After evaluating his team’s strengths and weaknesses, Texas head coach David Pierce implemented some fielding changes Tuesday night in the Longhorns’ starting lineup. Bryce Reagan occupied second base while Turner Gauntt crouched behind Lamar hitters as the catcher. The changes proved to be successful, as the Longhorns beat Lamar 7-2 on Tuesday night.
“I went through every player in our lineup, on our team, and I told them what their strengths are and how they are able to help this team,” Pierce said. “And it’s important the guys around here at times just believe in themselves and to understand that we believe in them. We’ve got good players, but we’ve got to fill in some blanks right now. We need guys to step up like Turner did tonight.”
Though it is unclear if the changes are just temporary, Texas desperately needed the win over the Cardinals going into its series with Oklahoma State on Thursday.
“I mean these guys, they understand what’s at stake,” Pierce said. “They don’t want to lose, they want to play well but kind of reemphasize our energy level.”
Oklahoma State’s most experienced pitcher this season, Jensen Elliot, currently holds a 4–2 record and a 4.53 earned run average. Though Texas ranks third to last in the Big 12, pitcher Bryce Elder should provide some competition against Elliot with a 2–2 record and a 2.93 ERA as the two pitchers face off in the series opener.
Though the Longhorns’ pitching staff struggled in their series against Kansas State, Tuesday’s starter Matteo Bocchi said they have regrouped and have the support needed for success.
“We thought our mindset as a pitching staff was not as right as it should be and everyone is trying to go out and get as many innings as possible,” Bocchi said. “Now we are trying to go out and get one out at a time, and we know that our bullpen can pick us up.”
With a midweek victory under their belts, Pierce is ready to move on to the next challenge ahead.
“Tuesday night — after a tough weekend — knowing that the crowd is probably going to be down, knowing things didn’t go well for us, and then (to) bounce back and now get a fresh taste, move on to Oklahoma State,” Pierce said.