Hollingsworth comfortable on the mound for the Longhorns, expected to start Tuesday against Houston

Sara Beth Purdy

Tuesdays belong to Chad Hollingsworth, one of the most consistent Longhorn pitchers this season. 

The Waco native will start his fourth game for Texas (12-7, 1-2), a road contest against the University of Houston on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Coming into this year, Hollingsworth’s arrival was one of the most anticipated on a relatively green Texas pitching staff. While a senior at Robinson High school, the 6-foot-2-inch right-hander accumulated 139 strikeouts and finished with a 0.50 ERA.

His first start as a Longhorn came against the University of Texas at Arlington last month. Hollingsworth went five innings in his collegiate debut and captured the win for the Longhorns while surrendering only one run on four hits.

“The pitching is the most outstanding thing of the game so far,” Texas head coach Augie Garrido told the Longhorn Network during a televised interview in the middle of Hollingworth’s first start.

So far this season, Hollingsworth has compiled a 3-0 record on the mound, the only Texas starting pitcher without a loss. In 17 innings of work Hollingsworth has built up a 2.65 ERA allowing seven runs off of 14 hits. He has held opposing batters to an average of .233 and has nine strikeouts on the season.

Despite being the youngest on the mound in the Texas starting corps, Hollingsworth has insisted that he does not succumb to nerves and can rely on his defense to help him out.

“I’ve always been a pretty level-headed guy, so I don’t really get nervous,” Hollingsworth said. “Our defense is going to come out there and work every day. I got in some jams but our defense picked it up and got me out of them.”

The Longhorns lost two of three games against Texas Tech in their first series in Big 12 play. The Longhorns’ hitting struggled throughout the weekend in what turned out to be a competition between the two talented pitching staffs.

Junior Mark Payton currently leads the Texas offense with a .409 batting average. The right fielder has scored nine runs on 27 hits and has a team-high 15 RBIs. Junior Erich Weiss has also been solid for the Longhorns with a .348 batting average, 11 runs and 12 RBIs.

Weiss, Payton and freshman C.J Hinojosa — the 3-4-5 hitters in the Longhorns’ lineup — have consistently provided most of the Longhorns’ power at the plate, although freshman Ben Johnson has maintained a .348 batting average and his resume includes two home runs since he entered the line-up two weeks ago.

The Longhorns will face Houston on Tuesday night. The Cougars are 16-4 on the season and are riding a five-game win streak which includes two wins against Baylor.