Can Texas make the 2017 College World Series?

Since The University of Texas Baseball’s debut in 1894, the Longhorns have competed in thousands of games and competed 35 times in the annual College World Series. The first of six National Championships Texas took home was in 1949 and the Longhorns are fighting like hell to make it 7 in 2017.

Despite a recent series loss against the Baylor Bears, Texas rebounded in last night’s final matchup against the Texas State Bobcats to win the series 2 games to 1. Texas is currently ranked 6th in the Big 12 by 2 games, however they are only down 7 games to first ranked TCU overall. The high speed performance of Texas this year still puts them in standing to go to a conference tournament, make the regional series, and play in a super regional series for their 36th appearance in the College World Series. With more than 6 weeks of regular season baseball left until the conference tournament, Texas may still be able to pull it off.

It’s been 12 years since Texas won the title in 2005, but only 6 since Texas has placed in the series, with a 7th place tie in 2011, and only 3 years since their last qualification into the tournament in 2014. Starting Friday, June 16th the opening celebration kicks off the 2017 College World series for 12 solid days of the best college baseball known to man.

Click below for:

Head Coach, David Pierce bio – http://texassports.com/coaches.aspx?rc=1129&path=baseball

2017 Roster – http://texassports.com/roster.aspx?path=baseball

2017 Schedule/ results – http://texassports.com/schedule.aspx?path=baseball

national champss

Red River Showdown comes to a close

Heavy weekend for the horns as they host No. 11/9 Oklahoma (32/7) in the Red River Showdown. On Friday, April 7, at Red & Charline McCombs Field, Texas softball (20-16) got a RBI single and a passed ball to plate a run but could not pull through during the series opener against Oklahoma, 3-2. Devon Tunning pitched and led the offense for the Horns by going 1-for-3 with a RBI, freshman Dermargosian scored, and senior Hanzel walked and scored.

Head coach, Connie Clark, had some words after Friday’s game: “I thought we competed well. We did some good things. We gave ourselves opportunities and stayed aggressive. The only thing we would like to do is cut down some of the strikeouts heading into the next couple days. We had some quality at-bats. I’m ready to see the ball fall.”

On Saturday, April 8, Horns brought the run to the plate towards the end  of the seventh, but it was a little to late rally attempt was not enough to catch up to the Sooners with another close loss, 3-1. Freshman Washington, went 1-for-3 with her third career double and senior Hanzel with a 1 for 2 at the plate with Texas’s lone RBI. Leading Texas offense was senior Davis.

Even though the horns did not pull out a win, Saturday’s game brought recognition to Breast Cancer Awareness with the athletes, coaches, and fans wearing pink. The first pitch strike of the game coming from Dawn Hardin, a cancer survivor!

On Sunday, April 9, two errors led to five runs in the second inning to put Oklahoma (35-7) in a good position to beat the Horns (20-18), 6-0. Senior Felix, led the horns by going 2- for 3 at the plate.

The Future of Texas Volleyball

Freshman Micaya White has quickly established herself as a star this year for Texas Women’s Volleyball. She leads the team in points, with 413. She also leads the team with 366 kills. This season she has been a 5-time recipient of the Big 12 Freshman of the Week award. This ties a school record set by Michelle Kocher in 2008.

Micaya went to to my highschool, so I have witnessed her talents for many years now. For those that don’t know her, she is an outstanding athlete. Standing at 6’1″ Micaya is a powerhouse and gets amazing velocity on the ball. She was a highscool All-American, and it seems that her talents have certainly translated nicely into the college game.

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White throws down a spike against Baylor

 

With exciting young players such as Micaya and strong recruiting classes every year, the future of Texas volleyball looks bright! The Longhorns are poised to continue to be one of the top 5 programs in the country, and show no signs of slowing down. Texas Tech comes to Austin tomorrow for their next match, and Micaya will look to impose her will yet again on the red raiders.

–Josh Pike

Taming the Bears

Volleyball vs. UT

UT Volleyball is having one hell of a season. Currently the team is ranked 5th in the nation after winning 18 of their 21 games this year (their only losses happening to no. 4 Kansas, no. 3 Wisconsin, and no. 1 Nebraska). Their next opponent is that of the Baylor Bears. The Longhorns have a pretty amazing record when it comes to “taming” the Bears; during their last five meetings the Longhorns have proved victorious. That being said, Baylor has been having a pretty great season as well, they’re currently 19-7. But what exactly does this mean? Do the Longhorns have anything to worry about?

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Just coming off of a win against Texas Tech, the Bears are hungry for more and the no. 5 Texas Longhorns seem to be the perfect prey for them. After losing 3-1 during their last meeting, the Bears are out for revenge. Yet the Bears aren’t the only ones coming off a win. This past week Texas fried the frogs when they beat TCU 3-1 and their success hasn’t stopped there. The fact that they’ve only been beaten 3 times this season and by higher ranked teams does not bode well for the Bears’ chances.

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This season is all about the Longhorns demonstrating to their foes just what damage they can do. The team needs to be careful to avoid becoming cocky when facing Baylor tomorrow night. If the team is consistent, like they’ve been all season, they should have nothing to worry about. Consistency is key and they’ve consistently beaten the Baylor Bears every time they’ve met over the past 3 years. This particular game will take place on UT’s turf and to be beaten at home would be a travesty. Thus there’s only one thing the team can do and that’s WIN. While my faith in other Longhorn teams may have wavered over the course of the season, my faith in THIS team and their ability to tame the Bears has never once been questioned.

-Grayson Gilcrease

Longhorn Sports Interview: Jordan Strickland DB

Yesterday, I was able to sit down with University of Texas at Austin football player, Jordan Strickland. During the interview, he explained to me some of the hardships he has faced here at the university and the outlook that he sees on the upcoming football season.

Name: Jordan Strickland

Age: 20

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado

Sport: Football

Major: Broadcast Journalism

Years in UT sports: 2

Q: What helped to get you started in football and why did you continue that pursuit after high school?

A: “I played years of football throughout my life, I have some great memories from my childhood. However, injuries plagued my senior season in high school, which caused me to lose many of the scholarship offers I had. I was given the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion and showcase my talent here at the university.”

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in life?

A: “Being accepted and able to receive an education from The University of Texas at Austin has been my biggest accomplishment. I was able to do this through academics and hard work in high school and not rely solely on athletics, which has only gone to help further my success at this university.”

Q: What has been key to ensuring that there is growth during this spring? Also, what have you done to be better?

A: “The key to ensuring that we are getting better this spring has been putting in the extra repetitions needed to be able to push ourselves to finish games better. By this I mean giving our all until that final whistle. We have done this by putting in extra workouts and additional time in the film room to guarantee our success, while getting better individually.”

Q: You’ve had a history of a few injuries since joining the football team. What are you doing to get better and prevent further injuries from happening?

A: “With the injury that I currently have being internal, the process for now is just time to heal and ensure that I am getting better. I have yet to be cleared by the medical staff, however the key to preventing future injuries is to ensure that I am in the best shape to be able to give maximum effort.”

Q: How can we improve our offense this season and who has made the greatest impact?

A: “Shane (Buechele) has been key. In addition, the younger guys have some growing up to do. They are working their way into leadership roles for this team which are going to be necessary to ensure that our team is as good as we know that we can be.”

Q: You mentioned Shane Buechele. How has he progressed over the spring and is he going to be the guy when fall camp begins?

A: “I wasn’t able to get any early looks at Shane this spring in practice, but from what he showed in the spring game with his arm strength, he could very well be the guy for us. However, he will need to put on some weight to be able to take the hits that get delivered in the Big XII.”

Q: How do you feel about the defense? Is it progressing?

A: “From head to toe, we have a lot of skilled players. We will need to be more physical and aggressive to show how dominant we can be. We have some great guys who have stepped up and are ready to make a difference for our defense.”

Q: Who do you feel has progressed the most on both sides of the ball?

A: “For offense most definitely Collin Johnson.” Johnson is a wide receiver who is an early enrollee from the 2016 recruiting class. He has been dubbed the name “Young Megatron” after Calvin Johnson because of his freakishly large 6ft 6in and 200-pound size. He is an aggressor on the field who is expected to make huge contributions.

“For defense, it has been Anthony Wheeler. We have known for some time that he was a special talent on the field. He is showing that he has All-American capabilities. We are expecting the linebacker to have a huge season for us this year.”

Q: What has been the biggest difference in recruiting for Texas?

A: “Competition-wise, we know that the coaches will give freshman the opportunity to play. That is evident from last season. The fact that freshmen are getting these opportunities is invigorating. These guys want to get the program back to the level of competition it should be at. They really want to put the T back in Texas.”

Q: What are three goals that the football team has for the upcoming season?

A: “We have been prepping extremely well for our season opener against Notre Dame, so we would like to make a statement and win at home. Next, we would like to beat our rival, OU. We can do that by ensuring that we execute and are the aggressors playing with passion and hunger. Lastly, we would like to win the Big XII. This task is easier said than done. We will take everything week by week and continuously get better while staying humble throughout the process.”

Longhorns Looking for That RING

The pressure of the NBA Playoffs turns a select few players into diamonds. Proximity to greatness and immortality breeds the sort of intensity that empowers some and stifles others. So, players jostle for rebounding position and call for their shot, all desperate for victory.

There are six former Longhorns who have put themselves in a position for playoffs greatness. They’ve gone from playing sparsely attended home games at the Frank Erwin centers to sold-out, nationally televised NBA playoff games where everyone is watching. But, who are these guys?

Myles Turner

Fresh off his one and done year at Texas, the Pacers forward is in the playoffs and making a difference. During the regular season he averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds which were within the top-10 of both categories among rookies. Through four games (and two wins) in the playoffs, Turner has brought that production to the next level.

Officially a power forward, Turner plays as a stretch four with most of his shots coming more than 16 feet from the basket. Between his ability to stretch opposing big men past the key and his defensive versatility, Turner has been an integral part of the Pacers success for the Raptors. In fact, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel placed him in the starting lineup of Game 4 and team scored a 27-point win over the Raptors. Turner should continue to play well for the Pacers and if they’re able to upset the Raptors, he’ll be a big reason why.

Cory Joseph

Some people still don’t know who this guy is. Fans of the Longhorns and Spurs do though. As a Longhorn, he put up more than 10 points and game and shot 41% from three. With the San Antonio Spurs, he won a championship as a valuable role player. Now, he’s with the Raptors, trying to secure the franchise’s first second round appearance since 2001.

Joseph is the leader of the Raptors’ second unit, averaging 8.5 points per game and 3.1 assists per game during the regular season. Now in the playoffs, Lowry has disappointed, leading to Joseph seeing more action for team. Although he had a poor Game 4 (0 points, 0 assists), he has played well otherwise, shooting 69% around the basket and playing better defense than he did during the regular season (102 vs 108 defensive rating). He knows what it takes to win, he’s already got a ring. Let’s see if he can teach the Raptors.

Tristan Thompson

372. That’s how many consecutive regular season games Thompson has played in, a category in which he leads all active players. In the storm of controversy that seems to always surround the Cleveland Cavaliers, the former Longhorns big man stands in the eye, always reliable, always playing. Playing that many games in a row requires durability and talent, the likes of which many NBA never combine. During the regular season, Thompson averaged 7.8 point and took 9 rebounds off the glass while simultaneously offering a league-leading offensive rating of 129.8.

Luckily, the Cavs and their head coach Tyronn Lue recognized his incredible consistency and made him the team’s starting center for the playoffs. His stats in the four-game sweep of the Pistons were not great (2.5 pts, 5.5 rebs), but he helped to ensure that the Cavs got the four wins they needed. We’ll just have to see if he can help LeBron & company get one for the “Land.”

Avery Bradley

Yes, he strained his hamstring and will miss the rest of Round 1. But, that doesn’t take away from his being the longest tenured Boston Celtic AND a suffocating defender at the guard position. After the Celtics upset the Warriors and broke their 54-game win streak, Portland Trail Blazers guard and Sixth Man of the Year, C.J. McCollum praised Bradley via Twitter.

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An endorsement like that from a fellow peer compliments the adulation that Bradley has received from NBA commentators throughout his career. That same applause led to Celtics fans fearing the worst for their team versus the Hawks after hearing about his injury. However, the former Longhorn may yet see more NBA playoffs action as the Celtics and Hawks are tied at 2 games apiece.

LaMarcus Aldridge

The former Longhorn parlayed nine seasons and four All-Star game appearances as a Trail Blazer into a 4 year, 84 million dollar contract with the San Antonio Spurs. A team that is conveniently located in Aldridge’s home-state. Although it took the power forward some time to get fully comfortable with the Spurs, he’s still the master of the midrange (43% between 16 feet beyond the basket and the three-point line), capable of shooting over small guys and banging with big dudes at the basket. Oh, and playing on the league’s best defensive team with the league’s best defensive player led to Aldridge’s best defensive rating of his career at 99.

In the playoffs, Aldridge nearly averaged a double-double, putting up 14.5 points per game and grabbing 8 rebounds in a four game sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies. If the Spurs want to take down the winner of the Mavericks/Thunder series and get to the conference finals, they’ll need Aldridge to continue to score buckets and defend big men. I think I can handle it.

Kevin Durant

What can anyone say about Kevin Durant that hasn’t already been said? The dude won an MVP in 2014, broke his foot (multiple times) in 2015 and rebounded to his superstar form in 2016. Oh, and he occasionally makes his way back to Austin to make the Longhorns ever more proud of what he’s accomplished in the NBA.

This year, he finished third in scoring, with 28.2 points per game, behind former Thunder teammate James Harden (29.0) and three-point shooting king Steph Curry (30.1). While he struggled with injuries during the first half of the season and the Thunder suffered a post-All Star break slump, both Durant and the Thunder appear ready to contend for a championship. They hold a 3-1 series lead over the Mavericks and feature two of the best players in the entire league. We’ll see if KD can have his diamond moment and get a ring.

Texas Baseball In For a Treat this weekend in Lubbock

In state rival Texas Tech will host the Texas Longhorns tonight, Friday April 22nd at 6:30pm to start off the three game series that will take place over the weekend. Texas Tech is going into this series ranked number 7 overall leading the BIG XII with an 11-1 record in conference. The Longhorns on the other hand are not doing terrible but have an overall record of 17-20 and a conference record of 7-5. The Longhorns are coming off a series win over the Kansas Jay-hawks while the Red Raiders are coming off a split at New Mexico.

The Red Raiders are having one of the best starts to their season since the 1999 Raiders team. They are up there with Louisville, South Carolina, and Texas A&M with some of the best records in the country. They have swept their last BIG XII series and is on a 12-game winning streak. All in all, the Texas Longhorns have their hands full with this upcoming road trip.

The in state rivalry between Texas Tech and Texas has been going on for years with tonight game being the 154th time that they will face each other out on the diamond. The Raiders are 43-110 in the all time record against the Longhorns but that may not stay so lopsided with how well Tech is playing. Texas is is 17-20 overall and Tech is dominating with a 30 and 10 record overall. Texas has had some solid wins so far this year but can they pull this upset up? What can Texas do?

Texas has outscored their opponents 20 times this season with freshman Kody Clemens coming in the clutch the last few series. He is 13 for 37 overall, is 3 for 6 (.500) with the bases loaded, and is 15-44 (.341) with two outs. He just needs to keep doing what he is doing!! Senior left handed pitcher Ty Culbreth has been consistent this season striking out 54 batters and only waling 10. Travis Jones leads the Longhorns with a .430 on-base percentage…the sophomore left fielder has compiled a .600 on-base percentage when leading off the ballgame…in his last 5 games at leadoff, has reached base safely (4 walks, 1 double)…he went 5-for-8 over the weekend against Kansas with 4 walks, 5 RBI, a double and a home run, slugging at a 1.125 clip. With those numbers he needs to keep doing what he is doing too! Even with these great numbers Texas has their hands full on the road this weekend but with that Texas Fight they might be able to pull off the upset in Lubbock, TX against the mighty Red Raiders.

Hook’em

What Can the Boston Marathon Teach the Texas Relays?

by Bailey Posey – Team 23

Most people know the Boston Marathon is this Monday, but the event truly begins with the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo on Friday. The Boston Marathon website boasts its being voted “Best Runner’s Expo in the Country”, but what’s the big deal? Oh, it’s just the official place for runners to pick up their number before the big race, AND it hosts over 200 of the running industry’s top companies!

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According to the Director of Marketing of yurbuds, “Boston is the heart and soul of running, and the marathon Expo gives us the chance to build a deeper relationship with the world’s greatest running community.” The Boston Marathon is so much more than just a race. It generates almost $200 million for the greater Boston economy.

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What could any of this possibly have to do with the Texas Relays? A lot. Texas Athletics contributes about $728 million annually to Austin and the State of Texas, with $467 million coming from Texas Football (no surprise there), and then Texas Track & Field with the second highest contribution of $30.4 million!

400x100 meter relay on Saturday Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

Thousands come to support their athletes, but just think of the revenues and crowds that would result if the Texas Relays hosted something similar to the Sports & Fitness Expo in Boston. The Texas Relays Expo could be close to the field, or even in the nearby Frank Erwin Center.

They have have only scratched the surface with the Texas Relays Fan Fest, which features live music, food, interactive games, exclusive Texas Relays merchandise, and more. Let’s make this an even greater experience for the audience, and most importantly, some of the best athletes in the country!

Texas Women’s Golf struggles to finish 7th at PING/ASU Invitational

The first full week of April always creates a buzz in the golf world. In the small town of Augusta, Georgia, people travel from around the world to catch a glimpse at a green jacket and collect as much apparel as their wallets allow. However, this year, the Texas Women’s golf team had some excitement of their own. The Longhorns competed in their final tournament before the postseason begins and it left them wanting more.

The women played three rounds of 18 holes over the course of three days. The Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Arizona drew some of the top teams for the PING/ASU Invitational. Competing against No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Alabama, and No. 5 Northwestern, along with 10 other schools would be a challenge Texas would need to overcome prior to the Big 12 Championships.

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(Above: ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Arizona)

         Sophomore standout Sophia Schubert shot 69-70-73 to finish tied for fourth. She led the Horns to a seventh place finish. Head coach Ryan Murphy commented on Schubert stating her “ball-striking was very solid and her putter was sharp”. The team will need to gain momentum before their upcoming tournament.

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(Above: Sophomore Sophia Schubert at the PING/ASU Invitational)

         The Longhorns will play The Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, Texas from April 22-24. This is the first tournament of the postseason Big 12 Championship. Last year the women finished seventh in the NCAA Regionals and failed to advance. Alum, Bertine Strauss, was the only player to qualify and advance to the NCAA Championship in Bradenton, Florida. The women have their work cut out for them in they hope to improve from last year.

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(Above: Bertine Strauss after competing in the NCAA Regional and advancing to the NCAA Championship)

Click here to keep up with the Texas Longhorns during their postseason tournaments.