Pitching staff settles down after rough start; UT secures win with late inning comeback

Jon Parrett

Texas used a two-run eighth inning to complete a comeback and beat UT-Pan American 4-2 on Tuesday. Mark Payton hit a ground-rule double that scored Paul Montalbano, right before it hopped over the right field wall.

“Our pitchers settled down after a rough start and took control of the game,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “The defense played well behind them and we manufactured the runs at the right time.”

Austin Dicharry started for Texas but only lasted one inning after surrendering two runs. It was Dicharry’s first appearance since last April, and the junior walked two and gave up four hits.

“I came out there a little amped up. I think I was trying to overdo it a bit with that curveball,” Dicharry said. “Unfortunately, I was up in the strike zone today and didn’t do the best I could.”

Brandon Loy cut into the Broncs’ lead in the third inning with a two-out double that scored Montalbano. Payton had a chance to bring Loy home the next at-bat but grounded out to shortstop and couldn’t beat the throw to first base. Texas was plagued by another slow start offensively, and had only three hits through five innings.

“We know at some point we’re going to find our rhythm and score runs,” Payton said. “We’re not hoping it’s going to come or thinking it’s going to come. We know it’s going to come.”

Josh Urban pitched four innings out of the bullpen for Texas in a no-decision. The sophomore struck out six while giving up only one hit and one walk but said it wasn’t his best work.

“I missed a couple spots with the slider and I didn’t feel like I had my legs with me, he said. “They felt a little heavier than normal. I’m a quick-tempo guy, so I was rushing a little bit and that mixed in with it also.”

Payton tied the game in the sixth inning on a double down the left field line by Erich Weiss, and finished the game 3-4 with two runs and an RBI.

The Longhorns took the lead for good in the eighth with Payton’s ground-rule double that fell a few feet short of a home run. Payton is still waiting for the first home run of his career.

“Me and [UT first base coach] Travis Tucker joke with each other that it’s getting closer and closer each time,” Payton said. “We have a joke with the whole team, that the field’s too big for us little guys.”

Cohl Walla pinch-hit for Texas three batters later and hit an RBI single to left field that scored Erich Weiss. Walla has been nursing a left leg contusion for several weeks, and it was his first action since March 29. Dex Kjerstad pinch-ran for Walla, who isn’t quite ready to run yet.

“Everything felt fine in pregame hitting, except when I went into the outfield to run,” Walla said. “I can’t run at all right now.”

Kendal Carrillo pitched a perfect eighth inning to set up the save for Corey Knebel. It was Knebel’s 12th save of the year, the best in the Big 12.