Kasparek No-Hits Bobcats, UT Takes Weekend Series From Wildcats

Kenn Kasperek, the no-hit kid
Kenn Kasperek, the no-hit kid (Photo courtesy of UT)

Before we get to last weekend's series with the K-State Wildcats, it must be noted that UT right-hander Kenn Kasparek pitched a no-hitter last night in the Longhorns' 11-0 win over the Texas State Bobcats. Kasparek was one hit-batter away from a perfect game and faced the minimum of 27 batters as that lonely base-runner was the victim of a ground-ball double play in the Bobcats' next at-bat. Congrats Kenn!

And now, from the Bobcats to the Wildcats …

UT won their weekend series with the Kansas State Wildcats by winning games one and three with timely hitting and some luck. Kyle Russell and Jordan Danks each homered in game one to bring their season totals to 12 and five, respectively. But, playing “Garilla Ball” isn’t how UT won the series.

Manufacturing runs, timely hitting, and the hand of a higher power put Texas in a great position to win this past weekend. The Horns had several sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies, and ground outs to move runners over and walks to put men on base. But, that doesn’t paint the whole picture.

Both teams gifted each other several runs in very unusual ways. In the bottom of the first inning in game one, Chance Ruffin hit three batters and walked two more to give Kansas State two runs on exactly zero hits. In the ninth inning of the same game, Travis Tucker dropped a pop up that would have ended it. At that point, the score was 6-3 with the Horns still leading. Kansas State tacked on two more runs, after Tucker’s error, before Pat McCrory came in to get the save. Texas basically gave away four runs in game one, but somehow hung on to win.

In the seventh inning of game two, with Texas losing 2-1, Stayton Thomas balked and gave up a sacrifice to move Dane Yelovich from first to third base. Yelovich scored on a single, and the Horns lost the game 4-1. That would not be the end of the wacky plays in a series full of them.

In the first inning of game three, Travis Tucker got to first base when the catcher got in his way as he was trying to run to first. This was the start of a four-run inning for the Horns as they led 4-0. The odd turn of events got stranger in the third inning when pinch runner Dane Yelovich was on first, but made it to third on two balks. He then scored on a ground out. Yelovich advanced three bases in the series on balks. When was the last time that happened?

How about a few strange statistics to add to the already weird series? In game one, Travis Tucker scored a run without the help of a teammate, and it wasn’t a home run. How did it happen? Tucker singles, then steals second. He makes it to third on a throwing error and scores on a wild pitch. Try this one. In game two, Michael Torres, Cameron Rupp, and Russell Moldenhauer each had three hits, while the rest of the team had exactly one hit. To add to the madness, Chance Ruffin got the win in game one with three runs on three hits with three walks given up. To make it even more odd, Ruffin struck out six batters in six innings of work. OK, I think I have given myself a headache.

Next big series for the Horns is a pesky Baylor Bears team, who has lost seven of their last nine games and are really struggling at the plate. Texas beat Baylor last week and needs to keep the momentum going during the back stretch of the season for any realistic hope of making the playoffs.

Hopefully, this weekend the Longhorns will continue to have that higher power on their side.

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