Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s Friday, April 20th.
On this date, the wrestler Chyna died (2016); BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and creating an oil spill that lasted six months (2010); Danica Patrick became the first female drive to win an Indy race when she won the Indy Japan 300 (2008); the Houston Texans took Fresno State quarterback David Carr with the first overall pick of the 2002 NFL draft; 13 were killed in the Columbine high school massacre (1999); the Chicago Bulls won their NBA-record 72nd game of the regular season (1996); Michael Jordan produced one of his first signature games with the Bulls, scoring a playoff-record 63 points against the Celtics. The Celtics won, however, 135-131 (1986); Mets pitcher Tom Seaver earned the first of his eventual 311 career pitching victories (1967); and Hall of Famer Ted Williams recorded his first major league hit. It was a double (1939).
Happy birthday, Brandon Belt (30).
How ’bout them Horns?
Or, rather, how ’bout that weather?
This is a pretty big weekend for Texas:
- The Orange-White spring game is set for Saturday night, 6:30, at DKR.
- Texas’ weary baseball team, which has already played three games this week, is set to open its non-conference series with New Orleans tonight at 7 at the Disch. Then a game at 2:30 Saturday and 1:30 on Sunday.
- The softball team was supposed to play No. 24 Oklahoma State at home on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but ended up shifting the schedule around on Thursday. Now it’s going to be a doubleheader today and a series finale on Sunday.
- The women’s golf team is defending its conference title at the Big 12 championships up in Dallas. But, like softball, that schedule has changed as well. Now there will be 36 holes today — essentially the same thing as playing a doubleheader — with a shotgun start at 8:30 in the morning. Then the final round will be played Sunday. No golf on Saturday.
Why? Because a cold front is on its way, coming in from the west, and it might bring rain on Saturday. Some of those rains could be heavy, some not. Maybe there’ll be some hail. Maybe not. Officially, there’s a 70 percent chance of rain on Saturday. But it probably won’t be an all-day thing and there’s hope that it’ll be worse during the day, not at night.
So, where does that leave us for the spring game? Who knows. But softball and golf have preemptively moved things around. Baseball seems to want to give it a try. Same with football.
OTHER NEWS FROM THURSDAY
Track and field NCAAs coming to Austin: The 2019 and 2020 NCAA outdoor track and field championships will be held at UT. Texas’ gain was Oregon’s loss — the Ducks have hosted the last five NCAA outdoors and will again this year, but Hayward Field will be undergoing construction over the next two years in anticipation of the 2021 IAAF world outdoor championships. Enter Texas. Here’s Danny Davis’ story.
Softball alters schedule: This weekend’s Texas-Oklahoma State series was altered in anticipation of bad weather on Saturday. The new schedule:
Friday — 4:30/7 p.m. doubleheader (first game on LHN/105.3, second game just on 105.3)
Sunday — 11 a.m. (LHN, 105.3)
Sunday’s game also will include the team’s Senior Day ceremony.
Up for softball honor: Second baseman Janae Jefferson is one of 25 semifinalists for the annual National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s national freshman of the year award. She’s leading the team in average (.372), hits (48), runs (21) on-base percentage (.456) and multi-hit games (14). The list of 25 will be narrowed to 10 finalists on May 10.
Texas trio on U.S. national team: Three former UT volleyball players — Rachael Adams (2008-11), Molly McCage (2012-15) and Chiaka Ogbogu (2013-17) — were among the 26 players selected to the U.S. women’s national team for the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League. That list will be trimmed to 21 players by May 5, and each week’s 14-player roster must come from those 21. Season begins May 15 against Poland.
Call her Coach Enemkpali: Former Texas women’s hoops standout Nneka Enemkpali was hired as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara. It’ll be her first on-court coaching job after having spent the last two seasons as Gonzaga’s video coordinator. “For this hire we spent time evaluating what we would want for this position, and for us, Nneka checked all the boxes and more,” said UCSB coach Bonnie Henrickson. “… Her experience as a post player will be an invaluable addition to our staff, while her ability to communicate and her passion for the game will allow her to relate to our student-athletes.”
Enemkpali, who played at UT from 2011-15, was a third-round pick in the 2015 WNBA draft.
Around the Horns
Football: The Orange-White game is Saturday night at Royal-Memorial Stadium (6:30, LHN, 104.9). The Horns held their 14th practice of the spring on Thursday and we were given a small window to watch at the beginning. Here are some practice observations from Danny Davis. … Tim Beck on Thursday said some good things about Sam Ehlinger’s progress this spring. Here’s the San Antonio Express-News story on what Beck said.
Baseball: This weekend’s Texas-New Orleans series, at UFCU Disch-Falk Field — 7 Friday, 2:30 Saturday, 1:30 Sunday. All are on LHN and 104.9. The pitching matchups:
Friday — UT RHP Nolan Kingham (5-2, 3.81) vs. Bryan Warzek (2-2, 2.93)
Saturday — UT RHP Chase Shugart (3-2, 4.56) vs. TBA
Sunday — UT RHP Blair Henley (5-4, 3.35) vs. RHP John Michael Stephens (2-3, 3.86)
For conference race purposes, the Texas Tech-Oklahoma series this weekend is a big one. OU (26-13, 9-3 Big 12) and Oklahoma State (21-13-1, 9-3) are on top of the standings, with Texas (26-14, 11-4) and Texas Tech right behind (30-8, 8-4). Here’s how the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal advanced the Red Raiders-Sooners series, painting it as a classic our hitting vs. their pitching matchup.
Softball: This weekend’s Texas-Oklahoma State series, at McCombs Field — 4:30/7 Friday doubleheader, 11 a.m. Sunday. Friday’s first game and Sunday’s game will be on LHN. Friday night’s second game will be on tape delay. All are on 105.3. … Remember Baylor’s 3-0 win over Texas earlier this week? The Bears are hoping to parlay that into a strong finish to the season, wrote the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Women’s golf: No. 7 Texas opens play at the Big 12 championship at the Dallas Athletic Club. It ends on Sunday. The Horns have the top two golfers in the conference in senior Samantha Schubert and freshman Kaitlyn Papp. They’re both in the top 15 nationally as well in terms of stroke average.
Danny Davis wrote about Papp in advance of the Big 12s ($). And get this: She hasn’t had a bogey in her last 40 holes of competitive golf.
The Avalanche-Journal advanced the Big 12s with a feature on someone who might challenge Schubert and Papp — Texas Tech golfer Gabby Barker, who won at Purdue two weeks ago and has closed the regular season on a nice run. She thinks she’s peaking at just the right time.
Men’s tennis: No. 15 Texas fell to No. 32 Texas Tech in Lubbock on Friday, 4-3. UT (14-6, 2-2 Big 12) got singles wins from Colin Markes, Adrian Ortiz and Christian Sigsgaard. “Tough day,” UT coach Michael Center said. “We had trouble executing in doubles and then struggled to finish some opportunities in singles.” … The Horns close the regular season on Sunday at Baylor before hosting the Big 12 championships next week.
TCU won the Big 12 regular-season men’s title on Thursday with a win over Baylor, by the way.
Around the Big 12
Read of the day: “The classic tales start the night before National Signing Day 1975, when Barry Switzer checked into a dusty motel in Clarendon, Texas.” That’s how the Tulsa World story begins that compares Oklahoma’s impressive last weekend in recruiting — the Sooners got seven commitments between Friday and Sunday for the spring game, and an eighth committed on Wednesday — to Switzer’s program-changing haul in 1975 that saw him sweep through the state of Texas. It’s an interesting look inside the Oklahoma recruiting machine. … The World also set up Friday’s OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting that’s expected to see approval for Oklahoma State’s new 6,160-square foot video board that’ll measure 56 feet high by 110 feet wide, the third largest screen in the Big 12. And it’s expected to be up and running in time for the 2018 season (Texas plays there on Oct. 27). Here’s another good read: Oklahoma’s 12th Remember the Ten Run is on Saturday in Stillwater, and the Oklahoman visited with OSU deputy athletic director Chad Weiberg, who’ll be running in it — his younger brother Jared was one of the 10 killed from the OSU basketball program in a January 2001 plane crash. … Baylor’s spring game is on Saturday and the Dallas Morning News scored a Q&A with Bears coach Matt Rhule. Facilities alert! They are really spending some money in Stillwater. Oklahoma State now is going to spend an estimated $2 million to renovate its cross country course ahead of hosting the NCAA championships in 2020. … The Kansas City Star had a story on new Kansas offensive line coach A.J. Ricker, a former Missouri player who’s confronting the reality of a Jayhawks line that, well, has really been struggling. … The Star also wrote about Kansas State defensive back Duke Shelley, who’s primed for a leadership role with former Wildcat D.J. Reed heading to the NFL.
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