The goal in conference play is always to win each series. If you take two of three every time you'll have a good chance of winning the conference. Assuming you achieve more sweeps than series losses (and avoid being swept), then you have the makings of a national seed come June. So while a sweep of Missouri would've been great, taking two of three is just fine by us.
The difference between game one and game two was all in the leadoff hitter. Texas was 0-9 in game one (a 2-0 loss) leading off an inning and 5-8 in game two (a 5-0 win). The Horns did a pretty good job in game three but had little to show of it through 8 innings. Tant Shpeherd was hit by a pitch, then advanced to second an a passed ball. Kevin Keyes hadn't played all weekend, but his double to the deepest part of the ballpark was by far the biggest hit of the weekend. A sac bunt, single, and throwing error by the shortstop ended the game (4-3) and series in the Horns favor.
This series perhaps showed the Horns greatest weaknesses but winning the series showed how different this team is (so far) from the squad we saw in '08. Mizzou scored 46 runs last year against Texas. This year they scored 5. Cole Green (5 IP, 3 ER) was human for the first time all year, but Taylor Jungmann came out and absolutely dominated (4 IP, no hits, 0 ER), giving Texas a chance to win it in the end. The hitting was suspect and the power, outside of Brandon Belt and one Kevin Keyes AB, was nonexistent. Yet the offense again was just enough to support superb pitching.
Augie tried to get some rhythm for Michael Torres, Russell Moldenhauer and Kyle Lusson, starting them all weekend ahead of Preston Clark, Kevin Keyes and Connor Rowe. The experiment had mixed results, but we applaud the effort to get those guys into the lineup. As noted above, we finally saw Taylor Jungmann, and we definitely like the depth and talent he brings to the bullpen in long relief. Finally, we're almost a month into the season and it's pretty obvious that the Austin Wood to closer move is a great success.
On Sunday, Texas again found itself trailing late in a game, and for the third time this season they were able to mount a comeback. Nobody is going to mistake Missouri or Texas State for LSU or Rice, yet winning games like this gives a team confidence for May and June. With nobody nationally making a huge move this weekend (with the possible exception of A&M over Baylor if they're able to win game three on Monday), there's probably a pretty good chance that Texas will remain #1 (at least in BA) this week.
Next Up: Texas travels to Houston to take on Rice, Tuesday at 7 PM.