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Found 6 results

  1. Good evening all. Welcome back to baseball coverage and discussion here on Horn Sports. And to those who are new around here, welcome on board. I want to give a few disclaimers and thoughts before I begin. I am a Texas alum, first and foremost. I am a fan. I won't hide this. That said, I really do try to remain somewhat realistic throughout the season. I don't want to get caught up in the "fire the coach," "small ball sucks," and/or "so-and-so can't play X position on this team/at this level." Leave that for other sites. I am neither a professional journalist nor former professional athlete/coach. I just try to "call 'em like I see 'em." Much to my displeasure, I am not able to attend a lot of UT baseball games in person. I do try to get down to one series in Austin, and one West Coast series if time allows. Otherwise, I am a follower like many of you, via LHN and radio broadcasts. My style, (if you will,) of calling a game is pretty straight forward. I do Play by Play, sometimes with a bit of color injected for good measure. I will recap an entire inning from start to finish, so I may not be following as closely to "Live" as you'd like. If an inning runs long, there's a good chance I'll post what I have and continue in the next post. I do this because I enjoy it. Bottom line. I would like to think of myself as a "Teddy" starter kit. Teddy is the announcer from Bull Durham. Although that is probably far too much self praise. Ha! If there is something you'd like for me to do differently, look into, answer, please feel free to ask. I'll try to get it done/answered for you. Sit back and enjoy 2015, as we're about to get rolling. 2015 Preview and Thoughts In researching the 2015 version of this Texas Longhorn team, the common theme I keep reading/hearing is "hungry." Hungry is a great adjective, as I'm often hungry, I tend to smoke BBQ when I'm hungry, and I post pics of said BBQ, which makes others hungry. Hungry is something I'm quite familiar with. Augie, being a 'foodie' of sorts, also knows the meaning of "hungry." This team was on the doorstep of the College World Series Finals last season. Getting to Omaha, let alone making a run like they did, was not a surprise to anyone wearing a Texas uniform last season, although it did catch many of the fans off guard. There were calls for Augie's head early in the season. There were rumblings of his replacement. Some folks said, "hang in there, this will work itself out," and "this team is focused and they believe in themselves." Few listened. So when the Horns went on their run to Omaha, including impressive wins over A&M and Rice in the Regional, and a sweep of Houston in the Super Regional, they took with them a majority of surprised internet fans. Losing to eventual CWS Champions Vanderbilt in Omaha left a bitter taste in this team's mouth. It left them hungry for more. Spring practices and scrimmages let the coaching staff see what they have on hand this year. Players seeing the mound for the first time, like Kacey Clemens, Kyle Johnston, Parker Joe Robinson, Chance Callihan, Tyler Schimpf and Andy McGuire, gave an indication that even with the loss of Morgan Cooper, (Tommy John surgery-will miss 2015,) this pitching staff has some very capable young arms. Add in guys like Parker French (Sr.,) Travis Duke (Jr.,) Chad Hollingsworth (Jr.,) Ty Culbreth (Jr.,) Jon Malmin (So.,) Blake Goins (So.,) and Josh Sawyer (So.,) you've got a salty arsenal that most programs in this country would love to have. While pitching was the key in the first two games of the spring, the offensive side of the ball reared its head in game 3. 24 hits. That happened. Throughout the series, Zane Gurwitz, Ben Johnson, Tres Barrera, Brooks Marlow, CJ Hinojosa, Connor Macalla and Collin Shaw-all hit the ball well, and will be counted on in 2015 to be key contributors at the plate. Defensively speaking, CJ was on point, Bret Boswell showed some real flashes at 3B and Michael Cantu at C was very solid, especially for a Freshman. The spring outings also gave a peek into what the new baseballs would bring to the table in 2015. Lower seams will have an impact on the carry of the ball this year, and hopefully ramp up the offense a bit from previous years. What does all this mean to the 2015 campaign? I think it means that this is one talent-rich team that has the makings of a fun season and a run in Omaha. I think it means that Tommy Nicholson, Skip Johnson and Augie Garrido have to be salivating at the team that is going to be suiting up in the burnt orange this season. Let's take a look at the possible early-season lineup. 1B: Travis Jones (Fr.) from Humble. I think this frees up Clemens for pitching duties as well as possibly DH 2B: Brooks Marlow (Sr.) You cannot count out his senior leadership in the IF. SS: CJ Hinojosa (Jr.) I'm expecting a real breakout year from CJ offensively and an even stronger '15 flashing leather. 3B: Bret Boswell (RS-Fr.) Injured last year, all we heard was what a great player he was. Well, all he did in Summer ball with the Santa Barbara Foresters was hit .281, 24 RBI; 53 PO & 76 A on defense RF: Collin Shaw (Sr.) He's an ESPN Play-of-the-Day type player. Solid outfield who had a huge CWS to build upon. CF: Zane Gurwitz (So.) Played 3B last season, but I can't think of anyone better suited to step into CF and Mark Payton's vacancy than Zane. He's a gamer. LF: Ben Johnson (Jr.) Expect big things from Ben in '15. He has the pop in his bat and some serious speed on the bases. Defensively he's a huge asset. C: Tres Barrera (So.) According to Augie, he has really emerged as the leader for the catcher position. Won the Home Run Derby at the CWS, and we will see that bat light up Disch this season. DH: This one is up for grabs. I think you have a lot to choose from. I could see Clemens, Cantu, Macalla or McGuire fill this role at some point this season. Look for Augie to mix it up a bit here. There are some really explosive hitters on this year's roster. Starting Rotation: This one is a bit more difficult. Three of the first four series this season are four-game series. So your typical 3-man rotation won't be in play. We will see a lot of fluctuation here. Also, losing Cooper causes some shuffling to fill the void. If there is a coach in the country that is better than Skip Johnson at managing a pitching staff, I have yet to see him. Skip is the Yoda of pitching coaches; he just has a way with these kids that is amazing. There is a reason why he is in demand from MLB pitchers on his off time. Understand that Augie has said that the starting rotation is currently up for grabs, which leads to some speculation on my part about the spots. That said, here's my prediction, based on a 3-man rotation: Friday: Parker French Saturday: Chad Hollingsworth Sunday: Josh Sawyer, (This could be any number of guys right now. I could see Ty Culbreth, Connor Mayes and Tyler Schimpf getting a shot at this role until the coaching staff finds the one they're most comfortable with. This was the hardest one to determine.) Closer: Kyle Johnston; He has some nasty stuff, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him rotated in as a starter from time to time, maybe even flipping roles with French. This year's team has a nice mix of upperclassmen leadership and ambitious youth. There are a few guys that are moving to new roles this year, and as long as they accept their roles, and accel in them, this team will be tough to beat when it matters. There was a total restructure of the environment, expectations and culture around this program last year. When the guys buy in, the results are apparent. So, stay hungry, because beginning in a week, we will be smoking up some Owl to kick things off. Saturday at 1 PM CST is the Annual Alumni Game at the Disch. The game will be on LHN. I'll be doing PBP here for those of you that won't be watching the game. Stick around, I'll do a series by series prediction prior to next week.
  2. Boys and girls, that time of year is almost upon us. That's right, UT Baseball season. One week from tomorrow, at 1 PM at the Disch, the season officially kicks off with the Alumni Game. Stick around, I'll do a preseason preview, make some out on a limb projections and we can talk about anything and everything Horns baseball. I have to say, I'm pretty jacked about this season. More so than I've been in the last several years.
  3. OK boys and girls, a little early, but here's the thread. I need to preface this by saying that I'll be here for PBP, but it won't be until right at game time. If anyone wants to post the lineup cards and uniform pics once they're released, by all means, go ahead. I have a few graduation parties to attend for friends of my daughter today, but I will be back by 5 PM PST. Pitching matchup will be RHP Carson Fulmer for Vandy going against Parker French of Texas. Hook Em, and let's get another one! Team is loose and having fun. Good news for the good guys.
  4. First pitch scheduled for 7:08 PM CST from Omaha. Texas lineup is the same as usual: Marlow Johnson Payton Tres CJ Shaw Carter Clemens Gurwitz Hollingsworth on the bump. Lineup cards coming shortly.
  5. OK, one more to get to Omaha. House money, folks. Let's get this done! Same lineup for the Horns today. Marlow Johnson Payton Tres Carter CJ Shaw Clemens Gurwitz French on the bump Houston: Survance-9 Vidales-4 Ratcliff-6 Pyeatt-7 Montemayor-DH Grayson-3 Hollis-5 Barker-2 Fulmer-8 Garza on the hill Game time is 1 PM CST
  6. Taking a look at the profiles of the 16 teams left in the Supers...here's my ranking from Most Likely to Least Likely to win it all in Omaha. FAVORITES: 1. TCU - Interesting to see if the long innings last weekend come back to haunt, but I think this team has the best overall profile of the remaining teams, now that all those national seeds have already exited the dance. The best ERA in college baseball in 2014 (Team ERA of 2.14). This is the one team I would absolutely not want to face right now. 2. Virginia - They blew it in the Supers last year as a national seed. They've also got salty pitching (2.29 Team ERA). Virginia feels like the kind of team that's been knocking on the door for years and is ready to kick the sonofabitch down. LOTS OF POTENTIAL: 3. Vanderbilt - Like UVA, Another perennial underachiever but a strong team...I am VERY nervous about having UVA and Vandy ranked #2 and #3 on this list btw. Last year the Dores were the #2 national seed and got pushed to Game 7 by Georgia Tech and then got 1-2-BBQed by Louisville at home in the Supers. I like Vandy's potential draw if they get by Stanford. Potential revenge against Louisville, or they'd draw the tourney's cinderella Kennesaw State. Would potentially avoid TCU/Virginia/ULaLa until the final series. 4. Houston - On one side you could say that Houston is the hottest team in the tourney after taking 2 of 3 at LSU. On the other side you could say that Stony Brook did the same in 2012 and then got smoked in Omaha. But Houston was impressive in February, they're playing even better now, and they'll be a tough out. 5. Texas - Really, UH and Texas should be 4a and 4b. The fact that they have to play each other should inherently push them both down on this list because I think this Super will be a total 50-50 toss up. Texas has arms for days even with Peters out. Timely hits, and the lack of errors (mental or otherwise) decide whether this team is good or great. Chances for a title have increased dramatically thanks to the early exits of teams like LSU, OR STATE, FLA STATE, FLA... 6. Louisiana-Lafayette - 66 team HRs and a team batting average of .319. But since the bats were changed I don't think mashers have done jack squat in Omaha. Even LSU rode more speed and arms to get their last title. The Cajuns have a Team ERA of 3.31 which doesn't sound bad, but it's good for 67th in the country. I've got my "FRAUD" sticker ready to slap on these guys' helmets at any moment. A PUNCHERS CHANCE: 7. Louisville - A return to Omaha would be Louisville's 3rd in 8 years. The Cards avoid a trip to Tallahassee and get a bonus home Super Regional. Combine that with a relatively weak regional draw (Kentucky was a garbage 2 seed) and this is a gift wrapped trip to the CWS. 8. Pepperdine - I will always respect, and probably overrate California teams. I have seen enough Stanford, Fullerton, Pepperdine, UC Irvine baseball to know these guys play like winners. If Pepperdine can escape Ft Worth they can do anything. 9. UC Irvine - Any Texas fan worth his salt knows what the UC Irvine anteaters are capable of. They just beat the overall #1 ranked team in the country on the road, Stillwater won't scare them. My most likely Supers upset. 10. Oklahoma State - Ok State took 4 of 6 from Texas but they just didn't ring my bell as a title contending team. I think they're good across the board but not dominating anywhere. 11. Texas Tech - I think the Red Raiders are a year or two ahead of schedule. But if the young pitchers can win on the road in their first regional appearance, maybe they can do anything. Most likely they can do enough to beat CoC at home, but then stage fright would set in at TD Ameritrade. 12. Stanford - Stanford had a lousy year that they've salvaged with the upset win in Bloomington. But this is not the typical Stanford team...they've given up 6+ runs in 17 of 58 games (34-24 record overall). That's almost 30% of their games. That's not winning baseball in NCAA 2014. LONG SHOTS: 13. College of Charleston - The best #4 seed in the country coming in, and they drew probably the best possible Super Regional matchup since Texas Tech also upset Miami. They could make it to Omaha, but they won't win in Omaha. 14. Ole Miss - Haha. Come on now. Look up their history, this ain't happening. It's been 42 years since Ole Miss made it to Omaha. 15. Maryland - Maryland's making some noise, and they can finish their F-U-ACC tour by breaking UVAs hearts in the Charlottesville Super Regional. They CAN. They WON'T. 16. Kennesaw State - Sorry Owls. Nice run in Tallahassee though. You'll always have Tallahassee.

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