Longhorns face Sam Houston State in midweek game

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Freshman right-hander Chad Hollingsworth will start on the mound for Texas Tuesday night.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns will have one more chance to sharpen their skills on Tuesday before they go on the road for the first time this season. Texas (6-1) will host the Sam Houston State Bearkats (3-4) on Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

“The Tuesday games are now highly competitive,” head coach Augie Garrido said, “because of the quality of and balance of power throughout the state of Texas.”

The Bearkats are fresh off a 2-1 series win over Louisiana-Monroe at home. After dropping game one 2-1, the Bearkats fought back to win the series. In its third game of the season, Sam Houston State beat a talented Texas State squad 10-9 on the road in San Marcos.

“It used to be [opponents] couldn’t catch, run or throw, so they made errors and they walked everybody,” Garrido said of previous Tuesday night opponents. “They weren’t very good. These guys are, they’re well coached.”

Unlike previous seasons, the Longhorns aren’t expected to experiment too much with lineups and defensive positions. Garrido cites the desire to maintain consistency on defense and offense that can translate to weekend series — like the big one at Stanford beginning this Friday. In addition, the Texas coaching staff aims to increase the comfort level the pitching staff has with the rest of the defense. 

“It was because of the pitching,” Garrido said of the lack of experimentation. “I didn’t want to change the defense and I didn’t want to change the catcher because I wanted the pitching staff to have as much stability and confidence as possible in this game.”

The Longhorns swept the Nebraska Cornhuskers 3-0 in their first series sweep since March of last year. Texas looked dominant on all sides of the ball and demonstrated its ability to come from behind against an old conference rival.

“They played good solid baseball this weekend,” Garrido said of Nebraska. “They are very competitive, a championship-type team in their conference.”

Junior Mark Payton leads the with a .500 batting average. Payton has 12 hits and 10 RBIs. Freshman C.J Hinojosa is second on the team with an average of .435, with 10 hits and three RBIs.