A few weeks ago, Texas made a pitching swap. Sam Stafford, who had been mowing down batters on Tuesdays — 2-0, with 23 strikeouts in four contests — would take his act to Sundays, when his arm would provide more value against better opponents.
On their first Tuesday without Stafford, last week’s 4-2 win over UT Pan-American, the Longhorns got one inning out of starter Austin Dicharry, who surrendered two earned runs after only 31 pitches before being pulled. After the first, four more pitchers saw action in relief work.
“I didn’t do the best I could,” said Dicharry, who was making his first start in a year after rehabilitating through a bone bruise.
Head coach Augie Garrido called it a “rough start.”
Trying for some smoother sailing, Garrido has asked Stafford to return to the midweek mound tonight against Texas State. Though Stafford pitched Saturday against Kansas, he still has enough left in the tank to pitch three days later because he only threw 54 pitches in Texas’ 4-2 loss.
In a March 15 game against the Bobcats, the Longhorns scraped out a 3-1 win, registering just seven hits and scoring only one earned run.
“Later in the year, we’ll hit better,” Garrido said after the game. “As it warms up, the hitting will come around.”
The skipper’s prediction has come true so far. This past weekend, Texas outscored the Jayhawks 20-5 in three games, a series in which the Longhorns averaged 11 hits a game and hit .320 as a team.
“We hit balls hard, and we got our bunts down and ran the bases well enough to get people in position to score,” Garrido said.
Offensive standouts on the year are Brandon Loy and Erich Weiss, who combined to go 12-26, with seven RBIs between the two of them last weekend. Loy, a junior, starred in game one of the Kansas series, with a 4-5, two-RBI performance at the plate to go with a few defensive gems.
“I saw the ball well today and stayed with my plan. I came out and played hard and had fun,” Loy said.
Weiss, who drove in five runs over the weekend, is currently in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak. During the span, the freshman has a .447 batting average and a .527 on-base percentage. Out of 40 games this year, Weiss has gotten on base safely, by way of hit or walk, in 38 of them.
“[Weiss] continues to hit well,” Garrido said. “He’s a very mature batter for a freshman and seems to learn from every at-bat he takes.”