The Texas Longhorns welcomed the Bobcats of Texas State to the Disch last Sunday for their second and final fall ball game of 2012. Â Former Longhorn Ty Harrington has turned the Bobcats into a perennial threat for Texas and other D1 schools, making it to the NCAA post season two of the past four seasons. This game turned into a pitchers’ duel, and though both staffs yielded only one earned run each, Texas State won 2-1 in 14 pre-arranged innings.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procgtaserv/47a2ce08b3127cce98549be88a5500000035101AcOGrRk3ctA Hollingsworth Continues to Impress © Donald Boyles
Skip Johnson’s staff seems to be the most finely tuned aspect of this Texas team thus far. Â Chad Hollingsworth, our player of the game, got the start again, and remained perfect in his two innings, throwing 27 pitches and striking out two Bobcats. Â The Longhorns moved through their pitchers must like last week, with Toller Boardman, Cameron Cox, and Ty Culbreth seeing work in the early innings and keeping Texas State from scoring. Dillon Peters entered the game in the 7th and appeared absolutely dominant, striking out the side in a 1-2-3 inning, but the sophomore southpaw hit a rough patch in the 8th, walking his first batter and eventually allowing a run. Travis Duke pitched two innings, allowing an unearned run in the 10th once the Longhorn lineup flipped. Right handed pitchers Ty Marlow, Kirby Bellow, and Corey Knebel all escaped further damage to the scorebook in the final innings of the game, and the Longhorn pitchers combined for an impressive 11 strikeouts on the day.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procgtaserv/47a2ce08b3127cce98549ba70b2a00000035101AcOGrRk3ctA Jeremy Montalbano Ready to Catch © Donald Boyles
Texas displayed a dramatically different starting lineup in this week’s game, giving many new players the chance to make an extended appearance. Â Madison Carter, Erich Weiss, and Ty Marlow made up first, second, and third base, with CJ Hinojosa at short stop, while Taylor Stell, Weston Hall, and Mark Payton worked the outfield. Jeremy Montalbano started at catcher, receiving pitches called by Skip Johnson (Jacob Felts has reportedly begun calling games independently). Â Defense looked sharp from the starting players, with Madison Carter and CJ Hinojosa both flashing some leather in the first two plays of the game. Ty Marlow showed off an impressive arm at third base, and looks to be a serious contender for Erich Weiss’ defensive position last season. Weiss has slid over to second, his position while in high school, and though his footwork is not as smooth as Brooks Marlow’s quite yet, he shows much promise in the middle infield. During the later innings, Jacob Felts took his familiar position behind the plate, with Alex Silver (1B), Brooks Marlow (2B), Codey McElroy (SS), and Madison Carter (3B) making up the infield. Â McElroy made two early errors in the top of the 10th but recovered nicely, displaying clean footwork for his 6’6″ stature. Collin Shaw saw time in both left and right field, while Ben Johnson and Cohl Walla were late inning substitutions in left and center field.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procgtaserv/47a2ce08b3127cce98549859ca7d00000035101AcOGrRk3ctA Codey McElroy Awaits a Pitch © Donald Boyles
The offense went up against much stiffer competition this week, facing a Texas State team that pitched 67 â…” scoreless innings in 2012. The Bobcats were able to keep the Texas hitters off balance and guessing at pitches, using a heavy dose of breaking balls and off speed pitches. Against Sam Houston State, CJ Hinojosa was more than happy to send the Bearkatsâ€™ first pitch fastballs back into the outfield, a fact Texas State head coach Ty Harrington reportedly picked up on while watching the Longhorn Network. Harringtonâ€™s pitchers acted accordingly, giving Hinojosa very little to work with in the way of fastballs, and holding the freshman to one hit. The Texas running game took a step backwards this week, with two Longhorns caught stealing. Assistant Coach Tommy Nicholson told Kevin Dunn of the Longhorn Network that base stealing is something they are still working on, but that they plan to be an aggressive team on the base path. This lines up with what Augie warned the fans against Sam Houston State, saying that it would sometimes be ugly, but that overall the risk would pay off. One aspect of Augie Ball that certainly needs some work before February is bunting. As the 2013 Longhorns will undoubtedly be a rally team, depending upon base hits, bunts, walks, and steals more than home runs, the fundamentals will need to be in place for Texas to succeed. The good news for both Augie Garrido and Longhorn fans alike is that this yearâ€™s squad is much deeper than 2012â€™s, and the coaches will surely be able to find nine players that make for hard outs.
This was Texasâ€™ last scrimmage of the fall, and Longhorn fans will have to wait until the annual Fan Appreciation & Alumni Game on February 2 to get another look at the 2013 baseball team. Stay with Texas Baseball Blog in the coming months for a look at returning players, conference opponents, and how we see the 2013 lineup shaking out.
Pictures courtesy of Donald Boyles
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