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Baseball Takes 2 of 3 From Land Thieves

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We'll start off this recap seemingly like all the others: the Horns jumped ahead early all three games (6-0, 2-0, 4-0) before letting OU back in. This team has all of the pieces to be really good. The lack of experience & lack of practice time means they may not put it all together until late in the season (if at all). That said, Texas did what it needed to in Norman, taking games 1 and 3 of the series in style. They jumped ahead early all three, getting the 'W' in two of them (winning 10-7 on Friday, losing 5-3 on Saturday, and winning 13-7 on Sunday).

Just like any road conference series, a series win in Norman was a nice accomplishment. Texas is now 21-10 for the season and 7-5 in conference. Nebraska has likely sewed things up in the Big 12 barring an unexpected collapse, but finishing second in conference would be a good achievement for this young squad.

A few random thoughts from the series:

  • Compliments to OU TV crew -- For those that watched the games online, the OU radio/tv crew that called the games weren't half bad. It wasn't quite Craig Way and Keith Moreland, but it was better than nothing
  • Spectacular bullpen work this weekend -- The starters weren't very good beyond Austin Wood, but Cole Green, Brandon Workman and Chance Ruffin were amazing. Combined they went 12.2 innings, 2 earned runs and 10 strikeouts. It looks like this season Texas is not going to get spectacular starting pitching, but if the bullpen pitches as well as it can, Texas might be dangerous.
  • Welcome back, Kyle Russell -- Grand slam on Friday for his second HR of the year, and 3-5 with a huge 3-run HR and 4 RBI overall on Sunday. Kyle may not be completely out of his slump, but he is starting to hit the ball like we thought he would all season.
  • Calling it a Workman-like effort from Brandon Workman is just lazy punning. Let's do better next time, OU baseball radio commentator.
  • Good defense this weekend -- Two errors for the weekend, none on Saturday and Sunday. Interesting seeing Michael Torres back at 2B the last two games. If Torres can play adequate defense at second, Texas can be infinitely better. Travis Tucker plays a pretty good 3B and Hernandez has been solid of late at SS. That setup leaves LF open for the Moldenhauer/Keyes/Lusson trio and lets Augie do what he wants with Preston Clark and Cameron Rupp.
  • Love Cole Green's role right now -- Whether he should replace Kenn Kasparek as the Saturday starter is a question worth asking, but Cole Green gives Texas a critical component as a reliable long reliever. He has pitched spectacularly since his blowup against Stanford, and we feel he's going to be essential for Texas to do well in the postseason

Pitcher of the Series: This'll go to Brandon Workman for his amazing Sunday performance. Down 5-4, Workman came in and shut OU down for the remainder of the game.

Hitter of the Series: As Kyle Russell continues to come out of his slump, we'll stop being surprised by his big games. Until then, however, we'll continue to applaud Kyle for working his way back to productivity.

Kiddie Corpsman of the Series: This'll go to the three-headed pitching monster of Cole Green, Chance Ruffin, and Brandon Workman. Without their performance Texas is lucky to take one game in this series. Well done, gentlemen!

Next Up: Texas faces a critical series next weekend for gauging improvement in Columbia. Mizzou has a pair of pitchers who redefine the word 'ace' in Aaron Crow (7-0, 0.69 ERA) and Ian Berger (3-1, 0.81 ERA) plus a Sunday starter sporting an ERA below 3 in Kyle Gibson. Yikes!