Hoby Milner

Four Longhorns begin pro careers

Jonathan Walsh's pro career is off and running.
Jonathan Walsh's pro career is off and running.

Four Longhorns were drafted in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, and they have all signed with their new professional teams.
 

Hoby Milner, Jonathan Walsh and Sam Stafford -- who was drafted in the second round last year by the Yankees, failed to sign because of shoulder problems then missed his would-be senior season because of said problems -- each decided to forgo their last college season. Austin Dicharry, whose collegiate career was marred by injuries, was rather lucky to be drafted by the Nationals in the 24th round.


Milner, drafted in the sixth round by the Phillies, was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in one short season with Williamsport in the New York-Pennsylvania League. Milner, who projects as a reliever, struck out seven and walked two in 5 2/3 innings pitched. He's since progressed to Class-A Lakewood, where he yielded four earned in one start -- resulting in an ERA of 12.00.
 

The Los Angeles Angels nabbed Walsh in the 11th round, and while it wasn't easy to pass up his final season, the outfielder knew he had to take the money while he could.


"I love Texas, but it was time for me to go, with how the draft works," Walsh said via text.


Walsh saw teammates Cole Green and Kevin Lusson turn down professional offers after their junior seasons, only to see their draft slot drop a year later. Green turned down a $300,000 signing bonus from the Detroit Tigers in 2010. He was picked five rounds later in 2011, a big drop-off in money. Lusson went undrafted this past June.


Through 13 games with the Orem Owlz in short-season rookie ball, Walsh is hitting .244 with two homers. In 50 games with the Longhorns as a junior, Walsh hit six home runs.


"I started out hot, but had a tough last week," Walsh said. "But I'm loving [not having to hit at Disch-Falk Field] for sure."


Stafford hasn't recorded any Minor League stats, as he's still rehabbing from season-ending shoulder surgery. It's a pleasant surprise that he was drafted in the 13th round by the Rangers, despite missing a full season and having a shoulder complication previously red-flagged so much by the Yankees that they couldn't agree to terms.


If Stafford can get healthy and then pitch to his capabilities, it wouldn't surprise anybody within the Texas program one bit if he becomes a top-three starter. He's left-handed, which is a plus, and he has such dynamic stuff -- which at times was better than Taylor Jungmann's in 2011.


Dicharry, a senior, actually improved his draft stock between this year and last. The Phillies took a flier on Dicharry in the 41st round in '11, as he pitched just one inning because of nagging shoulder injury. He made some money this season with a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings pitched.


In three relief appearances with the Nationals rookie squad in the Gulf Coast League, Dicharry has allowed one earned run on two hits in five innings pitched, with five strikeouts. 

John Curtiss retired the first 10 batters he faced on Sunday to help UT beat Kansas, 7-2.

Photo Credit: Andreina Velazquez | Daily Texan Staff

John Curtiss and Hoby Milner both began the season as starting pitchers.

But after going a combined 1-4 in five starts, Curtiss and Milner moved to the bullpen, where they have been stellar this year. Freshman Dillon Peters, making his sixth career start and first during the weekend, struggled as he allowed two runs while giving up a pair of hits and issuing three hits. But Curtiss and Milner each turned in great relief outings to help No. 23 Texas (23-14, 11-4) take down Kansas (16-25, 4-11) 7-2 Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

“[Peters] found the air to be a little bit thinner on game day in a Big 12 conference game that you must win versus a Tuesday game,” said Augie Garrido, Texas head coach. “I think [pitching coach] Skip [Johnson] did an outstanding job of positioning the pitchers and made very timely changes with the pitching staff as he brought them in against the top of the order.”

Curtiss replaced Peters in the second after the fellow freshman pitcher walked the leadoff man. Curtiss went on to retire the first 10 batters he faced before allowing a one-out single in the fifth inning and making way for Milner, who sat down the first six hitters he faced. Sophomore closer Corey Knebel finished the game with his eighth save of the year.

“You don’t know how the game’s going to develop,” Curtiss said. “You just have to sit out there and be ready. Today, they went to us a little earlier and we knew that we could go more innings than they usually need us to.”

Like Milner, Curtiss has put up much better numbers as a reliever than as a starting pitcher.

Milner picked up his team-leading sixth win of the season after Texas scored four runs in the fifth inning, despite not even registering a single hit in the first four frames. Senior shortstop Jordan Etier broke up Kansas junior pitcher Thomas Taylor’s no-hit bid with an RBI double before sophomore right fielder Mark Payton walked to load the bases.

Despite Texas not previously producing in most bases-loaded situations, freshman center fielder Taylor Stell singled and sophomore third baseman Erich Weiss doubled with the bases full of Longhorns in that pivotal fifth frame, when the Longhorns got three of their six hits. All of a sudden, a 2-0 Jayhawks advantage had turned into a 4-2 Texas lead.

“It’s very encouraging,” Weiss said. “We had been down that whole game. Once Jordan broke up that no-hitter and we had a walk, everything started going our way.”

The Longhorns also made an impressive comeback after losing the series opener Friday.

Kansas sophomore pitcher Frank Duncan retired 11 straight Texas hitters in a 7-2 Jayhawks win Friday night. But freshman pitcher Parker French helped Texas respond with a 3-0 victory Saturday evening by tossing seven scoreless innings, extending his number of consecutive scoreless innings at home to 32.1. He hasn’t allowed a run in 15 innings during his last two starts. The Longhorns are also 6-1 in their last seven games after a loss.

“I’ve just kind of simplified things,” French said. “The command and control of the pitches has been good lately. The defense has been awesome, especially tonight.”

This weekend marked the fifth straight series that Texas went into its Sunday contest having split the games played Friday and Sunday. After beating the Jayhawks, the Longhorns improved to 4-1 in those rubber matches. The victory also clinched Texas’ fifth straight Big 12 series win, a mark that will be tested when the Longhorns face No. 2 Texas A&M this week.

Printed on Monday, April 23, 2012 as: Texas pitches its way to series win

The Longhorns came close. But they weren't playing horseshoes or tossing hand grenades.

Sophomore right fielder Mark Payton, who drove in Texas' only run of the game in the second inning, came a few feet from hitting a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. Meanwhile, junior pitcher Hoby Milner's wild pitch with two outs and two strikes in the seventh inning allowed Oklahoma State to score the game-tying run. After the Cowboys (18-14, 5-5) scored twice off sophomore closer Corey Knebel in the 11th inning, they were able to knock off the No. 23 Longhorns (18-13, 7-3), 3-1, in their series opener Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Knebel, who threw 109 pitches in 6 2/3 innings of work in his last outing this past weekend against Texas Tech, got the final two outs of the eighth innings before tossing scoreless innings in the 9th and 10th. But the Cowboys knocked Knebel for three hits and the decisive two runs in the 11th. Texas head coach Augie Garrido admitted after the game that Knebel's outings have been too long this season.

"I just wish they would make their mind up if I'm going to be a reliever or closer," Knebel said. "I want to be a starter but I also like closing it out."

After Oklahoma State took its first lead with those two runs, Texas nearly responded with multiple runs in the home half of the 11th. Freshman center fielder Taylor Stell was beaned to lead off the frame before Weiss walked and Silver was also hit with a pitch. But with the bases loaded and one out, sophomore catcher Jacob Felts struck out swinging and senior shortstop Jordan Etier grounded out to second after nearly winning the game with a walk-off double down the right field line that was called foul.

"What separated the two teams was clutch hitting," Garrido said. "They got two hits with runners in scoring position and we didn't. The inability to play catch with an 0-2 count kept them in the game."

After allowing just two baserunners through his first six innings, sophomore Nathan Thornhill ran into some trouble in the seventh. Thornhill gave up a leadoff single, the first time the Cowboys put their leadoff batter on base, and issued his first walk of the night two batters later. Texas seemed like it would get out of the jam after Payton threw out Oklahoma State junior second baseman Robbie Rea at the plate on a single from senior first baseman Gabe Weidenaar.

But, immediately after replacing Thornhill with two outs and runners on the corners, Milner bounced a ball well short of the plate. The pitch got past Felts as junior right fielder Trey Whaley trotted home for the Cowboys' first run of the day, tying the game at 1-1.

Payton, who extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 32 by shooting an RBI double through the legs of Oklahoma State senior shortstop Hunter Bailey, nearly took the lead right back. With one out in the eighth inning, Payton lifted a ball into left field and the wind-aided drive bounced off the top of the left field wall. Payton settled for a double but was stranded on second base after Stell struck out swinging and sophomore third baseman Erich Weiss grounded out.

Junior southpaw Andrew Heaney, like Thornhill, was stuck with a no-decision despite a stellar outing. Heaney threw nine innings while scattering six hits and allowing only one run, striking out nine, and walking one. He fooled hitters like Weiss, who was hitting .464 over his last 16 games before this series, as he went 1-for-4. Sophomore first baseman Alex Silver saw his 16-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 performance.

The Longhorns will end the series with the Cowboys Saturday with a double-header scheduled to start 1:00 p.m. Both games will be nine innings long, with a 30-minute break between contests.

After a switch from the ratation to the bullpen Hoby Milner has excelled with a 4-1 record and a 1.59 ERA after having a 6.23 ERA as a starter.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Through 23 games, junior pitcher Hoby Milner leads Texas in wins. And losses.

Milner began the season as the No. 2 starting pitcher behind sophomore Nathan Thornhill but struggled until he moved to the bullpen, where he spent most of his time during his first two years at Texas. In three starts, Milner is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA but in 11 appearances coming out of the pen, he’s 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. Milner’s last outing was his longest and arguably his best as the Fort Worth product tossed six shutout innings in a 9-5 win over UT-Pan American Wednesday, the Longhorns’ ninth in their last 10 games.

“An outstanding performance,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido of the performance. “You see what quality pitching can do to quality hitting. We didn’t expect that to happen. We were hoping he could give us two innings in relief.”

Instead, Milner threw 101 pitches, scattering two hits and two walks across those six innings, meaning that he will not likely pitch in all three games this weekend like he did in last weekend’s series against Kansas State. The No. 19 Longhorns (14-9, 5-1) will almost certainly be without Milner today when they begin a three-game series with Cal (14-9, 1-5) at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

“We may pitch him, we may not,” Garrido said. “We’re not anxious to burn him up this early in the season. We’re not even to the halfway point yet.”

But Milner, who claims that two days of rest is plenty for him, could pitch again as soon as Saturday. Garrido said that had a series against a Big 12 foe been on the horizon, Milner would not have been left in the game that long.

“If we would have been in conference, we would not have done that. A win here is the same as a win in Round Rock,” Garrido said. “One of the factors that went into it was he was confident. He was in control. But the other thing was that we didn’t have conference play.”

Things started well enough for Milner when he assumed his role as a starting pitcher. He took advantage of Texas, scoring three times in the third inning and twice in the fourth, allowing two earned in runs in five innings to pick up his first win of the season. But Milner surrendered nine runs over his next two starts against No. 3 Stanford and Tennessee, lasting just four innings in each of those outings.

“I think my mindset was a little different when I was starting,” Milner said. “I was trying to go out there and try to last seven or eight innings, so I wasn’t pitching my normal game. I realized when I came back to the pen that I could be really effective.”

Since returning to the bullpen, Milner has improved dramatically, as evidenced by his last four outings, each of which have come in Texas’ last four contests. In all three games against the Wildcats last week, Milner was the first pitcher out of the pen to replace the Longhorns’ starter, allowing just one run in 4 2/3 innings of work. After his performance Wednesday, Milner is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA over that four-game stretch.

“I think it’s a relief for him because that’s what he was used to doing the last couple of years,” said Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson. “It’s a comfort zone. He’s pitching in a zone that’s comfortable for him.”

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: Milner thriving after move from rotation to bullpen

Junior outfielder Jonathan Walsh takes off for first base during Wednesday’s game. Walsh went 3-4, knocking in 5 RBI in the process.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

After Texas jumped out to a four-run, first-inning lead, it looked like the Longhorns would win easily. They won, but it wasn’t easy. Had it not been for juniors Hoby Milner and Jonathan Walsh, they might not have won at all.

Texas held a 4-0 advantage after the first frame but saw that lead erased by the end of the third inning, when freshman pitcher Ricky Jacquez surrendered four hits and four runs. Just like that, the Longhorns trailed UT-Pan American, 5-4. But thanks to Milner, who tossed six scoreless innings, Texas hung in the game long enough for junior designated hitter Landon Steinhagen to score game-tying and go-ahead runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

Milner picked up the win, improving to 5-3 on the year, as the Longhorns beat the Broncs, 9-5, Wednesday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field as they have won nine of their last 10 games.

“It was a masterful job. Hats off to Hoby,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “He was really effective against good hitters. He had a great presence on the mound, good command.”

Walsh hit a two-run triple to deep right-center field in the first inning and scored on a wild pitch before an RBI double to left-center by sophomore first baseman Alex Silver. In Walsh’s last seven games — each of which he has registered multiple hits — he is hitting .529 while scoring nine times and driving 13 runs. Walsh, a junior left fielder, homered for the first time this season in the eighth inning and racked up 5 RBIs.

“He’s just having fun playing ball and he’s got a lot of confidence going for him right now,” Garrido said. “He told someone that it made him feel good that I put him in the four-hole and I didn’t do it because of that. I did it because nobody was doing anything.”

But UT-Pan American did not go down without a fight. Sophomore right fielder Mark Payton threw out a Broncs runner at the plate after Silver made his first error of the season but could not keep freshman Dillon Peters from giving up his first run of the game on an RBI single by Adrian De La Rosa. Then, Jacquez began the third inning by allowing a pair of singles before Vincent Mejia blasted a game-tying home run over the left field wall and Angel Ibanez tripled and scored to give UT-Pan American a 5-4 lead.

In came Milner, who saw action in each of the Longhorns’ three games over the weekend against Kansas State, even getting a win in the series finale last Sunday. But Milner appeared well-rested, throwing 101 pitches and facing the minimum 18 batters over his six innings, picking off two of the four batters he allowed to reach base.

“Having two days off is enough for me,” Milner said. “We had four or five pitchers on the list and we were going to go one or two innings each, but I kind of got on a roll so they stuck with me.”

Had the Longhorns been set to face a Big 12 opponent this weekend, Garrido said, Milner would not have thrown more than two or three innings. But with Pac-12 foe Cal next on Texas’ schedule, the junior hurler was given the green light to finish the game.

“You saw a presence on the mound that he has in him that he’s had all along,” said sophomore catcher Jacob Felts. “He pounded the zone and worked ahead. All of his pitches were effective and he got guys out with every pitch.”

If two days of rest are indeed enough for Milner to get back on the mound, he could be throwing again as early as Saturday afternoon against the Golden Bears. But Garrido also said that there’s a chance he might not pitch at all this weekend.

Printed on Thursday, March 29, 2012 as: Milner, Walsh fuel late rally as Longhorns defeat Broncos

After blanking Duke in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Texas got off to a sloppy start in Game 2.

Junior pitcher Hoby Milner induced three straight groundouts in the first inning but hit the leadoff batter in the second frame. The next Blue Devils hitter doubled before a throwing error by sophomore Erich Weiss allowed Duke to score two runs and the Longhorns to fall behind for the first time this season.

But Texas didn’t trail for long as it took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to a two-run double by sophomore right fielder Mark Payton and an RBI sac fly from freshman second baseman Brooks Marlow. Milner lasted five innings while allowing four hits and three runs, striking out three to pick up the win as the Longhorns triumphed over the Blue Devils, 5-3, and swept the season-opening doubleheader.

“The best thing about the second game was the instinctive response to going behind,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “If it intimidates a team, you’ll see it. If it doesn’t and they respond to it, well, you saw it. Now that’s good a sign.”

Texas was the beneficiary of several Duke miscues in the fourth inning. Sophomore shortstop Christian Summers drew a four-pitch walk, which was followed by a single from senior center fielder Tim Matiland. Just a .206 hitter last year, Maitland filled in for junior Cohl Walla, who suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month, and went 3-for-6 between the two contests.

Marlow, who hit a pair of homeruns in Game 1, and Weiss each drew walks to push another run across the plate. After Blue Devils starting pitcher Trent Stewart, a true freshman making his college baseball debut was pulled, a passed ball allowed another run to score as the Longhorns took a commanding 5-2 lead.

Freshman pitcher Parker French also made his college debut Saturday, throwing three innings of scoreless relief for Texas after taking over for Milner in the sixth inning. The most impressive moment of French’s outing came when he got out of an eighth-inning bases-loaded jam by striking out Duke shortstop Matt Berezo. Then, sophomore Corey Knebel, who tied a school record with 19 saves, picked up his second save of the day by retiring the side in the ninth inning.

“At first, I think the nerves kind of got to me,” French said. “For a second, I thought they were [going to take me out.] That was huge to see the confidence they had in me in that situation. That’s just going to bring me more confidence down the road.”

Payton and Maitland, listed at 5’8” and 5’11”, respectively, led the way for the Longhorns offensively in the second game. Maitland, batting in the ninth spot of the Texas lineup, went 2-for-4 and scored twice while Payton, the Longhorns’ leadoff batter, went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs.

Texas caps off its series against Duke Sunday at noon, when freshman John Curtiss starts on the mound for the Longhorns and tries to help them sweep the Blue Devils.

Sophomore pitcher Hoby Milner fields a grounder before tagging out Kent State’s Travis Shaw in the fifth inning, one of the biggest plays of Monday’s game.

Photo Credit: Allen Otto | Daily Texan Staff

Tried and true, pitching and defense have been the backbone for this club all year.

On Monday against Kent State, it was the Longhorns’ lifeline.

Six different arms saw action against the Golden Flashes, all part of head coach Augie Garrido’s perfectly designed plan in the Longhorns’ 5-0 win.

“We were trying to get Sam Stafford through the top of the order twice to get through the left-handed hitters,” Garrido said. “After that, we made switches between pitchers dependent on momentum-shifting situations.”

Stafford, a few days removed from extensive work against Princeton, started the game. By the final out of the first inning, he had already thrown 31 pitches. Stafford was more effective in the second, striking out the side.
“I felt great,” he said. “I did everything I could to recover as quickly as possible [from Friday]. I was ready to go as long as they needed me to go.”

The junior left-hander lasted 3.2 innings and was relieved by Kendal Carrillo. After pitching an inning, Carrillo, who was officially given the win, was replaced by sophomore Hoby Milner in a sticky situation in the fifth — runners on second and third and Kent State’s power hitter Travis Shaw at the plate.

With a 3-1 count, Milner threw a curveball for a strike, then got Shaw to ground into a weak chopper down the first-base line. Milner scrambled to his left, caught the ball off a bounce and applied the tag.

“I finally got him to roll one. It was a huge momentum changer,” Milner said.

It was the closest call the Longhorns, who had just a 2-0 lead at the time, would face all day. Regular starters Cole Green and Taylor Jungmann pitched an inning each after Milner was done, and Corey Knebel closed out the Flashes.

“The pitching staff was totally unselfish,” Garrido said. “You have to think about Taylor Jungmann; today is the Major League Baseball draft. He goes out and pitches on short rest. Cole Green picks up an inning. It was just the epitome of teamwork.”

Stafford also described the teamwork as “unbelievable.”

Even the offense, much maligned for most of the season, pulled its weight Monday, giving the Longhorns early run support. Tant Shepherd, the Most Outstanding Player of the All-Tournament Team, led off with a double to left field. Mark Payton laid down a bunt, and as he ran down the line to first base, collided with Kent State’s George Roberts. The ball — along with Payton’s batting helmet — went flying in the crash, and Shepherd rounded third base then headed home.

“Nobody wants collisions and I wasn’t trying to run him over, but it was just one of those things where, as a competitive player, I was trying to get to the bag,” Payton said. “I’m not sure what happened, nobody seemed to know if the ball or his glove hit me, it was hard to tell.”

In the third, Payton again brought Shepherd home with an RBI-single to left field.

The Longhorns scored one run each in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings — only one of which came on a traditional base hit.

But the story of the day was the pitching puzzle.

“We were able to execute,” Garrido said. “And as a result, we were able to win.”

It took them longer than they may have liked, but the No. 6 Longhorns got just enough out of their offense in the weekend finale against Texas Tech, rallying back in the eighth inning to top the Red Raiders 3-1, giving Texas a 2-1 series victory.

Reliever Hoby Milner tossed a no-hit frame to begin the seminal eighth inning, and the Texas offense made sure not to squander the opportunity. Paul Montalbano started the rally in the bottom with a single to left field and then advanced to second on a Jordan Etier-sacrifice bunt. Lucas Kephart came in to the game as a pinch-hitter for Alex Silver and drew a walk on a full count, putting runners on first and second for Texas.

On the next pitch, Brandon Loy took matters into his own hands, lined a single to right field to score Montalbano and tie the game up at one apiece.

Tant Shepherd then registered his first hit of the game, hitting the first pitch he saw down the left-field line for a huge two-run triple, plating Loy and Tim Maitland, who was pinch-running for Kephart.

“The veteran leadership came through big time with Paul getting the leadoff single in the eighth, Etier moving him over, then Loy coming through, and Shepherd coming through with a big hit to separate the two teams,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido.

Loy began the game with a leadoff double to left field on an 0-2 pitch and then advanced to third on a productive Mark Payton groundout. But Shepherd struck out swinging, and Erich Weiss hit a slow roller to Tech pitcher Brennan Stewart, and Loy was left stranded at third, 90 feet away from the first run of the game.

Starting pitcher Sam Stafford pitched well in his first weekend start since the beginning of the season, giving up one run and striking out four in five innings of work.

“It was a huge game,” Stafford said. “You have to focus on doing your job and giving your team the best chance to win. If you take care of those things, a majority of the time, we’re going to win the ball game.”

Stafford was pulled after he walked Tech’s Kelby Tomlinson to start the sixth inning. Freshman Nathan Thornhill replaced him on the mound and finished the inning for Texas, striking out two. But the Longhorns couldn’t capitalize in the bottom of the frame, as Loy flied out to center, and Payton and Shepherd struck out.

The seventh inning came and went much the same way — solid pitching, this time from sophomore Milner, negated by poor offense, with Kevin Lusson grounding into a double play to end the inning.

Freshman closer Corey Knebel came on in the ninth and picked up his 11th save of the year, while the win went to Milner (4-2).

“The bullpen was what it needs to be for us to be consistent,” Garrido said. “We brought in Hoby, and he’s been valuable in these games. He gave us two innings, and we were able to get to Knebel, who did his thing.”

It wasn’t a perfect game for the slow-starting Longhorns, but it was enough to give Texas (27-9, 11-4 Big 12) its fourth series win over a conference opponent on the year, one against a quality opponent in Texas Tech (23-15, 6-9).

“To come back and find a way to get this done, it gives us some confidence,” Loy said. “This team has it. It’s all there; we just have to find a way to get it going earlier.”

Texas hosts a four-game series with Brown this weekend, and the Longhorns will look to string together a set of wins for the first time this season. Texas (8-4) has yet to win more than two games consecutively, and Brown (0-3) may be the perfect springboard before Big 12 play begins next week.

Brown opened its season last week by being swept by Vanderbilt but didn’t lose a game by more that two runs. Matthew Kimball (0-0, 1.29 ERA) will start today for the Bears and will look to pick up his first win of the season after giving up only one run in seven innings of a no-decision loss.

Kimball’s counterpart will be Taylor Jungmann, which bodes well for the Longhorns who are 19-0 at home when Jungmann (3-0, 1.01 ERA) starts. Sophomore Hoby Milner will start game one of a double-header Saturday, the first Saturday start of his career. Milner (1-0, 1.35 ERA) has appeared in four games for Texas this year, but will be making only his second start of the season.

“I’m just going to do whatever they tell me to do,” Milner said, adding that there isn’t much of a difference in preparation for starting and pitching out of the bullpen. “Your goal is to go out there and get outs.”

Texas has been tweaking things on offense in an attempt to generate more scoring and changed its lineup Tuesday for the first time this season.

“We’re just trying new things, and seeing what works best before conference comes around,” said outfielder Mark Payton, who batted second on Tuesday, instead of his usual third spot.

Cole Green (0-2, 4.32 ERA) will start Sunday’s game, after picking up a no-decision on Tuesday.

“He was putting too much pressure on himself,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “You get to a point sometimes in this game where you try to do too much, you think the world is depending on you, and you can’t play.”

Texas hosts a four-game series with Brown this weekend, and the Longhorns will look to string together a set of wins for the first time this season. Texas (8-4) has yet to win more than two games consecutively, and Brown (0-3) may be the perfect springboard before Big 12 play begins next week.

Brown opened its season last week by being swept by Vanderbilt but didn’t lose a game by more that two runs. Matthew Kimball (0-0, 1.29 ERA) will start today for the Bears and will look to pick up his first win of the season after giving up only one run in seven innings of a no-decision loss.

Kimball’s counterpart will be Taylor Jungmann, which bodes well for the Longhorns who are 19-0 at home when Jungmann (3-0, 1.01 ERA) starts. Sophomore Hoby Milner will start game one of a double-header Saturday, the first Saturday start of his career. Milner (1-0, 1.35 ERA) has appeared in four games for Texas this year, but will be making only his second start of the season.

“I’m just going to do whatever they tell me to do,” Milner said, adding that there isn’t much of a difference in preparation for starting and pitching out of the bullpen. “Your goal is to go out there and get outs.”

Texas has been tweaking things on offense in an attempt to generate more scoring and changed its lineup Tuesday for the first time this season.

“We’re just trying new things, and seeing what works best before conference comes around,” said outfielder Mark Payton, who batted second on Tuesday, instead of his usual third spot.

Cole Green (0-2, 4.32 ERA) will start Sunday’s game, after picking up a no-decision on Tuesday.

“He was putting too much pressure on himself,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “You get to a point sometimes in this game where you try to do too much, you think the world is depending on you, and you can’t play.”