Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Ack! Rice, Niemann Blow 5-Run Lead to UT 

On a dreary, muggy day here in Austin, things were shaping up pretty good between the Owls and the Longhorns. After an hour rain delay, the Owls headed into the 7th inning with a 3-2 lead. With two outs and a runner on third, Lance Pendleton stepped into a pitch and took first against a cascade of boos. Then, pinch-hitter Kyle Gunderson worked a walk to load the bases. After a miscalled first pitch ball shook up UT reliever Brent Cox, third baseman Adam Morris jacked a grand slam into the left field seats to put the Owls up 7-2.

Owls ace Jeff Niemann had entered the game in relief of Josh Baker in the bottom of the fifth, and with a five run lead, the Owls looked like they were on their way to a sweet victory over the hated Longhorns.

Then, the wheels came off.

And the guy who took them off was a reserve dh named Hunter Harris, who twice in two innings hit two-run triples just past the diving Kyle Gunderson. Both times, it looked like Niemann gave him offspeed stuff instead of blowing him away with fastballs. After Niemann walked off dejected with the score tied, another ace, Phillip Humber, could not stop the bleeding and gave up the go-ahead single to some Texas guy. I was in a daze at that point, and before I knew what was happening, the game was over.

Yuck. I'm a little sick to my stomach - if you want to read more about the game, you can go here or here.

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