Facing Roger Clemens at alum gameWhen the UT Longhorns open their baseball season against Sacramento State this afternoon, it will mark the start of Lake Highlands grad Taylor Stell’s sophomore year. The former Wildcat had a stellar freshman year, finishing with a .331 batting average and a .461 on-base percentage before a knee injury required surgery. He was a perfect 6 for 6 in stolen bases (one of which you can watch here) and played in 25 games, starting 20 of them, as the Longhorn’s centerfielder.

Taylor got an RBI in his first collegiate plate appearance ever (against UTA), then his first base hit, against Kansas State, helped the Longhorns in a come-from-behind 12th inning victory on the road.

Taylor points to the Annual UT Alumni Baseball Game as one of his freshman highlights, saying the chance to hit off Roger Clemens (shown in the photo) and Houston Street at Disch-Falk Field was unforgettable. Definitely not a high point, however, was the Stanford game, played in Palo Alto on his 19th birthday. He had the first road start of his career, but he and the other members of the team fought food poisoning on the plane all the way back to Texas.

With Coach Augie GarridoTaylor spent the summer playing six games a week as a member of the Santa Barbara Foresters, part of the California Collegiate League.  There, his .312 batting average earned him a trip to the All-Star Game in L.A., and his team won the National Baseball Congress World Series.

When play begins in Austin today, Taylor is hoping to continue the 10-game hitting streak and the 14-game on-base streak he began before he was hurt in April. He earned a .365 batting average over his last 16 starts, and that’s where’s he’s planning to pick right up.

Go Taylor!

signing autographs