1-2 to start the season opening series. Not expecting that one bit. As you can see from my preview of the Lobos of New Mexico, I expected a good series to open the season with. A series that we would sweep, as a good test against a quality, underrated, well coached team that should be in the tournament in June. But not that.
Luckily, for me and the rest of y'all, baseball season is not predicated on one game. At least not until we play in June. No, Longhorn fans, we get to rectify the situation next weekend and we can pretend that the debacle at the Dish this weekend, never happened. As a diehard baseball fan, all I can tell you is to agree with 40AS when he says the sky is NOT falling, but for the sake of your safety and sanity, don't look up yet.
The reason why we cannot look up yet is that we have a date with a certain school from Dallas that could easily give us a mid week fit. Currently, the Patriots of Dallas are ranked in the 40th in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous Top 40. Great. With this game mid-week and Stanford coming off a fresh sweep of Rice later in the weekend, there shall be no rest for the wicked horn fan. In my humble opinion, I say, "Let them come". Preview of the DBU Patriots after the jump, folks.
The game was rescheduled to Wednesday at 3pm from Tuesday, due to possible poor weather in the Austin area, so Augie gets an extra day to figure these guys out and scout the hell out of them, because let me be the first to say...they can hit. DBU just got off their 3-game series sweep of UT-Arlington this evening with scores of 13-2, 9-4, and 11-6. They scored more runs in 3 games than we had hits in 3 games. Enjoy swallowing that pill. Augie tells me it goes down easier with a glass of Pinot, but I'm more of a Cabernet guy so I'll just have to take his word on that.
Nevertheless, they return 5 starters to the diamond, 1 weekend starter, and pretty much all of their bullpen from a team that was robbed from making the Regionals tournament. They had a 38-17 record with an RPI of 40, won their conference, but due to them being an independent and a known commodity, they did not get an invite. Expect Miss Valley or Southland to pick them up next year as they clearly have the talent to compete with the big boys.
CF: Ryan Enos
3B: Tyler Robbins
LF: Jason Krizan
SS: Travis Meiners
DH: Duncan McAlpine
RF: Ryan Thompson
C: Chris Henry
1B: Ryan Behmaresh
2B: Ben Mrachek
GUYS TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:
Ryan Enos: Preseason All-Indy, In 2009 he was batting .376 with 17 HRs, 56 RBIs and 14 SBs. Kid has great speed at the leadoff spot and huge power. He's currently ranked 62nd on the Top 100 draft eligible for 2010. He's off to a "slow" start batting only .267 with 1 HR and 2 RBIs, but he will come around soon. As good of a hitter as he is, its not about if, but when.
Jason Krizan: Preseason All-Indy, In 2009 he was batting .389 with 16 HRs and 74 RBIs. Great power out of the 3 spot and will have many opportunities to swing at good pitches, as the clean-up hitter is on a torrent hitting spell right now (more on him later) After 3 games, Jason is batting .333 (4/12) with a couple XBH's .
Travis Meiners: At shortstop, this kid has it all. Great range on defense, power and clutch hitting at the plate. Last year Travis batted .337 with 8 HRs and 48 RBIs, and this year with only 3 games under his belt, he's currently at .636 (7-11) with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs!!!!. This is a guy we pitch around and force him to make the mistake for obvious reasons. Sadly, this is not an option as the guy who bats 5th is even better at the place (See Below)
Ryan Thompson: Preseason All-Indy, In 2009 he was batting .346 with 8 HRs and 49 RBIs. Currently in the 6 spot at left field, he's going to bring some pop to the plate. As of right now, Thompson is batting .357 (5/14) with no XBHs and 4 RBIs. He's a great contact hitter and rarely strikes out.
Duncan McAlpine: Um...Wow. As good as Travis Meiners has been at the plate this year, he's taking second place to Mr. McAlpine. After 3 games, Duncan is batting .667 with 3 HRs, 1 Double, and 10 FREAKING RBIs!! Unreal. Luckily we can get away with pitching around this guy.
I really don't know much about their pitching save for the fact that they return most if not all of their bullpen and return only 1 weekend starter. They work with 2 closers in Chris Haney (4-4 4.64 ERA, 7 Svs in 2009) and Ryan Behmaresh (Who also plays 1B, 1-0 4.44 ERA, 4 Svs in 2009). They have a great long reliever in Michael Smith who was 6-0 with a 5.15 ERA in 2009.
The starting pitching is rumored to be sketchy and they will give up runs, but it is all up to Augie-ball if we can capitalize. I expect Cole Green to come out on fire and set the tone early, but give up a couple runs and XBHs as the innings progress. He'll get pulled in the 6th and Stayton Thomas will have a great middle relief to set up Chance Ruffin who will shut down the Guns of the Patriots (Great PS3 game, btw) and we will rise back up to .500 on the short season with a 6-3 win. Hook em!