New York Islanders

Freshman Connor Mayes is part of the new corps of Texas pitchers. Because of an exodus of three Longhorn pitchers to the draft, the pitching staff’s ERA is higher than last year’s.
Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

Texas rallied from a three-run deficit late Tuesday night to force extra innings, but, in a swift response, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi plated three in the top of the 10th to pull off the upset.

For the majority of the game against the Islanders, the Longhorn struggled at bat.

Texas was retired in order three times, including once on only seven pitches.

The offense finally struck gold in the latter innings, scoring twice in the seventh inning and once in the ninth to force extra innings.

However, in the top of the 10th, the Islanders struck for three runs to steal a 6–4 win.

“We gave them opportunities by not getting our outs on time and by giving them extra bases,” head coach Augie Garrido said.

Garrido made changes to the batting order, looking to shake off a poor performance at the plate at Nebraska over the weekend, where they scored three runs in three games. 

Senior second baseman Brooks Marlow became the second different leadoff batter for the Longhorns, while junior left fielder Ben Johnson, the usual leadoff hitter, and senior right fielder Collin Shaw moved to the third and fourth spots, respectively, in the batting order.

But those changes made little difference, initially.

Islander’s junior pitcher Garrett Harris and senior reliever Tyler Schnuriger had little trouble with the Longhorn’s lineup, combining to allow only three hits in six innings.

But in the seventh, the offense finally woke up.

With one out and runners at the corners, freshman third baseman Bret Boswell singled to center to get Texas on the board. Two batters later, with runners again at the corners, sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera scored on a wild pitch to bring Texas to within one.

Down to their final at-bats, the Longhorns, again, managed to manufacture a run. With one out, Boswell drew a walk, and then junior pinch runner Taylor Stell, who stole second base, replaced him. With a 1–2 count, freshman designated hitter Joe Baker doubled to left to tie the game.

“They turned it up,” Garrido said.

But Texas couldn’t keep the game tied in the top of the 10th. After loading the bases, freshman pitcher Connor Mayes gave up an RBI ground out and a pop out that landed in right field, allowing the Islanders to retake a 6–3 lead.

The Islanders built their early lead by making the most of its chances. In the third, Corpus Christi worked a two-out walk and a hit by pitch and then took the lead on a single. 

Two innings later, two throwing errors put runners on second and third for the Islanders with one out before a successful squeeze bunt.

Texas resumes Big 12 play this weekend, traveling to face Oklahoma State in a three-game series. Garrido said the biggest thing they need to establish is “playing hard for nine innings” going forward.

Senior right fielder Courtney Craig takes a cut Wednesday against Texas A&M Corpus Christi Wednesday. Texas trailed and allowed its opponent to score for the first time this season but came away with a 6-5 victory thanks

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

It was a close call for the No. 13 Longhorns Wednesday night, where they were nearly upset by the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders.

After losing the early lead they had, Texas fought back in the bottom of the sixth inning to retake the lead by one where they kept it and won the game. Coming off a strong weekend in the Texas Classic where they gave up only 10 hits and didn’t give up one run and outscored their opponents 60-0, the team had high expectations coming into the game.

It was a different story this time. Instead of outstanding defense and shut-out pitching, the Longhorns struggled in that part of the game and had limited offense. The following are key differences between Wednesday night and the weekend, which Texas plans to focus on in the future.

Texas gave up 11 hits against the Islanders last night, while only giving up 10 hits in all of their five games over the weekend. This results from a difference in the pitching. Four pitchers made appearances over the weekend, while three made appearances last night. In the Texas Classic, they recorded a total of 39 strikeouts, an average of 7.8 a game, while last night, they only had five.

Sophomore Rachel Fox started the game Wednesday night in which she left after 4.2 innings, giving up eight hits. She started one game over the weekend versus UTSA and she pitched a complete game shutout giving up only three hits. Something was off on the night for the pitching until junior Blaire Luna came in in the last two innings, striking out four and ending the game.

The Longhorns had two uncharacteristic errors in Wednesday’s game, while recording none over the weekend. Texas’ two errors came early in the game, both in the top of the second. Junior Taylor Hoagland bobbled a grounder at third base, recording her error, while pitcher Fox did the same on the mound, accounting for the second error. These two errors lead to two runs for the Islanders, the first two Texas allowed this season. While this didn’t necessarily tie up the game for A&M Corpus Christi, it gave them momentum and confidence for future innings in where they took the lead.

Not all differences were for the worse, however. Texas got the bunt down Wednesday night after they didn’t have the chance this past weekend. In the Texas Classic, the Longhorns didn’t have a chance to try and bunt the ball. According to head coach Connie Clark, this was a good chance to try out what they worked on in practice.

“The games [over the weekend] did not give us those opportunities because we were pounding out so many runs, and tonight, the score was close enough that we got the opportunity to work that in,” Clark said. “One take away from the game would be that it was a great opportunity to apply the bunts from practice.”

Finally, the Longhorns didn’t have the offensive production that they had this past weekend. In their five games in the Texas Classic, Texas scored a total of 60 runs. Their lowest scoring game was 8-0, where they won in five innings with the run-rule. In Wednesday night’s game, they had minimum offensive production where, in a total of 24 at bats, they tallied only nine hits and got put out 21 times. However, over the weekend, the lowest amount of hits they recorded was 10 in a single game.

Texas is off to a strong start so far and they are looking to continue it into this weekend where they are hosting the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. Clark is excited to see the energy going into the tournament, and play against the good competition they have coming in. They face off against Pittsburgh in their first game of the tournament Friday afternoon.

Printed on Thursday, February 16, 2012 as: Longhorns hold on to defeat Islanders