Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Fall World Series: Meet the probable starters on the mound for Texas baseball

Miya Tanner
Freshman catcher Nik Sanders high-fives Senior pitcher Charlie Hurley at game two of the annual Fall World Series held at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Nov. 3, 2023. Hurley acted as a coach for all three of the Orange vs. Stripes scrimmage games held.

Texas baseball wrapped up its fall series on Sunday as the White team took down the Orange team 5-4. With the departure of star pitcher Lucas Gordon, who carried a 2.63 ERA last season and was drafted in the 6th round of the MLB Draft to the Chicago White Sox, the Longhorn pitching room faces a new identity for the upcoming season. 

Lebarron Johnson Jr

LBJ, the right-handed pitcher from Jacksonville, Florida, who scored a 2.91 ERA in 86.2 innings pitched last season, looks to headline the Longhorn rotation in his junior year. Last season, Johnson had 98 strikeouts and an 8-4 record in 13 games started. He has one complete game on his resumé, going 9 full innings against Miami in the second to last game of the regular season. Johnson leaned on his fastball last year, where he reached a speed of 98 MPH. Expect LBJ to lead this rotation come February.

Charlie Hurley

Charlie Hurley, who made only five starts for the Longhorns last season, is expected to play a bigger role for the team this season. The right-handed senior from Sacramento, California transferred from USC last year after making 13 starts in two seasons. In 22 appearances and five starts for the Longhorns, Hurley struck out 45 batters and posted a 4.42 ERA in 55 innings pitched. The righty likes his fastball and has reached a speed of 94 MPH. Hurley looks to be primed for a major role in the starting rotation for Longhorn Baseball. 

Tanner Witt

Tanner Witt, now in his junior season, saw limited action last year, getting six starts but only completing 10.2 innings. He had season-ending surgery in 2022 and returned shaky the following year, clocking a 10.97 ERA striking out just 8 batters. As a freshman, Witt was named a freshman All-American after posing a 3.16 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. Witt enters a prove-it season for his junior year in Austin as he hopes to return to his freshman form.

Will Mercer

Mercer comes to Austin after playing four years at the University of Notre Dame. In South Bend during his senior year, the Houston native made 13 appearances on 3 starts for the Fighting Irish last season. The lefty finished with a 4.18 ERA with 24 strikeouts, pitching 23.2 innings. In his last six appearances, pitching 11 innings, Mercer did not allow a single run. Mercer averages a fastball speed of 93 MPH, but has reached 97 MPH at times. Hoping to continue the heat in a starting role, Mercer looks to make an impact on the starting rotation this upcoming season.

Texas opens its baseball season at home against the University of San Diego on Feb. 16th. 

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