June 19th, 2011 at 11:10 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
The Longhorns face North Carolina for the first team ever in Baseball on Monday afternoon. Winner plays Wednesday against the loser of the Florida-Vanderbilt game, loser goes home. Both coaches on Sunday spoke about having to win 4 straight to get into the Championship series.
North Carolina’s Mike Fox witnessed that first hand in 2006 when they lost to Oregon St. in championship series which was the first of Oregon States back to back titles. Texas has been to the championship series in each of their last three CWS appearances but never after losing their first game. What the Horns can hang their hat on is their “living on the edge” post season. They fought off elimination three times in the regional and then twice more in the super regional.
Senior Cole Green is scheduled to get the start. Green told me he’s hoping the experience, even though it was a loss, of starting in the national championship series deciding game against LSU will help him against the Tar Heels.
June 19th, 2011 at 12:16 am by Roger Wallace under Sports
The Texas baseball team has not made it easy on themselves all post season. It started with an opening round loss at the Big 12 tournament to Missouri which is technically the regular season, but feels more like the post season. From there they won two straight before losing a second time to Missouri. Then they lost their 2nd round regional game before winning three straight. Horns dropped their super regional opener to Arizona State before winning two to make it to Omaha.
So here we are at the College World Series where Texas has to fight it’s way out of the losers bracket again. What makes this NCAA tournament all the more unusual is that in all three of UT’s losses, Taylor Jungmann was the losing pitcher. This after Jungmann went 13-0 during the regular season. Jungmann admitted after the game that mechanically he has struggled the last few outings.
Now it’s on to Monday afternoon against North Carolina. Senior Cole Green will take the mound not only trying to extend UT’s season but his career. The senior turned down some $300,000 from the Tigers after being drafted in the 4th round. He came back for this moment, another chance in Omaha. Green’s last appearance at the CWS he started and lost the national championship deciding game against LSU in 2009. That would just be the start. Texas will have to win four straight to make it back to their 4th championship series in last four appearances.
June 14th, 2011 at 10:18 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
A year ago this time Nebraska had just jumped from the Big 12 where they felt like a second class citizen to the southern schools in the conference, specifically Texas. While the Longhorns are finished competing against the Cornhuskers in conference play, they are not finished competing in Nebraska.
Texas will make its record 34th trip to the College World Series later this week and will probably be the “Miami Heat” of the eight teams in Omaha, the one fans love to hate. Texas A&M makes it a Texas two step at the new TD Ameritrade Park, but the Aggies have a secret weapon when it comes to Husker hospitality. A&M head coach Rob Childress spent seven years as pitching coach at Nebraska before taking over in College Station.
The two schools cannot meet unless its in the championship series. The go in as the offensive underdog. Texas has hit 17 home runs as a team, their opening game opponent Florida has hit 67 including 18 from Mike Zunino. The bigger question will be starting pitcher Taylor Jungmann. After going 13-0 in the regular season, Jungmann has lost his two post season starts. While the Gators can score in bunches, they also have some strong pitching. Saturday’s expected starter is Randall Hudson who has a 10-3 record with an impressive 2.29 ERA. The schedule is always interesting in Omaha. The team in the UT bracket that emerges on Monday night with a 2-0 record will have three days off until they play again on Friday.
The Aggies play the final opening game of the series when they take on defending champion South Carolina Sunday at 6:00. They are opposite top seed Virginia and California. The Bears are quite a story, this is a program that was supposed to be dropped, but a late push in fund raising, not to mention their appearance at the CWS will likely save them.
May 25th, 2011 at 3:41 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
Texas has dug themselves a hole they may not want get out of at the Big 12 tournament. The top seeded Longhorns lost to Missouri 6-4 in Oklahoma City and now will have to climb out of the losers bracket. In order for Texas to make it to Sunday’s one game championship they will have to win single games Thursday and Friday and then two on Saturday. That could prove tough on a pitching staff with the most important part of the season right around the corner in the NCAA tournament.
So how bad does Texas even want to win in OKC? You can bet they will want to get Thursday’s game against Baylor and avoid the dreaded two and a barbeque. After that, its a matter of opinion. Augie Garrido is never going to have his team take the field to lose, but the way they manage their pitching staff could be a telling sign. If he is convinced that they are a lock for a top 8 national seed which means home field through the super regional, then he and pitching coach Skip Johnson will be very careful with their front line pitchers. If he feels that they need more wins, then they could stretch out some arms. The good news for Texas is that Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Taylor Jungmann is available after freshman Nathan Thornhill got the start on Wednesday.
May 22nd, 2011 at 11:04 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
The Longhorns are the top seed in the Big 12 baseball tournament and will take on Missouri Wednesday at 12:30 in Oklahoma City. Baylor and Oklahoma State round out their side of the bracket.
The other bracket has Texas A&M taking on Texas Tech at 4:00 Wednesday and Oklahoma against K-State at 7:30.
The tournament format has changed back to the two four team double elimination tournaments with the winner meeting on Sunday in a one game championship.
May 15th, 2011 at 8:25 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
Texas A&M has their new basketball coach. Billy Kennedy from Murray State may not make big headlines, but he follows a pretty successful formula for A&M. Like Billy Gillispie came to A&M from mid-major UTEP and then it was Mark Turgeon from Wichita State. Kennedy is the two time defending Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year. He also has tied to A&M, serving as an assistant for Kermit Davis back in 1990-91.
April 28th, 2011 at 4:27 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
Kevin Durant has established himself as one of the best players in the NBA with two straight scoring titles to prove it. But the next step is a lot more about April thru June than November thru March, we’re talking playoffs.
Durant not only led Oklahoma City to their first ever playoff series win (since moving from Seattle) but stepped up huge down the stretch with big basket after big basket. Durant scored 41 points for the second time in the series and 16 of the 41 in the 4th quarter where the Thunder erased a nine point Nuggets lead. But think about Jordan, do you know how many scoring titles he has? How many MVP’s does he have? Everyone does know the number 6, as in 6 NBA titles. Kobe Bryant is in search of that 6th title and its amazing how the talk has intensified about Bryant’s place alongside Jordan in the history of greatest players.
Durant will score and score and score. In his four years in the NBA he has more than 8100 points This from a player that is still more than five months shy of his 23rd birthday. For perspective, Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the all time leading scorer with 38,387 points while Shaquille O’Neal is the leading active score with 28,596 points, followed by Bryant at 27,868.
But his legacy will be formed by what he can do in the post season. He has taken the first step with the series win over Denver, now he waits for the Spurs-Grizzlies winner for the next step.
By the way, Jordan owns 10 scoring titles and 5 MVP’s.
March 28th, 2011 at 9:39 pm by Roger Wallace under Sports
UT sophomore Jordan Hamilton was named 3rd team All-American by the Associated Press. First team is Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Kemba Walker (UCONN), Nolan Smith (Duke), Jared Sullenger (Ohio St.), and JuJuan Johnson (Purdue). Might question Derrick Williams from Arizona being a 2nd team instead of first, especially after the tournament he had.
One of the hot topics from mid-February until selection Sunday is what teams are on the bubble. But then the argument is quickly qualified by saying “its not like any of these teams are going to win championship, so what does it matter?” Well that is now out the window with VCU going to the final four after being one of the last four in. Coaches want to continue to expand the field and this will only add fuel to those feelings.
We caught up with Leo Manzano on Monday to talk about his first Manzano Mile which is Saturday at the Texas School for the Deaf. The former UT great distance runner and ’08 Olympian is trying to raise money to help fund running and fitness efforts for kids around Central Texas. I’ll never forget being at the Beijing Olympics with him and how in awe he was of his Olympic experience and that was well before he ran. For more on his run go to www.manzanomile.com.
Texas Baseball team dropped just a few spots to #8 despite a rough weekend at Oklahoma State. Horns not only lost their first Big 12 series since ’09 (K-State, who else) but scored just five runs and that included their 1-0, 15 inning game on Friday. I get to sit on for Craig Way on Tuesday’s radio broadcast (6p, 1300 The Zone) as the Horns take on Oral Roberts and try to avoid their third straight loss.
Will Muschamp held his coaches clinic this past weekend at Florida and among his invited speakers was former UT offensive coordinator Greg Davis. There was some talk that Davis and Muschamp were at odds last season, while that was probably the case at one point or another with an entire staff going through their first losing season in 13 years, it couldn’t have been that bad if Muschamp wanted Davis part of his clinic.
March 21st, 2011 at 9:23 am by Roger Wallace under Sports
For the second straight year the Longhorns found out just how cruel the tournament can be, but unlike last year when missed free throws and a great individual effort left no room for debate, Sunday night was much different. The five second call on Cory Joseph is a pretty rare call in and of itself, but at that time of game is amazing. For the record he called the T.O. between 4.2 and 4.5 seconds. Derrick Williams held the ball longer than that in the post on more than one occasion without a call and you could probably say the same for Tristan Thompson, but the refs let them play. The fact that Richard Cartmell who made the call is a PAC 10 official is more coincidence than conspiracy. As for the no-calls on Brown’s last second shot or Gary Johnson’s follow attempt, seems, understandable in that situation to swallow the whistle unless its blatant, kind of like a five second call with the game on the line. So Texas joins a long list of teams on the wrong side of a controversial call as their season comes to an end. After the game I spoke with Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton about their comments on Saturday that they would return to Texas next season. To my surprise Hamilton seemed more certain that he will return than Thompson. But keep in mind, there will be a lot of people in their ear between now and decision time in May. One factor that could help Texas is the potential labor issues with the NBA. Okay, back to our beautiful drive through Oklahoma.
March 7th, 2011 at 9:36 am by Roger Wallace under Sports
I think UT’s win at Baylor was HUGE for the Longhorns. Horns avoid the three game skid entering the post season, and they quiet some of the chatter about another late season collapse, they get a shot of confidence which is something they seemed to have a lot of during their 11 game streak and haven’t had a lot of since the Nebraska loss. Seems like they will be a two maybe thee and only a one seed if they do something they have never done before, win the Big 12 Tournament. NCAA tournament chair Gene Smith said last week that for the power teams in the power conferences, the conference tournaments don’t effect seeding that much. So even if Texas loses Thursday to the Baylor- OU winner, it probably doesn’t change the seeding. Now if they were to win it and especially if they were to beat Kansas and 2nd time, hard to believe that wouldn’t have a great shot of not only a one seed, but a one seed in the San Antonio Regional. You hear a lot about good wins and bad losses on team’s tournament resumes, well you could argue that their win at Kansas is the single best regular season win of the season by any team. Can’t wait for next week.
Had a chance to work my first UT Baseball game on the radio Saturday alongside Craig Way. Hope they don’t hold it against me as UT played a very “un-Augie like” performance in their 9-2, 4 error loss to Stanford. Horns bounced back Sunday with the 4-2 win to take the series 2-1. Looking ahead it appears that it is going to be very difficult for anyone to beat Taylor Jungmann on the opening game of any series, question is can Cole Green settle into the pitcher he was last year when he was the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year.
The effect of the new bats are pretty obvious. Horns not only don’t have a home run in 11 games but Garrido joked they don’t even hit homers in practice, which saves them some money on baseballs.
I’ll be back on the radio on Tuesday at 6 for the UT-San Antonio game with Bill Little, it will start on texassports.com and will be joined on 1300 The Zone after the UT Women’s game at the Big 12 tournament which starts at 5. I think UT fans will hoping I’m back on Friday and Saturday for the first three games of the Brown series, if only because I’ll do the games as long as the Longhorns are alive at the Big 12 Tournament.