Commentary

Is Longhorns' bunting hurting them?

According to the numbers, sacrifice bunting is not as bad as you might think.

Originally Published: March 8, 2011
By Jeff Sackmann | ESPN Insider
Texas Longhorns Baseball John Albright/Icon SMIThe Texas Longhorns lost to Brown over the weekend. Was sac bunting to blame?

One of the surprise upsets of the weekend was Brown's 7-3 victory on Saturday to split a doubleheader with the Texas Longhorns. The Bears got an impressive relief outing from Anthony Galan, who gave up a single run in six innings to earn the win.

Longhorns coach Augie Garrido employed his favored strategy to build runs against Brown: he bunted, bunted again and then bunted some more. In the first six innings of Saturday's game, the Longhorns laid down four sacrifice bunts.

In two of those cases, a single runner came around to score. In the other two, Texas lost an out and failed to score a run. After the Bears won 7-3, you have to ask: Did all those bunts cost the Longhorns opportunities to build a big inning? Could Texas have come out on top if Garrido had let his hitters swing away?

Bunting for the fences

The sacrifice bunt is a fundamental part of the college game. Top coaches, such as Garrido and Oregon Ducks head coach George Horton, will ask even cleanup hitters to bunt over their teammates in the early innings. Already this season, the Longhorns have recorded 30 sac bunts in 16 games and every starter has at least two.


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