THE TEXAS LONGHORNS TAKE THE LONE STAR SHOWN DOWN AGAINST THE TEXAS A&M AGGIES 4-3
By Will Baizer
Tuesday, Texas A&M’s baseball team made a mid-week trip over to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns in a Lone Star Showdown on the diamond. After a high intensity game, the Lone Star Showdown belongs to Texas after the Longhorns hold on to stifle an Aggie comeback to the tune of 4-3.
Last year’s game ended off on a walk off homer run for the Aggies and they ran out of the bullpen flashing the horns down. The feelings coming into this game were just a fresh as if that walk off and subsequent fight were just yesterday.
The two teams played in front of a sellout crowd of 6985 fans that was spotted with large pockets of maroon. It was reminiscent of a Cardinals vs Cubs or Yankees vs Red Sox series the way the Aggie fans traveled to Austin and the intensity was that of a playoff game from first pitch to last out. Boy, did it make for a raucous crowd and exciting game. As David Pierce put it, “It was the most electric atmosphere in the country.”
Through the first three innings were a pitchers’ duel between John Doxakis and Nick Kennedy, two lefties who usually don’t start. Doxakis took down the first 5 Longhorn batters with only 10 pitches and it wasn’t until the third inning that Texas actually hit a ball out of the infield. Nick Kennedy wouldn’t budge as well, only allowing one hit. Through the first three innings batter only got on if they somehow walked.
Nick Kennedy came out and dominated 5 full innings, allowing 2 hits and no earned runs whilst tallying 6 strikeouts, which earned him the win. The starting pitching continues to be the back bone of this Texas team.
When the 4th inning rolled up that’s when the offense started.
In the top of the 4th, Braden Shewmake (3 for 4 with 2R) hit a double with one out. When the A&M’s Joel Davis hit it to Texas’ David Hamilton, Hamilton smartly flipped it to 3rd to get the lead runner; however, Ryan Reynolds dropped it and Shewmake got to third. Error on Reynolds.
The next batter, Kennedy pauses, wind up and pitches ball four to Jorge Gutierrez. Not so fast! The first base umpire called a balk. While the balk didn’t look like a balk at all, the ump called it anyways. Shewmake scores and the Aggies take the lead 1-0.
On to the bottom of the 4th where Texas got a chance to hit back.
And they did with a three-run inning. All the Longhorns had to do was wear down the Aggies’ freshman lefty and watch the Aggies crumble. The inning started off with a long at bat and a walk. Then a balk by Doxakis to move the Longhorns over to 2nd. A double into right field by Kacy Clemens (2 for 3 with an RBI) tied the game.
The next batter, Austin Todd, bunted it down the 3rd base line and Kacy advanced to 3rd, but the Aggie 3rd baseman threw it over the head of the 1st baseman. Kacy took advantage and scored off the error. The Longhorns took the lead 2-1. But they weren’t done.
Later in the 4th the Longhorns got another runners onto 3rd off the back of another Aggie error by the same 3rd baseman. Michael McCann then stepped up to the plate and continued his hot streak by lining a ball into left field to extend the lead 3-1.
The bottom of the 5th was more of the same. Travis Jones got an improvisational triple by singling, then stealing 2nd, almost getting caught in a pickle only to be saved by an errant throw by the Aggies, and then advancing to 3rd and an error by the pitcher trying to pick him off. That’s what the day was like for the Aggies. Travis Jones ended up scoring after the Aggies pitcher, Corbin Martin, tried to pick off a man on 1st only for the 1st baseman to drop it allowing Travis to steal home. It was then 4-1 Texas.
Over the course of two innings the Aggies committing four errors, a balk, an errant throw, and two wild pitches. By the end, Longhorn fans were cheering whenever the Aggie pitchers tried to pick off a player or throw the ball.
The Longhorns’ reliever Kevin Roliard came in after Nick Kennedy and took control of the game over 1.1 innings tallying 2 strike outs.
It was smooth sailing for Kyle Johnston who came in to relieve Kevin Roliard up until the 8th inning. Johnston started off the 8th by walking four Aggie batters in a row and getting the Aggies in the crowd to pull out their famous “Ball +1” chant. This only fired up the Longhorn fans and the game really livened up for both fan bases.
Beau Ridgeway came in to relieve him in a hurry and took the bases loaded with no outs situation and only allowed one more run to cross the plate. He was helped out by a clutch play by team leader Kacy Clemens who took a bunt down the 1st base line and flipped it to Michael Cantu to get the tying run at the plate and end the Aggie threat.
Kacy Clemens described the play to us after the game, “Coach put on a play where I’m looking for the safety squeeze. When the pitcher kicked up, and [the batter] squared up to bunt, I was just hauling… Michael was there to catch a good toss.”
And that was all the Longhorns needed to win the game. Or so they thought.
Top of the 9th inning, the Aggies had a man on 3rd with 2 outs, the Aggies stud infielder Braden Shewmake came to the plate. Chase Shugart is closing for the Longhorns and has been unreliable as a reliever. A single send the game into extra innings.
Shewmake knocks a bouncer to freshman short stop David Hamilton. Hamilton double clutches the ball and bullets one to 1st, beating Shewmake by half a step. Ball game.
The Longhorns take the game from the Aggies and Coach Pierce stated after the game, “For our program and our mentality [the win] was huge.”
Now the Longhorns are on a 6-game win streak where they have scored 48 runs off of 62 hits and swept the UCLA Bruins and taken down their in-state rival. Before the streak the Longhorns were hitting .203. Now they are averaging .245.
The Longhorns will be moving into conference play to play a very good Texas Tech program in Austin. While Pierce told us that the Longhorns will be enjoying this one, they have two days of practice before the series, and “…the mindset is great.”
Good evening seamheads. I know, I know, it's a day early, but I figured "why not?"
Watch this preview video. Nice work by the Texas Baseball folks.
— Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011
Texas will start with Nick Kennedy, (2-0, 1.29 ERA,) on the bump.
Texas A&M will start Freshman LHP John Doxakis, (0-0, 6.14 ERA)
Notes on Doxakis: Started 3 games of the six he's appeared in. Longest outing was 5.0 innings in his start against Prairie View A&M.
He has four pitches, and sits 88-91, can hit 92.
The last Freshman LHP to start vs Texas was on Saturday.
— Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011