Pitcher to make season debut after year-long hiatus

Jon Parrett

Tuesday can be a slow day for Texas at Disch-Falk Field. The competition isn’t as tough as the weekend series’ and the crowds aren’t as big, which can put the Longhorns in a fog. Players have admitted that they’ve had trouble this season with their excitement level on Tuesdays, and coaches realize it can be a problem.

It won’t be a problem for Austin Dicharry.

Dicharry will start tonight against Texas-Pan American, making his season debut and first appearance for No. 7 Texas since last April, when he suffered a bone bruise in his elbow.

“It’s been a long journey,” Dicharry said. “It means a whole bunch to me to get back up on the mound and get back out there and compete again.”

Dicharry hasn’t pitched for Texas since he threw four scoreless innings against Texas A&M-Corpus Chisti on April 7, 2010. The bruise on his elbow only hurt for about a month, but it took the junior a while to build up his arm strength to playing level again.

“I hurt it in early April and sat out for a month, but since then my arm’s been fine,” he said.

Dicharry said it took him longer to get his arm angle back on his pitches. He’s been working with Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson during practice and throwing to hitters in simulated starts to get accustomed to a starting role again. He was 0-3 with a 3.62 ERA in seven appearances last season, five of which were starts.

“As a starter, you don’t want to go out there and start walking the yard,” Dicharry said. “So my biggest concern for me is to go out there and start throwing strikes down in the strike zone and have command on my pitches.”

Dicharry fills the void left by Sam Stafford, Texas’ usual Tuesday starter. Stafford started Sunday for Texas, complimenting the move of left-hander Hoby Milner to the bullpen. Texas head coach Augie Garrido said he’s satisfied with the new rotation.

“I have more confidence in it than I do in any other combination,” Garrido said.

Dicharry said he will most likely be on a pitch count tonight, so the Texas bullpen will have another chance to showcase its arms. It’s been a year since Dicharry was on the mound last, but he still knows what it takes to pitch a solid game.

“You can’t be afraid of the hitters and you can’t give them too much,” Dicharry said. “Every college team can hit, so I just got to go out there and challenge UT-Pan Am and put them on defense rather than on offense.”