Quick baseball thoughts – Texas 5 UCLA 4

Center field at Disch-Falk (Joe Cook/IT)

Center field at Disch-Falk (Joe Cook/IT)

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Sat in the stands tonight to soak up some nice Austin weather and to just get a feel for the Disch. Sometimes I feel like I get too caught up in the numbers rather than what’s actually going on in the game. Here are some quick thoughts I’ve got from sitting down the left field line.

1. Disciplined and Timely hitting – The rally that allowed Texas to come back in the eighth inning was good, disciplined baseball. Trailing 4-3, UCLA quickly retired the first two batters before Ryan Reynolds smacked a single to left. He was pinch run for by Tyler Rand, and Travis Jones followed up with a 3-2 double to score Rand and cut the deficit to one. Michael Cantu, who had two hard-hit balls robbed on the evening, showed good discipline and walked. UCLA changed pitchers, and pinch hitter Zane Gurwitz walked to load the bases. The disciplined hitting paid off, as Kody Clemens’ bases loaded walk gave Texas the one run lead. Texas showed outstanding patience at the plate and allowed UCLA to help them get runs across.

2. Taking what you can get off good pitching – UCLA starter Grffin Canning entered into this game with no earned runs allowed on the season. The Baseball America top 50 prospect proved why he is ranked as such tonight, as he pitched seven effective innings. Texas was able to take advantage of Canning’s mistakes in a big way. Patrick Mathis crushed a towering home run to Comal St. in right field to tie the game at one in the 3rd inning. Then in the 6th, Kacy Clemens hit an opposite field HR to give Texas a 2-1 lead. Canning mixed pitches well on the evening and even topped out at 95-96, but Texas made sure to take advantage of his mistakes.

3. New Friday Starter? - Morgan Cooper was thought to have solidified himself as the Friday starter. Cooper’s been effective, but Kingham has shown his worth, and David Pierce decided to put him into the Friday night slot. It was a good decision, as Kingham threw six innings and allowed only one earned run, walking two and striking out one. The only blemish on Kingham’s evening was a solo home run allowed in top of the second.

4. Bullpen woes, but closer looks a bit clearer – Although he was the winning pitcher, Beau Ridgeway allowed a three run home run at a very inopportune time. Ridgeway’s 7th was rough, as he gave up two straight singles followed by the bomb. Ridgeway retired the next five he faced. After Ridgeway worked his two, Kyle Johnston, previously the Saturday starter, came and struck out three straight Bruins to seal the win. It’s just one appearance, but Johnston looked to be comfortable and effective in the closer role.

Morgan Cooper gets the start at 4 p.m. tomorrow. If Cooper can stay electric, that’s a strong 1-2 punch for Texas on the weekends.

Kingham: 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, K
Ridgeway (W): 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, K
Johnston (S): – IP, 3 K

B3 – Patrick Mathis solo HR
B6 – Kacy Clemens solo HR
B7 – Kody Clemens grounds out to second, Patrick Mathis scores from third.
B8 – Travis Jones doubles, Tyler rand scores from first
B8- Kody Clemens walks with the bases loaded, Jones Scores