Friday, April 1, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Texas Longhorns

■ Current Rankings (, 3/31)
RPI: MU 94th; UT 40th
ISR: MU 124th; UT 22nd
Strength of Schedule: MU 109th; UT 63rd
Oklahoma State University beats Texas 10-3 (Stillwater News Press, March 27)
Oklahoma State scored seven runs in the seventh inning to beat No. 4 Texas and win its first series against the Longhorns since 2008.
. . .
Texas (17-7, 4-2) led 3-0 in the top of the fifth before the Cowboys (18-6, 3-3) went on a 10-run scoring spree in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
Horns turn a day of almosts into a baseball win (, March 19)
It's not pretty but it's working.

The Longhorns are finding unique ways to win baseball games and in this, the infancy of the Big 12 season, any win is a good win.

The team is following a familiar blueprint. It was the blueprint in Friday's conference opener. It was the blueprint in Saturday's 4-3 win over Kansas State. And until someone emerges offensively, it will be the same blueprint moving forward.

Even in games like Saturday's, which appeared to be a loss after six innings, the blueprint revealed itself. Texas coach Augie Garrido said as much Friday: We have to pitch well, play good defense and scrape across a few runs here and there. Not the sexiest formula, but an effective one.

You won't see 81 homers hit by the 2011 squad, but they could very well go as far as the lumberjacks from 2010 if they continue to make the right plays to win these fingernail-scraping-across-the-blackboard type of games.

In dead-bat era, Taylor Jungmann's that much more of an ace for for UT (, March 18)
Give Taylor Jungmann one run and you're in trouble.

Give him two runs and you're on life support.

Give him three? Call the coroner.

In this dead-stick college baseball world we live in, the UT right-hander is even better than he was last year. Good college pitchers can have great nights with the new NCAA-mandated bats that have taken the gorilla out of gorilla ball, and great pitchers like Jungmann can be untouchable.
. . .
"He carved us early in the game,'' said Kansas State coach Brad Hill. "We couldn't get any good swings off him. We finally got to him late but he was so tough to hit. I told my kids we were one swing away from tying this game up but you have to hand it to him. He made it so hard for us."
. . .
Coach Augie Garrido says his ace is "functioning like a professional pitcher in a college environment."

Texas splits baseball double-header with Brown (, March 12)
After the[first] game, UT coach Augie Garrido bemoaned how his team failed to take advantage of the excitement of Weiss' home run, which brought the crowd to its feet. "You get the grand slam and then you think, 'Oh, we can do it any time we want to,'" he said. "There are all kinds of demons in this game that test you and your ability to be consistent in your competitive spirit. That's what I hope they learned today: don't give away the momentum ."

The Longhorns handed the momentum back in the first inning of the second game . Brown started up the bullpen after pitcher Mark Gormley hit UT's Brandon Loy with a pitch, then walked Mark Payton. Gormley's wild pitch sent Loy to third base with no outs. But he lured Cohl Walla into a double play, then Weiss struck out to end the inning.

After Garrido was ejected from the game in the fourth for arguing a call, his pitching staff fell apart. Starter Sam Stafford left after six innings with the score tied at 3 . But Brown blew the game open in the seventh with three runs, the rally propelled by two singles, a walk and a double.

UT used three pitchers in the seventh. Keifer Nuncio, who allowed two runs in one-third of an inning, took the loss .

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