Blogging the Austin Regional: Day One

The Austin Regional kicks off with two games on Friday. The Texas State Bobcats take on the Boston College Eagles in game one, while Texas and Army will face off in the nightcap. Burnt Orange Beat's Jason Cole is blogging both games.

Game 2: Army 1 - Texas 3 - FINAL

8:31 p.m. - Wood retires the side in order in the ninth inning, and Texas advances to the winner's bracket, where they will face the Boston College Eagles at 6:00 p.m. CST on Saturday evening.

Army will play an elimination game against Texas State at noon.

8:24 p.m. - After three consecutive scoreless half-innings, we're headed to the top of the ninth. We'll see if Army can match Boston College's ninth-inning heroics in game one earlier today.

8:03 p.m. - It turns out that the somewhat controversial play that led to Army's first run isn't controversial at all--at least according to the rule book.

The Longhorns defense wasn't exactly sure why the crowd and coaches were signaling for an appeal, so Green first threw the ball to third base, thinking the runner may have left early on the sacrifice fly attempt.

The rule book states that a team can only appeal one call on a play. So when they threw to third before appealing to home plate, it negated the second attempt. We'll never know for sure what the umpire would have ruled.

Texas leads the Black Knights 3-1 through seven innings. Left-handed closer Austin Wood is taking the mound for the 'Horns.

7:58 p.m. - Cole Green is done after seven innings. He gave up one run on four hits, walking three and striking out six. His sinker was working today, as he posted an 11:4 groundout-to-flyout ratio.

Kyle Lusson is pinch-hitting for Green to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

7:56 p.m. - We're at the stretch in Austin. Army scored one run in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Texas left fielder Tant Shepherd didn't attempt a throw home on the sac fly even though he caught the ball in shallow left field. It may have been a mental mistake.

Still, it appeared that the runner—J.P. Polchinski—did not touch home plate when he slid in with no throw. However, the umpires ruled differently and called him safe.

7:49 p.m. - Texas may lead 3-0 right now, but I have been impressed with Army's club. Fouch is doing an excellent job on the mound, and they appear to have strong talent all around the diamond. They are not a typical four seed.

7:45 p.m. - Preston Clark led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to right-center, then Kevin Keyes singled him home to give Texas a 3-0 lead.

Clark appears to be heating up at just the right time for the 'Horns.

7:26 p.m. - Nothing else doing for the Longhorns in the bottom of the fifth. Texas still leads 2-0 going into the sixth.

7:22 p.m. - Green showing off his two-strike hitting abilities. The pitcher got down in the count 1-2 and then laced a fairly hard-hit single into left field to lead off the bottom of the fifth.

Green didn't have any collegiate at-bats before this game. While some pitchers occasionally take batting practice (like Austin Dicharry), Green is not one of those guys.

7:13 p.m. - Green loses his no hitter, as he gave up a single to Army left fielder Ben Koenigsfeld to lead off the top of the fifth.

7:10 p.m. - The Longhorns scored another run in the fourth on some perfectly executed small-ball. After the first two men reached, Tant Shepherd moved them to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Then Connor Rowe laid down a perfect bunt to bring home Preston Clark.

Cole Green will be leading off the bottom of the fifth for the 'Horns, so we'll get a chance to see him swinging away.

7:00 p.m. - Green gets out of the fourth, giving up just a walk. He is doing an excellent job of mixing his pitches and the Army hitters appear to be guessing up there, as they're taking a number of weak hacks.

6:53 p.m. - Tucker was erased at home after Torres singled to left field. He was thrown out by quite a ways after Army LF Ben Koeningsfeld—the club's usual Saturday starter—fired a strike to the catcher. Torres eventually came around to score on a Cameron Rupp single, and the Longhorns are up 1-0 through three innings.

6:47 p.m. - Cole Green got lucky. He didn't have to swing the bat. Travis Tucker led off the inning with a walk, and Green dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt towards the right side to get Tucker over to second.

The bunt was met with a standing ovation from the crowd and, yes, a curtain call.

6:42 p.m. - Here's the official word from UT on Belt's injury: "Brandon Belt was taken to Brackenridge Hospital for precautionary evaluation. The pitch struck his helmet below the right ear hole and suffered a laceration of the right ear and a contusion on the lower part of his head. He was aware and coherent."

Green got two strikeouts and a groundout in the top of the third. Of the nine outs, he has seven groundouts and two K's.

6:31 p.m. - Green completes a five-pitch second inning, throwing all sinkers. He got three more groundouts to the right side. The sophomore has gotten six ground ball outs thus far, with four going to second base and two to first.

6:26 p.m. - Preston Clark will be going to first base afterall. That means the Longhorns lose their designated hitter. I'm not sure if Green is any good with the bat, but I guess we'll find out later in this game.

6:18 p.m. - We're still delayed here and not entirely sure what is going on. Keith Shinaberry just warmed up with his first baseman's mitt, and now everyone is just standing around. I'm honestly not sure why the umpires are allowing this to take so long. And I'm not sure why a player would need to warm up right now since Texas is hitting.

Jordan Etier is pinch running at first base for now. It appears that Shinaberry, the Longhorns' left-handed setup man who has never appeared in a game as a position player, will play first next inning.

6:11 p.m. - Belt was helped off the field by his teammates, and he is leaving the game. This presents an interesting situation because the Longhorns do not really have a backup first baseman, and Preston Clark—who would come in—is the designated hitter.

6:09 p.m. - Longhorns first baseman Brandon Belt was hit in the back of the head with a pitch, and it appears to have been maybe the top of the neck, where it wasn't covered by the batting helmet. Belt appears to be in a lot of pain, and he is on the ground while being attended to by the Longhorns' coaches and training staff.

6:04 p.m. - Cole Green gets off to a decent start. He got two quick groundouts on just a few pitches before walking three-hole hitter Clint Moore. He got a groundout to get out of it.

The key for Green is getting ahead in the count and keeping his sinker low in the zone. If he's able to do that, he'll get a lot of ground ball outs and be successful.

5:51 p.m. - The Longhorns are going with a pretty standard lineup tonight. The only slight surprise is that Tant Shepherd will start in left field and bat eighth.

Right-hander Cole Green—generally the Horns' Saturday starter—gets the nod against Army tonight.

The Black Knights will counter with left-hander Matt Fouch, who is 7-3 with a 4.30 ERA on the year.

Game 1: Boston College 8 - Texas State 7 - FINAL

5:32 p.m. - Longhorns coach Augie Garrido always says to 'expect the unexpected' in postseason college baseball.

Texas fans have heard it a million times by now.

And it keeps ringing true.

Right fielder John Spatola entered the game with just nine starts on the season. He would play a big factor, hitting an RBI single in the third inning and blasting a game-winning three-run homer in the ninth.

"In the third inning when I got a single," Spatola said, "that was the biggest hit of my life because this is an NCAA Regional. Then the home run surpassed that. This is the big stage and this is where you want to be."

The Eagles will face the winner of tonight's Texas/Army matchup on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. CST.

4:02 p.m. - And the Eagles pick up a victory in their first NCAA postseason game since 1967.

Texas State made a comeback bid against Belfiore in the bottom of the ninth, as slugger Paul Goldschmidt crushed a two-run homer into the left field bullpen. An Adam Witek walk and a sac bunt put a man on second with just one out, but they weren't able to bring home the tying run.

3:49 p.m. - Wow. What a comeback for Boston College.

BC scored six runs on eight hits against three Texas State relievers in the top of the ninth, giving them an 8-5 lead.

Spatola came through by crushing a three-run homer over the home bullpen in right field. As I've already said, he entered the game with just nine starts and 46 at-bats on the season. Now he has two runs scored and four runs batted in.

BC will be bringing in left-handed closer Mike Belfiore, who moves to the mound from third base.

3:25 p.m. - Boston College is down to its final three outs. Texas State still leads 5-2 going into the ninth inning.

3:16 p.m. - The Bobcats pitching staff has done an outstanding job against talented BC catcher Tony Sanchez. Brundridge got Sanchez to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, erasing the minor threat. He is 0-for-4 today.

Sanchez has affected the game by keeping the speedy Texas State lineup from stealing any bases today. He gunned down a man to end the sixth inning after a couple of chaotic plays plated two runs for the 'Cats.

3:10 p.m. - Kane Holbrooks' day is done after seven-plus innings. Head coach Ty Harrington is going with senior righty Tyler Brundridge.

Holbrooks did an excellent job today. He not only pitched well, but also saved the bullpen. Texas State doesn't have a very deep pitching staff, and unless they go undefeated in the regional, they're going to need a relatively fresh bullpen throughout.

Holbrooks threw 85 pitches. If they play for the regional championship on Monday afternoon, he may be available for a couple of innings.

3:06 p.m. - Moran buried his breaking ball in the dirt and got Goldschmidt to chase it to end his long at-bat, but he wasn't able to retire the next two hitters, bringing home a run and giving Texas State a 5-1 lead.

Lefty specialist Nate Bayuk got catcher Ben Theriot to fly out to center after throwing him five breaking balls in a row.

It's not unusual for BC to do a lot of mixing and matching with their relievers. Most of the bullpen averages less than an inning pitched per appearance, and the Eagles have two more relievers up in the bullpen. Don't be surprised if that was the only hitter Bayuk will face.

2:51 p.m. - MacDonald's day is done after allowing two singles and a sacrifice bunt to start the Texas State seventh.

They're turning to righty-hander Kevin Moran, who has become the go-to setup man out of the Eagles bullpen down the stretch.

Moran will face slugging first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who entered the game with a .353 batting average, 19 doubles, and 17 home run.

2:44 p.m. - Holbrooks was hit a bit harder in the top of the sixth, but he only gave up one run on one hit. Nine-hole hitter John Spatola drove home a run with his RBI groundout. The right fielder is getting just his tenth start of the season, but he has contributed in both of BC's runs, going 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.

2:36 p.m. - This game has been cruising along, but we got an action-packed inning in the bottom of the sixth.

Third baseman Lance Loftin hammered a double that one-hopped the 405 sign in left-center field, bringing home Keith Prestridge.

Then Kyle Livingstone hit a popup to shallow right field that BC second baseman Matt Hamlet lost in the sun. The ball fell to the turf and bouned over the right fielder's head, allowing Loftin to score and Livingstone to advance to second.

The Bobcats lead it 4-1 through six innings.

2:24 p.m. - Six up, six down in the fifth inning. This game appears to be a Disch-Falk Field special. A pair of potent offenses are locked in a low-scoring battle.

2:20 p.m. - We've got a pretty solid crowd for this game. If you're watching online (which you can do for free at, you won't see many fans in the lower section, but the upper half is fairly full, as most people appear to be trying to stay out of the sun.

Obviously Texas State has the home-crowd advantage here, but it's hard to tell these two fan bases apart since they both wear maroon.

2:18 p.m. - Holbrooks appears to be settling in for the Bobcats. He has now retired six in a row, getting four groundouts, one strikeout, and one flyout.

2:11 p.m. - Butera's rough day at shortstop continued in the bottom of the fourth. He slipped after fielding a Kyle Livingstone ground ball, which may have kept them from turning an inning-ending double play. Instead, they got just one out and Spencer Dennis crossed the plate to give Texas State a 2-1 lead.

2:00 p.m. - The Eagles are continuing to leave runners on base. Butera led off the inning after he was hit by a pitch, but he ended up stranded at third base. BC has stranded five runners in four innings.

1:54 p.m. - Boston College tied the game in the top of the third on a single from cleanup hitter Mickey Wiswall.

Eagles shortstop Barry Butera has committed one error in each of the past two innings, but it hasn't led to a Texas State run.

1:18 p.m. - After Holbrooks worked a clean top of the first, the powerful Texas State lineup went to work in the bottom of the inning. Cleanup hitter Paul Goldschmidt drove home his 86th run of the season with a sacrifice fly, scoring leadoff hitter Tyler Sibley.

The Bobcats lead BC 1-0 after one full inning.

12:57 p.m. - We're about to get underway here. It'll be the second-seeded Texas State Bobcats (the home team) versus the third-seeded Boston College Eagles.

Taking the mound for the Eagles is right-hander JB MacDonald, who is 5-7 with a 4.70 ERA on the year. Ace pitcher Kane Holbrooks will go for Texas State. He is 10-1 with a sparkling 3.34 ERA this season.

This game may feature a bit of offense. Of the 18 position players starting in this game, just two are battling below .300. And one of those two [Mickey Wiswall] has 17 doubles and 11 homers on the season.

Horns Digest Top Stories