Legendary head coach Augie Garrido has a basic set of expectations for tonight’s game against UTSA.
“Let’s not play like we did the last Tuesday,” Garrido said earlier in the week.
He is referring to the Longhorns’ 8-7 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Feb. 20, the last time they played a Tuesday game. The surprising loss to the Islanders had all the makings of a trap game following an opening-series win over Maryland and just a day before a weeklong trip to Hawaii. Texas was lackadaisical throughout much of the Corpus Christi game and the pitching staff struggled with only two of the eight pitchers turning in quality outings.
Cole Green will try to get the job done himself tonight in what he hopes will be a one-man show.
Green hasn’t had the type of senior season so far that he would have hoped for. After going 11-2 last year and then turning down a $300,000 dollar signing bonus offered by the Detroit Tigers, he has struggled to live up to the lofty expectations he may have set after being selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft. Green is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA this year. In his season debut against Maryland, he lasted four innings, giving up six hits and six earned runs. Green’s second start of the year, against Hawaii, was much better, as he struck out nine batters in 6.2 innings and allowed one earned run. He had a no-decision as the Longhorns lost in 15 innings.
His start Saturday against No. 9 Stanford looked like a step backward as Green went two innings before he got the hook. He has struggled with his command early on in his starts, allowing three runs in the first inning against Maryland and two runs in the second against Stanford.
“When you turn down a professional contract, you build some conscious expectations,” Garrido said of Green. “You have to get those out of there, or else you’re going to lose your rhythm, your timing and then you lose your focus and you start trying to do too much and then it gets worse.”
Because he only threw 41 pitches on Saturday’s game, Garrido has hinted that Green will be available for tonight’s game against the Roadrunners (6-8), who are coming off a 3-1 series loss to New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Green will face a UTSA team with a collective batting average of .313, 55 points higher than Texas’ .258 average. The Roadrunners boast solid power numbers as well, with six home runs already. They’ll send senior D.D. Towler (1-0) to the mound to face the Longhorns.
Tonight’s game at Disch-Falk will serve as a challenge for No. 5 Texas (7-4) to not only play against a strong-hitting team, but fight the internal battle of complacency. Coming off a series win over Stanford and with spring break just a week away, the Longhorns will have to maintain their focus and be on top of their game from the get-go, lest they fall victim to another less-than marquee opponent.
A vintage performance from Cole Green would go a long way in making sure Texas doesn’t lose another Tuesday game.