"You have to out-defense the other team and we let something go," said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. "Defense is the easiest to fix and we practice it least."
Garrido explained that with limited time in practice, you sometimes have to prioritize and, until now, his focus has been primarily on offense. This Thursday Texas will have one of its first real practices in a while due to the frequency of scheduled games.
After winning only the last of their 3 match-ups in Houston this weekend against Tennessee, Rice, and the University of Houston, respectively, the Longhorns racked up 13 RBI and 14 hits against TAMU-CC in eight innings.
Starting things off on the mound for Texas was Riley Boening. Boening missed out on the 2007 season due to surgery and finally debuted his new shoulder during two innings of relief against VCU last Sunday. In four innings against the Islanders Tuesday, the junior lefty gave up three hits, three runs and caught TAMU-CC's Adrian Salinas and Martin Parra looking.
A second-inning double to left field by Tant Sheperd sent right-fielder Kyle Russell home to kick things off for the Longhorns. A later single to third base by Travis Tucker let Sheperd head home and put Texas up 2-0 at the beginning of the third inning.
The Islanders used the top of the third to put three of their own on the board and take the lead 3-2. Unfortunately, their lead was short-lived. Two RBI each by Jordan Danks, one of which was a shot over the fence, and Sheperd put Texas back on top 6-3.
In case going in to the sixth inning with an 8-3 lead wasn't enough, Texas pitcher Casey Whitmer shortened the top and only threw to three batters to let the Horns' bats quickly get back to action. New Islander pitcher Jesse Maldonado gave up a double, walked two batters and gave up a two bases due to wild pitches before being pulled after only three batters. His replacement, right-hander Cory Blair, walked Travis Tucker and Michael Torres allowing them to bump in two runs. Catcher Cameron Rupp cranked a shot to right center for three RBI and a double by Brandon Belt sent another one to the plate for a total of six runs in the sixth inning.
Two more runs for Texas in the bottom of the seventh and a final four-run push by TAMU-CC gave Texas their nine-run win.
Many errors made were chalked up to simple things like the sun or players taking their eyes off of the balls.
"Mistakes made today didn't belong," Garrido said, "I suspect we'll play defense at a very high level before it's all over."
Texas plays Texas A&M – Corpus Christi again Wednesday at 3:15 p.m.