Tag Archives: Big 12

Moldenhauer’s grand slam lifts Texas to win, 7-2!

Russell Moldenhauer

Russell Moldenhauer hit a grand slam during a five-run fifth-inning outburst as Texas beat Oklahoma State 7-2 on Saturday, the Longhorns’ second win in as many games in a key Big 12 Conference baseball series.

First-place Texas (36-12, 16-4 Big 12) entered the three-game series at Oklahoma State (31-12, 10-7) with a one-game lead over the Cowboys in the loss column. The loss dropped Oklahoma State one game behind Missouri in the league standings.

Corey Brown’s team-leading 17th home run of the season, which followed a single by Ty Wright, gave Oklahoma State a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Cowboys managed only five hits after that.

Texas’ Preston Clark tied the game in the fourth inning with a two-run home run off Oliver Odle (4-4).

In the fifth, Moldenhauer hit his grand slam off reliever Tyler Lyons, and Nick Peoples followed with a solo homer, putting the Longhorns ahead 7-2.

Texas starter Adrian Alaniz (11-2) allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings.

Oklahoma State loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Joseph Krebs relieved Alaniz and struck out Brown and Tyler Mach to end the threat.

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No. 5 Texas takes series opener against Oklahoma State, 3-2

They couldn’t bunt or sacrifice runners over.

They walked too many batters (six) early in the game.

They didn’t run the bases well.

The Texas Longhorns did everything in their power early on to help Oklahoma State pull closer in the Big 12 baseball standings.

They overcame it, though.

The Longhorns strengthened their grip on first place in the conference thanks to great relief performances by pitchers Joseph Krebs and Randy Boone, who recorded the final out with the tying run on third base as Texas pulled out a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma State on Friday at Reynolds Stadium.

“This was one of the most competitive games we’ve had this season,” said Texas coach Augie Garrido, whose team has a 3 1/2-game lead in the Big 12. “Both teams made mistakes, us with bunting and sacrificing, them with baserunning.”

The Cowboys’ most costly baserunning blunder came in the ninth, after Boone, who picked up his 11th save, walked the leadoff hitter.

After Texas forced out the lead runner at second on an attempted sacrifice, Cowboys leadoff hitter Keanon Simon singled on a ball under first baseman Chance Wheeless’ glove. OSU’s Martin Beno moved to third on the play.

But Simon, looking to head to second on Kyle Russell’s throw to third base, became caught in a rundown, and the Longhorns executed it perfectly, with Travis Tucker finally tagging out Simon.

“That was something we’ve practiced for maybe 10 minutes this season, and it paid off because everybody executed it perfectly,” Wheeless said.

Boone retired Ty Wright on a groundout to short to end the game.

Texas (35-12, 15-4 Big 12) took the lead in the seventh inning thanks to Nick Peoples, who led off with a triple.

After Clark walked, Cowboys relief pitcher Justin Friend was called for a balk, giving Texas the lead as Peoples scored and Clark advanced to second.

It was a lucky break for the Longhorns, who struggled to score. Tucker was picked off first base in the sixth, and twice Longhorn runners were doubled up.

“It was a championship-type game,” Garrido said, “and we were able to overcome those things.”

Texas fell behind in the fifth inning, when starter James Russell walked two batters and plunked another, which led to two OSU runs. The Longhorns fought back as Russell Moldenhauer put them on the board in the fifth inning, slamming a 1-1 pitch over the right-field fence.

He crossed home plate screaming, “Let’s go! Let’s go.”

Texas added another run in the sixth inning, as Wheeless drilled a ball to the same spot, tying the game at 2.

The Cowboys (31-11, 10-6) threatened in the sixth inning, when reliever Pat McCrory came in and walked two batters, who were sacrificed to second and third on a bunt.

After McCrory came up with a big strikeout of pinch hitter Steve Ptak, Krebs entered the game and struck out Keanon Simon to end the inning. Krebs (6-0) struck out two more in the seventh and another in the eighth, pitching a perfect 1 2/3 innings.

“That’s not going to happen too often,” Krebs said of the strikeouts. “They were just swinging at a lot of pitches.”

When Krebs left, Boone took over, striking out the final two batters in the eighth and finishing it off in the ninth

“Any close game is going to be good for relievers,” Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson said. “Our bullpen did a great job coming into a tough atmosphere. That’s really going to help down the road.”

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Russell hits for cycle as Longhorns rout UT-Pan American!

Kyle Russell

The question is would you rather hit for the cycle or hit a two-run home run in the first inning for three consecutive games?

Some baseball players don’t have to choose. Texas right fielder Kyle Russell accomplished both feats Tuesday night.

Russell’s first-inning two-run homer against UT-Pan American was the beginning of his hitting for the cycle in the Longhorns’ 11-1 victory, which was called in the seventh inning at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The game ended early because UT-Pan American wanted to try to avoid the severe weather sweeping across the state.

Russell, who leads the nation with 24 home runs, tripled in the fifth, doubled in the sixth and singled in Jordan Danks in the seventh to end the game.

“It’s the first cycle I’ve ever hit,” said Russell, who was 4 for 5 with a career-high five RBIs. “To do it at home in front of the burnt orange nation is really special.”

And the first-inning home runs are becoming routine. It’s the same runner on base, in the same inning, ending with the same result.

First Chance Wheeless, the Longhorns’ No. 2 hitter, gets on base, as he did Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. Then Russell hits a home run.

Not only that, but Russell has hit each of the home runs to the same spot in left-center field.

“We were talking about it in the dugout. It’s been amazing. Kyle told me before we went up there that if I got on base, he would knock me in,” Wheeless said.

“I didn’t want to break my promise,” Russell responded.

He didn’t. In fact, Russell drove Wheeless in three times Tuesday, and both players scored in the first, fifth and sixth innings.

“I think he got tired of running today,” Russell joked.

Both the cycle and the home runs have impressed Texas coach Augie Garrido.

“It’s the many miracles of baseball,” Garrido said. “They pop up all the time, like Boston hitting four home runs in a row (against the Yankees on Sunday).”

Russell and Wheeless got Texas (34-12) going, and Austin Wood and reliever Josh Prince shut down UT-Pan American (15-34). Wood gave up a run on four hits in six innings.

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Texas takes advantage of Husker miscues

Joseph Krebs put together his longest start of the season to lead No. 5 Texas to a 6-2 win over Nebraska in Big 12 Conference baseball action at Haymarket Park on Sunday evening. With the win, Texas has won all six conference series on the year.

Krebs (5-0) picked up the victory with his longest career outing. He allowed just two unearned runs in the first inning. For the game, Krebs scattered four hits and four walks while striking out three over 6.1 innings. Boone finished the game with 2.2 innings of one-hit relief. He struck out three of the eight batters he faced.

For the second consecutive game, Texas (33-12, 14-4) pounced early with two runs in the top of the first inning. With one out, Chance Wheeless tripled to the wall in right centerfield and Kyle Russell followed with his 23rd home run of the season, a shot over the wall in left centerfield. With the dinger, Russell moved into 10th place on the Big 12 Conference single season home run list.

Nebraska (23-17, 8-10) responded with a pair of error-aided runs in the bottom of the first to tie the score at 2-2. With one out, Jeff Tezak reached on a fielding error by UT shortstop Michael Demperio. A fielder’s choice by put Andrew Brown in Tezak’s place at first. Jake Opitz drew a walk and another error by Demperio on a grounder by Craig Corriston loaded the bases, setting up a two-run single up the middle by Andy Gerch.

Texas regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Nick Peoples hit a leadoff single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Preston Clark. Travis Tucker hit an infield single to put runners at first and second. Jordan Danks followed with a single to leftfield, plating Peoples. Wheeless kept the rally alive with a single to leftfield driving in Tucker. Russell hit a double to rightfield pushing Danks across. The Longhorns’ fourth run of the inning scored on a fielding error by Nebraska’s first baseman.

Matt Foust (1-2) was saddled with the loss for Nebraska. Foust allowed six runs, five earned on six hits over 1.2 innings.

Russell led UT’s attack, going 3-for-5 with one double, one home run and three RBI. Wheeless went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, one triple and one RBI.

Texas returns to action on Tuesday with a 6:05 p.m. contest against UT Pan American at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

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Texas takes Game 2

Despite gusting winds, a hostile crowd, a bad start and a high pitch count, Longhorns pitcher Adrian Alaniz stayed the same.

Same pitches.

Same focus.

Same result.

Alaniz won his 10th game of the season Saturday, shaking off a rough start to pitch 7 2/3 innings as Texas beat Nebraska 8-4 at Haymarket Park, evening the three-game Big 12 series.

Alaniz (10-2) gave up four runs on seven hits and threw 60 pitches in the first three innings. He looked ready to fall apart.

Instead, he turned everything around, pitching the next five innings without giving up a hit and finished with 10 strikeouts, tying a career high.

“It’s just working from inning to inning, from pitch to pitch,” Alaniz said. “You don’t want to look to the future or to the next inning. It’s just staying within the game, within the process. And I was able to do that.”

It was what the Longhorns (32-12 overall, 13-4 Big 12) needed after Nebraska (23-16, 8-9) shut out Texas 7-0 on Friday.

“It was about responding,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said. “About how the players were going to respond to last night’s domination. They did a good job.”

The Longhorns, who took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Kyle Russell’s 22nd home run of the season, responded to a 4-2 deficit in the fourth inning. Preston Clark singled in Nick Peoples to cut the lead to 4-3, and with runners on second and third with two outs, the unlikeliest of Longhorns came through.

Shortstop Michael Demperio, who spent the first part of the season nursing a shoulder injury, singled up the middle to give the Horns a 5-4 lead.

“It’s a bonus,” Garrido said of Demperio’s offense. “He’s in there because with (Travis Tucker), we have the widest range on defense up the middle.”

Demperio realized the importance of the situation before it happened.

“I looked at the scoreboard right before I went up there and thought, ‘Oh, man, there are two runners in scoring position,’ ” Demperio said. “I knew what I was looking for, and I got it.”

Texas added two more runs in the fifth inning as Russell (3 for 4) singled and went to second on an error, before scoring on Russell Moldenhauer’s double. Peoples singled to center to score Moldenhauer and give the Horns a 7-4 lead.

“I thought five or six runs would win the game today,” Nebraska coach Mike Anderson said. “We knew Alaniz was going to be tough. He started getting his slider over on the first and second pitch, and that made things real tough for us.”

Alaniz’ effort allowed Randy Boone to pick up his 10th save of the season, as Boone pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings.

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Texas blanked by Nebraska, 7-0!

James Russell (31)

When Texas catcher Preston Clark went out to visit starter James Russell in the fourth inning, he hoped to keep things under control.

With two away in the inning, Russell had a 2-0 count to Nebraska’s Ryan Wehrle with runners on first and third.

The meeting didn’t work out so well.

Wehrle launched the next pitch from Russell over the left-field fence for a three-run homer, giving the Cornhuskers a 5-0 lead.

“I knew he was going to come in with a fastball, so I was just waiting for it,” said Wehrle, who was 4 for 5 with four RBIs.

That was how it went Friday for the Longhorns, who lost 7-0 at Haymarket Park.

It was easily the most lopsided showing of the season for Texas. Coach Augie Garrido was ejected, the Longhorns couldn’t touch Nebraska’s Tony Watson, and their pitching couldn’t keep them close to the Cornhuskers (23-15, 8-8 Big 12) in the opener of a three-game series.

Watson threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout without walking a batter.

It was the first time since at least 1998 that Texas had fewer than three hits in a game.

“He was pretty impressive. That’s the best-pitched game against us of the season,” Garrido said. “On the other side of it, it was the total package. We didn’t put the ball in play with any degree of difficulty. Most of the balls we hit were mishit.”

Watson is 2-0 with a 0.64 earned-run average in three starts this season at Haymarket Park and has pitched 14 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings against Texas (31-12, 12-4).

“They were aggressive tonight, and I don’t think my pitch count was all that high,” said Watson, who threw 96 pitches. “If it’s low like that, they’re obviously swinging at pitches early in the count.”

Texas was shut out for the first time since April 23, 2006, when the Cornhuskers beat the Longhorns 6-0.

“It was the perfect storm, that’s pretty much how you can sum it up,” Clark said. “They hit some good pitches, and (Watson) did a good job of mixing speeds and hitting his spots.”

For his part, Garrido didn’t have to witness the whole game, in which Russell gave up six runs and 11 hits in five innings. The Texas coach was ejected in the sixth for arguing that umpire Dave Aschwege missed a call at first base, where he ruled that Travis Tucker’s foot never touched the base to force out Mitch Abieta, who had bunted.

“I didn’t like the fact that (Aschwege) was so aggressive with me,” said Garrido, who came out of the dugout to argue the call. “He got right in my face. He said I got in his, but I didn’t.

“I’m right on the call. Ask the TV guys,” said Garrido, who watched the rest of the game from the CSTV truck outside the stadium.

No matter who was right, Garrido knew Texas must right the ship, having lost two straight games for just the second time this season.

“It’s about responding,” Garrido said. “How do you respond to this? If we accept this as a challenge, maybe we can take this to another level.”

Note: The Longhorns wore maroon Virginia Tech ballcaps to show their support for those associated with the university, which is trying to recover after a 23-year-old student killed 32 people Monday before committing suicide.

The idea to wear the hats came from Texas men’s athletic director DeLoss Dodds, a spokesman said. The Longhorns planned to wear the hats only Friday, the same day Virginia Tech played in its first sporting event since the tragedy, a home baseball game against Miami.

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Nebraska Recap

No. 7 Rice pushes past No. 6 Texas 7-4!

Kyle Russell

He raised his arm and took his time starting around the bases, two things he never does.

“And I’ll never do it again,” Kyle Russell said.

But this home run meant something.

Russell, the Longhorns’ right fielder, drilled a ball far over the left-field fence and pumped his fist because he knew.

Russell had just set Texas’ single-season record for home runs with his 21st, a long rainbow that fell well outside of Reckling Park.

Russell was the lone bright spot Tuesday, when Texas’ 10-game winning streak over Rice came to an end in a 7-4 loss in front of 5,003 fans.

“It’s a great honor and a great relief for this to happen,” said Russell, who typically just puts his head down and trots around the bases. “This is the second-best place for this to happen. The best being Austin.”

Russell, who began his career as a Longhorn by hitting a homer against Rice, grew up in Magnolia, a suburb of Houston.

Behind 1-2 in the count in the sixth inning, he went with an outside pitch from Rice starter Chris Kelley.

“He just tried to put it in play, and that’s what he has been doing,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said. “He’s been playing for the team, not the record. That’s probably why he was able to get it.”

His team-first attitude explained why Russell was upset that he raised his arm after his home run, which came with his team trailing 4-2.

“I guess my emotions got the better of me,” said Russell, who was on the team bus after the loss, not even realizing the media would want to talk to him about his record-setting homer.

It took Russell just 42 games to accomplish the feat.

Rice, meanwhile, beat Texas for the first time since 2003, when the Owls topped the Longhorns 5-4 in Omaha, Neb., en route to the national championship.

Every time the Longhorns scored Tuesday, the Owls (30-11) responded.

“That’s why they won the game, they did a better job of responding,” Garrido said. “And they kept our offensive game in check with good defense and excellent pitching.”

Texas (31-11) managed to push across the tying run in the fourth inning, when Russell walked, Bradley Suttle singled and Russell Moldenhauer sacrificed them to second and third. Russell scored on Preston Clark’s grounder to short.

The Owls pushed a run across in the bottom of the inning to go up 2-1.

Russell homered in the sixth to make it 4-2, but Rice responded again, as Chad Lembeck hit a two-run double to give the Owls a four-run lead.

And after Texas came up with two runs in the seventh, cutting the lead to 6-4, Rice’s Joe Savery hit his third home run of the season.

Jordan Danks and Chance Wheeless, who hit first and second for Texas, were a combined 0 for 9 with six strikeouts, but that wasn’t the Longhorns’ only problem.

Texas used six pitchers, who combined to walk seven and hit another batter.

“What happened on the mound between the two teams was the difference in the game,” Garrido said. “It’s baseball. Things like that happen.”

So do home runs.

Especially off of Kyle Russell’s bat.

Texas Recap

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Texas completes sweep of Texas Tech!

The Texas Longhorns won on Sunday.

They swept a series.

They did it in a come-from-behind fashion.

All those things haven’t happened very often this season.

With so many positives in Sunday’s 4-2 Big 12 win over Texas Tech, the biggest one for Texas (31-10, 12-3) might have been overlooked: Joseph Krebs.

Texas’ Sunday starter put his best outing of the season together with a two-run, five-hit performance over six innings. It was the first time Krebs pitched more than five innings this season. And he did it with a smile.

In the fifth inning, Texas Tech (22-15, 5-8) had taken a 2-1 lead on Krebs, and a runner on first was jumping around, bothering the left-handed starter.

“(Pitching coach Skip) Johnson just came out there and slowed me down,” Krebs said. “I would throw over to first, and Chance (Wheeless) would throw it back. Right as Chance would throw it back, the guy would jump off first. Coach Johnson told Chance to fake the throw and tag the guy.

“It calmed me down a lot. I started thinking about that. I had a little smile on my face the rest of the outing.”

Krebs struck out the next two guys and breezed through the sixth inning.

“Joe turned it around for two more innings,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said. “He broke through and took it to another level.”

Then the Horns broke through.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Travis Tucker walked and stole second and third base. After shortstop Michael Demperio grounded out, leadoff hitter Jordan Danks, who went 3 for 4, came up with his second RBI of the game, shortening up his swing with two strikes and hitting a single to center field.

“Tucker gets on base, steals second and steals third, and that pumps the rest of us up,” Danks said. “You get the adrenaline flowing. You get the crowd behind you, and you just get going.”

Kyle Russell, who did not hit a home run this series and remains tied for the Longhorns’ single-season home run total with Jeff Ontiveros at 20, followed up with an RBI double, giving Texas a 3-2 lead. Russell advanced to third on a wild pitch and was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Wheeless, whose 17-game hitting streak came to an end.

That was plenty of runs as Randy Boone earned the win with three perfect innings.

He did get a little help from Russell, who made a great catch on what appeared to be a double down the right-field line.

“They swung at a lot of pitches early in the count. It was kind of surprising,” Boone said. “I got a lot of ground balls and Kyle made a great play in right.”

The sweep helped Texas keep a firm hold on first place in the Big 12, and it comes at the perfect time. The Longhorns now enter the toughest part of their schedule, traveling to Rice on Tuesday before heading to Nebraska and Oklahoma State the next two weekends.

Texas Recap

Texas Tech Recap

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Texas gets two wins over Red Raiders!

It was the quickest two wins Texas will ever get.

First Randy Boone struck out Texas Tech’s Geoff Byrns, recording the only out the Longhorns needed Saturday to complete a 7-2 victory, in a game that was suspended in the ninth inning Friday due to inclement weather.

Then, in Game 2 of their three-game series with the Red Raiders at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, the Longhorns scored five runs in the first inning.

That contest was all but over, as the Horns (30-10 overall, 11-3 Big 12) cruised to a 10-1 victory.

“Early in the year we jumped out a couple of times and lost the momentum, but we learned from that,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said. “We are not forgetting the lessons we learned from some of the adversity we faced.”

Texas’ early lead was plenty for Adrian Alaniz, who returned to form after a rough outing in Kansas, giving up one run on three hits in seven innings.

“We didn’t have a chance today,” Texas Tech coach Larry Hays said. “They got a big home run in the first inning, we misplayed a couple balls in the outfield and their guy pitched extremely well.”

Alaniz fought gusting winds and chilly temperatures to improve his record to 9-2.

“Last week really helped me a lot,” Alaniz said of his struggles. “I just kind of put that behind me today and just went out and pitched. I really wasn’t affected by the weather.”

Chance Wheeless continued his impressive season by recording a hit for the 17th straight game, the eighth-best streak in Texas history. The Longhorns first baseman did it in style, too, stepping up to the plate in the first inning and ripping a two-run home run over the right-field fence to give Texas a 3-0 lead.

“I didn’t think anybody would hit home runs today with the wind, but I knew that one was gone right off the bat,” said Wheeless, who went 2 for 3.

After Wheeless’ blast, third baseman Bradley Suttle hit a single and catcher Preston Clark, who was 3 for 5 with an RBI, reached on an error. Two batters later, Russell Moldenhauer’s two-run single gave Texas a 5-0 lead with just one out in the first, knocking Texas Tech left-hander Josh Scofield out of the game.

Garrido wasn’t surprised at his team’s success.

“Teams don’t recognize — and I don’t care if they know it — but everybody sees our lineup and starts left-handed pitchers against us,” Garrido said. “We’re hitting 50 points higher against left-handed pitchers than we are against right-handed pitchers.”

Maybe the Horns have their work cut out for themselves today, as Texas Tech (22-15, 5-8) sends righty Travis Young to the mound to face Texas’ Joseph Krebs.

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Russell ties UT Baseball season home run record !

Russell Moldenhauer doubled home the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth as Texas beat Kansas 6-5 on Saturday.

Texas (28-10, 9-3 Big 12) tied the game at 5-5 in the seventh on a home run by Kyle Russell, his second of the game and 20th of the season.

Kansas (18-20, 4-8) had tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Robby Price singled to score Buck Afenir, Brock Simpson drove in two runs and Erik Morrison had an RBI double.

Kansas took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Kyle Murphy singled home Preston Land.

Randy Boone (1-5) pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief for the win, and Kansas reliever Paul Smyth (2-2) was the losing pitcher.

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Kansas Recap