11am on Friday. Play resumed in the Game 7 sometime after 9pm and Missouri continued on their offensive tear. The Tigers scored 2 in the 1st, 5 in the 2nd (all before the rain delay), and have currently scored 3 more as I watch now in the top of the 3rd. This may very well be a 10-run rule game.
May 26, 2004 (Big 12 Tourney)
5:00pm. The A&M/OSU game should be starting any minute now. So far, today, the higher-seeded home teams are losing. Tech lost to Baylor (3-8) and OU lost to Missouri (5-9). I hope that's not setting up some sort of trend the Longhorns feel compelled to follow!
10:45pm. Texas loses to Nebraska (2-5). The loser's bracket it is. Sigh...
May 25, 2004
Alas, the Horns did not sweep the Aggies this weekend. Here's hoping they got that loss out of their collective system and go through the Big 12 tournament via the winner's bracket for a change! Hook 'em!
Of note: I set up a page for 2004 post season info. I'll keep the page as current and up-to-date as I can. Go, Horns!
May 22, 2004
And, Texas gets another Big 12 championship. Hook 'em! They needed to win one today or one tomorrow to cinch the regular season title. It wasn't pretty but they did it with a 12-9 win over the Aggies. I'm sure glad that game was on TV. I loved it. I hope they get the sweep tomorrow. That would sure put the team in great shape for the Big 12 Tourney start on Wednesday. I can't get over how well this team is doing. You just gotta love 'em! Texas! Texas! Hook 'em, Horns! Heh.
May 15, 2004
Sigh...what a sad day. Losing both ends of a double-header is absolutely no fun. Being blanked in both games even less so. Particularly when the pitching and defense held up just fine. Alas, the N.C. State team did a better job and are going home with two wins. Hopefully, the Horns' bats will come back to life next week. Fingers crossed...
May 7, 2004
I guess tonight's game might be classified as squeaking by. You can't really tell that from the final score (4-2) but you could feel it in the stands. There's no telling what might've happened if the Kansas reliever had started the game! With Texas up 4-1 in the bottom of the second and the Kansas starter having a terrible time (to put it mildly), in came a kid named Ryotaro Hayakawa. I hadn't remembered to print out my own roster from the Kansas web page so was saddled with the [sarcasm alert] very useful lineup printed in the score sheets sold at Disch-Falk [sarcasm alert over]. Here's the info you get on the score sheets: player number, player name, position. That's it. So, you have no clue about the opposing players. When Hayakawa came in, he inherited a situation with two runs already scored, one out, and a runner on 1b. His stats as they appeared on the score board when he came in: IP: 4.0, ERA: 0.00, BB: 0, SO: 0. FOUR innings pitched? Wow. And, he was smaller than the rest of the infield and looked like a freshman. Double wow. He promptly gave up a single and had runners at the corners. But then he got Taylor Teagarden to ground into a double play on the first pitch he saw. Inning over. Hayakawa then proceeded to pitch shut-out ball for the... Rest. Of. The. Game. I got very curious. So, I dialed up the Kansas page when I got home and lo, here's his info going into today's game:
ERA W-L APP GS CG SV IP H R ER BB SO 2B 3B HR AB B/Avg WP HBP BK SFA SHA 0.00 0-0 4 0 0 0 4.0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 .167 0 0 0 0 0
So...4 innings pitched in 4 different appearances. And, guess what? Not one appearance in Big 12 play. Wow. And, he is...as he appeared...a freshman. And, he's from Japan! He's so far away from home! And, he's playing for Kansas! Now I'm even more curious. It's such an interesting story, doncha think?
I'm just glad he didn't come in 'til after the Horns had scored 4. Whew.
Update: I found a bio for Hayakawa on the KU baseball page. Not much info to be had, alas:
Ryotaro Hayakawa, #29, RHP, R/R, Fr., Narita, Japan
Graduated in 2002 from Narita High School in Narita, Japan. Sported a record of 14-2 in his senior season at Narita HS. Led his team to a top-10 finish in its postseason playoffs.
Born June 22, 1983 in Japan. Parent is Ryoichi Hayakawa. Majoring in sports management. Enrolled at KU as a foreign exchange student in 2003. Became eligible after attending two semesters at Kansas.
May 2, 2004
As I write this, the game is in the 4th inning and Texas is leading 14-0. Wow. 9 runs scored in the top of the 4th. 'Turns out J.P. Howell stepped on some glass sometime this week and has stitches in one of his feet (I think they said the left foot but not sure about that). So, now we know why he didn't start on Friday. Why couldn't Craig or Bill have said something during the broadcasts on Friday or Saturday? J.P. started today, though, and has things well in hand. Clearly.
Texas went on to win the game 16-0. Woo hoo! Since it was "get away" day, the 10-run rule was in effect and the game only went 7 innings. It was great to see (well, "hear" to be precise) the Horns show such determination and bounce back in a big way. Hook 'em!
May 1, 2004
An 8-zip loss to Missouri? My...what a miserable game. And, no...I don't have the answer to the question on everyone's mind. Why didn't J.P. start the first game? I dunno. So far, this is one miserable weekend. Longhorn baseball wise. Ick. They gotta pull a win outta this mess tomorrow. They just gotta!
April 23, 2004
The Horns got their 40th win of the season tonight (8-2 win over Nebraska) with 12 games still to go on the season. Woo hoo! The hitters really seemed to be on fire tonight. Everyone played well, though. J.P. Howell went 7 innings, struck out 10, allowed 2 runs (back-to-back solo home runs, if you can believe that!), and left the game with the Horns comfortably in control. Huston Street and J. Brent Cox then pitched 1 scoreless inning each to end things. Robby Hudson made a couple of great plays at 2b. One consisted of an amazing stop of a ball that was clearly headed to right field. Somehow, he snagged the grounder in shallow rf, spun around, and gunned the ball to Chance Wheeless at 1b to get the out. Seth Johnston's gonna have a tough time getting his starting position back when his injury clears up. All of the infielders have been playing some great baseball this year. The improvement in Michael Hollimon and J.D. Reininger is a joy to watch. Hook 'em!
On a rather unrelated note, I got home and saw a note about Brooks Kieschnick hitting a home run in last night's Brewers' game. So, I pulled up the Brewers' page in time to see the news that he won his first game of the season this evening. He pitched 2.2 innings, faced 9 batters, walked one, and struck out three. 'Sounds like he's on a roll! By the way, in last night's game, his 2-run pinch-hit homer in the 9th tied things up and sent the game into extra innings. Sadly, his team ended up losing in 15.
April 16, 2004
I'm listening to the opener of the Baylor series and thinking a bit about Tuesday's game against Rice. I really can't believe the Horns managed to sweep the series. That's awfully sweet. And, what a mess of a game! An umpire was knocked down and out...a fan was knocked down and out. Two coaches were ejected. And the game was won in the bottom of the 9th on a bloop single. Wow. Jennie loved the spectacle of it all. I did too. But, having her be soooo excited was a nice treat for me. Here's hoping we sweep this weekend.
A bit later... Baylor made it interesting but Texas gets the win. Hook 'em!
April 12, 2004
The game. Or should that be The Game? Capitalized. 20 innings? Wow. I was listening to the game...I mean...The Game on Friday evening and got a call from one of my best friends. They were in the midst of a medical emergency and I offered to drive up (they live in Arlington) to help watch over their 8-year-old daughter until the grandparents could get into town from the west coast. Offer accepted, I threw some clothes in a bag, jumped into my car, and hit the road. The Game had just been tied up in the 8th. I figured I'd be able to listen to the end of The Game as I drove up I-35. Not so. About 35 miles or so out of town, I started getting quite a bit of interference from a Tejano music station. This was around the 11th inning. I kept listening through the static for hints on the game. I could hear every 4th or 5th word and would hear the name of a Texas player here and there so I knew the game was still in progress. I finally had to give up in the 12th. So, I decided I'd just call my parents and get the final score. They can't hear KVET in Bastrop in the evenings so whenever there's an away game, they listen in on their dial-up via AOL. So, I called and got a busy signal. I called again about 15 minutes later. And, got a busy signal. Rinse...repeat. Again and again. Midnight came and went. Phone still busy. I started to think they must've gone to bed and forgotten to log off AOL at the end of The Game. 12:30 AM...phone still busy. 1:00 AM...phone still busy. 1:20 AM...pulling into my friends' driveway in Arlington...phone still busy. Huh? My friend is on the phone with the grandparents so I check out their cable modem hook-up. Ahhh...there's the audio link. Hmmm...The Game is still on? What? The 20th inning? You have got to be kidding me. KSU scores. I think The Game is over. Nope. Texas continues to pitch. Hmmm...this must mean Texas scored in the top of the 20th. Cool. Texas gets 2 outs and wins 10-6. Amazing. Simply amazing. And, I got to hear the last two outs. Way cool. I stayed in Arlington 'til Sunday evening so wasn't able to hear any of the other two games. Let me just say, though, that those two games must've been awfully ho-hum after the excitement of The Game. Hook 'em!
March 28, 2004
I was very curious about how things would go this weekend with OSU coming to town. This was gonna be the first meeting between OSU's old head coach (now our pitching coach) and OSU's new head coach (our old pitching coach). The schools ended up trading coaches last summer. It wasn't by design...it just happened. Nobody could fault OSU for going after Frank Anderson at the end of last season after they'd released Tom Holiday. And, nobody was very surprised when Frank decided to leave UT to take a shot at being a head coach. Who could possibly blame him? There's no way he could just sit around waiting for a shot at the UT job. There's no telling when that'll open up. Or if he'd even be a viable candidate if he'd never had a head coaching job somewhere. You can bet that a lot of people were stunned when they heard Tom Holiday was gonna be our new pitching coach, though! I know I was. How bizarre. I can't imagine there have been many teams in the history of sport who've had to face this sort of situation...where both teams know so much more about each other than you can ever learn from a regular old scouting report. I mean, Frank Anderson knows a lot about how the Horns are gonna pitch and how they're gonna bat and how they're gonna defend every situation that comes up. On the other hand, Tom Holiday knows a lot about how his old team is gonna be playing. He may not know as much about how Frank will choose to play defense in certain situations but he knows how the pitchers throw and what the batters are capable of. And, you know Augie can make a very good guess on how Frank will want to set up his offense and defense in just about any situation. What a great opportunity for a baseball fan to watch this whole thing play out.
We were not disappointed. Well...I wasn't, at any rate. I got to see the last 2 or 3 innings of Friday's game (Texas won 8-4) and all of the Saturday and Sunday games. Texas lost a nail-biter 2-3 in 10 innings on Saturday and won the Sunday game 11-3. I really hope OSU does well this season. I want to see Frank succeed. 'Course, I want the Horns to do better. Still, I think Frank's doing some good work with his Cowboys. And, I wish him well.
March 26, 2004
I saw the following little bit of news a few minutes ago:
"The Braves sent OF Ryan Langerhans to the minors."
Langerhans was drafted by the Braves out of high school in 1998. He went to Round Rock High and had signed a Letter of Intent to play with the Horns. The Braves drafted him in the 3rd round, though, and he ended up signing with them and passing up college.
It never ceases to amaze me when I see a name like Ryan Langerhans and have a spark of recognition. I go looking for info and there you have it. He was a Texas signee 6 years ago! Kinda scary...the things that are in my head. I have to wonder why that space isn't being used for something I actually need to remember.
March 23, 2004
Surprise...surprise, baseball gets the shaft again. The start time for Friday's game against OSU has been changed. First pitch is now set for 2:30 instead of 6:15. Because of the men's Sweet 16 basketball game in Atlanta (scheduled tip-off is 6:27pm Central). Chances are slim I'll be able to get away for the afternoon game. Grrrr... I'm all for the men winning their game in Atlanta (after all, I've been to more Longhorn basketball games and watched more of 'em on TV this year than the past 10 years combined). But. Still. I wanted to go to the baseball game. Sigh...
March 9, 2004
Texas beats Rice one more time! Woo hoo! 5-0. At Rice. Oh, what a happy day for Longhorn baseball fans. Seth Johnston hit a 2-out 3-run homer in the top of the 1st and that was pretty much all she wrote. Heh. He also hit a sac fly in the 8th to add a bit of insurance after Drew Stubbs hit a solo home run in the 7th. Randy Boone, Buck Cody, and Kyle Yates combined for the shut out while Philip Humber suffered his first loss of the season.
March 8, 2004
Again, I didn't get the schedule updated in a timely fashion. Ah well...such is life. Yesterday's game against Cal State Fullerton was fantastic. J.P. Howell was amazing. He pitched a complete game 3-hitter. The whole team played a whale of a game! And, while they also won on Friday and Saturday, I don't think either of those wins were as sweet. Of course, I only managed to listen to the last couple of innings of the Friday game. Work so interferes with my desire to watch those weekday afternoon games! Saturday's game against Sam Houston State was pretty sloppy. But, I guess a win's a win, eh? Hook 'em!
March 3, 2004
I can't believe I didn't get the schedule updated last night. The game against Rice was great! I took the afternoon off. It had been raining pretty steadily for a couple of hours. When I called the baseball office at about 12:45 and asked about the status of the game, I was told by the cheery woman who answered the phone that they'd be playing as long as the lightening stayed away. Okay.
So, I get there at 2:15 and find the infield tarp covering things up. And, it's still pretty wet. Not a full-on rain. More of a drizzle. It seems rather relentless but there's no sign of lightening. At about 2:30 (game time), we're told that the situation will be re-evaluated at 3:00. Okay. Sit around. Chat with the folks. I call Ruby and ask why she's not there. She laughs and initially refuses to believe that I'm in the stands. Ha! That's what she thinks. 3 o'clock rolls around and it actually seems to be easing up. It looks like the drizzle's about to give us a break. They announce that the game will start at 3:25. The field crew comes out and starts to put the tarp away. The atmosphere is quite festive. At 3:25, they're still chalking the lines but it's close. The game starts at about 3:30. Both teams choose to pitch their regular Tuesday starter. Things are close. Rice goes up by two. Texas ties things up. Rice scores another and threatens more so Texas sends Howell in to shut things down. That works well. Rice decides to send Niemann in to preserve their lead. Things seem to be going Rice's way as they load the bases in the top of the 7th. Texas sends Cox in to pitch. Cox has been pretty un-hittable lately (while Street's been injured). Street is wearing his tennis shoes. He hasn't played in two weeks and isn't gonna play today. So, in goes Cox. First pitch is a ball. Second pitch goes over the lf fence. Ouch. Rice up 7-2. This is apparently the 2nd grand slam of the year for Morris. Cool for him. Bad for the Horns. Bottom of the 7th. Hollimon gets on. Prince gets on. Harris hits a triple down the rf line. My seats are straight down the 1b line and lemme tell you, that ball was fair by a measly 6 inches. Harris then scores and the Horns are only down by 2. Top of the 8th. Cox hurts his shoulder and takes himself out of the game. Rice threatens briefly but to no avail. Bottom of the 8th. Hollimon gets on. Prince gets on. Harris hits another triple down the 1b line. This time it's only fair by millimeters. It hit the line just past the bag. Wow. Harris scores on a single by Thigpen. Texas up by one. That's six runs (one unearned) against one of the most (if not the most) imposing pitchers in college baseball. His record last year? 17-0. His record this year? 0-2. Wow. Top of the 9th. Houston Street runs out onto the mound. The crowd erupts. 3 up. 3 down. In the post-game, Coach Garrido said it was completely Street's decision to enter the game. Here's how the Texan reported it:
"I had my tennis shoes on, went into the locker room to put on my spikes," Street said. "I came back out and said to coach 'I'm good to go. I promise you, I'm good to go.'"
It was a great afternoon. And, the crowd was great. I'd guess that about 25-30 percent of the fans were a very vocal group of Rice folks. I know it wasn't fun for them that their team lost but I hope they had fun at the park. They seemed to be having a lot of fun. Particularly after that grand slam cleared the fence.
February 29, 2004
It's raining. They keep saying it's going to turn into a beautiful day. I'm not sure it'll turn early enough to make a difference. We may not get to play today (travel schedules usually dictate that the Sunday game get played pretty much on schedule). A comment about SDSU's Tony Gwynn. What a class act! Jennie and I got to yesterday's game in time to watch the teams do their batting practice and warm-up drills. After SDSU's turn on the field, Tony Gwynn stood and signed autographs for Texas fans for at least 10 minutes. This was before the game! He disappeared into the dugout but came out at least 4 or 5 times when some fan would stick their head over the edge of the dugout and ask for an autograph. I couldn't get over his patience and cheerfulness. What a guy. And, at one point during the game...when the 3b ump finally called a balk against the quick-pitching SDSU closer...he came out of the dugout to argue the call. Usually, when the opponent's coach argues a call, the crowd starts to boo and acts generally appalled the visiting coach would have the gall to argue a perfectly justified call. Not yesterday. Nope, the crowd was politely quiet and then clapped as Coach Gwynn walked back to his dugout. No jeering...no booing. It was funny. I've never seen such a thing. I loved it. Ah well...here's hoping we get today's Leap Day game in.
February 26, 2004
There's been a change to the schedule. Sam Houston State and Cal State Fullerton are coming to town at the same time! This means that Texas will play CSF on Friday and Sunday as previously scheduled. On Saturday, though, Texas will play SHSU at 1pm and CSF will play SHSU at 5pm. Kinda peculiar, eh? I thought so.
February 20, 2004
Baseball players are a rather superstitious lot. Baseball fans also seem to tend toward the superstitious. I don't believe any of it but I play along. If a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, you don't say anything about it. You just notice it and hope hope hope he can keep it going. If he's your pitcher. Naturally, you blab all about it if it's the other guy's pitcher. You want his no-hitter to go away. I do all this stuff. But, it's just for fun. I'm just playing along. But, sometimes, you kinda gotta wonder about it all. I can't tell you how many times Bill Little or Keith Moreland (or whoever happens to be yacking away on the radio) has appeared to jinx things by talking about them. I was listening to the Stanford game this evening and Bill started talking about how effective the Texas bullpen has been this year. He said the bullpen has a team ERA around .053 (or some such...I wasn't listening too closely). He said this as reliever Kyle Yates went to a 1-2 count against a Stanford batter. Kyle promptly walked the batter. It really makes me wonder about this whole superstition thing once in a while. Sigh...
Double sigh. Texas loses 4-7. First loss of the season. 'Course, we all knew they'd have to lose eventually. And, sweeping a series at the Sunken Diamond is a lot to ask of any team. 'Hope things improve tomorrow. Hook 'em!
February 17, 2004
Ruby, who had yet to make it to Disch-Falk this year, wrote to say she was worried about showing up today. The Horns were scheduled to play the dreaded Texas State University Bobcats. She's always nervous when they come to town. They've been tough over the past couple of years (Bobcats are 2-1 against the Horns over the last two seasons). But, heck. They've gone and changed their name. Somehow, TSU just doesn't seem as ominous as SWT. I don't know why it doesn't but it doesn't. And, lo...Horns win! 10 in a row. So much for the Ruby jinx.
February 14, 2004
It's time for the Minute Maid College Classic. Texas beat Ohio State 6-0 yesterday in the Buckeyes' first game of the year and came from behind to beat Rice 6-3 in the Owls' second game of the year. I listened to yesterday afternoon's game on the radio at work (which means I missed much of the game, of course) and watched today's game on Fox Sports. It was great being able to watch a game on TV so early in the year. The Horns committed 3 errors but seemed fairly strong. Once again, even though Texas was playing the defending National Champions, I felt they'd pull off the win. It's great watching these guys play. With the exception of Huston Street, there don't seem to be any "super stars"...they're all just solid players and every one of them seems determined to do what's needed to win.
February 8, 2004
Texas swept the home opener. The last two games were battles to the end. In both, the Horns never stopped fighting and did what they had to do to win the game. The thing is, I was confident during both games that the team would win. It's a good feeling.
February 7, 2004
I took a few hours off yesterday afternoon to take in the 2004 home opener. What a game. Texas beat San Diego 9-0 (first shut-out in a home opener in 12 years). Sam LeCure got the win. I didn't keep score...'decided I'd just drink in the atmosphere on the first day...so I don't have any numbers. But, there were plenty of hits and only 1 Texas error (Drew Stubbs booted a ball in cf that allowed runners to move to 2b and 3b with no outs). Then we had one of the weirdest plays I've ever seen. Two men on, no outs. The batter chops a ball toward the pitcher. Runners take off. Pitcher (LeCure?) fields and tosses to Taylor Teagarden (catcher). Runner from 3b heads back to 3b. Runner from 2b already standing there. Hmmm. What to do? Runner seems undecided. He stops about 1 foot shy of 3b. Teagarden tags him out. Then runner from 2b mysteriously heads back to 2b. Teagarden tags him out. The batter, by the way, had made it to 2b during the hullabaloo around 3b. Then, coaches start arguing with officials and it looks like they're going to award a run to the Toreros. Huh? Apparently, the official at 3b ruled that the runner between 3b and home was standing on 3b when he was tagged so he wasn't out...which was why the other runner headed back toward 2b. So, if the runner from 3b had tagged home plate on his way back to the dugout, he would've scored a run. After much discussion, it was determined that the runner from 3b did not tag home plate so no score...he's out 'cause he left the field of play (the Horns threw to home to make sure). All very strange. And, I do think the official at 3b was wrong about the first tag. But it does explain why the runner from 3b headed back toward 2b. Anyway, Horns win! I'm off shortly for the 2nd home game of the season. Hook 'em!
January 30, 2004
Well, here comes another Longhorn Baseball season!
As I write this, I've got the first game of the season playing on the radio. Talk about your fun. It's 11:45 at night here in Austin and the Longhorns are leading by a score of 4-2 in the bottom of the 4th inning. It's also 36 deg. F here. No doubt it's much warmer in Hawaii. Trade winds be damned!
I hope I can get back in the habit of posting some content on a regular basis throughout the season. I've been looking through this year's schedule and am surprised by a few things:
We've got four (4!) games scheduled against Rice during the regular season. That should be fun.
There are no mid-week games scheduled during the last 4 weeks of the regular season. This strikes me as a bit odd. Did they decide the mid-week games were wearing the guys down as the meat of the season hit so they cut down on them?
There are 60 games scheduled. My vague recollection is that the team is allowed a maximum of 56 games during the regular season. Since only 3 of the final 18 games are non-conference games, that could pose a problem as the last third of the season comes around (assuming few early games are cancelled due to weather problems).