Texas plays Texas A&M Corpus Christi today in a rematch of a February loss, and there’s one thing for certain: There is no way the Longhorns are overlooking the Islanders again.
The postgame dugout was not a pretty sight the last time these two teams met on Feb. 22. The Islanders rolled into Austin and caught an overconfident Texas team by surprise. By the time the Longhorns had snapped out of their funk and added some runs in the sixth and seventh innings, it was too late. Texas A&M Corpus Christi walked away with the 8-7 victory, and the home team was left to lament the defeat.
“If you start to dig into it piece by piece, the more layers you unfold and the uglier it gets,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido after the February game.
It was indeed an off game. Texas allowed two runs in the first inning and didn’t get a hit of its own until the third. It employed eight pitchers and got quality outings from just two of them. The Longhorns struck out nine times and had six players go hitless. They were embarrassed, their pride was bruised.
Safe to say, Texas (21-7) wants payback tonight against the Islanders (20-11).
“This game is definitely a revenge game,” said catcher Jacob Felts. “Last time against them we came out flat; we underestimated them.”
A common trend in most of the Longhorns’ defeats has been a slow start. In five of their seven losses, they’ve fallen behind before the third inning. Sam Stafford (3-0, 1.78 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for Texas. Stafford needs to start the game out well so that the Longhorns don’t have to go to the bullpen early and often, a strategy that plagued them last time out against the Islanders.
Corpus Christi rolls into Austin fresh off a 10-8 defeat to UTSA — a common opponent that Texas defeated 8-5 on March 8. The Islanders blew an eight-run lead in San Antonio over the weekend to slip to sixth in the Southland Conference.