The Jayhawks and the Longhorns have split the first two games of their Big-12 series:
Winning yesterday's game vs. Texas was a huge lift for a program reeling from four consecutive losses to Big-12 competition. Dependent on which poll you look at Texas is ranked either #6 or #7, and entered the weekend with an RPI rating of #3. KU's home field advantage has largely been negated by the bone chilling cold. The combination of near freezing temperature and high winds depressed turnout at Hoglund. I could not go to the first game of the series but at yesterday's victory I estimate there were only about 600 or 700 people, maybe 200 of which were Texas fans. This is a third the turn-out KU would have had for these games if the weather had been more cooperative.
Casey Larson and John Allman took advantage of the wind blowing out to left center yesterday. Larson hit two fly balls to dead center that I expected to fall into the CFers glove short of the warning track. Both left the park. Allman lifted a fly to left center that also caught the jet stream giving him his 1st home run of the year. The unlikely pitching hero was Andres Esquibel, who recovered from a miserable outing in Manhattan on Tuesday. Starter Zach Ashwood was lifted in the top of the 4th inning for reasons unknown, forcing a lot of work on the middle relief crew. Esquibel ate 3.2 innings without allowing Texas to bite too deeply into an early 10-3 KU lead. Paul Smyth came into pitch the final 2.1 innings and seal the victory.
KU's record stands at 18-19 (4-7 Big-12), Texas 27-10 (8-3 Big-12). The rubber match is today, first pitch at 1PM. If you are coming, add one more layer than you think you need. I wore a T-shirt, a sweatshirt, a coat, and then wrapped myself in a blanket yesterday. I was fine until around the sixth inning. Sitting in those bleachers for hours, the cold finds a way in. Let's Go Hawks!