Texas Catcher Powers Pitches In Lopsided Win

AUSTIN, Texas — Don't mess with Texas!



That does sound like a cliché but its true — at least when Texas has it's back against the wall, playing its own ballpark, and playing for a possible championship.

Want proof?

Look what happened here Sunday night in the NCAA Austin Regional in front of 4,881 fans at Disch-Falk Field.

Texas 19, Arkansas 8.

Don't mess with Texas!

And the one Texas guy you really didn't want to mess with was catcher Taylor Teagarden.

Teagarden, a 6-foot-1, 201-pound junior, went 4-for-6 with 2 runs batted in, including three doubles and his fifth home run.

Teagarden, who missed the Big 12 Tournament with sore ribs, looked anything but hurt Sunday.

Teagarden, who spent a few minutes getting treatment after the game, said he was feeling no pain.

"I have felt pretty good behind the plate and from at-bat to at-bat have felt more and more comfortable," Teagarden said. "I have actually felt well enough hitting to turn on the ball a little bit."

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn noticed the junior has had a great tournament for someone coming off a rib injury.

"I saw him Friday ... he got a couple of hits. Now he's hitting home runs, doubles. He's finishing up a great career. In a couple of days, he'll be a top draft pick," Van Horn said. "(He's a) tremendous catcher. I recruited him. Wish I would had got him. Then he'd be playing at Nebraska and I wouldn't have to play against him."

Texas sophomore pitcher Randy Boone, who worked 6 1/3 innings for the win, said Teagarden was just as valuable behind the plate.

"It's good to have someone back there that you know has been there before," Boone said. "It's good to know he's had some regional experience, postseason experience. If he's not the best catcher in the country. He's definitely right up there."

Texas came out of the loser's bracket win a 12-5 win against Miami of Ohio earlier Sunday.

In that game, Teagarden went 1-for-4 with 3 RBIs, all coming on a homer in the ninth.

That set the stage for a rematch with Arkansas, which beat Texas 9-2 on Saturday night to keep the Razorbacks in the winner's bracket.

The two meet again at 1 p.m. today to decide the regional championship.

"I think the whole season is on the line here and our team responded real well," said Texas coach Augie Garrido. "Tomorrow will be a separate identity all together. It'll be exciting to see how things unfold."

It should be extremely interesting given the fact Teagarden is literally back in the swing of things.

"Taylor Teagarden is testimony to the fact that batting practice is overrated," Garrido said. "He hasn't been able to swing a bat in batting practice in over a month.

"So, we might be just cancel it from now on."

Teagarden did the most damage against Arkansas. He homered to increase the Texas lead to 8-1 in the third. He put an explanation point on his night with a double off the top of the left field wall in the ninth.

"I just have a very relaxed approach at the plate right now," Teagarden said. "Batting in the seventh hole like I am now, there's is not a lot of pressure to hit for power.

"I'm just staying relaxed and getting good pitches to hit."

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