Texas coach Augie Garrido might not say that baseball is a funny game but he acknowledges the mysteries, twists and turns that a team can encounter ... especially in the postseason.
In the Longhorns' first game in the College World Series Saturday night they took advantage of two Florida errors to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. With junior Taylor Jungmann on the mound, that looked like enough to assure UT of a crucial opening victory.
Jungmann, after all, won three games in Omaha as a freshman in 2009. This season, he had 13 victories and a 0.95 ERA. Even facing a lineup as powerful as Florida's, giving Jungmann an early 3-0 lead is tantamount to giving Texas a victory.
It didn't exactly work out that way. Jungmann couldn't find the strike zone and the Gators tagged him for five runs (four earned) in 4.1 innings as Florida rallied for an 8-4 victory.
"I think probably in the third inning I got out of rhythm," Jungmann said. "Once I got out of rhythm, I made some bad pitches. I walked more guys (four) than I usually do. And, I mean, they took advantage of it."
In three NCAA starts, Jungmann has allowed 12 earned runs in 18.1 innings (7.85 ERA). Texas has lost all three of those games. The Longhorns will face their sixth elimination game of the postseason when they meet North Carolina at 1 p.m. Monday in a loser-goes-home game.
If there's one thing that Texas fans believed headed into the NCAA tournament was that with Jungmann on the mound, the Longhorns would win the game.
"You can't ever assume anything in baseball," UT shortstop Brandon Loy said.
That's why baseball is a funny game. Funny as in unpredictable, not funny as in anyone in Burnt Orange feels like laughing.