Lukas Schiraldi

Texas shortstop C.J Hinojosa, pictured (right) in a game against Oklahoma State, led the team at the plate Tuesday night against Prairie View A&M with two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. Despite a late Panther’s rally, the Longhorns won 6-3. 

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, it looked like the Longhorns were on their way to a blowout victory — then the Panther comeback started.

Texas (33-13, 10-8 Big 12) was able to withstand a three-run rally by Prairie View A&M (18-25) to pick up a much needed 6-3 victory Tuesday night. The Longhorns pounded the Panthers early and came away with the win, despite being outhit 8-6 in the ball game.

Texas jumped ahead in the bottom of the first with sophomore left fielder Ben Johnson doubling to set up an RBI groundout by freshman catcher Tres Barrera two batters later. Johnson would finish the game with a team-leading two hits.

The Longhorns added another run in the second inning and later erupted for three runs in the fourth behind a two-RBI double by sophomore shortstop C.J Hinojosa, who had two hits to go along with his RBIs. The 5-0 lead would hold up until the sixth inning when the Panthers finally got to junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi.

Schiraldi held the Panthers to just three hits through the first three innings, but back-to-back singles and a walk set up a bases-clearing triple by junior outfielder Jeff Sealy. Schiraldi left after six innings pitched, with six hits and three earned runs allowed.

An RBI single by junior second baseman Brooks Marlow put the Longhorns up 6-3, a lead which would last the rest of the game, as the Panthers failed to record a hit in the
final three innings.

The win left Texas with a solid mind-set heading into its weekend conference series with West Virginia.

Freshman Kacy Clemens makes a play at first base during the Longhorns’ 5-4 win over the Broncos on Tuesday evening. Clemens went 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk, but the top of the Texas lineup led a comeback after it fell into an early hole.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

For more than 3 hours and 30 minutes, the No. 10 Longhorns trailed UTPA at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday night. But, in the bottom of the eighth, senior center fielder Mark Payton finally put Texas ahead, singling a run home to give Texas a 5-4 lead — something they would not relinquish. 

Through the first seven innings, the Longhorns left 12 men on base, eight of which were in scoring position. Texas didn’t capitalize on golden opportunities, failing to advance runners on bunts and stranding runners on third with fewer than two outs. But Payton came through in the end to bail out the Longhorns in a game that lasted 3 minutes, 41 seconds. 

“Bottom line is we won the game,” head coach Augie Garrido said. 

Both junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi and senior UTPA pitcher Matthew Harrell struggled to find their command early, combining for eight walks and a hit-by-pitch in just the first two innings, making the pace of the game a slow one.

The Broncos (17-25) struck first, settling for one run in the first after having the bases loaded with no outs. Schiraldi got an RBI fielder’s choice, pop out and strikeout to escape with little damage. UTPA would have three more innings of one run in the game.

Schiraldi gave up four runs in 3.1 innings, allowing five hits and four walks.

Texas had plenty of chances early because of Harrell’s four walks and one hit-by-pitch in his 1.2 innings, but Texas (31-11) was unable to put a crooked number on the board. It left seven runners on base in the first three innings, scoring only once on a bases loaded, second-inning walk by sophomore outfielder Ben Johnson to cut the lead to 2-1.

Immediately after falling behind 4-1, Texas began clawing its way back with two runs in the fifth to cut the UTPA lead to 4-3 on an RBI single from freshman third baseman Zane Gurwitz and a wild pitch. In the next inning, the Longhorns tied the game after Johnson’s fifth homer of the year.

The eighth inning proved the team could claw back. Junior second baseman Brooks Marlow and Johnson singled to start the inning. Then, after failing on his first two bunt attempts, senior center fielder Mark Payton delivered an RBI single to center.

“I was a little frustrated with not getting the bunt down,” Payton said. “I got a pitch I could handle and put a nice swing on it.”

The relief pitchers for Texas did a good job as sophomores pitchers Chad Hollingsworth, Ty Culbreth and John Curtiss and freshman pitcher Morgan Cooper (W, 4-1) went 5.2 shutout innings to give the Longhorns a chance to come back.  

“Momentum shifted with Hollingsworth,” Garrido said. “Pitching drove momentum.” 

The Longhorns will regroup this weekend for a big showdown with Big 12 leader Oklahoma State on Friday.

Photo Credit: Jarrid Denman | Daily Texan Staff

Not too many pitchers can throw a complete game, allow just one run and still manage to suffer an increase in their ERA.

But that’s exactly what happened to senior pitcher Nathan Thornhill on Sunday afternoon against Oklahoma that resulted in an 8-1 win.

He went the distance, pitched a gem — and his ERA climbed from 0.73 to 0.78.  

“You know you’re the man when you only give up one run, and your ERA goes up,” sophomore reliever Chad Hollingsworth tweeted. “[Thornhill] is that dude.”

But the road for Thornhill — who was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on Monday — to get there took some turns. After being selected by the Houston Astros in the 24th round of the MLB Draft, Thornhill spurned them to return to Texas in an attempt to put the Longhorns back on the map after a low year.

And that’s exactly what he’s done. He’s anchored a staff that ranks No. 6 in the nation in ERA. His Big 12 leading and national top-10 0.78 ERA definitely helps that. Texas is 29-8 and No. 6 in the nation. The Longhorns are back on top of the Big 12, and their confidence is at an all-time high.

“We have a lot of confidence,” Thornhill said. “We know what our plan is at the plate. We know what our plan is on defense and pitching, and, if we go and execute that, the game should come out in our favor.”

Thornhill has allowed just four runs in seven starts. And all this for a guy who, at one point, wasn’t even in the opening weekend rotation, finding himself behind junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi.

He began to settle into the pen, with a real possibility of taking over the closer role. In eight relief innings, he allowed just one run while recording two wins and two saves.

After a few starts for Schiraldi went sour, Thornhill regained his spot in the rotation and hasn’t looked back. He has already recorded a career-high six wins this season without even losing one. His WHIP is below one, and his opponents are hitting just 0.168 against him.

But Thornhill doesn’t let the hype get to him, as he’s still focused on improving.

“Last year, I started to kind of figure out what kind of pitcher I was and then just [built] upon that this year,” Thornhill said. “I’ve just continued to work with [pitching coach] Skip [Johnson] and listen to him because I need to be a sponge when he’s talking.”

When Texas faces UT-Arlington on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Disch-Falk Field, Thornhill will be resting his arm, watching Schiraldi deal and getting ready for this weekend’s series against TCU. 

“It is a lot different,” Thornhill said. “It is a lot more fun. I think that is the biggest part. With the wins, come more fun. You like that feeling, and you don’t want to have the other feeling.”

Junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi had the roughest outing of his short Longhorn career Tuesday night in a 7-2 loss to Rice. Schiraldi allowed seven runs on 10 hits in just 4.1 innings against the No. 21 Owls.

Photo Credit: Fabian Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

Junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi struggled to find the zone Tuesday night, and the Longhorns paid for it.

No. 7 Texas (26-8, 6-3 Big 12) fell to No. 21 Rice (23-12) 7-2 in the second meeting between the teams in the last week. Schiraldi had delivery problems early in the game before being chased after allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings.

“I’m not sure [Schiraldi] didn’t have better stuff this time than when he pitched down there,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “It’s just that they were ready, man. They hit the balls hard and must have had six or seven right over second base. But really, it was about them outplaying us.”

Rice jumped out to an early lead with an RBI single in the top of the second inning before Texas answered in the bottom half. The Owls scored again in the third and held the 2-1 lead until things went south for the Longhorns’ pitching staff.

Schiraldi surrendered three runs in the top of the fifth before being relieved by sophomore pitcher Travis Duke with the bases still loaded and only one out. Two batters and two runs later, Duke was relieved by sophomore pitcher Chad Hollingsworth who got Texas out of the inning after five runs and five hits from the Owls.

The Longhorns’ first run of the game came in the second inning when freshman third baseman Zane Gurwitz grounded out to first to score senior infielder Madison Carter. Texas’ lone hit came in the fifth inning on a RBI single by sophomore left fielder Ben Johnson.

The 13 hits by the Owls were the most Texas has given up in a game all season. In addition, Texas’ one hit was the least it has produced in a game this year.

“Their pitchers did a great job tonight and they kept us off balance,” senior center fielder Mark Payton said. “They pitched backwards and really did a good job.”

The loss marked the second time Texas has lost in its last 13 contests, and the first time it has lost in its last 13 Tuesday night games dating back to last season.

“They have to realize that there’s no days off when you’re the Longhorns,” Garrido said.

The Longhorns will head to Norman, Okla., this weekend and try to regain conference momentum against the Sooners.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

After the No. 12 Longhorns beat Texas State 5-1 Tuesday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, the fans rose to their feet, chanting “Augie” as the Longhorn players all tipped their caps to head coach Augie Garrido.

And rightfully so. With the win, Garrido became the winningest coach in the history of college baseball.

With his 1,894th win, Garrido, who was already the winningest coach in Division I history, passed Gordon Gillespie for the record. Gillespie coached at Lewis University (Division II), Ripon College (Division III) and St. Francis (NAIA).

“The only thing 1,894 wins proves is that you are old,” Garrido said. “But it still feels good.” 

Garrido — who is in his 45th year of coaching — has been at Texas since 1997, garnering 739 of the 1,893 victories on the 40 Acres, including two championships. At Cal State-Fullerton, Garrido won 929 games and three national championships. He has also coached at Illinois, Cal Poly and San Francisco State.

“I get the credit, but it belongs to everyone,” Garrido said.

Texas jumped all over the Bobcats (15-9) early as junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi completely shut down Texas State. He held them to just one hit in eight innings to improve a team ERA that ranks fifth in the nation.

“[Schiraldi] is the best Tuesday night pitcher in college baseball,” Garrido said.

Texas (20-6) scored two runs in the first and second to open it up early and give Schiraldi (4-1) a nice cushion. Sophomore right fielder Collin Shaw put the Longhorns on the board with an RBI fielder choice, barely legging out a double-play grounder with the bases loaded to score sophomore left fielder Ben Johnson. Freshman catcher Tres Barrera then followed with a single up the middle to push the lead to 2-0.

The Longhorns scored two more in the second, highlighted by sophomore shortstop C.J Hinojosa’s RBI double off the top of the left field wall. Johnson then led the fourth with a monster home run off the Longhorns’ sign well beyond the left field fence.

The Longhorns have allowed just three runs in the last 45 innings. They will travel to Texas Tech this weekend for their second Big 12 series, but they won’t soon forget Garrido’s new title. 

“It’s something I’ll be able to tell my kids and grandkids: that I got to play for the greatest college baseball coach of all time,” Johnson said.

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

It was fitting that, on the first day of spring football practice, DBU was on the scoreboard at Disch-Falk Field. But this DBU was for Dallas Baptist, not the Longhorns’ secondary.

With the way junior Lukas Schiraldi was pitching, it might as well have been junior cornerback Quandre Diggs or sophomore cornerback Duke Thomas hacking away. Schiraldi (3-1) shut out the Patriots in his eight innings as the Longhorns won 5-0 Tuesday night.  

“I was very pleased with Schiraldi today,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “He was really good. Really good.”

Schiraldi, behind his two-seam fastball, allowed just two hits on the night, turning it over to his offense quickly.

“We threw a ton of changeups,” Schiraldi said. “I had a lot of confidence in it. They were taking big hacks; make them hit it into the ground.”

Texas (15-6) jumped on the board early against Dallas Baptist (15-4) on a first-inning RBI triple by senior outfielder Mark Payton. The triple drove in junior infielder Brooks Marlow, who led off the inning with a walk, ruining Dallas Baptist’s 30-inning scoreless streak.

“[Scoring first] takes a huge weight off my shoulders,” Schiraldi said. “It allows me to pitch to contact.” 

The Longhorns tacked on two more in the third on a pair of two out hits. Before that, though, it appeared the inning was over. Sophomore outfielder Ben Johnson was called out trying to steal third, and Dallas Baptist began jogging off the field.

Then the umpire reversed his call — calling a juggle on the third baseman’s catch — and the Longhorns were back in business. Payton walked to put runners on the corner and was followed by a hard single by sophomore infielder C.J Hinojosa to drive in Johnson and a double down the right-field line from junior outfielder Collin Shaw.

Shaw, who has started less than half of Texas’ games this season, is starting to rise in the order as his batting average balloons. In his first two seasons with Texas, Shaw hit .128 and .222. This season, he was on the same pace until a hot stretch vaulted him up the lineup. In the last seven games, he has hit .389.

The Longhorns added two more in the sixth on freshman infielder Zane Gurwitz’s squeeze and Payton’s line-drive single.

“The scope of our offensive game is good enough to beat anyone,” Garrido said. “We just have to execute, and we did that tonight.”

But just one was good enough for Schiraldi, who continues to establish himself as a solid starting option for the Longhorns. 

“I love being able to start,” Schiraldi said of his demotion from the weekend rotation. “Being a Tuesday guy is no different. I still get to pitch. I love it.”

The series finale didn’t go well for No. 22 Texas as junior starter Lukas Schiraldi and the Texas pitchers struggled Sunday afternoon in an 11-5 loss to No. 25 Stanford. In just two innings of work, Schiraldi (1-1) surrendered four hits, four walks and five earned runs.

“He appeared to be out of rhythm,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “When you’re trying to find a rhythm, you struggle.”

Stanford got the scoring going in the second inning on a one-out suicide-squeeze, barely beating the tag of freshman catcher Tres Barrera. But the real damage came with two outs. After another Schiraldi walk, the bases were loaded for left fielder Wayne Taylor, who promptly cleared them with a triple to the 405-foot marker in the right-center gap to give Stanford a 4-0 lead.

“We lost the momentum in the first part of the game,” Garrido said. “It makes the rest of the game more stressful, feeling like you have to be perfect.”

The next inning didn’t go much better for Schiraldi. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, Schiraldi’s night was done as Texas went to the pen with sophomore lefty Travis Duke.

With one out and the bases juiced it looked as though Duke was going to get out of the jam. The crowd thought Duke had a strikeout, but the first base umpire called a balk before the pitch, sending Garrido sprinting from the dugout.

“I want the players to know I will fight for them,” Garrido, who was tossed on that play, said.

While the Cardinal offense put up five quick runs, the Texas offense struggled early on against the six-foot-nine, hard throwing freshman, Chris Viall (2-0). Through four innings, Texas (5-3) recorded just two hits. But the offense came alive in the fifth, sparked by a one-out triple by sophomore left-fielder Ben Johnson. Freshman right fielder Zane Gurwitz then singled him home to open up the scoring for Texas. Two straight walks loaded the bases for Texas’ three and four hitters with one out, but Texas was unable to capitalize.

Stanford (3-4) came right back out in the top of the sixth and blew the game open. On two consecutive pitches off sophomore reliever Ty Culbreth, Stanford hit a two-run double and two-run homer to extend the lead to 10-1 and send fans to the exits.

“Both teams played almost the same game,” Garrido said. “The difference was a bases loaded triple and that two-run homerun. They got the timely hits and we didn’t sustain the rally.”

Texas kept battling, putting four runs on the board in the sixth behind two more RBI’s from Gurwitz, but it was too little, too late as the slow-paced game was called for time after eight innings.

Payton went 1-for-1 on the day with three walks, continuing his hot streak. In the weekend series, Payton finished with a .800 average for the series with five walks. The Longhorns will have a day off before UT-Pan American comes to Austin Tuesday.

“Tuesday is going to be another day,” Payton said.