Longhorn Baseball Wins Big 12 Title

We took 2 of 3 from Purple Kryptonite, secured a Big 12 Title that Augie will shrug about and probably use the trophy as a place to hang his car keys (our 6th Big 12 title in 14 years), are now an outstanding 41-8 overall (21-3 in conference), and put ourselves in excellent position for the regional seedings. It's reasonable to assume that we're now the #2 seed in the nation, if not #1 (I expect Arizona State to wrap that up).

We also had a couple of interesting weekend developments worth noting, specifically the insertion of Jonathan Walsh into our lineup for two games, and the continued growth of young Hoby Milner as a key guy out of the bullpen.

Texas lost the opener 2-1 with flaccid offense and an inability to string together hits. Stranding eleven runners on base won't get it done. It happens. Jungmann had control issues, but wasn't hittable (he pitched a one hitter with 7 walks, a wild pitch, and a hit batter - a young Nolan Ryan stat line). It felt like a game that we should have won 5-1, but we lacked sufficient team Wa and the baseball gods punished us for our impertinence.

The second game was a 17-2 turkey shoot, worthy of circa 1990s LSU SteroidBall. Pre-game, Augie asked the team why they are trying to catch a catfish with a gourd, mentioned that all we are is dust in the wind, and the team simultaneously came to enlightenment. Augie also sat Connor Rowe, moved Walla to center field, and inserted Jonathan Walsh into the lineup. Walsh reponded by going 4 of 5 with two doubles and a home run. Wally Pipp then sent Rowe flowers. We had 19 hits and put 4 over the fence.

Cole Green moved to 10-0, now sports a 1.45 ERA, and arguably has the third best stuff on our staff. He is a collegiate Greg Maddux.

The rubber match was high drama, and we began the first inning with three consecutive solo shot home runs by Walla, Moldy, Keyes. It looked like it might get out of hand, but K-State got to Workman, knocked him out of the game, and took a 5-3 lead into the 6th. Though that sounds surmountable, game momentum had completely turned and the massive Wildcat crowd of 2,000 was rioting like they'd gotten JUCO accreditation. Our bully and Kevin Keyes came to the rescue. Milner and Ruffin combining for 5 scoreless innings and Kevin Keyes went off: 3 for 3 with two home runs and a single that scored the two go-ahead runs in the seventh. Interestingly enough, Kansas State intentionally walked Moldy to face Keyes and load the bases though Kevin had already homered twice. Keyes took it personally and delivered. I can't imagine how huge that must be for his confidence.

Walsh was as bad as he was good the day previous going 0-4 with three strikeouts. So it will be interesting to see what Augie does with Walsh/Rowe going forward or if this was just a short term tactical move.

Overall, the diffused power of our line-up continues to hold (our 7 most prolific HR hitters go: 11, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7, 6) and though our bats do go cold, we've got seven guys in the line-up at any given time who can deposit the ball in the cheap seats if you make a pitching mistake. Not a bad thing to pair with an elite pitching staff.

Thoughts?

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