starting pitcher

Already having dropped the first two games of the season, the Longhorns tried to finish the series with a win in order to avoid the sweep. However, the Longhorns dropped game three 2-1 to finish the series 0-3 on the road against Stanford (0-2, 2-7, 1-2).

“We played hard. We played a good game. They made some great defensive plays to keep us from getting the momentum,” Texas head coach Augie Garrido said.

Stanford (9-2) struck first in the series finale, scoring one run in the bottom of the first off of starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill. The Longhorns (6-5) tied it up in the third when Alex Silver scored on a bases-loaded groundout by Erich Weiss. Both teams were held scoreless until Stanford had a walk-off RBI double with one out in the bottom of the ninth to secure the sweep and give closer Corey Knebel his first loss of the season.

This marks the second straight season Stanford swept Texas. Last season, the Cardinal swept the Longhorns in Palo Alto and outscored them, 28-5. This year, the Longhorns were outscored, 11-3.

The Cardinal blanked the Longhorns, 2-0 in the series opener. Starting pitcher Parker French earned the loss after giving up two runs in the bottom of the first inning. French gave up two runs on six hits while Mark Appel tossed a complete-game shutout for Stanford, allowing only three hits.

In Saturday’s game, the Longhorns kept the game scoreless until starting pitcher Dillon Peters gave up one run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings. The Texas bullpen was not able to stop the Stanford offense and gave up another run in the sixth before surrendering four runs in the seventh. On offense, the Longhorns trailed by seven runs in the top of the ninth and were able to put two across, but were not able to produce a comeback and fell to the Cardinal, 7-2. 

Weiss had a two-run single in the ninth to plate Weston Hall and Madison Carter for the Longhorns only two scores. He drove in all three of the Longhorns’ runs this weekend.

Up next for the Longhorns is the University of Texas-Pan American on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in Austin, Texas. The Broncos (2-6) are coming off a loss at the University of Texas at San Antonio last Tuesday.

Published on March 4, 2013 as "Stanford sweeps Texas again". 

Outfielder Mark Payton takes his turn at bat during the Longhorns’ victory Sunday against Sacrament State. Texas won the series with the Hornets 2-1. 

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Everything that plagued the Longhorns in Saturday’s loss seemed to go right for them on Sunday.           

Texas used a combination of timely hitting and strong starting pitching to defeat the Sacramento State Hornets by the score of 6-3 to clinch the rubber game of its season opening series.

Starting pitcher Dillon Peters overcame a shaky first inning and pitched seven efficient innings, allowing just five hits and two runs. After hitting and walking the Hornets’ first two batters to lead off the game, the left-hander was able to make adjustments and effectively pitch to contact throughout the afternoon.

“You don’t really focus on mechanics out there,” Peters said. “I just came in the dugout and worked on working it down and staying on target.”

The Texas lineup had a much improved day in the series finale, recording 11 hits and knocking Hornets starter Zach Morgan out of the game after just three innings. The Longhorns scored at least once in each of the first four innings Sunday, and head coach Augie Garrido believed that this was important in allowing Peters to settle in to the game.

“Any time a pitcher sits on the bench and watches the offense score runs, he feels a lot more confident and he doesn’t feel like if he gives up one run then he’s going to lose the game,” Garrido said. “When they go out there thinking they can’t give up a run is when they overpitch, walk guys and get out of rhythm.”

Right fielder Mark Payton continued his hot hitting with a pair of hits, including an RBI single in the first inning to give Texas its first run. The junior, who had seven hits in 12 at bats over the weekend, also added a triple to leadoff the third inning and scored on an RBI groundout by third baseman Madison Carter.

The Longhorns scored two runs in the second inning on a pair of bunts by Weston Hall and Taylor Stell with runners on third base. Stell went 2-3 on the day with a stolen base and would add another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.

Texas closer Corey Knebel picked up his first save of the season after pitching the eighth and ninth innings for the Longhorns. The right-hander, who failed to record an out in Friday’s game, allowed one run on a solo home run and struck out two batters.

The Longhorns took the first game of the series 6-5 behind seven shutout innings from Parker French. Sacramento State won Saturday’s contest 5-3, as Texas struggled to find offensive consistency and saw starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill last just 3.2 innings.

Texas’ next game comes Tuesday when they host UT Arlington at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at 6 p.m. The Mavericks swept Louisiana Tech in their season opening series over the weekend.

Published on February 18, 2013 as "Horns outlast Hornets in debut". 

After a switch from the ratation to the bullpen Hoby Milner has excelled with a 4-1 record and a 1.59 ERA after having a 6.23 ERA as a starter.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Through 23 games, junior pitcher Hoby Milner leads Texas in wins. And losses.

Milner began the season as the No. 2 starting pitcher behind sophomore Nathan Thornhill but struggled until he moved to the bullpen, where he spent most of his time during his first two years at Texas. In three starts, Milner is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA but in 11 appearances coming out of the pen, he’s 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. Milner’s last outing was his longest and arguably his best as the Fort Worth product tossed six shutout innings in a 9-5 win over UT-Pan American Wednesday, the Longhorns’ ninth in their last 10 games.

“An outstanding performance,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido of the performance. “You see what quality pitching can do to quality hitting. We didn’t expect that to happen. We were hoping he could give us two innings in relief.”

Instead, Milner threw 101 pitches, scattering two hits and two walks across those six innings, meaning that he will not likely pitch in all three games this weekend like he did in last weekend’s series against Kansas State. The No. 19 Longhorns (14-9, 5-1) will almost certainly be without Milner today when they begin a three-game series with Cal (14-9, 1-5) at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

“We may pitch him, we may not,” Garrido said. “We’re not anxious to burn him up this early in the season. We’re not even to the halfway point yet.”

But Milner, who claims that two days of rest is plenty for him, could pitch again as soon as Saturday. Garrido said that had a series against a Big 12 foe been on the horizon, Milner would not have been left in the game that long.

“If we would have been in conference, we would not have done that. A win here is the same as a win in Round Rock,” Garrido said. “One of the factors that went into it was he was confident. He was in control. But the other thing was that we didn’t have conference play.”

Things started well enough for Milner when he assumed his role as a starting pitcher. He took advantage of Texas, scoring three times in the third inning and twice in the fourth, allowing two earned in runs in five innings to pick up his first win of the season. But Milner surrendered nine runs over his next two starts against No. 3 Stanford and Tennessee, lasting just four innings in each of those outings.

“I think my mindset was a little different when I was starting,” Milner said. “I was trying to go out there and try to last seven or eight innings, so I wasn’t pitching my normal game. I realized when I came back to the pen that I could be really effective.”

Since returning to the bullpen, Milner has improved dramatically, as evidenced by his last four outings, each of which have come in Texas’ last four contests. In all three games against the Wildcats last week, Milner was the first pitcher out of the pen to replace the Longhorns’ starter, allowing just one run in 4 2/3 innings of work. After his performance Wednesday, Milner is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA over that four-game stretch.

“I think it’s a relief for him because that’s what he was used to doing the last couple of years,” said Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson. “It’s a comfort zone. He’s pitching in a zone that’s comfortable for him.”

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: Milner thriving after move from rotation to bullpen

Keys to World Series Game 2

Get more production from the heart of the lineup

The players who occupy the No. 2 through No. 4 spots in the Rangers lineup — Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young — went a combined zero-for-11 in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. Despite the strong outing by its starting pitcher and a two-run home run from catcher Mike Napoli, Texas couldn’t overcome the poor showing from the heart of its order. The Rangers need Andrus, Hamilton and Young, who are hitting a collective .216 and have just one postseason home run between them, to step up throughout the rest of the Fall Classic.

Trust the starting pitcher

Somehow, Texas got to the World Series without its ace C.J. Wilson picking up a win in three postseason starts. He didn’t get a win his fourth but was cruising through his finest playoff performance before Rangers manager Ron Washington prematurely pulled him in the sixth inning of a 2-2 game. Wilson had just given up a one-out double to Nation League Championship Series MVP David Freese before giving way to All-Star starter-turned-reliever Alexi Ogando, who promptly allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate. If Washington wants his team to even the series tonight, he needs to trust his starting pitcher more. Colby Lewis, whose regular season home ERA was more than two runs lower than his road ERA, takes the mound at Busch Stadium in Game 2. Lewis has been solid in two road starts so far, going 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA. Washington didn’t use setup man Mike Adams or closer Neftali Feliz, but he needs to let Lewis go at least six innings tonight.

Don’t pinch-hit for the sake of pinch-hitting

Playing in a National League ballpark means the pitchers hit for themselves. It doesn’t call for excessive pinch-hitting. Washington was badly out-managed by St. Louis skipper Tony LaRussa, who’s managing his seventh World Series. Even though David Murphy had six hits in previous 10 at-bats entering Game 1, Washington opted to pinch-hit for him. With runners on first and second, Murphy’s substitute, Craig Gentry, was called out on strikes. The next batter, Esteban German, who had not registered an at-bat since Sept. 25, struck out as well to end the inning. Octavio Dotel and Jason Motte combined to retire the next six Rangers hitters. Meanwhile, LaRussa’s pinch-hitter, Allen Craig, knocked in what proved to be the game-winning run. Washington must maneuver his hitters around much better during the rest of the series for Texas to have a chance at winning it.