We're now 38-7, have set the league record for consecutive conference wins (17 in a row, eclipsing previous holder Texas A&M @ 16), and are proving ourselves too stubborn to give in to the baseball gods, even when they ordain a loss.
Baylor played exceptionally well, our bats went largely silent, and we still managed another three game Big 12 series sweep (4-2, 2-1, 4-1).
Pitching and defense
Over the series weekend, which included two extra inning affairs, the staff allowed only one earned run. That's over 33 innings of baseball. They also struck out 29 batters.
For the season, our top four by Innings Pitched - Jungmann, Green, Workman, Ruffin - boast a 27-3 combined record. The staff ERA now sits at an extraordinary 2.17 and teams are hitting .212 against us. Even more encouraging, aside from the strength of our starters and reliever, we had strong weekend spot performances from Hoby Milner, Mckirahan, and Stayton Thomas. Freshman Hoby Milner giving four innings of hitless, runless, walkless baseball coupled with four strikeouts was decidedly manly and portends good things for the regionals and Omaha.
Defensively, we had a gaffe here and there (Connor Rowe with a bad center field error) but Game 2 saw a Keyes-Etier-Rupp relay that looked like it was staged for a baseball instructional video. Keyes bare handed a ball off of the wall at 375, threw a perfect strike to Etier, who then threw a perfect strike to Rupp who met the stunned Baylor runner like he was serving papers.
Any issues to Augie?
Well, the bats were quiet. I'm not sure how much of that was a function of wind - it looked from the telecast that balls that wanted to leave were being buffeted back. Or maybe Baylor just pitched their asses off. That we can win three games with 10 runs on the board is impressive more than worrying.
Connor Rowe's plate approach always cracks me up and his stance has further deteriorated. His team low .301 OB% is testament to that. Still, he did manage a key triple yesterday that staked an early lead.
As for baserunning awareness, perhaps I have a selection bias, but we seem to get runners picked off of first base with startling regularity. "Texas player caught in rundown" is something I hear a lot.
Big 12 Overall
Texas 19-2-0 .905 38-7
Kansas State 10-7-0 .588 30-12
Texas Tech 12-9-0 .571 26-22
Oklahoma 10-9-0 .526 32-12
Texas A&M 9-11-1 .452 25-17-1
Kansas 7-10-1 .417 26-19-1
Missouri 7-10-0 .412 23-19
Oklahoma State 7-11-0 .389 26-18
Baylor 7-12-0 .368 25-20
Nebraska 7-14-0 .333 20-24
The conference race is essentially over with six games left to play. Texas holds a 7 game lead over Kansas State, who we play this weekend in Manhattan. Any Texas conference win or any Kansas State conference loss clinches it for the Horns.
However, we have bigger fish to fry. While the rest of the league dogpiles at the prospect of a conference title, Augie's sights are always set firmly on Omaha.