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Photo Credit: Andrew Edmonson | Daily Texan Staff

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in The Daily Texan on June 9, 2011. Former Longhorns pitcher Taylor Jungmann, profiled here, will play in Saturday's Alumni Game.

Six straight balls. Six painful errors two years ago in Omaha, one after another, that began Taylor Jungmann’s heartbreaking education as a college pitcher.

The Longhorns are clinging to a 6-4 lead in game one of the 2009 College World Series against Louisiana State. It’s the top of the ninth inning. There is one out and a man on first base. Jungmann, a freshman, comes to the mound with orders of closing the game out. Derek Helenihi is the first batter he faces, a right-handed hitter who is hitting .255 and is already 0-for-3 in the game.

Ball one. Then ball two. A third. The take sign is on for Helenihi with a 3-0 count, but Jungmann still can’t get a pitch over the plate. Ball four.

“I think I got a little ahead of myself,” Jungmann said, two years after. “I might have gotten out of the moment.”

Each time Jungmann has failed, he has gone on to succeed. Such inspiration — you could almost call it vengeance — doesn’t completely make up who he is as a pitcher, no. The sheer physicality of Jungmann has a heavy hand in his dominance: the imposing 6-foot-6 righty — from the mound he looks like some Herculean giant — can pitch all game if he has to. His elite weapons, the fastball that cuts into the catcher’s mitt around 94 mph, the slashing slider, and the deceptive change-up, leave batters clueless. But Jungmann’s quiet strength, devoid of fear or apprehension or even a perspective of the moment, and his hunger to always win, has made him the best big-game pitcher in college baseball.

Helenihi takes his free base, which puts Tigers on first and second. Jungmann, clearly rattled, throws ball one to the next batter, Tyler Hanover. Then he throws ball two.

Jungmann is pulled from the game, replaced by fellow freshman Austin Dicharry. Hanover strikes out, but a sharp double down the left-field line by the next batter, DJ LeMahieu, scores both the runner on second and Helenihi to tie the game 6-6.

The Tigers win it two innings later. Jungmann is credited with the tying run.

“Anytime you have an outing like that, you spend the whole night thinking about how you could fix it,” he said.

The next night, Jungmann redeemed himself, throwing a complete game, allowing one run on five hits and striking out nine Tigers in a 5-1 win. He threw 120 pitches that night. But still, you couldn’t help but think about the fact that, had he done his job in game one, the series would have been over and Texas would have been headed back to Austin with its seventh national championship.

“I still think about it,” he said. “I see the guys like [volunteer assistant coach] Travis Tucker who are still around here that were on the team. I think about if I were able to close that first game out, we could have won it.”

The cruelty of baseball revealed itself in game three, where Jungmann had to watch as the Tigers pounced — winning 11-4 in a runaway.

He took what he had to learn the hard way in Omaha — to not play out of the moment — and applied it to his sophomore season, winning eight games, none bigger than game two in the Super Regional against TCU. Staring down elimination — the Horned Frogs had won the first of the best-of-three series — Jungmann pitched his team to a 15-1 win.

“I try not to think about situations,” he said. “You have to try not to look at a big game differently.”

Texas forgot to save some runs, and lost it the next day 4-1.

This season, Jungmann has taken dominance to another level. Before postseason play, he was the nation’s best at 13-0, with an ERA of less than one. After he took down Texas A&M in the biggest game of the year — in College Station, no less — head coach Augie Garrido said that his ace was the best he had seen since Jered Weaver . Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson, who has groomed big-leaguers such as Clayton Kershaw and Homer Bailey, agreed with Garrido.

“I think he’s probably the best I’ve ever coached,” Johnson said. “He has a gift.”

The Big 12 Pitcher-of-the-Year Award went to Jungmann, and he’s been named one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award , college baseball’s Heisman Trophy. Everything was going so well for him, until rare and unexpected failure finally struck again Saturday against Kent State in the Austin Regional.

His eyes are wet and his voice is strained. It is the most uncomfortable press conference of Taylor Jungmann’s life. He has just been rocked by Kent State in a pivotal game of the Austin Regional, and now, his Longhorns are a loss away from elimination. Nobody knew how to deal with it — his teammates admit they are shocked to see their All-American pitcher get knocked out by a three-seed. Said senior first baseman Tant Shepherd : “We had never seen anything like that happen to him.” The last thing Jungmann wants to do after this loss, his first of the year, is sit in front of the hot lights and answer the media’s whys and hows.

“I just didn’t have it,” he says, staring into space.

In the sixth inning, Jungmann was mercifully pulled from the game. As he walked off the mound and into the dugout after allowing a grand slam, a walk and a single in one inning, he was given a standing ovation by the gracious Texas crowd, aware that it might never see big No. 26 on the mound at Disch-Falk again.

“By the time I was done pitching, I wasn’t happy,” he said. “I didn’t even hear them.”

Thankfully for Jungmann, the Longhorns sent Texas State and Kent State home, winning three in a row to set up this weekend’s Super Regional. Now Jungmann gets the ball Friday with the chance to redeem his reputation as the best big-game pitcher around and set the tone for a possible return trip to Omaha. And we all know how Jungmann reacts
to failure.

“I’ve been bad before,” he said, “And the next time up, it’s a totally different game.”

 A missing University of North Texas student was found dead in Lady Bird Lake over the weekend, according to Austin law enforcement.

Officials said Julio Santos III, 22, was pulled from the lake at 7:35 a.m. Sunday. He was reported missing by friends 6 p.m. Friday, and was last seen at East Sixth St. and Red River St. at 2:30 a.m. Friday, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Austin Police Department.

Santos' cause of death is pending, and APD said they do not believe his death to be under suspicious circumstances.

Austin police detectives are asking anyone with any information about the incident to call the homicide tip line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS (8477), or text “Tip 103” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

It’s been 71 years in the making — the Longhorns are NCAA Doubles champions for the first time since 1944, when John Hickman and Felix Kelley won.

Senior All-Americans Lloyd Glasspool and Søren Hess-Olesen finished their illustrious careers at Texas on top with a victory over No. 22 Hugo Dojas and Felipe Sores of Texas Tech 6–1, 3–6, 6–3.

“To see two outstanding seniors win a national championship in their last match at Texas is an amazing feeling,” head coach Michael Center said. “They played with no fear today and had so much determination and grit to finish their careers strong.”

The match was delayed and had to be moved indoors because of heavy rains. There was an additional two-hour delay because of a tornado warning. The match finally began at 4:45 p.m.

“We were both excited from the minute we woke up,” Hess-Olesen said. “This was our last college match ever, and it is not often when you play for a national title.”

The excitement showed as Texas came out storming, with a dominating 6–1 first set win.

“We came very strong,” Glasspool said. “We made a lot of first serves and a lot of returns.”

Texas Tech was able to break the Longhorns serve early in the second set to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Red Raiders were able capitalize as they took the second set 6-3.

As the third set started, the torrential rain and winds weren’t the only things in a tailspin Monday afternoon. So were Hess-Olesen’s emotions.

“The third set was like a roller-coaster ride,” Hess-Olesen said. “We broke and went up 4–2, and I got pretty nervous and didn’t make first serves. They got back and, and then Lloyd played unbelievable in the last two games and got us through.”

The third set feautured three consecutive breaks, two from Texas and one from Texas tech.

The Longhorns were able to rally and claim the NCAA Doubles title with a 6–3 win.

Torrential rains Monday caused Austin-area creeks to overflow, flooding many of the city's streets.

Much of Lamar Boulevard above Lady Bird Lake is underwater after Shoal Creek jumped its banks earlier this afternoon, essentially becoming a river. No injuries have been reported, but more than 250 low-water crossings in and around the city have been closed, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Hyde Park is also experiencing heavy flooding and reports of cars being swept away by floodwaters, according to KXAN. The Daily Texan urges its readers to stay indoors and away from any high water areas if at all possible.

Freshman pitcher Connor Mayes got a pair of big outs to help Texas escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and propel Texas to its first win since March 22.
Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns’ road back to the College World Series will start in Dallas this weekend.

Texas was selected as the No. 3 seed in the Dallas Regional and will face Oregon State at 1:30 p.m. Friday, the selection committee announced Monday morning. Dallas Baptist and Virginia Commonwealth are the other two teams in the double-elimination tournament.

Just a couple weeks ago, the Longhorns seemed destined to miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time in three years. Texas was 2–10 against the top-four teams in the Big 12 and needed to win the conference tournament to reach the regionals.

But the Longhorns went on a run this past weekend in Tulsa. Senior Parker French, junior Ty Culbreth and freshman Connor Mayes each threw complete games, and sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz lined a go-ahead RBI single in the championship game Sunday as Texas went 4–0 in the conference tournament.

Duplicating that success in the Dallas Regional, however, will be no easy task.

Dallas Baptist, which just fell short in its bid to be one of the eight national seeds, is hosting a regional for the first time in its history. The Patriots led the Missouri Valley Conference in a number of offensive categories and was second in the conference with 3.40 team ERA.

Oregon State, Texas’ opponent for Friday, finished second in the Pac-12 this season. The Beavers have relied primarily on their pitching with a 2.88 ERA, but they have also drilled 40 home runs this season.

VCU got into the tournament by winning its first-ever Atlantic 10 Conference Championship with a 5–3 win over Rhode Island on Saturday. The Rams led the conference with a 2.97 team ERA, and VCU had three pitchers in the top six in ERA in the conference.

The winner of the Dallas Regional will face the winner of the Miami Regional in a best-of-three Super Regional series next weekend for a spot in the College World Series. 

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Texas finished a historic run to the Big 12 championship game with a 6–3 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sunday.

The Longhorns, who finished the Big 12 regular season in fifth place with a 2625 overall record, rode the backs of their pitchers to the championship game. Texas got three consecutive complete games from pitchers — senior Parker French, junior Ty Culbreth and freshman Connor Mayes.

Texas saw Sunday’s starting pitcher, right-handed freshman Kyle Johnston, pick up where the other three left off. Johnston threw five innings of one-hit ball before getting into trouble in the sixth inning.

“All of the four starters did an excellent job of getting their outs on time,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “[The pitchers were] pitching to contact, pitching without fear, showing a purpose on the mound, trusting their teammates behind them and going about their business of playing baseball.”

The Longhorns scored the first run of the game in the third inning. Junior left fielder Ben Johnson hit a one-out single and moved over to second on freshman shortstop Joe Baker's sacrifice bunt. Junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa hit an RBI single to center to bring Johnson home and gave Texas a 1–0 lead.

Johnston kept the Cowboys offense shut-down until the sixth inning, in which he issued a one-out walk to freshman infielder Jacob Chappell.  The Cowboys followed the walk with a single from senior outfielder Gage Green. Oklahoma State tied the game on an RBI single by junior outfielder Corey Hassel.

The Cowboys continued their offensive push in the seventh inning. French came into the ballgame to relieve Johnston, as Oklahoma State loaded the bases. The Cowboys were able to score a run and take a 2–1 lead, but French was able to get the Longhorns out of the inning only down one.   

Down a run, the Longhorns offense exploded in the eighth inning. Texas took advantage of three errors and scored five runs on two hits to give it a 6–2 lead.

But Oklahoma State would try to rally in the bottom frame as it loaded the bases in the eighth. The Cowboys were able to score a run, but the Longhorns got off the inning 6–3.

Texas called upon senior left handed pitcher Kirby Bellow to finish the eighth and ninth innings and secure its fifth Big 12 Tournament Championship.    

“I just went out there and trusted myself and focused on the glove and didn't worry about the runners,” Bellow said. “I just went out there and tried to do my job.

Sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. Gurwitz had two hits and two RBIs in the championship game.

While he earned the tournament’s highest honor, Gurwitz was quick to acknowledge his teammates efforts throughout the tournament.

I have the easy part,” Gurwitz said. “My teammates in the eighth inning they got the bases loaded for me, they tied the game. All I had to do was put the ball in play, and I found a hole.”

Gurwitz, French and Mayes were named to all-tournament team alongside sophomore catcher Tres Barrera, senior second baseman Brooks Marlow, freshman third baseman Bret Boswell and Baker. 

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

On May 15, a federal jury in Massachusetts sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- one of the bombers in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing -- to death. The federal government has only executed 3 men since Massachusetts abolished capital punishment in 1984, making both the execution and the state of its trial fascinating. In Texas, however, capital punishment is so incorporated into the normative political and social fabric that it does not receive the scrutiny that would be given in the rest of the country. We hope Texans can use the shocking nature of the Tsarnaev case as an opportunity to re-examine our own state’s enactment of and culture surrounding capital punishment.

Texas has a proclivity for capital punishment. There have been 524 executions in Texas since 1984, the year Massachusetts abolished the death penalty. This year, Texas has already executed seven inmates, half of the national total. In the period between 1973-2013, Texas had the second highest percent of death sentences resulting in execution, rather than exoneration or dismissal, at 47 percent, which is 3.5 times higher than the national average of 13% over the same period.

Of course, the numbers keep adding up. On May 12, Texas carried out its last execution. The next will take place on June 3.

Though Texas’ huge volume of capital punishment is undoubtedly an ethical concern, the Texas court system presents a unique challenge to carrying out capital punishment justly. Scott Panetti, a schizophrenic man, was nearly executed on December 3 because the Texas appellate court denied appeals against his execution that demonstrated decades of documented mental illness. However, the federal appellate court spared his life with a stay of execution a mere 12 hours before because of the overwhelming evidence previously denied by the Texas courts. Although only one case, his illuminates the widespread institutional failures of the Texas courts that so often ruin people’s lives, or even end them.

However, as Texas recently ran out of lethal injection drugs as pharmaceutical industries refuse to allow their products to be used to execute people, the main action in the State Legislature appears to be proliferation, rather than reduction, of these ethical concerns.

Last year, experimental drugs from compounding pharmacies were used as replacements nationwide, resulting in numerous botched lethal injections. As a result of these well-documented botches, compounding pharmacies faced rebuke by pharmaceutical professional associations. This has forced the state to procure the pertinent drugs for executions, namely pentobarbital, by operating with an irresponsible lack of transparency. What does it say about capital punishment that preparations for it must be carried out in secret, for fear of professional sanctions?

Fittingly, a bill protecting and codifying this lack of transparency, despite multiple legal challenges against it, is the sole piece of legislation regarding capital punishment that passed this session. Senate Bill 1697, by state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, moves to block disclosure of drug manufacturers’ information from public record through the Texas Public Information Act, thereby perpetuating the culture of opacity that characterizes capital punishment in Texas.   

Texans must engage with our political system, yet proposals like SB 1697 eliminate ethical means of doing that by minimizing opportunities to shed light on and reform the institution. Such behavior is a failure to the ethical responsibility expected of Texas lawmakers and courts. If an institution is too unpopular or unethical to stand out in the open, perhaps it should not stand at all.

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

Whether you are from Texas or move to it, you know that Texas lives for football. It is a cultural fixture from Cotton Bowl Stadium in Fair Park to high school stadiums across the state. Nowhere is that tradition more celebrated than at the University of Texas at Austin.

UT’s football program is synonymous with Texas football.

It celebrates a history of famous victories and personalities tracing back to 1893. Legendary coaches and players decorate the memory of the successful program, from National Championship winning coaches Darrell K. Royal, namesake of the stadium, and Mack Brown, to players like Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams and the “Invincible” Vince Young. Throw in a winning record in the annual Red River Showdown against rival University of Oklahoma, and UT football can hold its head high.

The upcoming 2015-2016 season aspires to follow this tradition under the leadership of head coach Charlie Strong. The future looks bright with Strong’s philosophy of hard work and accountability poised to make his talented recruiting class “Stronghorns.”

In a statement to the Longhorn Network, Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford captured the team’s confidence: “Next year, 2015, we’re coming, and we’re coming to get everybody.”

The football program’s tradition and pride manifest in its vibrant game day culture.

Tailgating is the heart of game day. Eager fans surround the stadium with tents, cookers, and TV’s from the McCombs courtyard all the way to the Bob Bullock Museum parking lot. Fraternities, sororities, spirit groups, students, alumni, and fans all make tailgating the perfect time for students to experience the diversity of UT football fans and the energy of UT spirit.

Within the historic Darrell K. Royal Stadium, traditions and icons of Texas football culture abound. The lively “Showband of the Southwest,” more commonly known as the Longhorn Band, rallies spirit with “Texas Fight” as the Texas Cowboys fire Smokey the Cannon. Bevo, the longhorn mascot of Texas since 1916, rests on the sidelines as a century-old icon of UT pride.

Students engage in these exciting traditions together in seating groups throughout the stadium. The groups are a great opportunity for freshmen to come together with members of their dorm, academic organizations and social groups, while in the midst of the other 100,000 fans the stadium can hold.

With a successful history, exciting future and lively atmosphere, UT’s football game day is the perfect environment to relish student spirit. All UT students should make the most of the game day experience, but especially the incoming freshman class. The awe of finally being in college and the wealth of opportunities will never be greater — make the most of them. History, tradition, sport, celebration and spirit converge in the Darrell K. Royal Stadium. So, to all incoming freshman, the mantle passes to you to continue the rich culture and spirit of game day. Love it, and it will reward you with a new appreciation for this university and your peers.

Most importantly, have fun and hook ‘em!

Clark is a senior English major from Lake Highlands.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Tacy | Daily Texan Staff

On Sunday, dueling motorcycle gangs in Waco engaged in battle in a suburban restaurant. With nine dead, well more than a dozen injured and nearly 200 arrested, the incident is already one of the biggest acts of mass violence this year.

And it happened in Texas.

Texas, our gun-toting, Second Amendment-protecting Texas. The same state that boasts one of the highest rates of concealed carriage of handguns in the country, with some of the loosest laws regulating guns too. The same state that still wishes to loosen the laws further.

Take open carry, which has taken many forms within the legislative process this year. All the proposals would essentially allow concealed handgun license holders to openly display their arms, arguably a minor difference. Some gun rights activists, though, crowed that this was not enough. One was state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, a proponent of what he calls constitutional carry, which would remove all licensing and regulatory restrictions on carrying arms.

HB 910, a version of open carry that passed the House last month, included a sneaky amendment authored by Reps. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, and Mitt Rinaldi, R-Irving, respectively, but mainly spearheaded by Stickland. They inserted language that prohibits law enforcement personnel from inquiring as to whether individuals openly carrying hold licenses.

"The open carry law as it was passed out of the Texas House of Representatives will cause confusion where there should be none," said Scott Braddock, editor of the political publication Quorum Report. "Lawmakers in the lower chamber voted to make it illegal for police officers to ask a person to produce their license solely because they are openly carrying a firearm."

According to Braddock, state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, removed the language from the bill when it entered the Senate, and there is a very good chance that Stickland's amendment will not be included in the final law.

Still, the recent violence in Waco should only serve to crystallize exactly why the state should — if anything — move toward more firearm regulation rather than less. Before the shooting, the Waco Police Department expressed concern about the possible hotbed of organized crime the restaurant had become by continually hosting the gangs. The restaurant pointedly did not cooperate with authorities.

Under the proposed law that Stickland orchestrated, and the lower chamber passed by wide margins, Waco police would have been unable to use the biker gangs' incessant brandishing of their firearms as cause to question them, leaving them helpless to take effective and preventive measures. Fortunately, not all the legislature has been so supportive.

"The violence in Waco Sunday is an example of why open carry is a bad idea.  Responsible people are not going to be the only ones with guns.  The number of dead and injured could have been much worse," said state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston. "The House version of open carry prevents police from asking if a person has a handgun license, so even our law enforcement officers won’t know who’s carrying a gun.  I do not want to see one member of our brave men and women in law enforcement injured or killed because of a bad bill the Texas Legislature passed.  Really?"

Really, indeed. Fortunately, the Senate still has a chance to place Stickland's rash and reactionary proposal in the trash heap of the session, where it rightly belongs. In an ideal world, they should put open carry there too.

Horwitz is a government senior from Houston. Follow Horwitz on Twitter @NmHorwitz.

Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

WACO — Since sweeping Kansas State in late March, the Longhorns have struggled to put together any sort of positive momentum.

In the six series since, Texas has posted only one series win while being swept three times, dropping down to an RPI of 104 and eliminating any chance of receiving an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament.

But a nearly two-week long break might just be what the Longhorns needed.

The Texas bats came to life in a three-game set at Baylor with seven long balls and 18 runs, and, while it did come against a Bears team that barely got into the Big 12 tournament, the Longhorns showed a glimmer of hope in a 2-1 series win going into a must-win conference tournament.

“I think it’s really important to have that momentum and go off with a winning feeling and a decisive victory,” head coach Augie Garrido said.

Junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa came alive the most, finally breaking out of slump where he went two-for-10 with zero RBIs after fracturing a bone in his hand at TCU on April 25. Hinojosa more than doubled his season home run total, sending four home four balls over the left field wall, including the tying shot in the ninth in Saturday’s game. That shot was followed by solo home run by sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera to give Texas a 6-5 win.

“Coming back being down a run it’s good for our team,” Hinojosa said. “It shows character we have to not really worry about what’s going on and go out there and play our game.”

Jake McKenzie, who had been used as a relief pitcher for most of the season, showed his offensive prowess in the second game of a double header Sunday. The freshman singled twice with the bases loaded, bringing in two runs each in a four RBI evening to help the Longhorns to an 11-1 run-rule and the series win.

“It was fun; I got a chance to go out there and play so I took advantage the best I could and put the bat on the ball,” McKenzie said.

But beating Baylor in a three-game set is much different than winning the four or five games necessary to win the Big 12 tournament, which the Longhorns will have to do to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years.

Texas, who will enter the tournament as the fifth seed and play Texas Tech Wednesday at 9 a.m., went 2-10 against the top four seeds in the conference and were swept at TCU, who the Longhorns would likely have to beat two times just to reach the championship game.

But, on Sunday, Garrido referenced the 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs. That team had to win its conference title, which it did, and then went on a Cinderella run to win the national championship.

“It’s been done before,” Garrido said. “That’s the model for it.”