Baseball Readies for Series at No. 15 Texas
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Fans can follow the action from Austin, Texas a number of ways this weekend. Subscribers to the Longhorn Network can view the game on television, or log on at the link above with their cable subscriber information to watch the game on-line. An audio stream is available on-line through TexasSports.com for a fee, but is free to listen to using the Longhorn Network mobile app oncompatible mobile devices. Live stats are also available using the link above
ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Not only will this be Columbia’s first game against the Longhorns, but it is also its first ever ballgame against a school currently in the Big 12. Texas has played three Ivy League schools previously (Brown, Cornell and Princeton) posting a 6-1 record against those schools.
SCOUTING THE LIONS
The Lions looked to be in upset mode Tuesday at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park against the No. 26 Aggies, leading 7-4 in eighth inning after a strong start from George Thanopoulos, but a three-run homer by Mitchell Nau tied the game and A&M went on to win it in 11 innings, 8-7.
Despite the losses, the Lions have had success in different areas throughout the trip through Texas. Kevin Roy picked up his first win of the season on the hill with a dominant, three-hit performance in a 4-2 victory at UTSA, earning him Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors, while fellow hurler Thanopoulos gave up just six hits and three earned runs to the nationally-ranked Aggies.
At the dish, the power bats have come alive with three home runs in the last two games. Robb Paller broke the Lions’ 12-game homer-less streak with a two-run bomb against Texas A&M, and Nick Maguire and Gus Craig followed the next night with solo shots against UTA.
Maguire is second on the team with a .342 batting average, trailing only Jordan Serena, who will enter the weekend hitting at a .352 clip. Paller continues to be a run-generater for Columbia, driving in 15 of the Lions’ 56 RBI.
Texas kicked off Big 12 action last weekend, hosting Kansas for a three-game set. The Jayhawks picked up wins in the series opener and finale to win the series, while the Longhorns edged Kansas in the second game, 2-1. Dillon Peters earned his second win of the season for Texas, throwing 7.1 innings and giving up just one earned run.
Peters, as well as fellow starters Nathan Thornhill and Parker French, each sport ERAs under 2.00, with Thornhill tying with Lukas Schiraldi with a team-best three wins. French boasts the most strikeouts on the Longhorns’ staff, sitting down 29 batters in 31.2 innings. John Curtiss has been the backend reliever of choice for Texas, recording four saves without allowing an earned run yet this season.
Senior Mark Payton is the big bat in the Longhorns’ lineup, coming into the weekend leading the team with a .427 batting average, 32 hits, five triples and 14 RBI. Junior Collin Shaw, a starter in 11 games, is the only other Texas player above .300, hitting at a .343 clip in 35 at bats.