Texas Two-Steps LSU Once AgainColumns
Friday’s UT-LSU Coverage: Elder, Longhorns Make Statement
AUSTIN, Texas — Friday night was a tough act to follow in Austin.
It was the opening game of a three-game series between two of college baseball’s true blue blood programs. One could even argue that in 2019 LSU and Texas are THE two best programs in the country, in terms of facilities, resources, fan followings and name cache’ on the recruiting trail. And maybe in crowd noise too.
But that Friday night anticipation had a real buzz to it. As my colleague Kendall Rogers wrote about after the game, there was a palpable energy to Disch-Falk Field. There was electricity. The fans had all day to tailgate and get “mind adjusted” if you will, with elixirs of their choice. The only thing missing was an open seat. The joint was packed. The Orange Crush fans were ready to ignite like kindling and they did. Eight times, in fact. To LSU’s measly one.
Friday was a fireworks show without actual explosives being lit up beyond the outfield wall.
And guess what? Today was even better for the Longhorns and their fan base. And who could’ve thought that was going to be the case when they came to the stadium today? But 27 outs later, here we are with the boys from the 40 Acres still riding high after an 8-4 win over the Tigers on this Saturday afternoon in capital city of the Lone Star State.
“This atmosphere tonight was outstanding again,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “It probably topped last night. It was really cool to watch our fans get this excited about this team for the second straight night.”
Two games. Two wins. Over the No. 2-ranked Tigers. Put yourself in the shoes of a UT fan right now… that’s pretty freakin’ cool, ain’t it? You’re probably ready for Omaha to start right now. To hell with waiting 105 days. This team is ready to start dealin’ on people at TD Ameritrade Park immediately.
Considering the Horns made it to the promised land a year ago was great. But once there they went 0-and-2, and then lost a lot of really key leaders off that team including All American Kody Clemens and Friday ace Nolan Kingham, among others. This year’s team also saw it’s world-class shortstop David Hamilton get felled by a leg injury in the preseason. Youth and inexperience would dot the lineup this season.
Yet here we are, two nights into this third weekend of the season and Texas fans have to be feeling their team hasn’t skipped a beat. In fact, with the way Bryce Elder, Blair Henley and especially relief aces Kamron Fields and Cole Quintanilla have thrown in games one and two respectively, this 2019 edition looks even better than last year’s model. Well again, as of right now, that is.
Tonight, the Longhorns didn’t have to do a lot at the plate, but just stand there and let LSU’s pitchers walk them. Eleven walks and one hit batsmen doomed the Tigers again. Five times the Longhorns began an inning at the plate with a walk or a hit batsman. This coming one night after the Purple crew issued nine walks on Friday night. Of those 11 walks and one hit batsmen, six of them came around to score.