Sunday, August 17, 2014

Atlanta Braves vs.Oakland Athletics (August 17, 2014)

Atlanta, GA – Ask any MLB pundit and they will tell you month of August is the most important month of the regular season. A successful close to the season can propel a team to a deep playoff run, while a timid crawl to the finish does not bode well for a short playoff opening series.
Unfortunately for the Atlanta Braves, the month of August has been less than kind. Despite a strong start to the season, Atlanta has limped to 2-8 record over the first half of the month to fall behind the pace in both the division and wildcard races.
The Braves (63-60) hoped to make that put that stretch behind them on Sunday when they welcomed to Oakland Athletics to Turner for field for the final game of their weekend series. A win would give the Braves pivotal series sweep and improve their record to 4-1 in their last five games.
The Athletics (73-50) have been faced with struggles of their own, having lost six of their last seven games, following the trade that sent star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Boston, and brought pitching ace John Lester to the Bay Area.
The Athletics would open the scoring in the top of the second on a colossal shot to deep center by Nate Freiman that was measured at 459 feet, for a 1-0 lead.
That lead would be short lived, as The Braves would respond in the home half of that inning on a single by Evan Gattis that scored Justin Upton from third.
Atlanta would take the lead in the fourth at 3-1, capitalizing on a two run blast to left field by Justin Upton.
Oakland would cut into the deficit in the top of the 7th, benefiting from a second long homerun by Freiman, pulling the game to 3-2.
The Braves would extend their once again to 4-2 on a laser to left by Chris Johnson, which Gattis followed with single to end the night for Lester with no outs.
The Athletics would battle back again in their half of the eighth, capitalizing on a sac fly by Coco Crisp to score Sam Fuld from third, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
That would do it for the scoring as Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth to secure the series defining victory at home.
The Braves will next make the trip to Pittsburg, PA for a three game set, while the Athletics head home for two game set with the New York Mets.


Justin Upton (2/3, 2 RBI, 2 Runs)

Nate Freidman (2/4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 Runs)



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Can a Step Down Be a Step in The Right Direction?

The life of a Div. I basketball coach is one of dedication and sacrifice. For many, the road can be a cold and lonely place as they trek across the country in search of the talent necessary to form the back bone of the team's success.

The pinnacle of the college coaching profession is a position as the head coach of a NCAA Division I program. However, there is very little room on the summit as each year a mass of coaches is purged from among the horde to make way for the next group intent upon leaving their mark.

But what happens to the all of these discarded coaches, who at one time were marked as the saviors of their programs. For some, a trip back to Division II or a position as an assistant with an established program seems like the obvious choice to breathe life back into a wavering career.

This is exactly the situation that Denny Downing, former Women's Basketball Coach at The University of Texas-Pan American,  was a faced with in April after the university decided to move the in a different direction after four of the most successful seasons in program history. Where would his career take him?

The answer would come via the road less traveled, as news broke on Tuesday that Orangefield High, a small 3A school just east of Beaumont, TX, had approved Downing to take the helm of their Girls Basketball program in 2013-2014.

For Downing the move was a calculated decision as he hoped to take over a program with a solid foundation that he could build into a dynasty. A point he made clear to Gabriel Pruett of TheOrangefield Leader  saying, “I wanted to go somewhere where the team had support, in the past we had to create interest. That was not the case in Orangefield. I feel very fortunate they chose me. I wanted to go somewhere where the school wanted me and I was not some novelty."

Though the high school coaching ranks lack the glamour and prestige of even the smallest collegiate programs, that doesn't mean it doesn't provide the type of security that even the most elite coach would envy. For a collegiate coach, quality recruitment is the name of the game.  A poor recruitment could mark the end of their tenure with the program. However, high school coaches are afforded the opportunity to develop talent rather than simply evaluate.

Downing has been successful in every coaching stop on his resume, and if his renewed vigor can spread to his team, he should continue that success in Texas 21-3A.

Friday, May 17, 2013

UTPA Broncs Baseball vs. UVU Wolverines (May 17, 2013)

Edinburg - As the 2012-2013 regular season nears its end The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs hold their  fate squarely in their hands. Win and secure at least a second place finish in the GWC, lose and they could fall as far as fourth.

In game two of a sweltering double header from Edinburg Baseball Stadium The Broncs did just that by defeating  GWC opponent The Utah Valley University Wolverines by a final score of 6-5 in dramatic fashion.

The Broncs (27-27, 17-9 GWC)have been on a bit an upswing,  having won their last two contest to end a six game losing streak. This entire season has been a seesaw affair with the team seemingly on the verge of a breakthrough, but have never quite reached that stable ground.

The Wolverines(23-28, 14-9 GWC) hoped to use their season ending series with UTPA to solidify their hold and second place and possible propel themselves into a battle for first with Northern Colorado. However, those hopes were dashed on Thursday night after a 13-0 pounding at the hands of UTPA.

UTPA jumped out a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first behind an RBI single by Aaron Moore to plate Shane Ammon.

UVU would counter in the top of the second, pulling the game even at 1-1 after Mark Kruegar scampered home for 3rd on a wild pitch by Broncs pitcher Dylan Bandura.

The Broncs would take the lead again in the home half of the third, capitalizing on a single by Aaron Moore to score Bryan Ramirez from second to set the score at 2-1.

The lead would be short lived as the Wolverines would pound out three runs on four hits in the fourth, to take their first lead at 4-2.

UTPA would cut into the deficit in the fifth to pull the game to 4-3, using a single by Shane Klemcke to score Moore who started the inning with a lead-off triple.

UVU would extend their lead to 5-3 in the seventh, behind a single to left field by Greyson Bogden.

The Broncs would cut the lead to 5-4 in the home half of the inning, taking advantage of a single by Derek Hagy to score Moore from second base.

That score would remain intact as UTPA came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, looking to string together enough offense to wrestle a vital GWC victory away from UVU.

The Broncs offense would come through in  a big way, as every player that came to the plate would reach base in route to a walk off single by Hagy to secure the 6-5 victory.

The thrilling victory was facilitated by an interesting 5-2 defensive shift by UVU, which saw the center fielder  slide in as if a third middle infielder to protect against the suicide squeeze.

UTPA will look to complete the series sweep on Saturday as the will host UVU for a Saturday matinee at noon.

Away Box Score

Home Box Score

Sunday, April 14, 2013

UTPA Broncs vs. Chicago State University Cougars (April 14, 2013)

Edinburg - The final game of their weekend series, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs defeat The Chicago State University 3-0 to sweep the series and extend their successful start to GWC play.

The Broncs (15-15 overall, 6-1 in GWC ) have seemingly found their groove just in time for GWC play, having rebounded from their early struggles to go 11-4 in their last 15 games.

In the opposing dugout, the Cougars have seen their season go from bad to worse as their bats have grown stagnate as of late, while their pitching staff continues to hemorrhage runs at an alarming rate.

The Broncs would open up the scoring in the bottom of the second plating three runs on three hits to capitalize on a costly error on Chicago State first baseman Ray Cekus.

UTPA would extend their lead to 4-0 in the home half of the 3rd, plating one run on back-to-back double by Will Klausing and Alberto Morales.

The inning would prove costly however, as Klausing would come up limping around first and left the game with an apparent upper leg injury.

The offense kept coming for the Broncs as they would plate two additional runs in the fifth behind a single by Morales a double by Chris Torres to push their lead to 6-0.

The Cougars tried to muster a run in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with two outs. However, there offense would flounder once again and strand all three on a slow roller to the first baseman.

UTPA would finish the scoring in the bottom of the eight to extend their lead to 7-0 on an RBI single to left by Derek Hagy.

The Broncs would turn to Preston Budziszewski for his second appearance in the series to close out the ninth inning.  He would retire Chicago State in a quick three up and three downing inning to secure the series sweep and push the Broncs above .500 for the first time on the year.

Next up for UTPA will be a trip to Austin, TX for a game against the Texas Longhorns, while Chicago State will visit the University of Illinois - Chicago for a midweek matchup.

Game MVP's:

Chicago State


(1-4 AB, 2 IP, 0 Hits, 1 K)



Dusten Knight

(8 IP, 0 Runs, 4 Hits, and 9 K's)

Away Box Score

Home Box Score

Saturday, April 13, 2013

UTPA Broncs vs. Chicago State Cougars (April 13, 2013 - Game 2)

Edinburg - In game one of their Saturday double header The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs defeated the Chicago State Cougars (6-0) to secure at least a series split.

The Broncs (15-15 overall, 6-1 in GWC) entered the second game of Saturday's double header looking remained undefeated  in the series have outscored their weekend opponent 17-2 thus far in the series

The Cougars (4-22 overall, 1-6 GWC) limped into Game 2 hoping to uncover a glimmer of hope as their offense continued it's early season struggles and the loss begin to pile up in their second conference series of the year.

True to form in the series , UTPA would be the first to score by plating their first run of the game on a double steal , which allowed Shane Ammon to score from third and take a 1-0 lead.

The Broncs would expand their lead in to 2-0 bottom of the 4th, plating Alberto Morales from third on a single by Riley Goulding .

UTPA would smash the game wide open in the home half of the 8th, scoring 4 runs behind triples by Alberto Morales and Shane Ammon to push their lead to 6-0.

The Broncs turned to Aaron Moore to close the game out in the 9th, and despite hitting the second batter he faced, he would hold the Cougars scoreless to preserve the 6-0 victory.

The win pulls the UTPA to .500 for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.

The same two teams will conclude their four game series  on Sunday with a 12:00 p.m. first pitch.


Chicago State


UTPA Broncs

(2-4 with 1 run and 3 RBI)

Away Box Score

Home Box Score

UTPA Broncs vs. Chicago State (April 13, 2013 - Game 1)

Edinburg - In game one of their Saturday double header The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs defeated the Chicago State Cougars (10-1) to secure at least a series split.

The Broncs (14-15 overall, 5-1 in GWC) have made huge strides in recent weeks to pull themselves toward .500 after beginning the season by dropping 12 of their first 16 games.

The Cougars (4-21 overall, 1-5 GWC) looked to pick up at least one win to avoid a dreaded series sweep in the early portion of the conference schedule. The Cougars began the weekend three games outside of the first place after the opening weekend.

UTPA's offense came out hot, scoring 6 runs on hits in the bottom of the second, including doubles by Aaron Moore and Riley Goulding.

Chicago State would cut into that lead in the top of the third, plating a run on an error by Shane Klemcke to bring the score to 6-1.

The Broncs would extend their lead to 9-1 in the home half of the third, plating three runs on two hits, capitalizing three walks issued by Chicago State pitcher James Tucker.

UTPA would strike again in the top of the fifth, as Aaron Moore came home on a fielder's choice by Riley Goulding, pushing their lead to 10-1.

The Broncs would turn to reliever Isaac Martinez in the sixth and he would pitch two near perfect innings, allowing only one base runner, to preserve the lopsided victory.
Game MVP's:
Chicago State


Julian Russell
(1-2 with 1 RBI)


Riley Goulding
(2-3, 1 run and 4 RBI)
Away Boxscore

Home Boxscore

Friday, April 12, 2013

UTPA Broncs vs. Chicago State Cougars (April 12, 2013)

Edinburg, TX - In the opening game of a four game set, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs defeated The Chicago State Cougars 7-1 on Friday night at Edinburg Baseball Stadium.
The Broncs (13-15 overall, 4-1 in GWC) enter play having pick up three wins in their weekend series against NYIT and hoped to use this series to pull themselves back to .500 on the season.
The Cougars (4-20 overall, 1-4 in GWC) have not had very many things go well for them in 2013 having dropped every series they played on the year, however, a win against UTPA could be just the shot in the arm they will need to turn the season around.
Chicago State took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third following a single by Joelh Calixto to score Nathan Poff from second.
The lead would short lived however, as UTPA would respond in the bottom half of the inning, plating four runs on five hits to open up a 4-1 advantage.
The Broncs would extend their lead to 5-1 in the fourth to capitalize on a errant throw from Cougars starting pitcher Dylan Sterrert.
UTPA further stretch the lead in the fifth to 6-1 following a SAC Fly by Aaron Moore to score Will Klausing who singled early in the inning.
The Broncs would close out the scoring in the seventh extending their lead for the final time to 7-1 after a second SAC Fly by Aaron Moore.
UTPA starter Sam Street had brilliant night from the mound allowing just one run on 3 hits while striking out an impressive 11 Cougars in the complete game victory.
These same two team will continue their series on Saturday with a double header scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.
Game MVP's:

Chicago State

Joelh Calixto
(1-4 AB with 1 RBI)



Sam Street
(9 IP, CG, 1 run, 3 hits, 11 K's, 1 BB, and 2 HBP)

Away Box Score

Home Box Score