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Frustrating Week for Longhorn Fans Continues on the Diamond

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Taken from, in episode Goo Goo Gai Pan...

"Selma decides to adopt a child from China.  Although her forms are in order, Selma learns that she has to be married to legally get a child. She puts down the second name she thinks of, after asking the agency if they knew who MacGyver was, and being told yes: Homer Simpson.

When they arrive, the Chinese adoption agent, Madam Wu (voiced by Lucy Liu), tells them that they will get a baby in a few days."

Shockingly this plot twist is eventually discovered by Madam Wu and Selma's baby is taken away. Attempting to reason with the Chinese bureaucrat, Selma engages in the following conversation:

Selma: May I speak to you, bureaucrat to bureaucrat?
Madame Wu: Yes, but first you must sign this form. Initial here. And here. And now we must find a notary.
Chinese Soldier: Hehehe. This is Wang Po's time to shine.

This is the long way of telling you that we are Wang Po. You (likely) don't really follow it, you don't really see it coming, but it's damn important when the time comes.

That time is now.

The team is young and talented. The field has astro turf officially because it's too costly to replace, and unofficially because it gives Texas a big home field advantage, but we don't like it any more than you do. And last night was probably your first chance to really care about the only meaningful organized competition from one of the big three sports between now and August.

It didn't go well. Just like in any sport, baseball games each have a certain character or flow that defines them and gives everyone watching them a similar sense of what is happening. Last night's home game against Rice, a 7-3 Texas loss, had a strange one. The first two batters of the game for the Owls both flew out to left field, only they weren't outs because Michael Torres dropped both of them despite having them actually hit his glove. Brandon Workman did a great job of limiting the damage to one run, and the Horns jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second inning. At that point, the game flow felt as if the good guys had managed to overcome the errors and gain control of the contest.

But it was not to be. More errors ensued, as two Tant Shepherd miscues at 3rd base in the seventh led to another Rice run to break a 3-3 tie and a two-out throwing error on a tough play for Shepherd allowed three more as the Owls put it away. So, the good news is that Texas had 3 earned runs to Rice's 2. The bad news is that unearned runs count, too.

This ballgame was yet another indicator of the immense potential that these burnt orange ballplayers have for the future, and yet another confirmation that there's a lot of work to do if they're going to get there. For instance, we were discussing during the game the fact that Tant Shepherd may not be the answer at third base--but he has too much pop in his bat to pull him out of the lineup. There are several examples of young guys on the roster to whom this exact dilemma applies.

The other major story last night was Rice reliver Matt Evers, who had a phenomenal outing. He retired 11 Longhorn batters and ten of them were strikeouts. He also kept glaring in at the plate with a weird, "tough-guy" look on his face.

Texas pitchers Brandon Workman, Chance Ruffin, Pat McCrory, and Brandon Belt also combined for a solid nine innings of work, allowing only two earned runs between them as mentioned above. Workman started the game and went two and two thirds innings before Augie pulled him in the third in favor of Ruffin, who got out of a jam. Workman is an important member of the Kiddie Corps and pitched pretty well for the first two innings. We would have liked to see him get a chance to pitch out of his own trouble, but Garrido may have been saving him for some innings this weekend against Oklahoma.

At the end of the day, this was a midweek game with no bearing at all on the conference standings or, in the long run, on Texas' NCAA Tournament aspirations. It still hurts to lose at home to an in-state rival in a game that was well-pitched and winnable. The tough thing about this year's condensed schedule is that practice days to improve are few and far between. The nice thing about it is that you get immediate opportunities to put each loss behind you, as Texas takes on Texas Southern at The Disch tonight at 6. You can watch it live courtesy of Texas Sports.