Texas Coach Being Cautious In First-Round Game

FAYETTEVILLE -- Texas coach Augie Garrido said he's learned not to take anything for granted.

And he's definitely not guaranteeing his top-seeded Lornghorns are going to win its first game in the Austin Regional this week at Disch-Falk Field.

Texas opens the NCAA Tournament against Quinnipiac -- say, what? -- at 6 p.m. Friday.

Second-seeded Arkansas and No. 3 seed Miami of Ohio play at noon.

Quinnipiac (26-22) should be a pushover. Right?

Well, that's not the way Garrido sees it. Nosiree.

"Oh no," Garrido said. "I'm not looking past the first game. Made that mistake before. I don't know much about that team, but I've learned not to overlook anyone.

"I learned my lesson."

Garrido, who coached Cal-State Fullerton to the NCAA title in 1979 -- it beat Arkansas 2-1 in the title game -- and won another national championship with Texas in 2002, said he'd be a fool to look ahead.

"Nope, learned my lesson long ago about that," Garrido said. "That's not going to happen again.

"I promise."

Garrido, who was at Cal-State Fullerton from 1975-96 and has a gaudy 1,486-701-8 in his college coaching career, said he knows why it happened the first time.

"The only other time I almost knew nothing about the opposition was a few years back," Garrido said. "That was when we were a No. 1 seed nationally and we played Southern (La.) University. I really didn't think they were that good.

"I was wrong, we got beat 2-0.

"That just shows you, once you get into the NCAA Tournament, anything can happened. You have to be good to get into the NCAA Tournament.

"That's just been my experience."

Texas, which won the national title under Garrido in 2002, ironically lost to Cal-State Fullerton in the College World Series last year in Omaha, Neb.

Garrido said he felt like the Longhorns (45-14) probably deserved a national seed this season, but wasn't bellyaching about not having one.

"Yeah, you could say I'm kind of disappointed," Garrido said. "I think our record is good enough. Bottom line you've got to get it done on the field when it counts."

Texas, ranked No. 6 by Baseball America, lost in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., last week.

Should the Longhorns and Razorbacks win Friday, they'll face each other in another heated rivalry of two former Southwest Conference foes.

"Oh no, I'm not looking ahead," Garrido said. "Believe you me."

Texas beat Arkansas 13-2 in their last meeting on June 18 in Rosenblatt Stadium at the CWS.

"I do think Arkansas has one of the most brilliant young coaches in America (Dave Van Horn)," Garrido said. "I have the highest respect for him and what he's done. I remember going against him when he was at Nebraska, too."

First comes Quinnipiac -- by the way, it's located in Hamden, Conn. -- and Garrido isn't coming into that game with his eyes wide shut.

"Nope," Garrido said. "Not going to do that again."

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