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Texas Vs. Stanford Preview and Open Thread

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#6 Texas (5-3) vs. #9 Stanford (5-3)

Games 9-11 -- UFCU Disch-Falk Field

Mar 4 - 3 PM; Mar 5 - 2 PM; Mar 6 - 1 PM

Texas Longhorns baseball (5-3) takes on the Stanford Cardinal (5-3) in the young season's biggest measuring stick to date. The Tree have played a very tough schedule so far, taking two of three from Rice and dropping two of three to Vanderbilt. This will be Stanford's third straight road series to start the year, an impressive feat from a school whose baseball pedigree suggests it doesn't need to impress anyone in nonconference play.

Stanford's offense has been 50 points better than the Texas offense so far this season (.302 to .252) and their pitching has been superb as well (2.87 ERA). If the stats point to one Stanford weakness, it's that their defense has not been sharp in 2011. The Cardinal have made 14 errors this year, so Texas will have to keep forcing Stanford to make mistakes. 

For Texas, Erich Weiss continues to be a monster offensively, leading the team in batting average, OBP, slugging, RBI, walks, and triples. Cohl Walla had a nice series against Hawaii and Mark Payton continues to swing the bat nicely. On the other end of the spectrum, Jonathan Walsh, Paul Montalbano and Kevin Lusson continue to struggle. Plus Jordan Etier is the same, so that's a thing. Defensively, Brandon Loy has been surprisingly troubled at SS, with 3 errors so far, which isn't so awful except when you note that Loy had only 7 errors in all of 2010.

On the mound, Taylor Jungmann leads the nation in IP and runs allowed through two starts (didn't even have to look that one up!), and Cole Green and Sam Stafford will look to build on solid starts a week ago. Hoby Milner could also be the Sunday starter, depending on how Friday and Saturday go. The Texas bullpen has struggled so far this season, and Augie will continue to play with the relief pitchers in an effort to clearly define roles. Pitchers and possible lineup after the jump.

Friday, March 4, 2011 - 3 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Taylor Jungmann (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Stanford: RHP Mark Appel (0-1, 3.09 ERA)

Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 2 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Cole Green (0-1, 5.91 ERA)
Stanford: TBA

Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 1 p.m. Central
Texas: LHP Sam Stafford (1-0, 3.27 ERA) or Hoby Milner (1-0, 0.82 ERA)
Stanford: TBA

Possible Matchup:

LF - Paul Montalbano

SS - Brandon Loy

RF - Mark Payton

3B - Erich Weiss

CF - Cohl Walla

DH - Jonathan Walsh

1B - Tant Shepherd

C - Jacob Felts

2B - Jordan Etier