Texas goes down in opener, along with Mark Payton’s record streak

Posted Saturday, Jun. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Texas outfielder Mark Payton’s Big 12 record streak of 101 consecutive games of reaching base came to an end Saturday.

But the senior, understandably, was more concerned about the hole the Longhorns find themselves in after falling to UC Irvine 3-1 in the College World Series opener at TD Ameritrade Park.

Texas (43-20) plays the loser between Vanderbilt and Louisville in an elimination game at 2 p.m. Monday.

Payton went 0 for 4 against the Anteaters (41-23), with two groundouts and two pop-ups, snapping his string of 101 consecutive games reaching base that stretched back to 2013.

“So what?” Payton said. “We lost. It’s something I didn’t pay attention to. I think a lot of other people paid a lot more attention to it than I did. We lost today, so that’s the end of it.”

The streak is not one the NCAA keeps in its record book. The only consecutive on-base record kept is consecutive at-bats reaching base, which is 18 straight shared by two players (Shaun Larkin of Cal State Northridge in 2004 and Jake Rickenbach of Utah Valley in 2012).

It’s such an astounding feat, Texas coach Augie Garrido said, that he compares it to Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs.

“I don’t know how to measure that,” he said. “It’s a weird record because it’s so long ... how do you even get to play 100 games? He’s separated himself from the record itself. I think it’s really, really significant.”

All Payton cares about is starting a winning streak in Omaha on Monday to extend his final days as a Longhorn.

Coach Mo better

TCU associate head coach Bill Mosiello felt better Saturday, a day after missing practice with a bad cold.

Mosiello was at the team’s practice at Millard West High School Saturday morning and should be fine for TCU’s CWS opener on Sunday.

TCU alumni events

The TCU Alumni Association is hosting a pregame party at 11:30 a.m. Sunday before the Frogs meet the Red Raiders at 2 p.m. The party is at CenturyLink Center Omaha at 455 N. 10th Street in downtown Omaha. Cost is $20 per person, $14 per child 12 and under.

The association is also hosting Frog Fun on the River at 6 p.m. Monday at the River City Yacht Club on the Missouri River. Cost is $18. And 2 1/2 hours before TCU’s Tuesday game (either 2 or 7 p.m.) there will a be pregame party at the 9th Steet Tavern Bar and Grill (902 Dodge Street in downtown Omaha). Cost is $15.

Key stats

23Consecutive games, with Sunday’s CWS opener, TCU will have used the same lineup and position players, including 27 of the last 28 games.

12 Runners left on base by Texas in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to UC Irvine. The Longhorns only had seven hits.

Quotable

“Now the question is: Do we have the kind of makeup that will allow us to be resilient enough to see the opportunities in our next game? Or are we going to feel the depressions and the guilt that might go along with losing the first one? If we feel sorry for ourselves we’ll be able to tell that and then we’ll lose the second one. All of us will know the same thing.” — Texas coach Augie Garrido on his team facing an elimination game Monday

“Part of the problem with the squeeze is that you don’t always get a pitch to work with and every once in a while some shrewd dirty rat like Augie might pitch out. It’s not just an easy, slam-dunk decision to squeeze all the time.” — UC Irvine coach Mike Gillespie on deciding not to squeeze a runner over in the eighth inning Saturday

Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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