Yes, the ping of aluminum doesn't resonate like the crack of a wood bat, but baseball is still a great game here in America
As a traditionalist, I kinda cringe when I hear an aluminum bat hit a ball, whether the players are age 7 or in college, but the University of Texas just played two amazing games in one of the regional rounds of the College World Series, so my traditionalist bias is probably due for revamping.
Take a look at Peter King's report on the 25-inning game Texas played against Boston College.
He focuses on the Longhorn's reliever Austin Wood who pitched no-hit baseball for 12 1/3 innings in the marathon game.
"In my 41 years of coaching,'' said Texas coach Augie Garrido, "the effort by Austin Wood was the best pitching performance I have ever seen.''
Wood heard what Garrido said about him, about how it was the greatest pitching performance he'd seen in 41 years. "Now that is pretty cool,'' Wood said. "I can't lie -- that's some unbelievable praise.''
There may have been higher praise. "But I have to tell you what was the most incredible thing after the game. The president of the university came to me after the game, and this is a direct quote. He told me, 'That's probably the best athletic performance ever at the University of Texas.' I mean, wow. Earl Campbell, Vince Young.''
Then, last night, UT came from way behind to defeat the Army team.
My friend "H" in Austin attended the game and provided me an interesting perspective.
Since he and a buddy had tickets to see Frank Caliendo that night, they decided they better leave the park. They got to the car, turned on the radio and UT was still behind 10-7 in the 9th inning. UT had the bases loaded and a guy hits one off the wall to clear the bases. Tie game.
So they decided to return to the stadium and while they were walking in UT loaded the bases again. As they approached the field, walking fast, they're still 30 feet from the entrace when they hear the crowd roar. They can only see the outfield fence from their approach to the stadium entrance and they see the ball clear the outfield wall by 20 feet.
Grand slam, Texas wins.
H said he saw a girl in an Army T-shirt leaving the stadium in tears.
But afterwards, with the Army team on the field, the PA announcer told the crowd in Austin that many of the players they see will now move on to fulfill their military service commitments, and the heavily partisan Longhorn crowd rose to its feet and applauded.
Then the Army players applauded to the crowd.
God Bless America and God bless baseball.
Brazoswood ready to whup P'land
We would be remiss in this baseball post not to acknowledge the efforts of the Brazoswood High School Buccaneers baseball squad, which won 2 of 3 from mighty baseball factory Bellaire High School in Houston, the #1 ranked team in the country.
Now B'Wood will take on Pearland in the regional finals.
As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, the people in Pearland consider residents of Brazosport hayseeds, since they're really more part of Houston than the Land Where Texas Began, so it's imperative that all Brazoswood boosters attend this game and cheer our young men on to victory. We'll show 'em how hayseeds play hardball and we'll enjoy doing it (while also displaying sportsmanship and remaining humble.)
According to a commenter on the Houston daily's game story, Game 1 of the Brazoswood-Pearland series is Thursday at 8 at UH, Game 2 is Saturday at 4, and game 3 will follow, if necessary.