Keith Shinaberry is a senior left-handed pitcher at the University of Texas. A native of Austin, Shinaberry is a side-armed reliever for the Longhorns. He appeared in 18 games in 2008, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 2-1 record. He walked just two in 11.1 innings. Shinaberry pitched 25.2 innings in 22 relief appearances in 2007 with six walks and 15 strikeouts. He is a regular member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Shinaberry is majoring in corporate communication.


February 23, 2009

From Austin with Love

As many players put a close on Valentine's Day, others began to fall in love with the idea of a new season around the corner. Valentine's Day brought much confusion as conversations of gift ideas were prevalent in the locker room on the eve of the romantic holiday. Unfortunately for myself and to the delight of my roommate Drew Bishop, my girlfriend Suzanne was working. It nearly killed Drew and I, but decisions had to be made and we concluded that an NBA-filled evening would be an adequate replacement.

Monday came quickly and with it came the Seventh Annual University of Texas Baseball Women's Clinic. Kyle Lusson, Preston Clark, Sam Stafford and I attend the event, and I must say the good looking panel was easily matched by an enthusiastic group of women. Sure I questioned my necessity to be there as I clutched the microphone during a Q & A segment in front of nearly 200 women, but it was an exciting event that gives women a chance to learn about the great game of baseball. The night was filled with guest speakers and phenomenal raffles. Coach (Augie) Garrido, Coach (Skip) Johnson and Keith Moreland all gave insightful talks about the game, the Longhorns, and the upcoming season.

With the season now on the minds of everyone, we were determined to have a strong week of practice before playing the Flames of UIC. Unfortunately for some guys, including myself, a stomach virus had infiltrated the locker room. I was sick for nearly five days, and when it was all said and done, I had lost close to 10 pounds; however, I must confess that I did manage to pull myself together to catch an exhilarating basketball game between the Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners at the Erwin Center on Saturday. Luckily our practices continued to be strong, despite my devastating absence, as we spent a healthy amount of time preparing for the Flames.

The weekend's games offered little to complain about besides the wind. Many players left Saturday's doubleheader with two wins and chapped lips. Fans and players alike struggled to stay warm as some were one step ahead of Mother Nature and had packed blankets.  I must say that the rumor to staying warm in these February games is to hide under a thick blanket or be from Chicago. I felt as though the Flames' players thought we were borderline ridiculous all bundled up at 3 p.m. with a high of 72.

The games themselves were, on the other hand, very pleasant. Strong pitching performances and timely hitting lead to a sweep of the Flames. Friday's convincing win of 6-1 was followed by two wins on Saturday (10-1, 3-1) and a final victory on Sunday 1-0 over a very talented and defending Horizon League Champions, UIC team. The sweep was important as it allowed us to compete against strong competition early in the season to assess the team's strengths and weaknesses. But, as always, with the feisty UT-Arlington Mavericks entering town on Tuesday followed by Penn State on Friday, we will be digging our heels in for another long week and another tough homestand.

To end a recap that started about a holiday related to love I must point out that it is more than that. Valentine's Day now marked the one-week mark prior to the first game of the Texas baseball season. Thus, this week officially makes it OK for grown men to express their love (with enormous Teddy Bears) to their significant other and to a game played by other men in tight spandex.

Forever Sidearm,
Keith Shinaberry #35  

(photos courtesy of Texas Media Relations Office)