The Texas Longhorns defeated the UT-San Antonio Roadrunners, 4-3, in a 10 inning scrimmage on Saturday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The Roadrunners took a 3-1 lead after scoring 2 runs off sophomore transfer Justin Peters in the 6th and plating another run in the 7th against senior Austin Dicharry. The Longhorns would claw back into it over the course of the 9th and 10th innings, culminating in a frantic finale where a bases loaded error scored the winning runs. Based on the two scrimmages that I have witnessed firsthand, and on reports of the third scrimmage, I can say that if you did not like the last two versions of these Texas baseball teams, you will find yourself tearing your hair out over this one.
The batting has a long way to go, even to be on par with last year’s offense, which struggled at times to say the least. The bright spot in the lineup so far has been Brooks Marlow, who makes good contact no matter the count. He started off the Texas rally in the 9th inning by blasting a triple to deep right center on a 2-2 pitch and then scoring on an Erich Weiss single. Mark Payton has also been seeing the ball extremely well, reaching base by way of a hit in all three at bats, including an RBI double in the 3rd inning, which scored Taylor Stell. The top third of the lineup could be special if they keep up the production, however the other six spots were pretty dismal with a 4-26 effort. The lone bright spot in the rest of the line up is the aforementioned Taylor Stell who went 2-3 and scored two of Texas’ four runs.
The following day was even worse for the Longhorns, who could only muster 3 hits against Sam Houston State, leading to a 3-2 victory for the Bearkats. Brooks Marlow again showed a superior batting ethic, going 1-1 with three walks and scoring a run. The rest of the team went 2-30. On a positive note, these guys are scrappy and can manufacture runs. I believe the game will start to slow down for them and each at bat this fall will lead to a stronger team come spring time.
On the flip side, the defense has been terrific. Veterans Lusson and Weiss are holding down the corner positions of the infield, Christian Summers is easing in at shortstop, and Marlow has shown quick feet and good range at second, presumably replacing a talented but oft-troubled Jordan Etier.
As for the outfield, Augie has trotted out a variety of players, including familiar faces such as Cohl Walla, Mark Payton, Jonathan Walsh, and Tim Maitland. Freshmen Taylor Stell and Collin Shaw have both seen time in left and right field, respectively. However, due to quality pitching and frequent changes in defense, neither has seen enough action to be judged as of yet.
Texas wraps up their fall ball mini-season with a game against Texas State this coming Sunday, October 30 at 1pm.