Texas quickly moved past its series loss against Kansas this past weekend thanks to excellent pitching by junior Lukas Schiraldi as the Horns shutout the Dallas Baptist Patriots 5-0. Schiraldi went eight strong, walked three, struck out three and allowed only two hits in the win.
AUSTIN — Senior outfielder Mark Payton continued to be the offensive leader of the team, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Texas supported Schiraldi early thanks to an RBI triple off the bat of Payton to score junior Brooks Marlow. Texas would score two in the third thanks to a single off of sophomore C.J Hinojosa’s bat plating Ben Johnson. Next, junior Collin Shaw brought Payton home with an RBI double down the left field line and the Longhorns never looked back.
UT’s last two runs would come in the sixth inning, when freshman Zane Gurwitz brought home Tres Barrera on a bunt single. Payton would record his second RBI with a single to score Gurwitz.
Schiraldi was helped out with excellent defense behind him tonight. Texas committed no errors, and recorded three double plays on the day, including a 3-6-1 double play in the second where Schiraldi made a great play covering the bag and recording the out.
Texas played its normal style of baseball today, with the first batter reaching base four times, and being moved over three times by sacrifice and once by groundout. Gurwitz and Barrera, who had been struggling as of late, both recorded a multi-hit game in addition to Payton and Hinojosa.
Texas coach Augie Garrido enjoyed seeing his team come out after losing another conference series this past weekend.
“I think the first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that we didn’t come out with a hangover from Sunday,” Garrido said. “We were upbeat and ready to play. Offensively, we got the leadoff hitter on and got some bunts down and played the game offensively.”
He was happy to see the team succeed with the use of his style of play.
“The scope of our offensive game is good enough to beat anyone,” Garrido said. “But we’ve got to execute. Anytime we’ve executed at a level of average, we’ve done well.”
Schiraldi, who made use of a “hard two-seam change-up” that baffled Patriot batters, said that tonight was what he had planned on, even though there were a few rough spots.
“They were taking big hacks so we just let them hit it into the ground,” Schiraldi said. “The third and fourth were a little rough but I worked through it and felt good after that. You always want to keep you pitch count down and trying to pitch to contact is a big part of it.”
Schiraldi also said that he and pitching coach Skip Johnson had worked the past few weeks in order for him to be able to perform like he did tonight.
“We’re just working on keeping my front side closed,” he said. “Over the past few weeks it has helped with command and velocity on every single pitch, not just the fastball.”
Texas welcomes Columbia this weekend for a three-game series, with first pitch Friday at 6 p.m.