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  1. Im not sure I’ll be available for the first game of the series, but I will be for the 2nd & 3rd
  2. I'll be updating on Twitter, if you're so inclined.
  3. D1Baseball.com has ranked the Texas 2018 Baseball recruiting class at #9. This follows Baseball America ranking the Horns class at #8
  4. Yo Seamheads, check this out. After making it to Omaha in 2018, the Horns will again have one of the tougher schedules in the country in 2019. Non-conference games/series against LSU, Louisiana, Arkansas, Purdue, Rice, Xavier, A&M and Stanford. Add that to the Big12 slate and I’d say that the Longhorns will have one of the best SOS ratings in the nation.
  5. If Texas hopes to make some noise in their first trip to the College World Series since 2014, they will have to do so by going through the loser’s bracket. Sunday’s 11-5 loss to Arkansas in the CWS opener puts the Longhorns in a very tough position, needing 4 straight wins to advance to the Championship Series. The loss to the Razorbacks drops Texas’ record to 0-3 this season against the old SWC rival. One of the top offenses in the country pounded out 15 hits and pulled away in the 6th inning behind an 8-run outburst against 6 different Texas pitchers. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from a long day in Omaha: Pitching Texas starter Nolan Kingham battled through 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits while striking out 4 and walking 1. Although the final line wasn’t very good, Kingham looked pretty good for the first 4 innings of his outing. He attacked pretty well with his sinker and flashed a plus slider at times. “Yeah, the pitch count was down, just a couple of balls running away from me and leaving the ball up, and made a few mistakes and they capitalized. And that was it”- Nolan Kingham’s thoughts on his outing The 5th and 6th innings were ultimately his undoing. With one out in the 5th and a runner on first, Kingham appeared to induce what could have been an inning ending double play. A hard groundball to Jake McKenzie was briefly bobbled, but McKenzie recovered and fired to David Hamilton at second base for the force out. Hamilton, who had a little more time than he thought for the return throw, threw wildly of first trying to complete the double play. The throw extended the inning, and Luke Bonfield made Texas pay by blasting a 2-run home run into the LF seats to give Arkansas a 3-2 lead. In the 6th and with the Longhorns still trailing 3-2, Kingham allowed back-to-back singles to open the frame. Despite his starter having only 82 pitches, David Pierce opted to go to the bullpen to call on Parker Joe Robinson, who has been outstanding the entire postseason. That is when things fell apart… Robinson walked both batters he faced to force in a run, which David Pierce even admitted after the game is something he never expected from his right-hander. Robinson entered the contest with 9 walks in 30 ⅔ innings. “Hindsight is a beautiful thing. You look back at that and you would really say should have stuck with Nolan. But Parker Joe hadn't walked two guys in the entire year back to back and that's what happened. And it just unraveled.”-Pierce Josh Sawyer then entered the game and promptly walked Eric Cole, forcing home another run. After Cole’s walk, the contest entered a 2 hour and 49 minute rain delay. Once it reached a certain point, it was obvious Sawyer would not be returning to the mound. With the game still within reach at 5-2, David Pierce had a decision to make on who he was going to bring with the bases loaded and nobody out when play resumed Pierce chose Chase Shugart, and it did not work out like he would have liked. Shugart allowed back-to-back singles and hit a batter, allowing 3 more runs to score. To Pierce’s credit, he pulled Shuart after 11 pitches, meaning the right-hander should still be in line to start Tuesday’s elimination game. Personally, I didn’t mind the decision. If Shugart were to escape the jam, Texas would have only trailed 5-2 with 3 innings remaining. “No, that's why he only went 11. The thinking was we're in a pickle. We need to get our best guy in the game right now. And if we can get it within one run, as far as giving up one run, so it's a four-run deficit, and then we can tack on runs, maybe two, then we were going to stick with Chase. Otherwise, we were going to get him out, keep him available and move to the next guy, and that's what we did”- Pierce on the decision to go to Shugart Shugart gave way to Kamron Fields, who recorded two outs but allowed 2 more hits and a walk. Ultimately, Andy McGuire came in finish out the inning, but at that point, the damage was done. Arkansas had 8 men cross the plate and the game was out of reach. Offense Texas had limited success against Arkansas starter Blaine Knight, who admitted after the game he didn’t have his best stuff, but it worked. Knight threw all of his pitches for strikes and kept Texas off-balance. Tate Shaw was the best player on the field for Texas. The centerfielder collected 3 hits, including a triple to the RCF gap in the 3rd that eventually allowed Texas to tie the game at 1. Kody Clemens was held in check. Texas’ best hitter finished the afternoon 1 for 5 with 2 strikeouts. David Hamilton, Duke Ellis and Clemens combined to go 1 for 11 at the top of the order. DJ Petrinsky barely missed a 2-run home run in the top of the 2nd, flying out to the wall in LF. If anything can be taken away from the first three games at the CWS, it is that the ball has to be absolutely crushed for it to go out. Looking Ahead Texas will now need a win on Tuesday to stave off elimination. Chase Shugart should take the ball for the Longhorns, and all the eyes will be on the Texas pitching staff. The Longhorns had their fair share of struggles offensively against Arkansas, but Texas isn’t going to win many games when allowing 5 walks and 15 hits. The pitching will have to be superb for the Longhorns to have a chance to make it through the loser’s bracket.
  6. As has been the case for the majority of the season, Texas responded with their backs against the wall. Facing elimination and going against Tennessee Tech’s ace Travis Moths, the Longhorns pieced together just enough offense and received a great performance on the mound from Chase Shugart and Blair Henley to force a decisive game 3 Monday afternoon. The 4-2 win featured what has carried Texas for most of the postseason, clutch pitching and the big bat of Kody Clemens. The Longhorns and Golden Eagles will square off again tomorrow at noon with a trip to the College World Series on the line. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from a season saving win at the Disch: Chase Shugart has elevated his game in the postseason, and he showed it again Sunday afternoon. The right-hander tossed 6 innings, allowing 1 unearned run while striking out 5 and walking 5. Although the command wavered at times and he was only able to make it through 6, Shugart was able to shut down the best offense in the country. “It was a great pitching performance by Chase (Shugart), there’s no doubt. He put us in the position to win, to give us an opportunity.”-David Pierce on his starter During the 6th inning, action began in the Texas bullpen. Parker Joe Robinson and Blair Henley both started throwing. Yesterday, I said I would not be surprised if Pierce turned to Henley at some point today, and he ended up doing exactly that. Henley came in to start the 7th and besides allowing a lead-off home run on the first pitch he threw to David Garza, was really effective. The sophomore recorded the first save of his career on only 39 pitches, likely making him available tomorrow. “Well, this is the thing, there’s no tomorrow if we don’t win today. It makes no sense to me to have our next best guy sitting in the bullpen and then we’d never get to him, for the simple fact that we’re waiting on playing him tomorrow. We had an opportunity to win and we went for it. Plus, he gives Parker Joe (Robinson) and Josh (Sawyer) some rest. I knew he was fresh, I knew his stuff would play and it was the right decision for us.”-Pierce on the decision to go to Henley Texas has done an excellent job of putting up runs in the first inning during the NCAA Tournament, and they did again in game 2. David Hamilton worked a lead-off walk and eventually scored on a 2-out double by Kody Clemens to give Texas an early 1-0 lead. Oh, and Kody Clemens homered again. The 3rd round pick of the Detroit Tigers blasted his 23rd home run of the season in the 3rd innings, giving Texas a 3-1 lead. Clemens belted a pitch fastball from Travis Moths over the RF wall. Later in the game, Tennessee Tech intentionally walked Clemens with a base open, opting to face Zach Zubia with the bases loaded. Golden Eagles head coach Matt Bragga joked after the game that they may intentionally walk Clemens every time he comes up to bat tomorrow. “Early in the game we were willing to see what would happen there. We would not walk him and put runners on that early in the game. Late in the game, obviously we’re going to walk him there. But in the first 3, 4, 5 innings we’re doing everything we can do to attack guys. And he beat us- good job. The double, the home run, the young man is a great player, that is why he is up for the Golden Spikes Award. Maybe tomorrow we’ll walk him every time we face him tomorrow. I mean this kindly, but the guy is an animal, I just don’t see the weaknesses right now. He’s as good as we’ve seen all year, this park plays fairly big, and he's popping them out of here like it’s a cracker jack box.”- Tennessee Coach Matt Bragga on choosing to pitch to Clemens David Pierce opted to shake the lineup up prior to game 2, moving up Jake McKenzie from the 9 spot to the 6 spot, and dropping Ryan Reynolds from 6 to 9. The result? McKenzie collected another double and Reynolds collected his first hit of the weekend with a RBI bloop double in the second inning. Despite Reynolds struggles at the plate, Texas had to keep in the field because of his defense. The move down in the order made sense and Pierce was rewarded with his decision. Looking ahead tomorrow Tennessee Tech has already announced their starter, LHP Alex Hursey. Hursey is 8-4 on the season with a 4.52 ERA. In last weekend’s Oxford Regional, Hursey turned in a complete game win against Missouri State in an elimination game. Despite Hursey getting the start, it would not be surprising to see closer Ethan Roberts throw the most of any Golden Eagles pitcher tomorrow. Roberts threw 56 pitches on Saturday and received Sunday off. He has been used as a multiple inning guy the entire season, and Monday will be no different. Last weekend, Roberts threw 47 pitches on Saturday before coming back to throw 107 pitches in a start on Monday. The 4th round pick of the Chicago Cubs and his nasty cutter will be leaned on heavily. David Pierce did not announce a starter. As mentioned above, expected game 3 starter Blair Henley threw 39 pitches out of the bullpen. Henley will likely still be available tomorrow, but it may not be in a starting role. So where does that leave Texas? David Pierce could go a number of different directions. He mentioned after the game that he needed to look at the matchups before determining a starter. Kamron Fields and Matteo Bocchi both seem like logical choices, and both have starting experience at some point this season. Bryce Elder is another option, but he has not thrown yet in the NCAA Tournament. Elder possesses a nasty cutter and when he commands it, he has no problems retiring hitters. Regardless of who starts, it will be an all-hands-on-deck game for the Longhorns. Pierce said every pitcher is available, even if it’s for just a batter. Nolan Kingham and Chase Shugart have experience as relievers, and Kingham in particular could be an intriguing arm to bring in at some point. The right-hader has been up to 98 MPH out of the bullpen.
  7. Entering game 1 of the Austin Super Regional, it was well known Tennessee Tech would be bringing the number 1 offense in the country to Disch-Falk Field. The Texas pitching staff would have to rise up to the challenge of keeping the ball in the ballpark. On Saturday afternoon, the Texas pitchers were able to do just that, but the Golden Eagles offense was still able to pound out 11 hits and use 4 brilliant innings of relief from Ethan Roberts to take game 1 from the Longhorn, 5-4. Texas now find their backs against the wall and must win 2 straight elimination games to advance to the College World Series. Let’s take a look at some thoughts and takeaways from an eventful game 1 and what to expect tomorrow. Texas starter Nolan Kingham only lasted 4 ⅔ innings, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits while striking out 5 and walking 2. When Kingham exited the game he was at 95 pitches and seemed to be having trouble putting hitters away. The right-hander repeatedly got himself in favorable counts, but was unable to finish hitters off. Kingham’s fastball velocity ranged from 89-94 and he had good command through the first couple of innings, but the Golden Eagles lineup was able to do some damage the second and third time through the order. David Pierce said after the game that Kingham was not at 100% health. After battling the flu last weekend, Kingham had to get a cyst drained and removed earlier this week. This seems to explain why Kingham appeared to run out of gas towards the end of his outing. “No, he just had a cyst removed. Something that had to be drained on Monday. I was just concerned about his legs staying under him and in that sixth inning the ball started getting up so I made the change there.”- Pierce on Kingham The Texas bullpen did an excellent job following Kingham’s exit from the game. Kamron Fields, Josh Sawyer and Parker Joe Robinson combined to throw 4 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief, surrendering only 2 hits and striking out 7. Robinson in particular was huge, coming into bases loaded, nobody out situation in the 8th and escaping the inning without allowing a run. “Josh, we extended him a little bit because of the score and the situation and I thought his stuff was good, just got in trouble there in whatever inning it was. Then he got behind and Parker Joe (Robinson) picked him up and that’s what these guys have been doing in that back end is picking each other up. And the performance Parker Joe did is, we talk about it on the mound when he’s coming in, it’s like Houdini coming in and he’s been doing it all year. Just a tremendous job to keep us in the game and keep it a one run deficit.”-Pierce on Sawyer and Robinson Aside from the usual Kody Clemens home run, the Texas offense had a quiet afternoon. The other 3 runs driven in were all via the sacrifice fly, and the Longhorns just couldn’t quite get the big hit when they needed it. Texas finished the game 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. Zach Zubia, Masen Hibbeler, Ryan Reynolds and DJ Petrinsky combined to go 0 for 13 with 6 strikeouts. Part of offensive struggles can be attributed to Tennessee Tech closer Ethan Roberts, who I pegged as the pitcher to watch coming into the series. Roberts entered in the 6th inning with 2 runners on and nobody out with Tennessee Tech nursing a 5-3 lead. The 4th round pick of the Chicago Cubs proceeded to strike out the next 3 batters. His cutter was as advertised and Texas was unable to do much damage off him aside from a double by Jake McKenzie. Since Roberts threw 56 pitches today, head coach Matt Bragga said it is not likely he will be available tomorrow. This likely means the Golden Eagles will ride starter Travis Moths as long as they can. Moths is considered the ace of the staff and received an extra day of rest after starting last Saturday and throwing in relief during both games on Monday against Ole Miss. Looking ahead to tomorrow, Texas will obviously need a strong outing from Chase Shugart. Since it is an elimination game for the Longhorns, it will be all hands on deck from a pitching standout. If Shugart were to run into trouble early, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Blair Henley come out of the bullpen. No one asked David Pierce about Parker Joe Robinson’s availability tomorrow after throwing 31 pitches, but I would imagine he could give Texas an inning. Andy McGuire could be used for multiple innings and the Longhorns still have another multiple inning guy in Bryce Elder, who has yet to throw in the NCAA Tournament.
  8. Jameson McCausland

    Scouting Report: Tennessee Tech

    After going 3-0 and winning the Austin Regional, Texas Baseball will now prepare to welcome Tennessee Tech to Austin for a Super Regional. The #2 seed Golden Eagles were the winners of the Oxford Regional after winning 3 straight elimination games, including two on Monday against Ole Miss. Tennessee Tech ended the regular season with a RPI of 23, just one spot behind Texas. With game 1 of the best-of-three series just 4 days away, let’s take a look at what to expect from the Golden Eagles. Tennessee Tech (52-10) Hitting Now would probably be a good time to mention the Golden Eagles lead the nation in hitting. Tennessee Tech ranks #1 in the country in batting average (.342), hits (723), home runs (128) and runs scored (596). All 9 starters for the Golden Eagles have batting averages at .310 or above, with 3 boasting averages above .375. 7 of the 9 starters have double digit home run totals. The offense is led by 1B Chase Chambers, who is hitting a ridiculous .404 with 17 home runs and 82 RBI’s. Chambers has an on-base percentage of .508. He is joined in the middle of the lineup by DH Kevin Strohschein, who leads the team in home runs with 18 and is hitting .386 with 67 RBI’s. CF Alex Junior (.318, 7 HR, 35 RBI’s) serves as the leadoff hitter and has scored a team leading 80 runs. Even the Golden Eagles 9-hole, LF Collin Harris, is hitting .319 with 10 home runs and a team leading 9 stolen bases. A lot of people may point to the Ohio Valley Conference and say Tennessee Tech’s stats are inflated because of the quality of teams they played, but make no mistake about it, the Golden Eagles can swing the bat. Pitching While Tennessee Tech is known mainly for their bats, the Golden Eagles have several intriguing arms on the mound. RHP Travis Moths (13-2, 3.86 ERA, 104 SO) is the ace of the staff and will likely take the ball on Saturday afternoon. (UPDATE: Moths will throw game 2, with Marcus Evey throwing game 1) Moths was the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year, and his numbers speak for themselves. Moths started the Oxford Regional opener against Missouri State last Saturay (5.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 8 K), then threw in relief in both of Tennessee Tech’s victories over Ole Miss on Monday. Moths fastball touched 94 when he was throwing in relief, but he will likely sit low 90’s with his fastball as a starter. The 7th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks also has a plus changeup. The Golden Eagles number two starter for most of the season was RHP Marcus Evey (7-0, 4.26 ERA, 86 SO). Similar to Moths, Evey has a fastball that can reach into the mid-90’s, but he will sit around 91-92. #3 starter Alex Hursey (8-4, 4.52 ERA, 45 SO) threw a complete game against Missouri State in an elimination game during the Oxford Regional (9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K). The left-hander does not rack up the strikeouts and will not light up the radar gun, but he does an excellent job of limiting walks (25 in 73.2 innings) and pitching efficiently. The biggest weapon on the Golden Eagles pitching staff is RHP Ethan Roberts (6-1, 2.41 ERA, 96 SO), who was just drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 4th round, becoming the highest selection in Tennessee Tech history. Roberts has served as the teams closer, racking up 14 saves. What is unique about Roberts is he has thrown 71 innings, which is a starters-like workload. He has one start on the season, and it came Monday afternoon in the first of two games against Ole Miss. Roberts threw 7.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and striking out 4. This start came just 2 days after he closed out Tennessee Tech’s regional opening win against Missouri State by throwing 3.1 innings of scoreless relief with 7 strikeouts. Roberts sits in the low 90’s with his fastball, but offers a variety of offspeed pitches and has great command of all his pitches. Aside from their 3 starters and Roberts, Tennessee Tech is suspect in terms of bullpen depth, which explains why Moths and Roberts both started and relieved games during the Oxford Regional. RHP Nick Osborne (2-0, 6.30 ERA, 22 SO) threw 3 scoreless innings to record the final 9 outs of Monday’s Regional Championship game. RHP Colton Provey (0-0, 4.86 ERA, 46 SO) is another bullpen option. Provey allowed 3 runs in 3.1 innings in Sunday’s winner bracket game against Ole Miss. Overall Tennessee Tech did not win 52 games by accident. The Golden Eagles are a quality team and it is shaping up to be a fun Super Regional in Austin. The biggest question for the Golden Eagles from a pitching standpoint will be how to utilize Ethan Roberts. Could Roberts be in the bullpen for game 1 and then possibly be available for a game 3 start on Monday? The key for Texas will be getting to the Tennessee Tech bullpen. If the Longhorns are able to knock out the Golden Eagles starters early, they would have a huge advantage. Offensively, Tennessee Tech is going to bring their style of baseball to the Disch. They don’t play small ball or steal a lot of bases, but they will try to put balls in the gaps and over the fence. Texas starting pitchers will need to have a repeat performance from last weekend in terms of limiting walks, or else the Golden Eagles will make them pay. The pitching friendly environment of Disch-Falk Field should help the ball stay in the yard, but Nolan Kingham, Chase Shugart and Blair Henley will need to rely heavily on the ground ball to help keep the potent Tennessee Tech offense in check.
  9. Jameson McCausland

    2018 MLB Draft Thread

    Rounds 1 and 2 of the MLB Draft were held Monday night and the only Texas player/commit that was selected was RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson, who was taken 48th overall by the New York Mets. Woods-Richardson is expected to sign and forego his college commitment to Texas. Rounds 3-10 will begin shortly, and the draft will conclude tomorrow with rounds 11-40. Follow this thread for live updates on where currently Texas players and commits are selected.
  10. As Chase Shugart threw a 95 MPH past Matt Lloyd to send Texas to the super regionals for the first time since 2014, there was an electricity throughout UFCU Disch-Falk Field that hasn’t been present in a long time. David Pierce, in his second season at Texas, said after the game he had no doubt legendary coach Augie Garrido was looking down upon him and his team as the Longhorns secured the regional championship. The Longhorns 3-2 win over Indiana had many storylines, but the most important headline should be that the most historic college baseball program in the country is back where they need to be. Pierce has not only guided the Longhorns to a super regional berth, but has re-energized a fan base in two short years and put Texas baseball back on the map. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from the Longhorns regional championship victory: Pierce has shown the ability all season to push the right buttons and get the most of his players. He did it again tonight by bringing in Chase Shugart out of the bullpen to record the final 2 outs with the bases loaded and the Longhorns clinging to a one run lead. Shugart, who threw 69 pitches two days ago in a start against Texas Southern, responded by striking out both batters he faced. During the final at-bat of the game, Lloyd lifted a foul ball down the left-field that Masen Hibbeler appeared to reach into the stands and catch, but as he was pulling his glove back into the field of play, Hibbeler dropped the ball. Texas was already on the field celebrating what they thought to be a victory. Shugart said after the game he locked back in mentally and knew he needed to finish the job. He did. “I saw it go into his glove and I saw him halfway in the stands and then he came up and threw it in celebratory fashion. I saw the umpire go, ‘safe’ so I knew he wasn’t going to overturn the call. So, I immediately looked at the ground and got locked back in and I tried to get everybody off the mound because that was my territory at that moment. I was trying to calm everybody else down and try to stay in my zone.”-Chase Shugart Kody Clemens drove in the game winning run with a RBI double in the 7th, scoring David Hamilton all the way from first base. As has been the case all season, Clemens delivered in the clutch and gave the Longhorns the big hit they needed. Clemens was deservedly named regional MVP and as long as he is hot, Texas has a chance in pretty much any game they are in. If there was a co-MVP of the regional, it probably would have been the outfield wall in LF. In the bottom of the 8th, Indiana had a runner on first when Matt Gorski smoked a double to LF that barely hopped over the fence and into the visitors bullpen. If the ball would have stayed in play, Luke Miller would have scored easily from first base. The ground-rule double put runners on 2nd and 3rd, and Ryan Reynolds then made an incredible barehanded play on a slow grounder off the bat of Logan Sowers to end the inning and keep the Longhorns ahead by 1. Blair Henley looked like a completely different pitcher than the one who couldn’t make it out of the 4th inning in his final regular season start against TCU. Henley commanded the strike zone with all his pitches all night and gave Texas 7 ⅓ quality innings, allowing 2 unearned runs while striking out 8 and walking zero. The 3 Texas starters combined to walk 1 batter during their 3 starts, a stat that caused Chase Shugart and Blair Henley to high five when I asked Pierce about it during the postgame press conference. Henley, Shugart and Nolan Kingham all have very good stuff, but have struggled at times to command it. This weekend should give Texas fans a good idea of what it looks like when all 3 pitchers are on at the same time. People talk a lot about peaking at the right time during the postseason, and it appears the starting staff for Texas is doing just that. The home field advantage at Disch-Falk Field was a huge advantage for Texas. Pierce made sure to mention after the game how much of a different the fans made. It may be the final game at the Disch this season, but Texas fans made their presence felt throughout the entire weekend. Texas will now await the winner of the Oxford regional. Ole Miss is currently 2-0 and will play 2-1 Tennessee Tech tomorrow afternoon in the regional championship. The Rebels are a very, very good team that presents difficult challenges on the mound and at the plate. UPDATE: The Schedule has been released for the Super Regional
  11. Here in about 15 minutes the host sites will be announced on Twitter by the NCAA. The remainder of the field/matchups will be announced tomorrow on ESPNU. Most all signs point to Texas being a host, likely as the #15 or #16 seed. I’ll keep y’all updated as these are announced.
  12. For the second consecutive season, Texas is a win away from a super regional. The Longhorns defeated Texas A&M, 8-3, in front of a sellout crowd at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Texas will now have the luxury of watching A&M and Indiana play in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon, with the winner facing the Longhorns tomorrow at 8 PM. The storylines are plentiful, so here are some thoughts and takeaways from an eventful day at the Disch. It was no secret Nolan Kingham has been under the weather all week, but just how bad was it? Jake McKenzie said after the game that Kingham threw up earlier Saturday morning after trying to eat something. Despite not being anywhere close to 100%, the right-hander gutted through 7 ⅔ innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 9 hits while striking out 8. Kingham had his sinker working effectively for most of the night, inducing 8 ground ball out. The highest he touched on the stadium radar gun was 94, but the junior sat about 90-91 with his fastball for most of the night. On a night when Texas needed their ace to deliver a strong performance, Kingham never lost control of the zone and remained calm the entire game, an encouraging sign after some struggles earlier in the season. Is anyone surprised Kody Clemens took his game up a notch when the stakes were raised? The electric atmosphere at the Disch was aided greatly by Clemens first inning 3-run homer on a pitch that hung right over the middle of the plate. His second home run came in the 6th, a solo shot out to RF. The junior now has 21 home runs on the season and should be a very serious contender for National Player of the Year. DJ Petrinsky connected on his 2nd home run of the regional in the 4th when he crushed a hanging breaking ball over the LF wall. Petrinsky seems very comfortable at the plate right now and has been solid behind the plate as well. The bottom of the order as a whole had a very productive evening. Petrinsky, Tate Shaw and Jake McKenzie combined to go 5 for 11 with 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored. McKenzie is now 4 for 8 through 2 games in the regional. After the game, McKenzie joked with the media that the considers himself the 3-hole hitter in the bottom half of the order, with Petrinsky serving as the leadoff man and Shaw batting 2-hole. In my opinion, the most important takeaway from the evening is the bullpen depth the Longhorns have heading into tomorrow. Josh Sawyer retired the only batter he faced tonight and Andy McGuire threw a stress free 9th inning. Both pitchers should be available tomorrow along with Matteo Bocchi, who threw the final 3 innings in Friday’s win over Texas Southern. Texas has also yet to use Parker Joe Robinson and Kamron Fields, both of whom can go multiple innings. Pierce says he also expects Chase Shugart to be available out of the bullpen after starting Friday and throwing 69 pitches. Blair Henley will take the ball for the Longhorns tomorrow. The sophomore is 5-6 with a 3.54 ERA. Henley struggled with walks in his last appearance, walking 6 in 3 ⅔ innings against TCU. The leash on Henley may not be long, but the right-hander has been very good at times this season. If he is able to command his fastball and utilize his plus change-up, Texas should get a quality start. Bonus Thought: I am interested to see how the pitching situation will play out for Texas A&M and Indiana tomorrow. A&M has not only thrown their best two starters, but also utilized 4 relievers against Texas, including Chandler Jozwiak, who has started 9 games this season. I would think Asa Lacy, who threw 6 scoreless innings in a start in the SEC Tournament, would get the start in the elimination game against Indiana. Indiana received a complete game from Pauly Milto today against Texas Southern, and will either start Tim Herrin or Cam Beauchamp against the Aggies, with the other likely receiving the start if they were to win and play Texas later in the day. One thing seems pretty clear: Texas has the pitching advantage over the other two remaining teams.
  13. For the first time in 7 years, Texas played an NCAA Tournament game at the friendly confines of UFCU Disch-Falk Field. In front of a crowd of close to 7,000 the Longhorns began the NCAA Tournament with a 10-0 win over #4 seed Texas Southern. The anticipated matchup with Texas A&M is now a reality, and Longhorns will look to carry their solid performance into Saturday night. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from an impressive regional opening win: Chase Shugart was outstanding on the mound for Texas. It has been a while since he’s shown the command he showed Friday night, especially with his fastball. The right-hander lasted 6 innings, allowing only 4 hits and striking out 5. The important number for Shugart tonight was 69 pitches, which means he will most likely be available as a reliever on Sunday or a starter on Monday. Matteo Bocchi entered for Shugart in the 7th and notched his first save of the year, throwing the final 3 innings. The Italian native allowed 1 hit and struck out 6. Shugart and Bocchi combined to allow 0 walks, which is impressive for two guys who have had control problems at times this season. Bocchi will likely be available to pitch again on Sunday, and his ability to go multiple innings could be huge as the regional plays out. As for the offense, Texas had a balanced attack, with all but 1 starter recording a hit. DJ Petrinsky was the star of the night, going 2 for 4 with 4 RBI’s, including a monster 3-run home run in the 3rd inning. Duke Ellis and Jake McKenzie also collected 2 hits a piece. David Hamilton had the first steal of home for a Texas player since Mark Payton in 2011. With runners at the corners and a left-hander Mason Furlong on the mound, Hamilton took off for home, with Kody Clemens taking off from first shortly after. Furlong stepped off and looked at Clemens, and Hamilton continued his sprint home for the 9th Longhorn run. After going 0-2 in the Big 12 Tournament, Texas came out laser focused and never really gave Texas Southern a chance to generate any momentum. If there were any questions about a letdown, they were put to rest in the first few innings. The Longhorns are now in the winner’s bracket and will face off against Texas A&M on Saturday. Saturday night will mark the first time Texas has faced Texas A&M in the postseason since 2014, when Chad Hollingsworth memorable complete game helped eliminate the Aggies and give Texas the regional championship. Chase Shugart said after the game he expects there to be an electric atmosphere. Despite being under the weather for most of the week, Nolan Kingham will get the ball for Texas. Texas A&M did not announce a starter after their 10-3 win over Texas Southern, but all signs point to Mitchell Kilkenny getting the ball for the Aggies. Kilkenny enters the game with a 8-4 record and a 3.00 ERA. Postgame Quotes Texas Head Coach David Pierce Opening statement: It was just great efficiency from our pitching staff tonight. Chase (Shugart) and (Matteo) Bocchi did a great job of really attacking the opponent and tremendous, tremendous defense. I thought we did a great job with getting our offense started with the hit and run. And then, David (Hamilton) executed the bunt there and gave us a little cushion and we built off of that. DJ with the big blow and we just continued to tackle them. On Chase having a shut out: Yeah, he did. I mean he was at 67-69 pitches and so it was the right time, so we could possibly use him later in the week. But, like we talked about, he has a rubber arm and the ability to come back. On how they played: It did [go perfectly.] It’s probably the way we went out and played. We were ready to play, it was obvious that we were ready to play. The guys expected the ball, wanted the ball hit to them and just made some tremendous plays. But, for us to be able to execute the way we did and be that efficient was about as good as you could expect. On how electric it will be playing the Aggies: Probably as good as I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been around for a long time. You put those two teams in a regional and an opportunity to go 2 and 0, I think its going to be very exciting, I think what we’ll do is just go out and try to go business as usual and maintain our routines and go out there and try to be as efficient as we were tonight. Pitcher Chase Shugart On the being available to pitch: You know I just go back to last year and the regional in long beach and you know he had me out there 2 or 3 times and I took it as the same mentality as I’m here to compete and do my best and it’s just 1-on-1 confrontations with me and the hitter. I’m going to take that mindset if I’m being used in the backend of the bullpen on Sunday or I’m starting on Monday. I’m ready to go. On his dominance this game: I felt like tonight I was myself, all 6 innings. I was composed, I was pitching with emotion, with that edge I usually have and I was in my rhythm. I was letting my defense work and I was also making pitches and counts I needed to make pitches in so overall it was a good night for me and a good night for our defense. Catcher D.J. Petrinsky On jumping on the first pitch: He threw me a couple in my first AB, and I took them, and I went up there the 2nd time just hoping he’d throw me another one and he did.
  14. For Texas, a quest to return to the College World Series will begin on Friday night. The Longhorns will open play against #4 seed Texas Southern at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. #2 seed Indiana and #3 seed Texas A&M will kick off the Austin Regional in the first game of the day at 4 PM CST. To advance to a Super Regional, Texas will have to deal with 3 teams who each present some different challenges. Here are some things you need to know about the other 3 teams in the Austin Regional. Indiana (38-17) The Hoosiers return to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year after going 1-2 in the Lexington Regional a season ago. Indiana finished in 5th place in the Big Ten with a record of 14-9, but boast an RPI of 29 and only dropped 2 conference series the entire season to Minnesota and Ohio State, who both made the NCAA Tournament as well. Indiana ranked #1 in the Big Ten in team ERA (2.95) and are lead by 3 starters who all have ERA’s under 3.00. Junior right-hander Jonathan Stiever (5-5, 2.89 ERA, 96 SO) is the ace of the staff. Stiever should be an early pick in the upcoming MLB Draft and has a fastball that sits in the Mid-90’s. 6’3 junior Pauly Milto (7-2, 2.29 ERA, 56 SO) serves as the #2 starter and received second-team All-Big Ten honors this past season. 6’5 junior left-hander Tim Herrin (5-0, 3.32 ERA) rounds out a very strong weekend rotation. In the bullpen, Indiana’s best option will be Matt Lloyd, who plays both ways but has a team leading 6 saves and a .83 ERA in 21 ⅔ innings. He is also hitting .275 with 8 home runs and 38 RBI’s. At the plate, Indiana ranked 3rd in the Big Ten in hitting, but led the conference in Home Runs with 63. The Hoosiers have 3 hitters batting over .300, led by OF Matt Gorski, who hit .363 with 8 home runs and 39 RBI’s. Overall Thoughts Despite a 5th place finish in the Big 10, Indiana is a team well-deserving of a #2 seed. The Hoosiers have an impressive pitching staff, giving head coach Chris Lemonis options in terms of who he wants to start the opening game. The Hoosiers will go as far as their 3 starters take them, but I will be looking forward to seeing Lloyd play both ways and how Indiana’s hitting will translate against better pitching. Texas A&M (39-20) After dropping a 6-5 decision in College Station earlier this season, the Longhorns will welcome the Aggies to Austin as the #3 seed. After a strong start to the season, A&M faded during SEC play (13-17) but won 3 games during the conference tournament to ensure a return trip to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th consecutive season. Similar to Indiana, A&M is led by a pitching staff that led the SEC in ERA (3.23) RHP Mitchell Kilkenny (8-4, 3.00 ERA, 87 SO) and LHP John Doxakis (7-5, 2.89, 80 SO) have been the two best starters for A&M this season. It has already been reported the Aggies plan on starting Doxakis in the regional opener against Indiana. Kilkenny spent most of 2017 in the bullpen, but his results as a starter in 2018 have been impressive. Stephen Kolek spent the latter half of the season as the #3 starter after beginning the year as the Friday night starter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Rob Childress opts to start left-handers Asa Lacy or Kaylor Chafin at some point during the regional. Lacy and Kaylor both had very strong in performances in the SEC Tournament, while Kolek didn’t appear in any of the 4 games. Texas scored 2 runs off of Kolek when he threw 1 ⅓ innings of relief against the Longhorns back in April. Nolan Hoffman serves as the A&M closer and has been dominant for most of the season. Hoffman has recorded 14 saves and struck out 51 batters in 51 innings. The junior threw 1 ⅔ innings of scoreless relief to earn a save against Texas in April. A&M ranked near the middle in the SEC in terms of hitting, but has several guys who can do a lot of damage at the plate. 2B Michael Helman leads the team with a .366 average and has a .453 OBP. Helman has hit 6 home runs and driven in 34 runs. SS Braden Shewmake is only a sophomore, but has started from the moment he stepped on campus as a freshman. The left-handed hitter hit .329 in 2018 with 5 home runs and 44 RBI’s. His glove in the field is outstanding and he will almost certainly hear his named called early on during the 2019 MLB draft. Overall Thoughts It was not a total surprise to see A&M struggle during conference play after going 23-2 in non-conference play. The Aggies played a non-conference strength of schedule that ranked 136th in the country, the SEC was absolutely loaded and the Aggies put themselves behind the eight-ball by losing their first 3 series of conference play. Doxakis and Kilkenny are two very good arms, but the depth A&M has on the mound would probably give them the slight edge for the strongest pitching staff in the Austin Regional. It will be interesting to see if the A&M offense can produce enough to win what could be a lot of low-scoring games. Texas Southern (27-26) The SWAC Champions will hope for a better result against Texas than when the Longhorns defeated the Tigers, 10-2, in a midweek game in Sugar Land in Mid-April. Despite winning their conference for the second consecutive season, the Tigers enter the tournament with a RPI of 215. The one consistent starter Texas Southern has had this season is junior right-hander Aaron Solis (10-3, 3.44 ERA, 63 SO). Solis started the opening game of the conference tournament for the Tigers, before coming back on 3 days rest to start the championship game. In the bullpen, Texas Southern has a very good closer in Chris Suarez, who has a team leading 5 saves and 2.75 ERA in 39 ⅓ innings. Texas Southern led the SWAC in hitting with a .306 team average OF Kamren Dukes is hitting a ridiculous .396 with 3 home runs and 42 RBI’s. Dukes went 3 for 4 against Texas when the two teams met earlier this season. 1B Christian Sanchez has a team leading 17 home runs and is hitting .343. The Tigers ranked 6th in the country in stolen bases with 114. Dukes has stolen 30 bags and 2B Gaudencio Lucca has swiped 25. The Tigers are 0-12 against teams with an RPI inside the top 100 Overall Thoughts The last bullet point may the most telling. Whenever the Tigers have played anyone respectable this season, they haven’t performed well. With that being said, the Longhorns better come ready to play because Texas Southern has given scares to several quality teams this year, including Baylor, who the Tigers led 3-1 after 6 innings in a midweek game before the Bears came from behind for a 5-4 victory. The interesting thing to see will be when they choose to throw Solis, who gives them their best shot at a win. It’s hard to envision Texas Southern going anything other than 0-2, but weird things can happen in a regional.
  15. The rest of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field was announced Monday morning, revealing the 3 teams who will join Texas in the Austin Regional. The Longhorns will be joined by #2 seed Indiana, #3 seed Texas A&M and #4 seed Texas Southern. The regional will kick off Friday afternoon with Indiana and Texas A&M playing at 4 PM CST. Texas and Texas Southern will end the night with a game at 8 PM CST. The Austin Regional is paired with the Oxford Regional, which has #1 seed Ole Miss, #2 seed Tennessee Tech, #3 seed Missouri State and #4 seed Saint Louis.
  16. Heading into the Big 12 tournament, Texas was riding high as the Big 12 regular season champions and looked to be in very strong position to host a regional. The momentum was halted though after an 0-2 showing in Oklahoma City, leaving Longhorn fans a little nervous heading into Sunday night, when the host sites are announced. The Texas bats went quiet in losses to Kansas and Oklahoma, combining to score 3 runs and only mustering 10 hits. Nolan Kingham received the start on the mound on Thursday morning and fought his way through 5 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and striking out 1. At the plate, Jake McKenzie led the way with a 2 for 2 performance. The loss will send the Longhorns back to Austin as they await the NCAA Tournament. The number one thing on fans minds is will Texas host a regional? Let's take a look at some important number that the selection committee will be looking at: *Numbers are current as of today, but can change with the results of other games.* RPI-20 SOS- 18 Non-Conference SOS- 22 Record vs Group 1 Teams- 12-14 Analysis The first number the majority of people look at is RPI, which takes into account wins and losses along with strength of schedule. The Longhorns currently sit at 20, which is 6 spots lower than where they began the week. While a RPI of 20 is pretty good, it is a far cry from where the Longhorns could have been with a win or two in the Big 12 Tournament. Overall strength of schedule and non-conference strength of schedule is where Texas has the advantage over pretty much any other team who may be under consideration for the last few regional host spots. Earlier in the week, D1Baseball.com projected Texas as the 12th seed nationally, with East Carolina, UConn, NC State and Minnesota the other regional hosts who were ranked behind Texas. If Texas were to be compared with these 4 teams in terms of strength of schedule, it would go: Overall Strength of Schedule- Texas (18), East Carolina (28), NC State (36), UConn (45), Minnesota (65) Non-Conference Strength of Schedule- Texas (22), East Carolina (42), Minnesota (60), UConn (105), NC State (160) Throughout the season, the Longhorns played 26 games against teams who currently have a Top 50 RPI, going 12-14 in those games. The 26 games played ranks 10th among teams who have a top 25 RPI. David Pierce talked briefly last week about the Longhorns 'intent to schedule', which means when Texas put the teams on the schedule, they believed they would have a good RPI. An example of this could be LSU, who the Longhorns visited the second week of the season. The Tigers took 2 of 3 from Texas, but have dealt with some rough stretches throughout the season and only have a RPI of 42. Texas also has key road series wins against Oklahoma and Texas Tech on their resume. The series win against Red Raiders should stick out considering the Longhorns were the only team to take a series in Lubbock this season. Final Thoughts Despite the showing in Oklahoma City the past few days, I find it hard to believe there will not be a regional in Austin next weekend. The full body of work points to a team who should be a regional host. As mentioned above, Texas was the regular season conference champions of the #2 RPI conference in the country. The strong strength of schedule and the willingness for Texas to play a tough non-conference slate should work heavily in the Longhorns favor.
  17. The wait is over. The NCAA regional hosts were announced Sunday night, and the Longhorns heard their name called among the 16 teams who will host the regional round of the NCAA Tournament. Texas finished the regular season with 37-20 record and were the regular season champions of the Big 12. Despite an 0-2 performance during the conference tournament, the Longhorns will begin postseason play in Austin. The last time Texas hosted a regional was 2011, when the Longhorns won the regional and eventually advanced to the College World Series. The NCAA will announce the remainder of the NCAA Tournament field tomorrow at 11 AM CST.
  18. It is win or go home for Texas today. First pitch at 9 AM.
  19. No. 12 Texas (37-18, 17-7 Big 12) at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Championship May 23-28, 2018 Where: Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Oklahoma City, Okla.) Time: Wednesday @ 12:30 p.m., Thursday TBD TV: FOX College Sports Radio: 104.9 The Horn, AM 1260 Texas’ all-time Big 12 Tournament record: 44-28 Texas’ Big 12 Tournament wins (last): 5 (2015) PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS WEDNESDAY—Kansas RHP Jackson Goddard (4-1, 4.50) vs. Texas RHP Matteo Bocchi (3-0, 3.46) GAME NOTES THE MATCHUP—No. 12 Texas Baseball enters the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Championship as the No. 1 seed for the first time since 2011…the Longhorns will open up against the No. 8 seed Kansas at 12:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday. A LOOK AT THE LONGHORNS—Texas is coming off a series sweep of TCU that gave the Longhorns the 2018 Big 12 Conference regular season championship…the Longhorns got a complete game out of RHP Nolan Kingham on Thursday night in the win and Kody Clemens hit two home runs on Friday night, one to tie the game at three and one to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth with two outs…on Saturday, Clemens opened the scoring again with his third two-run bomb of the weekend before Texas went on to win 7-3…the Longhorns have gone 7-1 so far in the month of May. BIG 12 CHAMPS—The Big 12 title is the first for the Longhorns since the 2011 season…overall, Texas has claimed 78 conference championships, eight in the Big 12. BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR—Kody Clemens capped off his regular season as the Big 12 Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday…the Texas second baseman has hit .344/.437/.703 with a league-high 19 homers on the year to go along with 12 doubles, three triples, and 61 RBI in leading the Longhorns to the Big 12 title…he is the first Big 12 Player of the Year for Texas since Kyle Russell in 2007…Clemens’ 19 homers on the year are the most since Russell’s 19 in 2008…on Monday, he was also named a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, which is awarded to the top amateur player in America. BIG 12 COACH OF THE YEAR—Texas head coach David Pierce was named Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year on Tuesday after leading Texas to the Big 12 crown…it is the third time in his career that he’s been chosen as conference coach of the year, picking up the honor twice in the Southland Conference while manning Sam Houston State. ALL-BIG 12 HONORS—INF Kody Clemens was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection while OF Duke Ellis and DH Zach Zubia both earned First Team honors…INF David Hamilton, RHP Blair Henley, and RHP Andy McGuire were each named to the second team while RHP Parker Joe Robinson was an Honorable Mention selection…on the All-Freshman Team, Zubia and UTIL Kamron Fields were honored…three is the most First Team selections for the Longhorns since 2011 (four). THE COMEBACK KIDS—Texas has now recorded 17 come-from-behind wins this season, including five of their last eight ballgames…the Horns trailed 3-0 after the first inning on Friday and walked off the game after Duke Ellis beat out an infield single with two outs in the ninth and Kody Clemens followed with his 18th homer…in both wins over Texas Tech, the Longhorns had to rebound from a deficit…on May 1 vs. Texas State, the Longhorns trailed, 10-6, entering the 9th against Texas State when Masen Hibbeler and Duke Ellis led off with walks, Kody Clemens singled, and Zach Zubia walked to set up Hamilton’s ninth inning heroics, a walk-off slam…it was the Horns’ second walk-off homer of the season (Austin Todd on Feb 17 vs. Louisiana) and first walk-off grand slam since Preston Clark’s against Army in the 2009 NCAA Regional. THE DUKE—Sophomore OF Duke Ellis is riding a 15-game hitting streak in which he’s raised his average more than 50 points from .255 to .309…in Big 12 action, the transfer finished 2nd in the conference with a .390 batting average (WVU Kyle Gray, .391) and first in on-base (.484). ZUUUBOMB—Twice this season, Zach Zubia has hit a two-run homer to help clinch a Big 12 Conference road series…he first did it at Oklahoma and also did it in the Sunday rubber match against Texas Tech…the redshirt-freshman has upped his season average to .293 on the year…he and Clemens are the first pair of Longhorns teammates with at least 10 homers apiece since Cameron Rupp, Kevin Keyes, and Kevin Lusson all had double-digit dingers in 2010. VROOM VROOM—David Hamilton has raised his average from .285 to .308 over his current eight-game hitting streak…he’s also the first Horn with at least 27 SB since Drew Stubbs stole 28 in 2004…Hamilton leads the team with 9 bunt singles and 5 triples. DEEEEFENSE—The Texas defense solidified since Big 12 Conference action began…the Longhorns fielded at a .981 clip over 24 league games, with position players making just 12 of the team’s 18 errors…the Horns’ .977 fielding percentage across all games is good for tops among Big 12 teams…as a team, Texas has also turned 63 double plays on the year, which ranks second in all of Division I. RISING LONGHORNS—Texas currently finds itself ranked in all major Division I polls, including D1Baseball (12), Baseball America (14), Perfect Game (13), Collegiate Baseball (12), NCBWA (13), and USA Today (13)…the Horns also stand at No. 15 in RPI. THE BACKEND—David Pierce has utilized a veteran trio to solidify the back end of the bullen…RH Andy McGuire, who was named to the All-Big 12 second team and who had not played baseball in each of the last two seasons, has led the Longhorns with seven saves…in front of McGuire is fifth-year LH Josh Sawyer, who also missed most of the past two seasons with injury including all of 2017…and in the mix is redshirt-junior Parker Joe Robinson who has navigated inherited runners masterfully this season. WEEKDAY WINNERS—Over the past two years, the Horns went 23-5 in midweek games (non-weekend series matchups)…all five losses came away from UFCU Disch-Falk Field…in 2017, Texas went 12-2 with losses at Texas State and against Louisiana in Sugar Land…in 2018, Texas went 11-3 against midweek opponents with two losses on the road against Arkansas and one on the road at Texas A&M. THE MIND OF MCKENZIE—Senior RHP/UTIL player Jake McKenzie was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District team, becoming the first Longhorn to earn that distinction since John Curtiss in 2014…on April 17, he played all nine positions in Texas’ seven-inning win over UTRGV on April 17…he started the game at catcher, the only position he had not previously played while at Texas, before moving through the infield and outfield…he then got the final two outs of the game on the hill…McKenzie was recognized on SportsCenter and on ESPN’s “Get Up!” program in the “My Favorite Player of All-Time (Right This Second)” segment for accomplishing a feat that only five major league players have. …McKenzie, a petroleum engineering major, was recently awarded the Marvin Wright Student Athlete Award from the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Big 12’s Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award…he graduated last Friday with a 3.95 in petroleum engineering.
  20. The Big 12 Conference announced its end of the season awards and All-Conference teams Tuesday morning, and it is no surprise Texas had multiple players recognized. Texas 2B Kody Clemens took home Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and David Pierce was named Big 12 Coach of the Year. Clemens, who was recently named a Golden Spikes Award Semi-Finalist, finished the regular season hitting .344 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI's. Pierce guided the Longhorns to their first Big 12 Title since 2011. 3 Longhorns received First Team All-Big Honors: 2B Kody Clemens, OF Duke Ellis and DH Zach Zubia RHP Andy McGuire, SS David Hamilton and RHP Blair Henley took home Second Team All-Big Honors RHP Parker Joe Robinson was named the Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Team. Zubia and RHP Kamron Fields were also named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team.
  21. The Big 12 Tournament bracket has been set. Texas will enter the tournament as the number #1 seed and will face #8 seed Kansas on Wednesday at approximately 12:30 PM. The tournament is split up into two 4-team double elimination brackets, with the Sunday’s Championship game being a one game winner-take-all.
  22. No. 17 Texas (34-18) vs. TCU May 17-19, 2018 Where: UFCU Disch-Falk Field Time: Thursday @ 6:30 pm CT; Friday @ 6:30 pm CT; Saturday @ 2:30 p.m. TV: Thursday on FS1; Friday and Saturday on Longhorn Network Radio: 104.9 The Horn, AM 1260 All-time series: Texas leads, 224-72-2 PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS THURSDAY—TCU LHP Nick Lodolo (6-3, 4.48) vs. Texas RHP Nolan Kingham (6-2, 4.50) FRIDAY—TCU RHP Jake Eissler (5-1, 3.60) vs. Texas RHP Chase Shugart (4-3, 5.09) SATURDAY—TCU TBA vs. Texas RHP Blair Henley (5-6, 3.60) GAME NOTES THE MATCHUP—No. 17 Texas Baseball hosts TCU in the final series of the regular season. A LOOK AT THE HORNED FROGS—TCU has won three straight and 11 of its last 13 games…the Horned Frogs are coming off a Tuesdy night win over SFA following a series win over WVU over the weekend…on offense, TCU is led by senior Michael Landestoy’s .326/.422/.423 line while newcomer A.J. Balta paces the team with 45 RBI and Josh Watson leads the team with eight home runs…on the mound, Thursday starter Nick Lodolo has compiled a 6-3 record and a 4.48 ERA to go along with 84 strikeouts on the season…out of the bullpen, Durbin Feltman has a team-high six saves and has allowed just one earned run so far this season. A LOOK AT THE LONGHORNS—Texas is coming off a 6-2 win on Tuesday night vs. Texas State…the win comes following a bye week after Texas went 3-1 the week prior…the last time the Longhorns were in Big 12 play, Texas took two of three from then-No. 9 Texas Tech on the road, winning both Friday and Sunday…Kody Clemens continues to pace the offense with a .345/.440/.675 line to go along with 16 homers and 55 RBI…David Hamilton (.305), Duke Ellis (.304), and Zach Zubia (.301) have all surpassed the .300 mark…on the mound, Parker Joe Robinson’s 1.59 ERA over 15 appearances leads the bullpen while Andy McGuire has compiled a 2.45 ERA over 19 appearances including seven saves. NEXT UP—Texas will head to Oklahoma City for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Championship next week. THE COMEBACK KIDS—Texas has now recorded 16 come-from-behind wins this season, including four of their last five ballgames…in both wins over Texas Tech, the Longhorns had to rebound from a deficit…on May 1 vs. Texas State, the Longhorns trailed, 10-6, entering the 9th against Texas State when Masen Hibbeler and Duke Ellis led off with walks, Kody Clemens singled, and Zach Zubia walked to set up Hamilton’s ninth inning heroics, a walk-off slam…it was the Horns’ second walk-off homer of the season (Austin Todd on Feb 17 vs. Louisiana) and first walk-off grand slam since Preston Clark’s against Army in the 2009 NCAA Regional. SENIOR SALUTE—Prior to Saturday’s season finale vs. TCU, Andy McGuire, Jake McKenzie, George Pappas, Parker Joe Robinson, and Josh Sawyer will be honored as a part of Senior Day…McKenzie is a senior while the others are redshirt-juniors who are all graduating on Friday. A CASE FOR CLEMENS—Kody Clemens recorded his 55th RBI on the road against Tech and mashed three more homers in the series, becoming the first Longhorn with at least 55 RBI since Kevin Keyes in 2010 and first Texas player with at least 16 home runs since Kyle Russell’s 19 in 2008…in April, Perfect Game/Rawlings and D1Baseball.com each announced their Midseason All-America teams and was named first team second baseman on both…USA Baseball also announced Clemens as a member of its Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list…he ranks 8th in the Big 12 in batting average (.345), 6th in hits (68), 5th in runs scored (49), 2nd in homers, 3rd in RBI, 2nd in total bases (133), and 3rd in slugging (.675). THE DUKE—Sophomore OF Duke Ellis is riding a 12-game hitting streak in which he’s raised his average almost 50 points from .255 to .304…in Big 12 action, the transfer is second in the conference with a .394 batting average…Ellis also swiped three bases at Texas Tech to give him 13 bags on the season. ZUUUBOMB—Twice this season, Zach Zubia has hit a two-run homer to help clinch a Big 12 Conference road series…he first did it at Oklahoma and also did it in the Sunday rubber match against Texas Tech…the redshirt-freshman has upped his season average to .308 on the year…he and Clemens are the first pair of Longhorns teammates with at least 10 homers apiece since Cameron Rupp, Kevin Keyes, and Kevin Lusson all had double-digit dingers in 2010 VROOM VROOM—David Hamilton leads the Big 12 with 27 stolen bases on the year…he’s the first Horn with at least 27 SB since Drew Stubbs stole 28 in 2004…he also leads the team with 9 bunt singles and 5 triples. DEEEEFENSE—The Texas defense has solidified since Big 12 Conference action began…the Longhorns are fielding at a .981 clip over 21 league games, with position players making just nine of the team’s 15 errors…the Horns’ .977 fielding percentage across all games is good for tops among Big 12 teams…as a team, Texas has also turned 59 double plays on the year, which ranks second in all of Division I. RISING LONGHORNS—Texas currently finds itself ranked in all major Division I polls, including D1Baseball (17), Baseball America (15), Perfect Game (14), Collegiate Baseball (16), NCBWA (17), and USA Today (16)…the Horns also stand at No. 21 in RPI. WEEKDAY WINNERS—Over the past two seasons, the Longhorns are 23-5 in midweek games (non-weekend series matchups)…all five losses have come away from UFCU Disch-Falk Field…in 2017, the Horns went 12-2 with losses at Texas State and against Louisiana in Sugar Land…in 2018, Texas went 11-3 against midweek non-conference opponents with two losses on the road against Arkansas and one on the road at Texas A&M. THE MIND OF MCKENZIE—Senior RHP/UTIL player Jake McKenzie was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District team last Friday, becoming the first Longhorn to earn that distinction since John Curtiss in 2014…on April 17, he played all nine positions in Texas’ seven-inning win over UTRGV on April 17…McKenzie started the game at catcher, the only position he had not previously played while at Texas, before moving through the infield and outfield…he then got the final two outs of the ballgame on the mound…McKenzie was recognized on SportsCenter and on ESPN’s “Get Up!” program in the “My Favorite Player of All-Time (Right This Second)” segment for accomplishing a feat that only five major league players have. …in addition to his role as utilityman, McKenzie, a petroleum engineering major, was recently awarded the Marvin Wright Student Athlete Award from the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Big 12’s Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award…he was also given the Lorene L. Rogers Scholar-Athlete Award given to a graduating senior athlete at Texas.
  23. Throughout the 2018 season, David Pierce preached process over results. In his 2nd year at Texas, the head coach wanted to see hitters have quality at-bats and his pitchers compete on the mound. The results were not always there. The Longhorns struggled at times, dropping series to LSU, Stanford, Kansas State and West Virginia in addition to a 2 game midweek sweep at Arkansas. The bullpen showed cracks and young hitters went through growing pains. Texas never wavered though. Despite going 9-9 through the first 18 games of the season, Pierce continued to stay the course and believed in a team that had lost 11 players to the MLB draft the previous season, resulting in 20 new players entering the program. “You have to win and lose together,” Pierce said after Sunday’s conference championship clinching victory. “You have to go through adversities and that’s what they’ve done. They had just had enough. They committed to each other and they’re reaping the benefits right now.” As conference play unfolded, roles began to be defined and the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together. Andy McGuire and Parker Joe Robinson filled key bullpen roles, with McGuire notching a Big 12 leading 5 saves during conference play. Robinson finished the season with an ERA of 1.46. Duke Ellis caught fire and became an on-base machine at the top of the lineup. Kody Clemens seemingly put Texas on his back at times, blasting 12 home runs in Big 12 play. The Longhorns also began to form an identity. After being plagued by close losses a season ago, Texas started to turn the tables and win close games. Resilient became a common word when describing the team David Pierce was putting on the field. As the calendar turned to May, the process David Pierce talked about started turning into results. On May 1st, the Longhorns rallied from a 10-6 deficit to defeat Texas State, 11-10, on a walk-off grand slam by Hamilton. While only a non-conference game, the win over the Bobcats moved the Longhorns record to 31-17 and kept the hopes of an Austin regional alive. Texas then turned their attention back to Big 12 play, where they trailed Oklahoma State by 3 games in the standings with 6 games to play. The Longhorns still had to travel to Lubbock to face a Texas Tech team ranked in the top 10 before finishing the season with a series against TCU. The result? Texas took 2 of 3 from the Red Raiders, becoming the only team to take a series in Lubbock this season. Oklahoma State struggled against Baylor, dropping 2 of 3, closing the gap in the standings to 2 games. In the final weekend of the season, Texas Tech did the Longhorns a favor by sweeping Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Simultaneously, Texas swept TCU, making the Longhorns the winners of the Big 12. Texas finished the month of May at 7-1, capturing something alluding the baseball program for 7 years, a regular season conference title. “This group is special,” Pierce said. “Not so much because they have talent. They have heart and they have desire. But the love that they have for each other in that clubhouse is what has made this happen. The unselfish plays and not worrying about their stats. It's an incredible group because of that. Not because we're so overly talented. We know that we have to do little things right to win ball games. When it comes together it's worth watching them and seeing their development because this team is so special.”
  24. It is only fitting that a 2-run walk-off home run by Kody Clemens has given Texas a chance to win a Big 12 regular season title. The junior delivered the two big blows for the Longhorns, hitting the game tying 2-run home run in the 5th before smacking a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th. It was the 3rd walk-off home run at UFCU Disch-Falk Field this season. The 5-3 win combined with an Oklahoma State loss pulls the Longhorns even with the Cowboys in the Big 12 standings, with Texas owning the tiebreaker. A win tomorrow with an OSU loss would make Texas outright Big 12 Champs. If Texas and Oklahoma State have the same result, the Longhorns could be co-regular season champs and earn the #1 seed in the Big 12 tournament based on having the tiebreaker. The worst scenario for Texas fans is a Longhorns loss and Oklahoma State win, which would give OSU the regular season title outright and put Texas as the #2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Before looking ahead to tomorrow though, here’s some thoughts and takeaways from another dramatic finish at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. TCU jumped all over Chase Shugart in the first inning, scoring 3 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, 2 walks and an error. Shugart’s fastball command was iffy and he was not able to throw his breaking ball effectively. Innings 2-5 were a different story, as Shugart settled in and scattered 2 hits across 4 innings, allowing 0 runs and walking only 1. It was encouraging to see #24 give Texas 5 innings, especially with David Pierce saying he needed his starters to carry a heavy load, even on nights where they may not have their best stuff. As has become a theme this season, the Longhorns battled back to tie the game at 3. In the 9th, closer Andy McGuire entered and allowed a leadoff walk and 1-out single, placing runners on 1st and 2nd. David Pierce made his way to the mound and revealed after the game that he told McGuire he had 2 freshman warm and ready to go in the bullpen, and McGuire responded “I got this”, and proceeded to retire the next two batters to give Texas a chance to walk it off in the bottom half of the inning. Between Shugart and McGuire, Texas got 3 innings of shutout relief from Josh Sawyer and Parker Joe Robinson. Robinson continues to be one of Texas’ best relievers, lowering his season ERA to 1.46. Prior to the Clemens home-run, Duke Ellis legged out a 2-out infield single, beating the TCU pitcher Augie Mihlbauer to first base. After the game, Pierce praised his rightfielder for extending the inning and giving Clemens a chance to bat. “Without Duke’s hustle down the line, (Clemens) doesn’t have the opportunity to come to the plate right there. Just effort and desire, and he did his job, he busted it down the line and gave Kody an opportunity.”-David Pierce Pierce spoke passionately about how much he enjoys watching this years team play because of how they root for one another and play for their teammates “There are a lot of young men in their who are playing their guts off for the University of Texas and for each other.” After the game, Michael McCann called the players into the locker room for a meeting. What was said? “I know exactly what they talked about because I told Michael McCann, “We got another ballgame together and we got a chance to win a championship, so go take care of your guys”- David Pierce
  25. After Texas’ 3-2 series opening win over TCU, starting pitcher Nolan Kingham told David Pierce, “Arlight Coach, now I’m back”. The junior right-hander turned in perhaps his best performance of the season since his complete game in the season opener against Louisiana Lafayette. Kingham went the distance against the Horned Frogs, throwing 116 pitches while allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 6 and walking 1. Let’s take a look at some thoughts and takeaways from a win that now has Texas only 1 game back of first-place Oklahoma State. Masen Hibbeler told reporters after the game that Kingham pulled out his old cleats before the game and used his warm up song from 2017. The right-hander wanted to turn the clock and regain his 2017 form that made him one of the best arms in the Big 12. It worked, as Kingham showed vastly improved command of all his pitches, including his heavy sinker that induced 12 groundball outs. Kingham pounded the strike zone for much of the night, and used his slider as an effective put away pitch. It was eerily similar to what helped Kingham have success last season. For David Pierce and the Texas pitching staff, Kingham could not have picked a better time to return to his old ways. Pierce said after the game he could tell Kingham wanted the ball tonight. After the 8th winning, Pierce went to Kingham and said they were going to go to Andy McGuire in the 9th. Kingham responded by saying “With all due respect, this is my game. I want the ball.” It was all David Pierce needed to hear, and his ace responded with a 1-2-3 9th inning. At the plate, Hibbeler provided the big blow with his solo home run in the bottom of the 5th to put Texas ahead 3-0. After working a 2-0 count, the Texas left fielder crushed a fastball over the LF wall. The 7th inning was where Longhorn fans began to hold their breath. After allowing a leadoff home run to AJ Balta to cut the Texas lead to 3-1, Kingham struck out Michael Landestoy before Johnny Rizer hit a line drive into CF that Austin Todd dove to try to catch. The second base umpire originally ruled Todd caught the ball despite the fact his glove came off as he rolled over, but the umpires came together and eventually overturned the call, awarding Rizer 2nd base. Todd was forced to leave the game with a separated shoulder. Rizer would end up scoring on a 2-out Connor Wanhanen single, but Kingham struck out Adam Oviedo to prevent further damage and keep the score at 3-2. Todd’s replacement, Tate Shaw, ended the game by running down a deep fly ball in CF Despite a hitless night, Kody Clemens continued to shine in the field. After an error in the top of the 3rd inning, Clemens responded with an outstanding diving stop in the 6th. It was a relatively quiet night for the Texas offense, who only mustered 5 hits, but TCU starter Nick Lodolo showed very good stuff for most the night. With Oklahoma State losing their series opener to Texas Tech, 9-4, Texas now sits 1 game back in the Big 12 standings with 2 to play. Texas owns the tiebreaker and now has a real possibility of playing for a regular season Big 12 title on Saturday afternoon.
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