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

Head baseball coach David Pierce analyzes pitchers ahead of 2024 season

Lorianne Willett
Pitcher Charlie Hurley during Texas’ Alumni game on February 2.

After naming himself pitching coach in the offseason, baseball Head Coach David Pierce played seven different pitchers at the Alumni Game. Pierce made the move to pitching coach to allow for a more dynamic offense and to take the stress of analytics off himself. 

“It adds another dimension to our offensive style where I can use (Steve Rodriguez) in the short game, … so it adds another offensive coach,” Pierce said. “When you have a guy like Chris Gordon who is really good at the analytics … (he) can go in and kind of set the stage and have all the prep done and then I can coach.” 

Pierce made his debut in his additional role at the Alumni Game when the current Longhorns defeated the alumni 7-4. 

To allow more playing time for others, Texas players pitched for both the current and former Longhorns. With the season opening against San Diego less than two weeks away, Pierce wants to hammer in his pitching lineup.

Senior right-hander Charlie Hurley got the start on the mound for Texas while redshirt sophomore Cody Howard started for the alumni. Hurley pitched four innings and fought off a shaky start, giving up three runs in the first. 

“He wasn’t good early, and he admitted that he just had a little jitters, and I think he tightened up a little bit,” Pierce said. “I was real pleased that he started so poorly and then started making pitches, that was big for him. He’s been outstanding.” 

Hurley faced the added challenge of the alumni batters, who were all selected in the MLB draft after their time at Texas, giving up five hits and all four runs. In the first inning, he gave up hits to Kody Clemens, Dylan Campbell and Mike Antico. A walk and an error contributed to the three runs. 

In the top of the fourth, Murphy Stehly added a solo home run for the alumni’s final run. The fourth inning ended Hurley’s time on the mound for the day and left Pierce satisfied with his performance.

Starting strong for the Texas alumni, Howard gave up only one hit and one run. Howard pitched for three innings, with Pierce welcoming in a host of relievers after. 

Redshirt junior right-hander Andre Duplantier II pitched just over two innings for the alumni and gave up three runs on one hit. Senior right-hander Heston Tole finished the inning for the alumni and gave up two runs on four hits. 

“You got two starters going against each other and kind of mapped it out the way we did,” Pierce said. “(Duplantier) was only scheduled to go for two innings; his first two were so short that we sent him out (for) another one. Tole was scheduled to go two and he got popped a little bit. We wanted to get David Shaw two so he went on both sides. On the other side, the one inning guys were outstanding.”

For the current Texas team, redshirt sophomore Grant Fontenot and redshirt sophomore right-hander Gage Boehm followed Hurley and neither gave up a hit or run. 

Junior left-hander David Shaw finished the game for both teams and only gave up one run when he was pitching for the alumni, a home run to junior outfielder Casey Cummings. 

“I like (Shaw) and his ability to go long innings or back to back short as a closer,” Pierce said. “He’s reliable. He’s different. He’s not going to wow you with big (velocity) but creates a lot of deception and pounds the zone.”

Texas will officially take the field for the first time on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in its first home series against San Diego.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.