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Texas Baseball Travels To Manhattan -- Preview and Open Thread

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With only two conference series remaining, Texas needs just one win or one Kansas State loss to clinch the regular season Big XII title. For any other school this would be a nice accomplishment, for Texas it is expected. What's perhaps unexpected about this season though is the manner with which Texas has accomplished its (near) feat. Texas' team ERA is an astounding 2.17 through 44 games. The difference between in team ERA between #1 Texas and #10 Virginia is more than the difference between #10 Virginia and #75 Kansas State. That's how good the pitching staff has been. 

Pitching matchups and a few more thoughts after the jump. 

The argument could be made that the 2009 and 2010 seasons began with the Horns' trip to Manhattan in 2008. Texas entered the series off a 1-6 stretch that sent Texas from a borderline regional host to a borderline tournament team. The low point of the stretch was an ill-fated trip to Missouri (more on that in two weeks), which featured Chance Ruffin's first Sunday start. Texas went to Manhattan the following weekend and Chance Ruffin got both his first Friday start and first Friday win. The Horns finished that regular season 10-2 and haven't looked back since. 

Anyhow, Kansas State enters the series 31-13 (10-7 Big XII) but only 5-5 in the last 10 games. The Wildcats are an impressive 19-3 at home, so Texas surely has it's work cut out for it this weekend. KSU's offense is led by sophomore outfield Nick Martini (.423, 1.084 OPS) and appears to have lost a good bit of power from the 2009 squad. As a matter of fact, KSU only has 28 home runs on the year. Friday and Sunday will have to be internet feeds, Saturday's game on Fox Sports Central.

Here's the TexasSports preview.

Here's a regional projections which you'll probably like. 

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday, May 7 2010 - 6:30 p.m. Central

 

Texas: RHP Taylor Jungmann (4-1, 2.30 ERA)
Kansas State: LHP Kyle Hunter (7-0, 3.97 ERA)

 

 

Saturday, May 8, 2010 - 2:30 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Cole Green (9-0, 1.62 ERA)
Kansas State: TBA

 

 

Sunday, May 9, 2010 - 1 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Brandon Workman (9-1, 2.77 ERA)
Kansas State: RHP Justin Lindsey (4-3, 5.28 ERA)