Stafford is ready
In explaining how he created his pitching rotation for this weekend, head coach Augie Garrido did his best Joe Namath, predicting that his Longhorns would take care of business against Princeton on Friday.
“If you win with Sam Stafford on Friday — which we’re going to — we’ll be set up for Taylor on Saturday,” Garrido said.
Not exactly Super Bowl stakes, but still a surprising sound byte of confidence from Garrido, who likes to say he does not carry expectations for his team or his players. In fact, when pressed about his sudden boast of expectations moments later, he backed off.
“Well then, I take it back,” he said, laughing.
As for the junior left-hander, he’s ready for his big start.
“I’m excited, thrilled,” Stafford said. “I’m taking the mentality of setting the tone for the weekend.”
But Garrido is wary of overlooking Princeton.
“If you’re in this tournament, you have a chance,” Garrido said. “A few years ago, Fresno State was the last team in, and they won the whole thing.”
Garrido also pointed out that, because Stafford has pitched very well as the Tuesday starter for the majority of the season, he is an obvious candidate to use against the No. 4 seed Tigers, who are barely over .500.
“Princeton is going to come in with a chip on its shoulder,” Stafford said. “[They] are going to be ready and hyped up.”
Probable pitching rotation
Stafford (5-2) will start Friday, Taylor Jungmann (13-0) will start Saturday against either Texas State or Kent State, and Cole Green (7-3) will be the Sunday starter in a game that should amount to the regional championship game. If needed, Hoby Milner (6-4) would pitch a fourth game Monday, and Nathan Thornhill (2-0) would then pitch a subsequent fifth game.
Two arms earn TPX All-American status
Starting pitcher Taylor Jungmann and relief pitcher Corey Knebel have been named to the TPX All-American First Team, chosen by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
In addition to his 13 wins, Jungmann has a .95 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 122.6 innings pitched.
Knebel has notched 16 saves this year for the Longhorns, good for the freshman single-season record.