While trying to decipher exactly what Rider coach Barry Davis meant when he said the Broncs were overmatched against the Owls on Saturday but not against UT on Friday night ...
1. Owls So. 3B Anthony Rendon is good - really good. Better than the 18th-best player in America good. Better than Second Team All-American good. When someone finds another player with these numbers - .400/.534/.818 with 26 HR and 85 RBIs - please send an alert. If/when that player is uncovered, check and see if he's made just five errors at a premium defensive position, has drawn 63 walks to just 22 strikeouts, and has 82 runs and 85 hits.
2. Texas coach Augie Garrido was planning to pitch So. RHP Taylor Jungmann in the winner's bracket game on Saturday night only if the Owls were the opponent. When Rice initiated its assault on Rider Saturday afternoon, word suddenly leaked that Jr. RHP Cole Green, not Jungmann, would pitch against Louisiana-Lafayette later than evening. If that doesn't provide clear indication of how much Garrido respects the Owls' offense, nothing will.
3. Owls Sr. RHP Mark Haynes has it 'below the belt.' OK, that phrase is usually reserved for former Owls RHP Bobby Bell, but Haynes was remarkable against the Broncs on Saturday. He didn't get long to warm up prior to entering the game with two outs in the fourth inning, but after allowing three of the first six batters he faced to reach base, Haynes bore down in the unrelenting heat. After Rider 2B A.J. Albee hit a two-out double to left in the sixth, Haynes retired the last seven batters he faced to cap a season-long 4 1/3 inning stint on the bump.
4. Owls RS So. LF Michael Fuda has figured something out at the plate. Anyone notice the drastic downturn in strikeouts for Fuda? He's punched out once over his last 11 games and 38 at-bats, and is batting .421 with four extra-base hits and three walks during that stretch.
5. The OG enjoys gamesmanship. First he said Sr. RHP Mike Ojala would start the Owls' second elimination game of the Austin Regional on Sunday, then he reiterated that the Owls have to win that game to play again Sunday night and that, yes, Ojala would start. Upon learning that Garrido had held Jungmann for the first championship game, The OG recanted and claimed he'll reconsider his decision overnight. Clearly The OG is playing mind games, but the serious question is this: Can the Owls defeat ULaLa with Jr. RHP Boogie Anagnostou on the bump? Can they score enough runs off RHP Joey Satriano (3-0, 2.53 ERA, .254 BAA, 1.32 WHIP+) or RHP Michael Cook (3-2, 4.17 ERA, .273 BAA, 1.65 WHIP+) or LHP Taylor Hubbell (4-3, 3.86 ERA, .218 BAA, 1.17 WHIP+) to justify holding Ojala for the Longhorns?