Texas gets off to quick start, continues to stay hot on way to 16-0 win

Trey Scott

Their weekend wasn’t perfect, but the No. 6 Longhorns (3-1) saved their best for last in a 16-0 defeat over Maryland (1-3), in the final game of the season-opening series Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Texas jumped out on the Terrapins’ Brady Kirkpatrick in the first inning, scoring six quick runs and setting the pace for the rest of the day. After a sequence of bunt singles, walks and a few Maryland errors that brought the score to 3-0, sophomore Cohl Walla came to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to deliver an early kill shot. Walla drilled a fastball down the left field line for a double, clearing the bases and giving the Longhorns a 6-0 advantage.

“My approach at the plate in that situation is not to get too big,” Walla said. “Guys try to do too much when the bases are loaded, so I try to keep the same approach. It felt good to get that hit.”

The scoring didn’t stop there. The Longhorns kept piling on; adding runs in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
“It was a very dominating game,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “The hitters are more relaxed when they’re ahead like that. It just makes the game a lot easier to play.”

Despite the 16 runs scored, Texas only managed to have five players with a hit.

Walla’s five RBIs matched his career high, senior Tant Shepherd went two-for-four at the plate with an RBI, and senior Paul Montalbano was three-for-four with an RBI as well.

Then there were the two freshmen, third baseman Erich Weiss and right fielder Mark Payton.

Payton raised his batting average to .400 with three hits and two RBIs, and Weiss continued his hot-streak with two hits and three RBIs.

So far on the young season, Weiss boasts a .818 batting average with 11 hits and seven RBIs, and he has also drawn five walks.
“It feels great. Of course it feels great,” Weiss said. “It’s very exciting, and I’m glad I’ve gotten to help the team.”

The offense did its job, putting runs on the board at an incredible rate, while sophomore pitcher Hoby Milner did his part to make sure the Terrapins didn’t even score.

The lefty threw fire, striking out 10 batters and only giving up two hits to get his first win of the year in seven innings of work.
“Hoby’s performance was the kind of performance you’re always looking to get,” Garrido said. “He threw strikes, got his breaking ball over and used his fielders effectively. He maintained the momentum we took from the offensive side.”

The Longhorns came into the fourth and final game of the series against Maryland hungry for a win. After winning on Friday and then splitting Saturday’s doubleheader, a loss would have given them a 2-2 tie for the series, a rather disappointing start for a team with such high expectations, especially against an unranked team.

Instead, their 16-0 win gives them the series, along with a boost of confidence and morale.

“Winning this time of year is very important because of the confidence factor,” Garrido said. “We had a tough day yesterday. To come out and play your best game on a Sunday is a good sign of the players’ commitment.”