Baseball Wins Four; Starts Conference Play Next Weekend

Texas' elite pitching overwhelmed overmatched Big 10 hitting this weekend and the Longhorn bats came alive on Sunday with five home runs and more runs scored Sunday than in entire series against New Mexico and in Houston. Cohl Walla is your hero of Sunday, going 3-4 with 5 RBI and his first collegiate home run. Walla's play will make it hard for Kyle Lusson to regain his starting job.

The most important takeaway from the weekend is that Texas is now 11-1 since losing its opening series to New Mexico. Sure, the losses to UNM were no fun, but as Texas enters conference play next week you've got to like their position.  Another takeaway is just how good the Texas pitching has been this season. Through 16 games Texas pitchers have given up 28 earned runs. For comparison's sake, LSU took 7 games to hit 28 earned runs, UVA took 7, FSU took 10, ASU took 9, and Georgia Tech took 13.

Easily lost in looking at the "18" is the "0;" as in, the Texas pitching staff put up a goose egg Sunday despite having extinguished the weekend starters in the first three games. A platoon of five Longhorn hurlers combined to hold iowa to four hits on the afternoon. So perhaps the most important take-away from Sunday's series finale is the major difference in drop-off between the weekend starters and the rest of the pitching staff. For Iowa, once the weekend group was spent they simply had no one who could hold the Longhorn bats in check. For Texas, obviously, a huge drop in quality was not an issue,

The shellacking of Iowa to finish the weekend leads into the first weekend of a conference schedule against what looks to be a better-than-usual Big 12 top to bottom. Top-ranked LSU lost of 2 of 3 to Kansas this weekend in Baton Rouge as the Jayhawks announced their arrival as a conference title contender. The Cornhuskers come to town to start conference play, but Texas also plays Rice in a pair of games sandwiching the Nebraska series: in Houston on Tuesday and in Austin a week later.

It's fun to watch this baseball team, as the pitching will keep the Longhorns close in almost every contest the rest of the way and there have been flashes of offensive brilliance as well. So get ready for an exciting and enjoyable conference run, and pay special attention to the pitchers not names Ruffin, Jungmann, Green, Dicharry, or Workman. They're a very talented group and pitching depth will be the feature that has a chance to take Texas back to the top of the mountain in June.

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