There’s not too much different about Erich Weiss this fall, only that he’s bigger, stronger and faster than he was as a freshman.
He’s working on growing a beard, too.
The sophomore third baseman showed all of it off Sunday in Texas’ scrimmage against Houston, knocking in two runs as the Longhorns topped the Cougars, 7-2.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the thirteenth inning (the scrimmage was at a 14-inning length), Weiss hit a single to shallow center field. Ashford Fulmer, Houston’s center fielder, botched the pick up and allowed the ball to roll all the way to the back wall, giving Weiss just enough time to round all the bases and touch home. The play was ruled a single and an error, but the crowd didn’t care, calling for Weiss to give a curtain call.
“I didn’t think I would score, but I looked up at second base and the ball was all the way to the fence,” he said. “I almost tripped [coming home] though. I’ve been trying to get faster, trying to gain weight, trying to hit the ball a little farther.”
As for that beard: Weiss says the fledgling patch of facial hairs on his chin isn’t here to stay.
“Yeah, I need to shave,” he deadpanned.
But peach fuzz and whiskers weren’t the only new developments at Disch-Falk Field. The Longhorns were helped by a variety of newcomers, most notably freshman pitcher Ricky Jacquez, who struck out three Cougars and did not allow a hit in two innings of work.
“I was a little nervous at first, but I think I did pretty well. I maintained my composure,” said Jacquez, a righty from El Paso who was drafted by the Cubs in the 39th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
With the departure of Taylor Jungmann and Cole Green, two of last year’s three weekend starters, the Longhorns are looking for pitching help. Jacquez proved he’d be a good candidate for the job.
“My goal is to start, and I’m going to try to be one,” he said. “But in the end, it’s up to the coaches. There have been a lot of good pitchers here. I’m young, I’m just going to try and contribute to the team.”
Another freshman standout was second baseman Brooks Marlow, who had two hits and drove in one run.
“It was an awesome moment,” Marlow said. “I was trying to make the fans love me, make everybody else around here love me.”
Published on Monday, October 17, 2011: Weiss' RBIs aid Texas in scrimmage