Baseball Takes On Penn State

More baseball at the Disch this weekend, as #4 Texas (5-0) welcomes Penn State (2-1) for a four game set. PSU enters the series 2-1, having fallen to St. John's but beaten Northwestern and Seton Hall. Last weekend's Big Ten/Big East challenge was played in various Florida ballparks in an innovative way around the Northern weather. This series is an important tune-up for next weekend's showdown with Stanford, but as Texas A&M proved on Wednesday, anything can happen in baseball.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

Feb. 27, 2009 - 3 p.m.
Texas: RHP Chance Ruffin (1-0, 3.24 ERA)
PSU: LHP Mike Lorentson (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

Feb. 28, 2009 - 12:30 p.m.

Texas: RHP Taylor Jungmann (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
PSU: RHP Scott Kelley (1-0, 1.59 ERA)

Texas: RHP Cole Green (0-0, 1.29 ERA)
PSU: RHP T.J. Macy (0-0, 1.29 ERA)

March 1, 2009 - 1 p.m.

Texas: RHP Brandon Workman (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
PSU: LHP Calvin Grumley (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

 

Notes Heading Into The Series:

  1. The Starting Pitching -- Chance Ruffin has the team's highest ERA thanks to a 2-run double against UTA, but the starting pitching thus far has been beyond words. It would be unreasonable to expect this level of dominance for the rest of the season, but as we mentioned in the season preview there's a direct correlation over the last 7 years between a team ERA below 3.00 and the Horns having postseason success. Right now the ERA is 1.23. Expect it to rise some, but if the pitching stays elite, the wins will follow.
  2. The Sluggers -- Speaking of beyond words, Brandon Belt is slugging 1.000, batting .500 and has 8 walks. Kevin Keyes also had a monster game against UTA, and things get fun when those two are hitting the ball.
  3. The Bullpen -- We're 5 games into the season and we've seen five starters and four relievers. Austin Wood has been pretty lights out as your closer, but who else will be called upon to get big outs? 
UPDATE, 6:08 PM: Texas wins game one 9-2 behind another nice outing by Chance Ruffin. The key stat in this one was "4," as in the number of Penn State errors. The Lions committed two particularly costly back-to-back errors in the bottom of the fourth, opening the door to a seven run explosion by the Longhorns that essentially put the ballgame on ice. Chance Ruffin had the roughest outing of any Longhorn starter to date: 6 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, and 9 strikeouts. In any event, Texas runs its season record to 6-0 and gets Penn State in a double header tomorrow.
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