Pitching in winds that gusted up to 30 miles per hour, Adrian Alaniz bounced back from his last bad outing in difficult weather to shut down Texas Tech today at Disch Falk Field as the Longhorns pounded the Red Raiders 10-1.
The first out of the day actually belonged to Randy Boone, however, who took the mound to pick up the final out of last night's series opener, which was suspended with two outs in the ninth inning when a nasty storm rolled through Austin. After walking a batter to load the bases, Boone struck out Geoff Byrns to secure the 7-2 win for Texas.
The second game of the series got under way only 10 minutes after Boone closed out the first win, and Alaniz was sharp from the get-go. He had his curveball working for strikes and never let Texas Tech get back into the game after Texas put up five funs in the bottom of the first.
Through the first two games of the series, Texas' top two starters - James Russell and Alaniz - combined for 18 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings against just one walk. Russell - my favorite Longhorn pitcher since Huston Street - had 11 of those strikeouts, and though it wasn't his best start of the season, he continually used the strikeout to keep Tech from putting runs on the board. As for Alaniz, he's putting together one hell of a junior campaign and gives Texas fans a lot of hope for a deep Omaha run. I'm not sure Texas has had this strong a 1-2 starting pitching combo since Garrido arrived in Austin, and though the bullpen is still a work in progress, it's important to remember that starter depth becomes far less critical in college baseball's playoffs.
Still, the search for a consistent third starter remains a priority for Coach Garrido, who has looked to Joseph Krebs in each of the last four series finales. After Krebs gave Texas five solid innings in a win over Baylor, Krebs has failed to get through the fifth inning against Kansas State, Oklahoma, or Kansas. The Longhorns have the bats to support a mediocre third starter, so the problem isn't a fatal one, but it would be awfully nice to have Krebs cement his status as a guy who can give the team five or six quality innings every Sunday.
Tomorrow Texas will attempt to sweep a three game series for the first time since they wiped out Baylor in mid-March. Joseph Krebs will be the starter for the Longhorns. Travis Young will take the mound for the Red Raiders. Fans in Austin can watch the game at Disch Falk Field at 12:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Texas Longhorns Radio Network.