It’s hard to be successful when your best player has an off game, and that was never more evident than in this weekend’s series against Kansas.
Erich Weiss, the team’s best hitter with a .342 average, struggled at the plate Friday evening going 0-for-4 against a weak Kansas team, which came into the game with a 15-24 record and only three wins in Big 12 play.
Weiss looked lost with the bat in his hands. He was guessing, hoping to get a pitch he could hit instead of waiting to see the ball through the hitting zone and being selective at what he swung at. When that didn’t work early on in the game, he started to press, and when he does that Weiss really gets in trouble — as he did early in the year where he was hitting under .200 for the first couple of weeks trying to carry the team all on his own.
“The first at-bat and the second at-bat I felt like I was really on the ball, but it just didn’t go my way,” Weiss said of the Friday game. “Later on in the game I was trying too hard and was guessing a little bit, and you just can’t do that. You just can’t try in baseball. You just need to see the ball and react to it.”
Weiss’ bad day went hand in hand with the rest of the lineup, as the Longhorns only mustered three hits in a 7-2 loss.
However, in Saturday’s contest, Weiss’ fortunes changed at the plate, and with that so did the teams in the win-loss column.
Weiss was seeing the ball well and waiting for his pitch, and it paid off. He went 3-for-4 at the plate and had two big RBI singles in the Longhorns’ 3-0 win. Weiss was seeing the ball better in the game and waiting for his pitch, but he really credits getting off to a quick start, with an RBI single in the first, for his turnaround with the bat.
“It was definitely a feeling of relief over me when I got that single in the first,” Weiss said.
Once again, the rest of the lineup followed suit with their three-hole hitter’s performance, as the team pounded out 11 hits after struggling mightily the night before.
On Sunday afternoon, it was much the same for Texas as Weiss’ performance at the plate paced the Longhorns’ offensive performance.
The whole lineup started slow against the Jayhawks, and their pitcher even had a no-hitter through four innings. But in the fifth the Longhorns started to get runners on base, and with the team down 2-0, Weiss stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, delivering a deep line drive into right field that went for a two-run double.
That hit spurred a Longhorn rally and the team went on to score two more runs in the inning, which was good enough to secure a 7-2 victory for Texas.
It seems that for the Longhorns (23-14, 12-4 Big 12), as Weiss goes, they go, and they will look for him to lead the team once again when they take on Central Arkansas (16-20, 10-11) tonight.
Printed on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 as:Weiss shakes off rough start at plate