The #5 Texas Longhorns return to action Friday night for a weekend series against Missouri. The Tigers come to Austin 31-12 overall (12-6 Big XII) and in second place in the Big XII. Texas has a 3.5 game lead over Missouri in the standings. With just one win this weekend, Texas would need to win one of three games next weekend in order to take the Big XII regular season title.
How good is this Texas team? Since losing its first two series, Texas has taken eleven straight. Offensively, Texas is batting .317 as a team, good for the fifth best all-time team record. Texas needs only 13 more home runs in order to set a new team record in that category. Whether this regular season success will translate into Omaha success remains to be seen.
As for this weekend's pitching, James Russell has not picked up a win the last two weekends. Adrian Alaniz has been fantastic the last three starts, and Joseph Krebs has put together a string of solid starts to go along with several innings of strong relief last weekend. On Sunday, Texas will either start Krebs or Austin Wood (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER last Sunday) hoping to give the Horns their fifth straight Sunday victory.
Last weekend, the Horns picked up increasing contributions with the bat from freshman Russell Moldenhauer (2 HR, 5 RBI) and senior Chais Fuller (5-9, 2 BB). Texas will need Jordan Danks to bust out of his slump and it has been a little too long since Kyle Russell's last home run.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
May 4, 2007
Texas: LHP James Russell (8-3, 3.65 ERA)
Missouri: RHP Aaron Crow (4-2, 2.55 ERA
May 5, 2007
Texas: RHP Adrian Alaniz (10-2, 2.54 ERA)
Missouri: LHP Rick Zagone (6-0, 3.92 ERA)
May 6, 2007
Texas: LHP Joseph Krebs (6-0, 2.45 ERA) or LHP Austin Wood (6-1, 3.39 ERA)
Missouri: RHP Ian Berger (3-1, 3.77 ERA)