[UPDATE: Taylor Jungmann goes 7 scoreless innings and Chance Ruffin strikes out 6 straight hitters after a HBP in a 5-0 victory. Cohl Walla went 3-5 with 3 runs scored and Russell Moldenhauer hit a solo home run to pace the Horns offensively.]
After a midweek loss to Oral Roberts, the Longhorns will attempt to exact revenge on that state north of the border when they travel to Norman to take on Oklahoma. The ORU game need not be rehashed, as it was covered in the excellent midweek report by InDKR'sShadow. But what's important to note is the familiar refrain about midweek games: it's hard to win consistently a type of game which is a massive resume-builder for your opponent and really a glorified practice for you. That's not meant to say that Texas isn't trying to win these games nor that they shouldn't; it simply means that there aren't very many practice days once the season begins and these non-conference games against smaller schools serve to get innings for a lot of pitchers and at-bats against an unfamiliar hurler for Texas hitters, and the most important things to take from the games are how the team performs in general rather than the final score. And, as InDKR'sShadow aptly pointed out, there was some good and some bad to take from this week's game. You'd prefer for the hitters to have stepped up for more than 2 runs rather than strand 11 guys on the bases, but Sam Stafford looked great on the hill and five other hurlers held the Golden Eagles to 2 runs over the final 6 innings.
So now it's time for Texas to take on OU, which is fun because it's yet another opportunity to beat OU. This will be a Thursday-Saturday series, beginning tonight at 6:30 CDT due to Easter Weekend. Saturday's ballgame is on ESPNU, and it appears that you can watch the other 2 at SoonerSports. (UPDATE: as pointed out in the comments, this looks like a subscription service so you have to really want to watch the game to use the OU site.) It promises to be a tough series, and taking 2 of 3 would be big for the Longhorns. More on the Sooners and the matchup after the jump.
Oklahoma enters the weekend at 22-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big XII after sweeping Baylor one game to none in their first conference series (the last two games of the series were cancelled due to inclement weather) and taking two of three from the Cornhuskers last weekend. OU has played a respectable schedule thus far, opening the season with a four-game sweep of San Diego State and beating traditional power Mississippi State.
First baseman and cleanup hitter Cameron Seitzer leads the Sooner offense, hitting .413 and, more impressively, slugging .831. Seitzer has gone deep 7 times, hit 9 doubles, and 1 triple out of his 32 total hits--which means that he is more likely to have an extra base hit than a single. Not by much, but that's still pretty impressive for a guy with a high batting average and who gets on base more than half the time (.511 OBP).
The Sooner leadoff man is also someone to pay attention to: Chris Ellison is a serious speedster who has already attempted 12 steals through 24 appearances (succeeding on 11 of those tries). The Longhorn pitchers will have to be quick with their deliveries if and when Ellison gets on base this weekend, or else Seitzer and the other Sooner power hitters will have a man in scoring position in the blink of an eye.
Taylor Jungmann will look to get back on track tonight for Texas after getting touched up for 8 runs in 5.2 innings last weekend in Lubbock. The wind is predicted to be blowing again tonight, though not the gale-force conditions Jungmann dealt with last week. There is a possibility of thunderstorm tomorrow, but Saturday is going to be a great day for baseball so it's likely that they'll get all 3 games in at some point this weekend.
This will serve as your open thread for the Thursday series opener.
The pitching matchups (via Texas Sports):
Thursday, April 1 2010 - 6:30 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Taylor Jungmann (2-1, 3.43 ERA)
Oklahoma: RHP Zach Neal (3-0, 5.34 ERA)
Friday, April 2, 2010 - 6:30 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Cole Green (5-0, 3.19 ERA)
Oklahoma: RHP Bobby Doran (0-1, 4.97 ERA)
Saturday, April 3, 2010 -12 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Brandon Workman (4-1, 3.03 ERA)