Texas' Masen Hibbeler, DJ Petrinsky and Zach Zubia celebrate a home run against Texas Southern at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on June 1, 2018. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Baseball

Postcard from Omaha: Texas is already doing some (property) damage at CWS

Posted June 15th, 2018

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OMAHA, Neb. — Texas is making its first trip to the College World Series since 2014 and junior outfielder Masen Hibbeler has ended up in a police blotter before a box score.

The Longhorns practiced at Bellevue East High School after their arrival in Omaha on Thursday. Helped by winds, Texas players put on a power show at the Wolverines’ baseball field.

One of those deep balls — hit by Hibbeler — smashed the back window of a car that was passing by. Texas’ DJ Petrinsky later hit a ball that went through an open door of the very same vehicle, which had pulled over.

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Said Hibbeler: “They were having a rough go at it.”

The vehicle’s driver called the Bellevue police. No action was taken.

INJURED GATOR: Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said senior catcher JJ Schwarz is day-to-day with a hand injury. Schwarz hasn’t played since May 18 though he did participate in batting practice earlier in the week.

An eighth-round pick of the Oakland As, Schwarz ranks second in school history in career RBIs. In 2017 he recorded the final putout as Florida won the NCAA title. Two years earlier, his sister, Taylor, did the same thing for Florida’s softball team.

A PIECE OF OMAHA: Is it a surprise that our first on-the-scene report from Ohama is about the food? We winged it at Oscar’s Pizza and Sports Grille on Thursday night.

From Kirk Bohls: “Chowed down on some of the most delicious wings ever with Omaha World Herald columnist and good friend Tom Shatel and his wife. I’m not happy about saying I didn’t finish the entire order of two dozen wings, but mostly I’m blaming Danny Davis for arguing chips and salsa as an unnecessary and misguided appetizer. If you go, order the buffalo and BBQ wings and make sure they’re char-buffed. Be hungry when you go.”

QUOTEABLE: “He says he’s trying to figure out a way to score runs. The last time I checked, they hit a lot of balls over the fence (in Lubbock).” — Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock, countering David Pierce’s press conference statement that UT was “just finding ways to score.” Texas hit six home runs and scored 24 runs over three games at Texas Tech in May.

TODAY’S NOTABLE NUMBER: 3. Arkansas has already played all three teams — Texas, Texas Tech and Florida — on its half of the bracket. The Razorbacks are 5-2 in those games. Since SEC rival Mississippi State is also in Omaha, Arkansas has played 10 games against the entire CWS field. No other team has played more than seven, and North Carolina has no on-field experience against the other teams chasing the NCAA title.

TWEET OF THE DAY: To celebrate its 71 double plays, Texas mimicked a Sports Illustrated cover that asked in 1999 whether the New York Mets had the best infield ever. Conceived by baseball sports information director — and tortured Mets fan — Carli Todd and shot by digital content producer Blake Beamer, the Longhorns’ detail-oriented picture even had UT first baseman Jake McKenzie wearing a helmet like Mets counterpart John Olerud. Texas is tied with Cincinnati for the NCAA lead in double plays.

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