Texas head coach David Pierce calls for a reliever from the bullpen during an NCAA baseball game against Rice on April 9, 2019 in Austin. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Baseball

Arizona 8, Texas 6: Longhorn pitchers come up short during a lengthy midweek audition

Posted March 4th, 2020

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On Super Tuesday, it was the Texas Longhorns who waited all night for results to trickle in at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Those results were not pretty. Texas slumped to an 8-6 loss that took four hours and 35 minutes to complete. Texas allowed only four hits to Arizona, but the Longhorns hit four Wildcats and issued eight walks.

The loss was Texas’ third in its last four games. The Longhorns (10-3) will open up a three-game series against Cal State Fullerton on Friday.

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“It’s a really weird line score,” said Texas coach David Pierce, whose team outhit its guests 11-4. “Haven’t seen too many outcomes like that, but it’s what happened and we’ve got to regroup.”

Texas pitcher Owen Meaney (51) throws against Texas A&M at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on April 2, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]
Facing UT right-hander Owen Meaney, Arizona (8-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Meaney got to two strikes on each of the first four batters he faced, but he lost three of those Wildcats on a plunking, a walk and a run-scoring single. He was then pulled after hitting another batter.

The start was Meaney’s first of the season. He pitched three innings of solid relief against Lamar on Feb. 19, but that had been his last appearance.

“It’s hard to pitch once every two weeks,” Pierce said. “That’s one of the things that we’re struggling with is just getting the right amount of innings for each guy to get in a groove. The reason why we’re still throwing that many guys is because we haven’t had enough guys separate themselves.”

An inability to put away the Wildcats continued to haunt Texas in the second inning.  Reliever Cole Quintanilla walked two before serving up a three-run, two-out homer to Matthew Dyer in the frame. All three of those Wildcats reached base on a full-count pitch.

Texas continued to implode as Arizona scored in the fourth inning on a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly and Branden Boissiere’s two-run blast. Boissiere’s homer gave Arizona an 8-0 advantage.

Texas shut out Arizona the rest of the way. Texas struck out 16 batters on Tuesday but three of Arizona’s four hits plated runs. Six of the Wildcats who scored either walked or were hit by a pitch.

The two-run loss gave the Longhorns an extended look at their bullpen. Nine pitchers threw for Texas. Over its first 12 games this season, Texas had been using an average of 4.2 pitchers.

None of Texas’ pitchers lasted two innings. They all threw between 12 and 41 pitches:

  • Sophomore Owen Meaney: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 HP, 1 K
  • Sophomore Cole Quintanilla: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Freshman Jared Southard: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 HP, 2 K
  • Junior Kamron Fields: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP
  • Freshman Sam Walbridge: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Sophomore Dawson Merryman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Freshman Austin Wallace: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Junior Tristan Stevens: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Freshman Pete Hansen: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Said Pierce: “It’s as much our sophomores as our freshmen. We’re repeating a lot of the same things they did last year. We’re going to find the right mix for sure. We need about 10 to 12 of them and we’ll find them. If they want to pitch, they’re going to have to get better, it’s that simple.”

Down 8-0, Texas scored twice in the fourth inning and pushed across four more runs in the seventh session. Eric Kennedy led the Longhorns with his three hits and four RBIs.

Texas catcher DJ Petrinsky warms up between innings at UFCU Disch-Falk Field during the Texas vs Kansas baseball game on March 17, 2018. JAMIE HARMS / FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Around the bases: Arizona starter Dawson Netz was removed from the game with an undisclosed injury after he warmed up in the second inning. … Arizona stole five bases against Texas catcher DJ Petrinksy. … Texas pulled Petrisnky during the eighth inning with what Pierce called a “cold” shoulder. Petrinsky is working his way back after missing much of the 2019 season. … On Tuesday, Texas pitcher Bryce Elder was named to the all-tournament team for this past weekend’s Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic.

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