Joanna's Longhorn Baseball Page

Longhorn Baseball Summary - 2005

Here's my running commentary on the state of Longhorn Baseball for the 2005 season...

Schedule & Results
2005 Schedule | 2005 Post Season

Photo Essays
Alumni Game | New Scoreboard | The Tower

June 29, 2005
On Monday night, the University lit the Tower with the traditional #1 in honor of the baseball team's victory in Omaha. Naturally, I took a lot of pictures. And, I created a page to host some of my favorites: 2005 National Championship Tower.

Later...
The local CBS affiliate (KEYE, Channel 42) ran a pretty cool 30-minute special this evening about the 2005 CWS Champions. I learned a couple of things I haven't seen reported elsewhere. Seth Johnston and Buck Cody both signed their deals and are headed out to Oregon (to Eugene and Salem, respectively). Also of note: Will Crouch (who was not drafted in the MLB Amateur Draft a couple of weeks ago) has signed on with the Diamondbacks and will be reporting to their Rookie club in Montana within the week. After seeing that news, I went looking around again and found that Clayton Stewart has also signed with the Phillies.

And, two more photo galleries from the Statesman: Honoring the Longhorn baseball team and Victorious Horns return.

June 28, 2005
Quick note: yesterday I said I'd file a report and photos on the celebration at Disch-Falk "later." Well, I ended up working 'til about 7. Then, I spent most of the evening visiting with friends. I went back to campus at about 9:30 to snap some photos of the tower in all it's #1 glory. I didn't get home 'til about 1:30 this morning. I walked a lot and climbed a lot of stairs...looking for that perfect shot. I ended up with about 150 photos (from the celebration and of the tower). And, I was just too tired to post anything. I'll try and sort through stuff this evening and post something by tomorrow or Thursday. Hook 'em!

It was reported in today's Statesman that Sam LeCure is supposed to sign with the Reds today ($260K bonus).

Update: Sorry to say, it looks like I won't have time to get around to that report on the celebration at Disch Falk. Sorry 'bout that.

June 27, 2005
Quick links (registration required on some of these, use bugmenot.com if you don't want to register):

I made it over to Disch-Falk for the celebration. I'll post a report and photos later.

Just a quick comment about the Florida Gators. The Gators (including the head coach, the players, and the fans) seem to be a class act all around. Congratulations to that program on the job they did this season.

June 26, 2005
Texas wins the 2005 National Championship!!! Hook 'em, Hoooorrrrrnnnnnssss!!!

June 23, 2005
Last night I read through the old entries on this page...just to remember how things struck me as the season moved forward. I was rather amused by my post on March 12 (evening)...in light of what I posted a couple of days ago about the progress this team has made. Scroll down and read it.

Quick link: Season demands constant motion (Huston Street's latest column). I'm really enjoying Huston's columns and will try to remember to post a link each week.

June 22, 2005
There's some exciting baseball going on in Omaha. Yesterday, Arizona State won the first game (8-7) in 11 innings. Then, Baylor fought back from a 7-run deficit to win (also 8-7!) in the bottom of the 9th. Today, Arizona State just finished jumping all over Florida (6-1) to stay alive. The same two teams meet again tomorrow to determine who'll be in the Championship Series this weekend. Whew. I hope things are somewhat less interesting this afternoon and that Texas takes care of business. It wouldn't surprise me to see Baylor make things interesting. Nevertheless, I hope they don't.

LATER (10 pm). Wow. What a game. I hoped for "less interesting" but have to say that I loved every minute of the game tonight. Walk-off home run by Chance Wheeless wins the game. His right shoulder has been popping out of its socket on a regular basis when he's been batting over the last couple of days. In his first plate appearance today, he hit a ball high to fairly deep lf. He almost fell down as he grabbed his arm while running to 1b. The ball was caught. That was in the 1st inning. He didn't seem to have any problem on his second plate appearance. He hit a ball to shallow cf that was run down on a nice play. In the 6th, he hit a soft grounder to 2b and his shoulder popped. He fell to the ground immediately after swinging the bat and couldn't even try to run it out. He came up as the first batter in the bottom of the 9th with the game tied 3-3. In the post-game news conference, Coach Garrido said he told Chance he was going to let Clay Van Hook pinch hit for him. Chance told the coach that he could hit the Baylor pitcher (Ryan LaMotta)...hard. So, the coach left him in. He took a 1-1 pitch over the rf fence. Wow.

And, what about Nick Peoples slipping and falling as he was running from 1b to 2b on the throwing error by the pitcher in the 8th inning...and still making it safely to 3b? He then bowls over Baylor catcher Josh Ford on a sac fly by Drew Stubbs to tie up the game. Wow. Side note: I liked that Josh Ford was smiling about it in the dugout in the top of the next inning. Cool. (At least, I guess that's what he was smiling about.)

Oh. And, let's not forget the double play in the top of the 9th. Poor Reid Brees. He's standing there at home plate completely dumbfounded. He simply can not believe there's any way in the world that Drew Stubbs caught that flare Paul Witt hit into shallow cf. Drew overthrew Robby Hudson at 2b but it just didn't matter 'cause the runner was at home plate and there was plenty of time to recover. Wow.

This Longhorn team is just fun fun fun. 'Looking forward to Saturday. Hook 'em!

. . . .

In other news...
Johnny Whittleman from Kingwood signed with the Rangers (bonus: $650K) so he won't be coming to Austin next year. Seven of the Longhorns' high school signees were drafted in the MLB draft earlier this month. Whittleman is the 3rd to sign a pro contract. Still un-signed (as of this writing): Koby Clemens, Jordan Danks, Tim Dennehy, and Bradley Suttle.

June 21, 2005
When folks saw that Baylor was gonna be the Horns' first opponent at the CWS, a lot of 'em started worrying. I got calls and email messages. I told 'em all that the best thing that could happen to Texas at the CWS was to have to play Baylor first. I was excited by the prospect. I knew there was no way anyone could beat Texas 5 times in a year. I also thought that Baylor might be feeling a little over-confident at the prospect of facing Texas for a 5th time after seeming so dominant throughout the season. But, if you look at the 4 earlier games, you see something interesting. First, the Baylor series was the first Big 12 series for the Horns. Going into the series, Texas was 21-1. That number seemed very improbable to me. I'd been to most of the games and the team I was watching on the field just wasn't a 21-1 team. When they were at around the 17-1 mark, and people were going on about how good they were, I was puzzled. That's not to say I didn't love this team just as much as any other Longhorn baseball team. They just seemed off. Then came Baylor. Texas lost the first game 2-3 here in Austin. Then, they lost a blowout (1-9) in Waco followed by another 1-run loss (3-4)...also in Waco. Then they seemed to regain their footing. For a few weeks. But they didn't really look solid or particularly strong as they went forward. Starting out in that 0-3 hole in the Big 12 made things difficult. Not insurmountable by any means. But, the Big 12 has a bunch of good baseball teams in it. The Horns struggled to get out of the basement. They did it. They pulled up into 3rd place by tournament time. And, Texas actually managed to do fairly well without Taylor Teagarden and Kyle McCulloch. By the time the Baylor game came up, Kyle was feeling well enough to rejoin the team. He did. But, it just wasn't the same without Taylor out there. So, they ended up losing another 1-run game to Baylor. Of the four games they lost to Baylor, only one was a strong win for Baylor. But, people didn't look at that when they saw that the Horns would be facing Baylor in Omaha. They just looked at the 4 wins. They didn't take into account what had happened in the interim. They didn't see the changes that had taken place over the previous two weekends.

One of the things that seemed "off" to me this season was the pitching. The pitching situation was weird throughout the season. The team was winning a lot of games and had a very low team ERA. But, how often is it that the middle reliever of a team leads that team in wins? Clayton Stewart seemed to have a lot of wins for a team that looked (on paper) to be so dominating. Shouldn't the starters have more wins that the middle relievers? And even now, deep into the post-season, Clayton is second only to Kyle McCulloch. Kyle has 11 wins and Clayton has 9. Buck Cody has 4 wins and J. Brent Cox has 7. So, between the middle relievers and the closer, 20 of the 53 wins on the season (nearly 40%) didn't go to the guy who started the game. I'm not a stat-head but that number just seems off. I just did a quick check on Tulane's numbers...just to see. The regular starters have 43 (of 56) wins and the relief pitchers have 13. That gives nearly 25% of the wins to the relief staff. And, none of the relievers have more wins than any of the regular starters. Again, I'm not a stat-head, but that sounds more "normal" to me for a team that's on a championship track. Things on the pitching front were weird for much of the season. But, that trend has changed now that Texas has reached the post-season.

On all fronts, I see big improvements on the Longhorn team in the post-season. It's almost like someone flipped a switch. Everything is clicking as it should. The players have been making great defensive plays all season long. That stop by David Maroul the other day...the one where he dove, stopped the ball, and threw a rocket from his knees to 1b for the out? He's been doing that sort of thing all season long. And, he makes it look so easy. The play Nick Peoples made in rf last night? Again, he's made those plays all season long...mostly in lf, by the way. He made a nearly identical catch in lf the day Adrian Alaniz got his no-hitter. It saved the no-hitter.

My point? Well, Texas has had the ability all season long. But, things were just a bit off. It's really hard to describe. And, if you're not sitting in the stands day in and day out, you might not see it. All you see are the totals. And, frankly, those totals were a bit misleading. But, now, I see the team playing up to those numbers. I saw it at the Regional. And, it was surely there in the Super Regional when they came back from that heart-breaking first loss. This team has what it takes to win the CWS. And, I think they're gonna do it. Hook 'em!

June 17, 2005
I was just talking to my mom on the phone and told her not to forget to tune into the Tennessee/Florida game at 1:00 (I'll be at work so won't be able to watch but will try to follow the action via the online scoreboard). As we were talking it suddenly dawned on me that Texas and Tennessee managed something pretty unique this year: the baseball and softball teams for both schools made it to the College World Series. Texas managed to do this in 2003 but it's the first time for Tennessee. Cool.

Later...
I went looking for info on MLB signings this afternoon. There's no news on players whose teams are at the CWS (naturally) but I did find some info of interest to Texas fans. So far, it looks like two high school signees have elected to forego becoming Longhorns: Josh Wilson (from Tyler) and Joseph Dickerson (from Yorba Linda, CA). I suspect at least one or two more will follow suit in the next couple of months. Michael Hollimon and Nate Warrick have already signed with their respective clubs. And, it's not looking like Sam LeCure will be back on campus next year...it appears that he's close to signing with the Reds. More info available on my 2005 Draft Summary page.

June 15, 2005
Texas beat Ole Miss on Monday evening to advance to the 2005 College World Series. Score: 6-4. Again, I didn't see much of the game but enjoyed the heck out of what I did see. I hope to be able to watch more of the CWS games. I'm thinking the Horns have a decent shot at winning this thing. They've shown us something special over the last couple of weekends. I like their chances. Hook 'em!

. . . .

Quick link: Huston Street's latest column.

And, yes: J.P. Howell will be starting against Roger Clemens on Friday. I really wonder about those odds.

June 13, 2005
Sorry I didn't have time to post this weekend. I didn't even have time to watch much so didn't have much to say. The first game was called after the 3rd inning due to heavy rain. Texas had a 2-0 lead. They picked things up on Sunday at noon and ended up losing in sad fashion. Going into the 7th with a 4-2 lead, the team gave up 4 runs on 3 hits with two errors and two walks. J. Brent Cox had a terrible 7th. Texas won the second game 3-1. J. Brent came on again in the 2nd game for the 9th inning. He gave up another 2 hits but got the last batter of the day to ground into a nice double play turned by Robby Hudson. Robby fielded a ball headed straight up the middle, stepped on 2b, spun, and threw to 1b to complete the DP. It was pretty. And, hopefully, that'll be the end of J. Brent's struggles. Mom and Dad drove out to Mississippi and report that they're having a great team. They said the people have been nothing but friendly and they're really glad they made the trip. Mom sent a couple of photos of the scoreboard at the end of the games so I'm including them here...to go along with the ones I took at the Regional:

[Scoreboard]

[Scoreboard]

That first scoreboard looks like there were only 5 runs scored by Ole Miss. Perhaps a bulb was out or something? Anyway, here's to winning this evening. Hook 'em!

. . . .

And, regarding J.P. Howell's debut with the royals, he got a victory! Sadly, it was against Brad Halsey who, after a very good start with the Diamondbacks, seems to be sliding just a bit. Here are their respective lines from the game:

I hear that J.P.'s second start might very well be against Roger Clemens this weekend. How often do you suppose Major League pitchers pitch against players who went to the same college? 'Wonder if it's ever happened before that a pitcher threw his first two games against another pitcher from his own college? I'd bet the odds against that happening are very very high!

June 10, 2005
[Photo 
of J.P. Howell J.P. Howell has been burning his way through the Royals' system over the last few weeks and there's a decent chance he'll be called up for a start tomorrow against the Diamondbacks. The starter for the D-backs? Brad Halsey. Heh. Hook 'em!

UPDATE (nearly midnight). I watched Huston Street close the door on the Braves on TV this evening. I got home, turned on the Super Regional game between Florida and Florida State. What a yawner! I heard that I missed the best part of the game. Whatever. I cannot imagine watching a game in which I care less who wins and who loses. So, I went surfing and came across the A's in Atlanta. And, the game was tied. Oooh! I thought that meant we might actually get to see Huston. Then, the Braves went ahead. Then, the A's tied it up. Then, they went ahead by 2. Then, it was the bottom of the 8th and the Braves were threatening. So, in came Huston. And, he did his job. What fun! He pitched the last 1&1/3 innings to earn his 3rd save in as many tries. Cool.

In other news, I went looking around and found confirmation that J.P. is going to start tomorrow night's game for the Royals! Here's the article on the Royals' site about it. How cool is that? Start time is 8:40 pm Central Time. The Texas game in Mississippi begins at about 6:00 pm. That should give us several hours of Longhorn baseball fun. Although, I don't guess the game between Arizona and Kansas City will be on TV here in Austin unless you have some sort of MLB package with your cable/satellite service (which I don't). Nevertheless: Hook 'em!

June 8, 2005 (MLB Draft, Day 2)
I updated the list I started yesterday (see below) with more names of Texas players drafted in the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. I also set up a page with a list of Texas, Big 12, and SWC draftees: 2005 MLB Amateur Draft Summary. I'll update that as information comes my way regarding signings.

By the way, I forgot to mention last week that Huston Street's now writing a column (called Street Talk) on espn.com. Here are links to his first two columns: Handling the 'pressure' of the ninth inning and Realize the opportunity (about the MLB Amateur Draft). Enjoy.

June 7, 2005 (MLB Draft, Day 1)
Today was the first day of the MLB Amateur Draft. They got through 18 rounds. I noticed the following players as I looked through the list:

I'll post more info as I find it.

June 6, 2005 (Austin Regional)
Game 7 - Arkansas vs. Texas. The Horns won the Regional. And, they looked very good doing it. Kenn Kasparek started on the mound. He went 4.1 innings and gave up 2 runs (1 unearned) on 4 hits (1 double) with 4 strike outs and 3 walks. Kyle McCulloch pitched 1.2 and got the win in relief. Kyle threw only 5 pitches in the 6th as he put the Razorbacks down in order (line drive to 1b and two ground outs to ss). J. Brent Cox came on to pitch the final 3 innings. He gave up a hit and hit a batter in the 7th but that was it. The last three outs of the game came in the form of 3 groundouts to ss. Fun. On the offensive side of things, the Horns didn't score until the 4th but you could feel all along that the scores would come and that they'd win the game. In the 4th, Chance led things off with a ground-rule double. He advanced to 3b on an error by 3b, and scored on a single by Will Crouch. Will moved to 2b when David Maroul was hit by a pitch and then scored on a double by Robby Hudson. Taylor Teagarden kept up his amazing run in the post-season by hitting a solo home run in the 6th. Chance Wheeless also hit a homer in the 7th. And, Texas scored its last run in the 8th: Taylor doubled to the cf/rf gap and moved to 3b when the outfielder's had trouble getting the ball back in. He then scored on a sac fly by David. 1-2-3 in the top of the 9th and game over. Charley Boyce threw 7 innings for Arkansas (giving up 4 of the Texas runs) after throwing into the 9th on Friday. It was a very impressive performance. I suspect the Razorbacks (a pretty young team) will be back in the thick of things come Regional time next year. And, one last shot of the scoreboard (the whole thing this time):

[Scoreboard]

The all-tournament team:

June 5, 2005 (Austin Regional)
Game 5 - Texas vs. Miami (OH). Adrian Alaniz did a great job on the mound today...giving the Horns a much-needed complete game. He started out the game with 3 perfect innings. He ended up giving up 5 runs (3 unearned) on 7 hits. He threw 9 strike outs. How did he end things? He struck out the side in the 9th. The Horns jumped to a 4-run lead to give Adrian plenty of room to work with. Offensive highlights (going down the batting order): Nick Peoples went 1-for-5 with a double, a walk, and a run scored; Drew Stubbs went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple (1 rbi), an intentional walk, and got hit by a pitch; Seth Johnston (amazingly) went 0-for-5; Chance Wheeless went 2-for-5 with a triple and three runs scored; Carson Kainer went 1-for-4 with a double, 1 run scored, and a sac bunt; Will Crouch went 4-for-4 with 4 singles (3 rbi), 3 runs scored, and was hit by a pitch; Taylor Teagarden went 1-for-4 with a homer (last at-bat, 2 rbi) and a sac bunt; David Maroul went 1-for-4 with a homer (2 rbi) and 2 runs scored; and Robby Hudson went 3-for-5 with 3 singles (1 rbi) and 1 run scored. A shot of the scoreboard at the end of the game:

[Scoreboard]

Game 6 - Texas vs. Arkansas. Randy Boone did a great job tonight. But, the offense gave him a very comfortable 7-run lead to start things off. Arkansas managed to get 10 hits but they were unable to string them together for any big rallies (much like Texas in yesterday evening's game). They did score 8 runs but in the face of the hits and scores Texas kept stringing together, it just wasn't enough. Offensive highlights: Nick Peoples went 1-for-3 with a single (1 rbi), 3 walks, and 3 runs scored; Drew Stubbs went 2-for-3 with a double, 2 walks, a sac bunt, 4 runs scored, and 3 rbi (including one in the 2nd inning on a walk); Seth Johnston went 3-for-6 with a double, a 3-run triple, a total of 6 runs batted in, and 2 runs scored; Chance Wheeless went 2-for-6 with a double (1 rbi) and a run scored; Carson Kainer went 1-for-5 with a walk, 1 rbi, and a run scored; Will Crouch went 3-for-6 with 3 singles, 1 rbi, and 2 runs scored; Taylor Teagarden went 4-for-6 with a homer, 3 doubles, 2 rbi, and 1 run scored; David Maroul went 2-for-6 with 1 rbi and 2 runs scored; and Robby Hudson went 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored. It was a really fun game. A shot of the scoreboard at the end of the game:

[Scoreboard]

One side note about the crowd. I'm pretty embarrassed about the way a rather large part of the crowd acted. In the first game of the day, the Miami third baseman committed an error in the 3rd inning and some fans started a "Defense! Defense!" chant in response. They continued this poor showing of sportsmanship throughout the game and into the Arkansas game. Quite a few people joined in enthusiastically at first. Thankfully, most of them realized what a bunch of poor sports they were being (at least, I guess...or hope...that's what happened) as the game went on and stopped joining in. But, some of the fans just didn't get it. It makes no sense to be taunting a team that you have no rivalry with. The Horns and the Razorbacks have a long-standing rivalry. But, the RedHawks? C'mon, people. Grow up. Show some class. And, be good hosts.

June 4, 2005 (Austin Regional)
Game 3 - Miami (OH) vs. Quinnipiac. I've never seen a game like the game between Miami and Quinnipiac today. It started out much like yesterday's game between Texas and Quinnipiac. Miami scored a run in the first. Quinnipiac quickly responded in the bottom with two. And that was pretty much all she wrote. Miami scored in every inning except the 6th. The scoring went as follows (by inning): 1 run, 5 runs, 8 runs, 5 runs, 2 runs, 0 runs, 1 run, 1 run, and 12 runs. The 3rd base coach for Miami tried to stop the run production in the 9th. He held up the runners...kept them from going for extra bases and runs. But, the batters just kept hitting. They even sent in a pitcher (Sam Shorts) who hadn't batted all season and he hit a double. Miami sent 71 batters to the plate; 35 scored. Miami replaced everyone in the lineup except for Hillier (cf) and Canada (3b). Hillier had 8 at-bats, 5 hits (1 triple), and scored 5 runs. The first two batters in the line-up (Robinson and Hillier) came up to bat in each of the first 6 innings. The DH spot in the line-up (filled by Maljewski and Reynolds) scored 6 runs. The team hit 5 doubles and 6 triples. And, only one home run (that being the last hit of the game for Miami, for 3 runs scored). I felt terrible for Quinnipiac. I think everyone felt bad for them. They were just completely overwhelmed. Obviously, they struggled against Texas in the evening game last night. But, this afternoon was something else. They had a very tough time with the astro-turf and the intense Texas sun. Apparently, the "bouncy-ness" of the turf is worse in the heat of the mid-day sun. Several balls bounced over and skipped past the Quinnipiac fielders. And, they lost several high pop-ups in the sun. Final score: 35-8.

Aside. I planned to post photos of the final scoreboards for each of the games in the Austin Regional. The (pardon my French) jack-asses in control of the scoreboard had other ideas, however. As the final out in Game 3 was recorded, I reached for my camera, turned it on, and focussed on the scoreboard. The (again, pardon my French) jack-asses in control of the scoreboard had already zeroed out the totals. At most, 8 or 10 seconds had passed since the Quinnipiac right-fielder struck out to end the game. So, no scoreboard photo for this game. No photo at all showing (the, I suspect, once-in-a-lifetime) 35 runs scored. I thought briefly of taking a photo when the 1st or 2nd batter for Quinnipiac came up to bat in the 9th. But, decided against it since what I really wanted was a shot of the final score. Sigh...

Game 4 - Arkansas vs. Texas. Texas stumbled today. Big time. Arkansas scored 6 earned runs in the top of the 3rd and Texas was unable to answer. The Horns were simply unable to solve the puzzle that was the Arkansas pitcher (Schmidt) until it was too late. They scattered 5 hits through the first 7 innings...none in the same inning. The Horns finally managed a multiple-hit inning in the 8th when they strung 4 singles back-to-back to score 2 runs and keep from being shut-out for the first time this season. It was ugly. And, now the Horns need to win twice tomorrow and once on Monday to extend their season. Here's hoping. C'mon, Horns! Hook 'em!

Oh. And, a shot of the scoreboard at the end of the game:

[Scoreboard]

June 3, 2005 (Austin Regional)
Game 1 - Miami (OH) vs. Arkansas. Miami held their own against Arkansas for the first 6 innings of the game and made a valiant come-back in the top of the 9th but it wasn't enough. A few notes: Arkansas hit three ground-rule doubles in the game...two of them in the 7th inning. Arkansas also had two innings in which they hit one single, two doubles, and one triple...the 1st and the 7th. The official scorer ruled an error on the Miami short stop in the 4th that I really think was unfair. The short stop (Eric Radley) made a great effort to stop a ball that was headed into cf. He quickly threw to 1b but the throw was off-line. The ball got away from the first baseman briefly and the runner did not advance to 2b. To my mind, it should've been scored a single since the runner did not advance on the throw and would've been safe at 1b...no matter what the ss did. It was one of those instances where a player was penalized for making a great effort to stop a ball that would've gotten past a lot of players. Paul Frietch (Miami) hit the first home run of the day...a shot into the trees over the rf fence. A shot of the scoreboard at the end of the game:

[Scoreboard]

Game 2 - Quinnipiac vs. Texas. The first two innings were very close. And, then the dam broke. Quinnipiac highlights: Randy Gress hit a home run over the lf fence in the top of the 2nd inning to give Quinnipiac the lead for the second time in the game. Sadly, that was the end of the road for the Bobcats. Defensively, they struggled for most of the game but they did turn 3 double plays. In the seventh, Tim Binkoski (cf) made a great diving catch to rob Carson Kainer of a hit. On the Texas side of things, the highlights don't end. They scored 8 runs in two different innings (the 3rd and 8th). Take away those two innings, and the score is only 4-2. Alas, those two innings count. The team hit 3 home runs in the 3rd: Carson Kainer (2 runs scored), Will Crouch (2 runs scored), and Drew Stubbs (3 runs scored). A couple of odd notes (while noting the high score): Robby Hudson did not get any hits (he did get hit by two pitches and score a run) and Chance Wheeless is the only starter who failed to score a run (despite reaching base twice). Will Crouch and Drew Stubbs both scored 4 times. Taylor Teagarden seemed to be in quite a bit of pain the second time he got on base (as he pushed himself to reach 1b on a nubber down the 1b line). He pushed his way through the pain, though, and stayed in the game. A shot of the scoreboard at the end of the game:

[Scoreboard]

May 30, 2005
To nobody's surprise, Texas will be hosting a Regional this weekend. The other teams coming to Austin are Arkansas, Miami (OH), and Quinnipiac (a team from Connecticut that I'd never heard of before 10:45 this morning). If Texas wins, they face the winner of the Mississippi Regional.

Lots of people seem surprised (and even upset) that Texas is not one of the Top 8 Seeds. Failing to get a Top 8 Seed means that Texas will not automatically be selected to host a Super Regional should they win the Regional this weekend. I'm not terribly surprised (nor even a little bit angry) about the lack of a top seed. Why not? I received a couple of inquiries about this so decided to go ahead and post about it. I think Texas did this to themselves. The NCAA doesn't need any help when it comes to "sticking it" to Texas. There's a lot of resentment (bias, jealousy, whatever...) against Texas for all the times they hosted regionals before the format was changed. Back then, there weren't a whole lot of schools with good enough facilities to host regionals. Another stumbling block was the financial guarantee. Many schools couldn't afford to host. If Texas had even a half-way decent team, they could guarantee a decent (and interested) crowd and enough $$ to satisfy the NCAA. So, they got a Regional. Without a second thought. There was one stretch where Texas hosted a regional for something like 17 or 18 years. In. A. Row. Things have changed, though. There are quite a few more teams out there that have the facilities and the ability to bid. Texas is no longer a shoe-in. Texas gave the committee an easy out by not doing better during the season. If Texas wants a higher seeding, they absolutely have to win the regular season conference title or, at the very least, make an appearance in the Big 12 Tournament Championship game. They did neither. And, there's really no excuse for not winning the regular season title. Kyle McCulloch and Taylor Teagarden were injured when the Big 12 Tournament started and it hurt the Horns in the Tournament. So, I'm not holding that against the team. But, if a team wants to win the CWS, it has to get business done all season long. One thing that really helps a team win it all is having home-field advantage during the Regional and Super Regional tournaments. This team has only itself to blame for the situation it's in.

Think back. Not getting a top seeding worked very well for the Horns in 2003. So, I'm not gonna worry about it too much. I think the lower ranking could actually work well toward making the players face reality...make them prove something to the committee (and everyone else) like they did in 2003. It might actually help them. At least, I hope it will help them. If this team gets its act together, it really doesn't matter where they're playing.

Hook 'em!

May 27, 2005
The Horns pulled off a couple of very nice wins after a rather disastrous start at the Big 12 Tournament. They lost to OSU on Wednesday (4-10). From what little I heard of the game (I was at work and had the radio on but missed most of the details), the game was just rather miserable for the Horns. Yesterday, they got a great pitching performance out of Randy Boone and beat Kansas (9-0). It was Randy's first complete game as a Longhorn. And, it was a shut-out. Cool. And, today, they got another good start out of Kenn Kasparek followed up by 3 solid innings from J. Brent Cox in relief to come back from the mess on Wednesday and beat OSU (6-1). Kyle McCulloch was suffering from a stiff back earlier in the week and did not travel to Oklahoma for the tourney. He's better now, though, so he's flying up tonight to start tomorrow. They have to beat Baylor twice tomorrow in order to make it to the Championship game on Sunday. I don't know how in the world they'll find the pitching to do that but I really hope they figure it out. Hook 'em, Horns!

May 25, 2005
I had big plans. I planned to write all about the A&M series. But, things went a bit nuts around here and it didn't happen. Sorry about that. I've added a link to post-season info to the navigation area. I'll post summary info (including scores) to that page as often as I can.

May 15, 2005
I was working on a rather long post about the DBU double-header and decided it would be best to post a game report rather than clutter this page up any further. It was a good Saturday at Disch-Falk!

May 13, 2005
I've been stopping by Disch-Falk on a regular basis to take photos of the old scoreboard going down and the new one going up. I decided to move the commentary and photos to their own page. I'll be updating that page with more photos as things progress. By the way, there's no way the scoreboard will be ready for tomorrow's game. I'm beginning to wonder about the Aggie series. But...'got my fingers crossed. (Which makes it awfully difficult to type!)

May 8, 2005
Kansas managed to take 2-of-3 from the Horns this weekend. It was not pretty. The Jayhawks won Friday's game 5-2. The Saturday game was suspended due to bad weather in the bottom of the 8th with the Horns trailing 1-2. Randy Boone had pitched a complete game to that point. Clayton Stewart came on to wrap things up for the Horns this morning as the game continued. Sadly, the Horns were unable to score in the top of the 9th. With two on, David Maroul hit a shot that would've tied the game (and probably scored the go-ahead run as well). Alas, the Kansas center fielder made an amazing game-saving diving catch to end the rally. The Horns lost 1-2. In the third game, the Texas bats came alive and the Horns won 16-5. While it was a nice win, I'd have to say it was not a very good weekend for the boys in burnt orange.

. . . .

I noticed that Brad Halsey was going to start today's Diamondback's game against the Pirates. Their starter? Kip Wells. So, Brad was going to get his second chance against a Baylor alum. Alas, he did not fare as well as he did against the Rockies' Jason Jennings. He left the game in the 7th trailing 2-4. Not a terribly bad outing by any stretch of the imagination. Amazingly, the bullpen gave up 12 runs in the 8th and 9th so the final score was rather scary: 2-16. The loss is the first for Brad this year (in seven starts).

May 6, 2005
Quick note. The Kansas pitcher just completed his third inning of work. He's put out the first nine batters he's seen in order and the Horns are behind 1-0. I'm listening on the radio. As they came back from the commercial break, Keith made a point of the fact that the Kansas starter was pitching a perfect game to this point. He then added that he was doing whatever he could to bring that to an end. My question: can that possibly work when you try to use it against the other team? I think the jinx only works when you gleefully (and thoughtlessly) point out something like that about the team you're rooting for. Just a thought.

UPDATE (5 minutes later). Well, Nick Peoples came up in the top of the 4th and hit a double. So, I guess it can work. Hmmm...

May 5, 2005
Note: I moved this post about the new scoreboard to a page dedicated to the new scoreboard and nuthin' else.

May 3, 2005 [Note: I've posted an update below.]
The Horns pulled off a nice win over UT-Pan American this evening (12-0). Kenn Kasparek got the win (his 4th of the year, I think) and Chance Wheeless had a great day at the plate (hitting a bases-clearing double and a 3-run homer for a total of 6 runs batted in). All-in-all, a good win for the team. And, I think, a much needed one.

. . . .

And, now...on to something I've been meaning to write about: the newly-instituted sound effects they've been playing over the loud-speakers at Disch-Falk. My one-word review: ugh. In case that's not clear: I don't like 'em. At all. And, I'm not alone. According to an article in today's Statesman, this is the result of a request by some of the players:

Several Texas players told press box officials last month they wanted more noise piped in during games -- not just the musical intro themes chosen by each Texas batter, but sound effects designed to encourage fan participation.

To encourage fan participation? How 'bout doing something on the field that inspires the fans to cheer? One of the reasons I really enjoy going to games at Disch-Falk is because the fans are paying attention and appreciate good plays. No matter who makes 'em. One of the reasons I can't stand going to games at the Dell Diamond is because there's all kinds of nonsense going on that's a constant distraction. It's rare that more than 20 or 30 percent of the crowd even knows which team is at bat. Piping in fake organ music and video game sound effects at Disch-Falk is annoying. And, insulting.

Quote from Buck Cody:

"Sound effects alone won't help if you don't play well but we want to play in the loudest park in college baseball. We don't care where the noise comes from."

I'm sorry. He doesn't care where the noise comes from???? Why bother playing in front of fans at all if you don't care where the noise comes from? I can't even begin to understand that sentiment. When the game is on the line and it's down to the last out and the stands are full and everyone is on their feet yelling and whistling...that's the same as some mindless sound effect blaring over the loud speakers? I sure hope that quote was taken out of context. Although, I'm not sure what a "good" context for that particular comment would've been.

Apparently, these sentiments make me a stuck-in-the-mud fuddy duddy. Or some such. But, hey. That's life. Disch-Falk don't need no stinkin' sound effects. Why in the world some people think we need to be more like the Bears, the Huskers, or the Aggies is beyond me.

PS: Hook 'em!

UPDATE (May 4): A couple more thoughts. First, baseball is a game of ebbs and flows. It's not realistic to expect the crowd to be making a lot of noise all the time...no matter what. Forcing the issue won't change the nature of the game. If the players actually expect to be hearing a lot of noise throughout the game, they're off their collective rockers. Second, I'm not at all adverse to the use of music if it's appropriate. I'd love it if a small section of the UT band came out to the games, the way they do for basketball games. Or, if they played snippets of UT band music over the loud speakers. Stop and think about the venue...about the traditions and history of Longhorn baseball. Video game theme music and goofy sound effects just don't seem the way to go. And, I don't think I'd object to an actual person playing an organ (yes, I know it would be an electronic keyboard; I realize they're not gonna be bringing an actual organ to Disch-Falk when they won't even replace the light bulbs on the scoreboard). I can't promise on that one 'cause it would really depend on the person playing the organ music and whether or not they were actually paying attention to what's going on down on the field. It's kinda like the folks who try to get the "TEXAS...FIGHT" cheer going when the visiting team is batting. Pay attention, people!

May 2, 2005
Well, the Horns managed to save the series after a rather bleak effort on Saturday. I don't have any idea what went wrong Saturday. The team just seemed flat. Missouri, on the other hand, played a whale of a game. Things were much better on Sunday. Randy Boone pitched the game of his career and the offense made sure he didn't have to do so with his back against the wall. I sure hope Adrian Alaniz gets back on track this weekend. It was very sad that he ended his personal no-loss streak (dating back to his freshman year in high school) two weeks ago. To have followed that up with a second loss can't have been good for him. Of course, the home plate ump situation did not help things this past Saturday.

Speaking of the umpires: I really wish the Big 12 would get its act together and use four umps for league games. It's absolutely asinine to be forced to use three umps in such crucial games. It's hard enough on the crew when there are four guys on the field. Why make it so much worse during important games? There's really no excuse. I know it all boils down to money. But, if the folks in charge would make it a priority, the money could be found. Rich folks can be found to underwrite all kinds of nonsense. Surely, there are a few Big 12 fat cats sitting around that would be willing to underwrite the expense if needed. C'mon, Big 12. Get your act together.

April 30, 2005
Missouri. As soon as I heard about the 25-0 stomping Missouri gave Tech a few weeks ago, I got a bit worried about the Missouri series. And, then I saw the numbers for last night's starter (Scherzer) and got even more concerned. Coming into the game, Scherzer lead the Big 12 in ERA (1.09) and had about 1/2 walk per inning verses 1.5 strike outs per inning in 60+ innings pitched. That's rather gaudy! Then, the game started and Zane Taylor took the third pitch he saw from Kyle McCulloch over the rf fence. Yikes! Well, at least there was no pressure to keep up a no-hitter or shut-out, eh? Heh. Happily, that was the extent of Mizzou's scoring for the night. It took a while for the Horns to get on the board but once they did, all went well. It seemed like the Horns kept having mini 2-out rallies that weren't going anywhere. But, you got the feeling that if they kept at it...especially with the way Kyle was pitching...things would get better. And, they did. In the 5th, Robby Hudson walked to lead off the inning. He advanced to 2b on a sac bunt by Nick Peoples and scored on a single by Seth Johnston. The Horns scored 3 more runs in the 7th and that proved enough to take the opener. Here's hoping the rest of the weekend goes as smoothly!

In other news, the Cubs signed INF Shane Halter to a minor league contract.

And, I think I may be back 'round here. At least, I hope so.

April 12, 2005
Sorry I haven't been posting about the team much. Things here are not all that great at the moment. I will try to get back into the swing of things in the next week or two. But, I did notice a couple of things about Brad Halsey and Huston Street over the last couple of days...

April 7, 2005
The Houston Astros announced today that they signed Brooks Kieschnick to a minor league contract. He'll be playing for their AA club in Corpus Christi.

And, Houston Street made his MLB debut last night. He struck out Samy Sosa. A couple of links:

April 3, 2005
Houston Street is on Oakland's opening day roster and Brad Halsey is on the Diamondback's. That's pretty cool.

April 1, 2005
Kyle McCulloch pitched his first complete game as a Longhorn pitcher this evening. Even more impressive: it was a 3-hit shut-out as the Horns beat Kansas State 8-0. Kyle pitched an excellent game. He started out behind with several batters but managed to stay out of trouble. He struck out 5, walked 3, and made the second out of a great 6-3-1 double play. He had terrific run support as the team scored three in the bottom of the 1st and never looked back. The Horns scored 8 runs on 13 hits (5 of those hits were doubles). Calvin Beamon, Drew Stubbs, Seth Johnston, Taylor Teagarden, Chance Wheeless, and Carson Kainer all had 2 hits (both of Taylor's were doubles). There was one brief scare in the bottom of the 5th when Dooley Prince bunted up the 1b line. The pitcher fielded the ball and then lunged at Dooley to tag him out. Dooley tried to step around him to get to the bag but ended up falling and hurting his left knee. He got up under his own power and walked back to the dugout. He even batted one more time in the 7th. He did seem to be limping a bit but hopefully he'll be okay. Defensively, the team did everything just right. It was a great game.

In other news...

March 30, 2005
I found another article about the Brewers decision to release Brooks Kieschnick: Not quite up to speed - Low velocity costs Kieschnick by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (registration required). It's really too bad. From what I've read 'round the web, this came as quite a shock to just about everyone. All the stuff I found leading up to the last Saturday (or so) was that he was a lock for the bullpen. Then, out of nowhere, he's gone. I do hope another team gives him a shot.

March 27, 2005
It looks like the Brewers have placed Brooks Kieschnick on waivers. According to Drew Olson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Word filtered through the clubhouse that right-handed reliever and pinch-hitting specialist Brooks Kieschnick, who has pitched in 74 games in two seasons with Milwaukee, has been placed on waivers and will be designated for assignment if he goes unclaimed after 72 hours.

"I don't know what's happening," Kieschnick said, checking out the leader board on a telecast of The Players Championship golf tournament. "I haven't heard anything."

If Kieschnick clears waivers and is designated for assignment, the Brewers will have 10 days to trade, release or assign him to the minor leagues with his consent.

Kieschnick, 32, who is scheduled to make $550,000 this year, would likely accept an assignment with Class AAA Nashville. If the Brewers release him before March 30, they would have to pay him for only 45 days, roughly $137,500. If he declines an assignment and becomes a free agent, he forfeits his salary.

Baseball rules prohibit club officials from commenting on pending waiver transactions, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed that at least two clubs have shown some interest in trading for Kieschnick.

Kieschnick's dual role as a reliever and left-handed pinch-hitter endeared him to fans in Milwaukee and gave manager Ned Yost flexibility with his lineup. Bothered by shoulder problems at times last season, Kieschnick was 1-1 with a 3.77 earned run average in 32 pitching appearances and hit .270 with one homer and seven RBI in 63 at-bats.

Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brew/mar05/313082.asp (registration required).

March 26, 2005
Texas took the first two games of the Texas Tech series and had just started the third game when a pretty strong rain storm blew through. In the top of the 1st, Tech went 3-up/3-down. In the bottom, Calvin Beamon reached and Drew Stubbs was called out on a bunt attempt when the ball hit him outside the box. Coach Garrido was arguing the call when the umpires cleared the field. And, then the rain came. We sat around for about an hour and 30 minutes before it cleared out. The sun came out for about 3 minutes. And, the crew came out to remove the tarp. And, a long discussion ensued between the coaches, field crew, umpires, and school officials. After about 5 minutes or so, it was announced that the game would be cancelled. It turns out that one of the Big 12 rules for league play is that all three games must be completed within 72 hours of the arrival of the visiting team. Tech apparently arrived in Austin at 4:30 on Wednesday so they had to have a complete game on the books by 4:30 today. That meant the teams would have to get 4 innings (possibly 4.5, depending on whether or not Texas had the lead) finished after the field was prepared. I'm guessing (from having watched the ground crew prepare a field after a heavy rain storm in the past) that it would've taken at least 45 minute to get the field ready. Which meant, that if everything went just right and the crew managed to get things ready by 3:30 (which would've really been pushing things...a more likely scenario would've had the field ready to go at about 3:45), the team would've had to play four 15-minute innings. I have to agree with the decision on the field that there probably wasn't enough time to get the game in. Which is really too bad. The Horns usually end up dropping games when they go to Kansas or Nebraska. It usually isn't that difficult to get the games in here in Austin. Oh well. Them's the rules.

In other news, the Angels announced today that they re-assigned Scott Dunn to minor league camp. Hopefully, he'll make his way back soon.

March 23, 2005
I'd forgotten to check out the rankings after the Baylor losses until today. Yikes! Last week, Texas was ranked 1st in all the polls. This week? Not so much:

Apparently, it's a bad thing to be swept by a squad that's ranked much lower than you are. On the other hand, it's a good thing for the squad that does the sweeping. Heh.

March 21, 2005
Another couple of notes about Texas exes...

March 19, 2005
Well...the thing I was most afraid of happening with the Horns happened last night. Hmmm. Not quite. My biggest fear was that the starting pitching wouldn't get us through. And, Randy Boone did fine. Not great. But fine. And, he pitched ...

Arrrggghhhhhh!!!!! [Rant mode on!] I left my scorebook in the car when I got home last night. So, as I was typing about what Randy Boone did last night, I went to check the actual numbers on the texassports.com site and guess what? They haven't even posted the score for last night's game! How can that possibly be? What is the point of paying someone big bucks (and you know UT is paying big bucks for that site) if they can't even post the score of the game within 14 or 15 hours of the end of the game???? Ugh. I'm so disgusted. I was very tired last night and just didn't feel like posting. If I'd known that the people being paid to do this sort of thing hadn't bothered doing their jobs I would've been here for you people. I'm so very sorry. Big sigh. I went to the car and got my score book. [Rant mode mostly off.]

Randy pitched into the 6th inning and gave up 3 earned runs on 5 hits with 6 strike outs, 2 walks, and 1 hit batter. So, not a bad performance at all. And, predictably, most of the bad stuff happened in the one bad inning. Discounting the 3rd inning, he only gave up 2 hits, walked 1, and threw 5 strike outs. Clayton Stewart, once again, was quite admirable in relief. He closed out the game, allowing just two hits and throwing 4 strike outs. Sadly, the offense, perhaps remembering that it's Spring Break, took a siesta. Texas managed just 4 singles. They did capitalize big-time on an error by the Baylor cf to score a couple of runs (1 unearned). They stole a couple of bases and had one successful sac bunt. But, that was it. They stranded 8 baserunners. Five of those runners were in scoring position.

So, my worst fear was that the starting pitching wouldn't show up at all and that the offense wouldn't be able to keep the Horns in the game. While the starting pitching was not outstanding, Randy did keep things mostly in check. The offense was not there to take up the slack, though. And, Texas ends up losing its conference opener. Sigh. Here's hoping things improve this evening.

LATER. Well, here it is...5 pm...and still no update to the texassports.com page. How sad is that? By the by, it's raining pretty hard here in Austin at the moment. From the radar images, it looks like it could be raining fairly hard in Waco this evening. I hope they can get the game in.

LATER STILL. 8pm. I decided to check the site again and noticed something odd (some of the images didn't seem to be loading) so went to the main texassports.com page. Guess what? They're apparently in the middle of a redisign and haven't bothered to put any pointers to the new baseball page on the old baseball page. Sigh...

AND FINALLY. 10:30pm. Texas loses to Baylor 1-9. Yep. 1-9. The only run scored by the Horns was unearned. I can't imagine what's happened to the offense. Have the two starters for Baylor been that good? I certainly didn't think so of last night's starter. Tonight's however...wow. I scored the game as I listened on the radio. I didn't record all the balls and strikes but got most of 'em. Matt McCormick (the Baylor starter) threw into the 8th inning. He allowed 1 unearned run on 4 singles (again!) while striking out 10, walking 1, and hitting 2 batters. He was ahead in the count for 19 of the 24 batters I kept track of that saw more than 1 pitch (a couple of the batters I recorded flew out on the first pitch and one was hit by a pitch). Of those 19, McCormack got ahead 0-2 to 12 batters. That sounds like some powerful good pitching. I have not mentioned all the problems on the field. It was not pretty. I guess I'll leave it at that. Texas only lost one conference series last year. Oh how I hope they do the same this year.

March 12, 2005 (evening)
Texas managed to beat Purdue again this afternoon (8-6). Drew Stubbs hit a solo home run waaaayyyyy over the right field fence in his first at-bat. Then, he hit a 2-run shot waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy over the left field fence in his second appearance. When he came up to bat for a third time, there were two men on. Could he follow up his 1- and 2-run homers with a 3-run homer? Alas, no. It sure woulda been a good story, eh? Anyway, the team hit a bit of a snag and gave up 4 unearned runs in the 6th inning. But, it all turned out okay. And, Adrian Alaniz got his first win of the season. Frankly, my main concern with the team this season has been the strength of the starting pitching. The starters just haven't been going very deep. Yes, the team has 20 wins and only 1 loss. But, if your starting pitchers are only pitching 2, 3, or 4 innings, you won't get far as the season wears on. But pitching is one of the things that seems to show the most improvement over the course of the season (barring injuries) and we're starting to see some good signs on that front. So, despite a bit of a stumble today, props all around. Hook 'em!

One side note. There was a bit of a scare in the 8th when Purdue first baseman John Hunter was hit in the face by a pitch from Clayton Stewart. Hunter (who played fall ball with the Horns in 2002 before transferring to Purdue) fell to the ground and was bleeding quite a bit. I really couldn't see much and he left the field under his own power but we never did hear an update on his condition. I sure hope he's okay.

March 12, 2005
[Photo of Huston pitching 
in A's uniform] The Horns beat Purdue 9-1 last night. But, that's not why I'm posting this morning. Nope, it's 'cause I ran across an interesting AP article about Huston Street today. A couple of quotes:

Manager Ken Macha is anxious to see how Huston Street handles baserunners and works out of jams.

The problem is, the Oakland Athletics rookie right-hander has retired all nine batters he's faced in three outings this spring. And Street is making quite a case for making the club at age 21, with only one minor league season of experience behind him.

He's already considered Oakland's closer of the future.

"You first have to have the confidence in yourself that you belong and that you can get big league hitters out," Street said Friday. "I'm slowly proving that to myself. They've put me in some games earlier so I can face big league hitters, but two outings against big league hitters doesn't mean that you're ready. Hopefully when that decision comes, I'll get a chance."

Cool, eh?

Anyway...I finally got to see Jordon Street pitch last night. He'd only pitched in afternoon games or away games to this point. He looked good. And, he looks like Huston. Only, he's a bit shorter and is wearing the number 5 on his jersey instead of 25. But then, it's all wrong 'cause he's left-handed! Heh.

UPDATE. I found another article: Word on Street potential - A's believe former Longhorns star is their closer of the future (by Josh Suchon, Inside Bay Area staff writer).

March 9, 2005
So, Texas beats Rice on a 7-0 shutout. Wow. I excitedly pulled out my media guide when I got home so I could find out the last time either team shut the other out. And, guess what? Texas beat Rice 5-0 exactly one year ago. Apparently, March 9th is a good day for the Horns to play the Owls! At least, so far as Texas fans are concerned. Heh.

. . . .

Notes about a couple more alumni...

March 8, 2005
Notes about a couple of our alumni...

Both guys seem to have a decent shot at being on the roster come opening day. Cool.

February 27, 2005
Nine years ago in May, I got some very sad news as I was watching a baseball game at Disch-Falk field. We were told that Wanda had died in an automobile accident. Today, about 15 minutes before the double header started, my cell phone rang. I'm not even sure why I had my phone with me. But, I did. And, it rang. It was my boss. He'd just gotten a call from Bruce's daughter telling him that Bruce died yesterday. They're not sure what happened. He was apparently driving home from the basketball game. He was found in his car, pulled onto the side of the road. It was probably a heart attack. Or an aneurism. Something like that. Bruce Rouse was one of the greats. He and Liz were so enjoying their retirement. They retired in 2002 and were going to the football games...the basketball games...and the baseball games. They were visiting their grandchildren. They were driving that 5th wheel of theirs all around the U.S. and Canada going from one folk festival to the next. They were hosting those wonderful House concerts. They'd just moved into a new house and were planning their first concert in the new place. And, now this. It's absolutely devastating. I talked to Liz for a few minutes this evening and it nearly broke my heart. I can't begin to imagine how she will cope.

Bruce was the guy who got me hooked on Longhorn baseball. I'd gone to a few games when I was in college. But, since graduating, I hadn't been to any. When it came time for the Regionals, Bruce and Liz were headed out to Kerrville for the folk music festival. So he asked if Esther and I would like their tickets. What the heck? It sounded like fun. We took him up on his offer. I think that was in 1988 or 1989. We got season tickets the next year. And, we've renewed every year. Geesh, we have 6 tickets now between the two of us. If it weren't for Bruce, I very probably wouldn't have this page. Can you imagine? I can't.

It is just so terribly sad. Rest in peace, Bruce. I will miss you so very much.

Update (Feb. 28): In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made, in Bruce's memory, to the SIMS Foundation.

Update #2 (Feb. 28): I've posted Bruce's obituary and funeral information at the old "Rouse House" web page: http://www.pe.utexas.edu/~brouse/.

. . . .

Augie got his 1500th career win today. Congratulations to him. And, to the Longhorns. He was honored during the break between the two games. He got a trophy and those of us in the stands were all treated to a Great Divide (a happy treat by Blue Bell that none of us had ever heard of). It was a nice day. Bruce would've loved it.

February 20, 2005
Texas completed a sweep over Stanford (the first ever for a 3-game series between the two teams) today in an extremely thrilling fashion! With the score tied at 4 going into the bottom of the 9th, Drew Stubbs came to the plate. In post-game interviews, Coach Garrido said Drew came over to him and asked if they were taking. Coach Garido said no. So, Drew hit an in-the-park home run on the first pitch he saw to win the game! He hit the pitch deep into cf (just right of the green monster) and just over the outstretched glove of the Stanford center fielder (Jim Rapoport). Rapoport ran the ball down and threw it in but Drew was just too fast for him. I believe the relay throw went into the 2nd baseman (Lowrie, who hit a 3-run homer on Friday, a grand slam yesterday and another solo-shot today). In his rush to try to gun down Drew at the plate, Lowrie dropped the ball and that was all she wrote. The incredibly notable thing about Drew's in-the-park home run today is that he hit an in-the-park home run in yesterday's game as well! Astounding.

Please see my game report for a rather in-depth report (including photos) of the double play that ended the top half of the 9th inning. I thought both runners were safe as I watched the play live. It looked like the Stanford coaches thought the same. We were wrong. The guys in blue were right. Gulp.

February 15, 2005
'Had to work and couldn't make it to the game this afternoon but I turned the radio on and tried to listen. I was pretty busy, though, and missed most of the game. I did manage to be listening when a couple of our pitchers made their debuts in Texas jerseys. Jordon Street came on and got a couple of batters out in the 8th. He was relieved by Bryan Herrera who got the 3rd out of the inning. I guess the coaches were just trying to get them a bit of work in a non-pressure situation. Texas ended up beating UT-San Antonio 10-0. By the by, Drew Stubbs and Seth Johnston both hit home runs.

February 14, 2005
Continuing with the story regarding the third out in UNLV's half of Sunday's game. I posted a question to the Hornfans baseball forum about the situation. "Crazy Ed" posted quickly that there was really no confusion...that the out was actually on the batter, that he'd been ruled out due to batter's interference on the throw from Teagarden to Hudson on the steal attempt.

That actually makes a lot of sense since we (along with the UNLV coaches and the KVET radio folks) all thought the out was actually ruled on the steal. When the UNLV bench was informed that Parraz was not to be the lead-off batter in the 4th, the long discussion ensued. Since Parraz did not continue batting, the ruling must have been batter's interference. That's the only ruling that makes any sense in these circumstances. If the 3rd out had been called on the steal, Parraz would've been the first batter in the 4th since he would've been LAB in the 3rd. The 3rd out could not have been a strike out since the count was 1-1 before the play. So, the 3rd out must've been due to batter's interference. Note that this ruling also affects the number of strike outs that should be awarded to Kyle for the game...it should be 7 rather than 8.

Something I learned during the discussion of the out, was that a foul tip caught by the catcher (one that is not popped up) is a live ball, regardless of the count. If it's popped up and caught, the batter is out and runners advance at their own risk (just like any other pop up or fly out). If the tip is dropped, it's ruled a "regular" foul ball and the runners return to their original bases. So my theory yesterday that the runner would've been sent back to 1b after the foul tip was wrong. It turns out, you really do learn something new every day! I've been watching games and scoring games for years and never realized that distinction. Wow.

Rule 7-8 from the 2005 NCAA Baseball Rules (PDF version from the NCAA site):

A foul tip is a ball batted by the batter while standing within the lines of the batter's box that travels directly from the bat to the catcher's hands and is caught legally by the catcher. If trapped or not caught, it simply is a foul ball. Any foul tip that is caught is a strike, and the ball is in play. It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball first has touched the catcher's glove or hand.

February 13, 2005
The Horns completed a sweep of UNLV today, winning 12-3. Kyle McCulloch went 7 innings giving up all three runs on 6 hits. He threw 8 strike outs and walked one batter. All in all, it was a very nice performance. He did struggle a bit in the 4th (giving up 4 singles in a row after getting the first two batters in the inning to fly out). It almost seemed as though he lost his concentration after Texas scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd. But, he settled down and ended up striking out 4 of the last 9 batters he faced. J. Brent Cox came on to throw the final two innings of the game. Offensively, all the starters got at least one hit. Chance Wheeless (coming in batting only .143) led the charge with 2 doubles, a single, and a walk, with three runs batted in. Oddly, he was the only batter in the starting lineup that did not score a run! In a rather entertaining contrast, Calvin Beamon had only one hit but he did reach base 3 times (a single, a walk, and an error by the pitcher) and scored all three times to lead the team in runs scored.

There was a rather peculiar incident in the top of the 3rd that I think the men in blue just got wrong. UNLV had 2 outs and had a runner at 1b. Parraz was at the plate. On a 1-1 count, he swung at a pitch while the runner from 1b took off for 2b. Taylor Teagarden caught the pitch and fired the ball to Robby Hudson covering 2b to get the runner out for the 3rd out of the inning. At least, that's what we thought happened. We also thought that it sounded like it had been a foul tip and that, really, the runner should've been sent back to 1b and the at-bat should've continued with a 1-2 count. UNLV took the field, though, and Texas went on to bat. As Kyle was warming up for the top of the 4th, the umpires held a rather long discussion amongst themselves near the mound. Then, the home plate ump (Padget) went toward the UNLV dugout and explained something to UNLV's coach Gouldsmith. A rather lengthy discussion ensued with two of the other officials joining the discussion. 'Turns out, Padget had called Parraz out on strikes in the 3rd inning. I believe the discussion was about that call. Since the count was 1-1 against Parraz, he could not have struck out. It is possible that the count was 0-2 but I really don't think it was. For one thing, if it had been, Taylor wouldn't have bothered to try to get the runner out at 2b. He would've just tossed the ball (the 3rd strike against Parraz) back toward the mound and headed to the UT dugout. There would've been no reason to try to get the runner out. I think the home plate umpire had the count wrong. Or, he made the wrong indication if he'd ruled the first two pitches to Parraz strikes. There was, however, nothing UNLV could really do by the time they got around to the top of the 4th and the game went on. Not surprisingly, there's no mention of the incident in either school's web page summaries (UT and UNLV). And, I'd be willing to make a rather substantial wager that there will be no mention of it in the press tomorrow. So, I guess we'll never know for sure. I'd sure like to see the game tape, though, to verify the strike/ball calls during Parraz's at-bat.

February 12, 2005
Today was one of those days when it was just fun fun fun (!) to be a baseball fan. Texas came from behind in the bottom of the 9th to win 7-6. It was a thrilling win. Details are in a rather long game report.

Quick note: yes, I've decided that whenever I start getting particularly wordy about a game, I'll move my wordiness to a game report rather than let this page get sooooo long. 'Hope that works for everyone.

February 11, 2005
It was cold again today...but no wind. So, things were much more pleasant at Disch-Falk. Texas beat UNLV (4-3). Texas scored 1 in the 4th. UNLV promptly tied it up in the 5th. Texas then scored 2 in the 5th which UNLV matched in the 6th. Seth Johnston then effectively manufactured a run in the 7th to win the game. In the 7th, Drew Stubbs flew out to lf. Seth then singled up the middle. UNLV had changed catchers in the 6th (UNLV pinch-hit for starting catcher Tellam and then Zerega came in when the Rebels took the field in the bottom of the inning) and Seth decided to test his arm. With Taylor Teagarden at the plate, Seth took off on the first pitch and stole 2nd. Then, on the 4th pitch to Taylor (2-1 count), Seth took off for 3rd. Zerega couldn't get a handle on the ball and was unable to make a throw to 3b. Taylor then hit a very high and deep ball to lf (sac fly rbi). Randy Boone started the game, went 5 innings, and gave up a run. Kyle McCulloch pitched the 6th, giving up 2 runs (1 unearned). Clayton Stewart and J. Brent Cox finished things off. Clayton came away with the win. All-in-all, a good game.

February 9, 2005
I'm back! I made it out to Disch-Falk this afternoon and sat through some rather frigid conditions to watch the Longhorns win their 4th home opener in a row. They beat UT-Pan American 7-1. The temperature rose from 50 to 53 during the course of the game. Which really wouldn't have been that bad. But, you know how it is at Disch-Falk. That wind goes whipping around all that concrete and aluminum and you just freeze your tush off! It was fun getting to see the team in action, though. Texas got on top in the bottom of the 1st and stayed on top throughout. Kenn Kasparek earned the first win of his career by pitching a solid 5 shut-out innings, allowing 2 hits, giving up 1 walk, and throwing 3 strike outs. Defensively, the team was solid and offensively, they took advantage of opportunities. I'm glad the team is looking so solid this early on. I hope it bodes well for the rest of the season. Hook 'em!

February 1, 2005
Just a quick note. I'll be computer-less over the weekend so won't have any updates on the San Diego State series. I do have a few notes about some of our alumni that came across the wires over the last few weeks:

January 30, 2005
'Made it out to the Alumni game yesterday and had a great time...despite the cold. The current squad won 4-0 and much fun was had by all. Rather than put all the details on this page, I've created a game report with the scoop and quite a few photos. Hook 'em!

January 11, 2005
It's almost time for the 2005 season to get going! I'm not really ready but that's about par for the course these days. I am looking forward to a bunch of good baseball. I just don't know how I'll ever find time to make it to any of the games or post to this page. But, I'm gonna give it the good ol' college try. What the heck? We are talking about college baseball, right? Heh. And, no, I don't have any special insight into the 2005 squad yet. I just know that if their predecessors are anything to go by, this group of guys will be great fun to watch.

Hook 'em!
Joanna.


Joanna's Longhorn Baseball page | Joanna L. Castillo
Email: joanna@joanna.org

URL: http://www.joanna.org/hook-em/summary_05.html