Texas Series Review

It was a long weekend for Aggie fans. Losing to Texas in itself isn't optimal, but losing in this fashion has many fans, including Websider's Lanny Hayes, thinking they need an ice pack. Hayes takes a look at what exactly went wrong for A&M baseball.

There are many ways that one can dissect and analyze the weekend series between A&M and Texas. No matter the method I choose, as a fan, my blood pressure starts rising immensely.

All that anyone wants to talk about are the blown calls by well noted and traveled umpire Dave Yeast, so let's talk there. Yes, he totally blew the call at home on Friday night – which would have given A&M the opening night victory. Adam Smith's hand, as shown by multiple replays and still photos, is clearly on home plate before Texas catcher Preston Clark even attempted a tag (I've yet to see a single photo that proves he even tagged Smith, which I can almost 100% assure you that he did not).

Has anyone ever seen an entire game come to a stop while a replay was shown on the jumbotron? Every single person in that stadium, including all three umpires and every player on both teams (including ones standing on the field), watched Rosa's Café sponsor a second viewing of the worst call (all things considered) that I've ever seen at Olsen Field. The ensuing drama led to the ejection of Matt Deggs (what ever happened to the age-old edict that, when you blow a call, you let the coach blow his steam), and the 8,000+ Aggie fans thankfully skipped right past the hissing (still not sure why that's so much classier) and hit the boos – hard. A friend of mine, who's quite partial to the burnt orange, told me that event plus the top of the ninth (when Alex Wilson mowed Texas down) was the loudest he'd every heard a college baseball stadium.

Olsen Field security lined up post-game to protect the umpires instead of the Texas players leaving the field. Third base umpire David Wiley ordered replays stopped for the rest of the game, despite the replay being shown in accordance with Big 12 rules. I wonder if Bill Byrne will send him a check for the lost ad revenue there, since each replay is sponsored, or if it'll just be an increase in season ticket prices next year.

Anyway, Yeast infected calls on Saturday and Sunday too. His punch out of Brodie Greene at third base was off the mark, and replays have shown that Luke Anders seemed to touch first base TWICE during Sunday's first inning – a development that would've led to 0 Longhorn runs instead of five.

The umpiring crew has my blood pressure rising.

Now, forget the umpires. Sure, it's vogue to blame the game on them, and they certainly earned that criticism. However, despite the fact that A&M was playing 9 on 10 in some key moments, they had ample opportunity to win every single game in this series.

Friday night, Rob Childress and crew elected not to bunt Greene from first to second in the ninth. At the time, I agreed with the call; I felt that if they bunted him over, they'd walk Luke Anders and put the game in Kyle Colligan's hands. I wanted both Anders and Colligan to have a shot at winning this. The double play is the only item that could've screwed that vision over, and it certainly happened. A&M even got runners on base in the 10th with a chance to tie, but couldn't get the job done.

Move forward to Sunday, where outside of that first inning (where no earned runs crossed the plate), A&M pitching held Texas in check. The Ags scratched and clawed to four runs, but bad base-running and an inability to hit well with runners in scoring position (what was it, 3-for-14?) kept them from yet another win. Just 4-for-14 probably gets that game won, or even the 3-for-14 doesn't kill you if you can get a groundball past the pitcher with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs. A&M could not get that done. Something like 5-for-14 probably breaks the game wide open.

A&M's inability to put key games away, despite the circumstances, has my blood pressure rising.

My blood pressure also rises with optimism, and while moral victories are for fools, Aggie fans have to feel some confidence after this weekend. I'm not prepared to say that A&M should've swept, or that A&M was even the better team on the field this weekend – the scoreboard has much to say about that. However, A&M played their most competitive series with Texas in quite sometime – something they haven't done even when they've gone farther in the postseason (like the last two years). I won't say should've, but A&M could've very easily won this series, and with a little better execution or a good antibiotic, even swept them.

Ross Hales was absolutely phenomenal on the mound. In fact, the only pitcher with a truly bad outing was Brooks Raley. Alex Wilson gave up two earned runs in six innings pitched, and we got Jekyll instead of Hyde with Kyle Thebeau. Barret Loux didn't control the ball well, but was ultimately a victim of poor play behind him.

The team was resilient. At 8-3 on Friday, there could've been a "mail-it-in" moment, but the team sprang forward to tie the game with a couple of innings of good word. Down 5-0 on Sunday, against the best pitching staff in the nation, they refused to lay over and die.

If Texas is one of the best four teams in the country, and they will have a Top 4 national seed, A&M fans should walk away from this weekend with one thought in mind…their Aggies should be playing ball in five weeks.

That certainly has my blood pressure rising.




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