March 15, 2009

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

AUSTIN, Texas - The No. 1 Texas Longhorns earned a split of their Big 12 Conference doubleheader against the Missouri Tigers with a 5-0 win in Saturday's second game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Brandon Workman (3-1) earned the win by scattering two hits and two walks while fanning seven over 7.0 innings. Austin Wood closed out the shutout with two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out one.

The Horns broke the scoring seal early with Travis Tucker leading off the first inning with a double down the leftfield line. Michael Torres sacrificed him to third with a bunt and Brandon Belt drove him in with a groundout to second base.

Texas (13-2, 1-1 Big 12) tacked on another run in the fourth. Torres was hit by a pitch to start the rally, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Belt and scored on a single back up the middle by Russell Moldenhauer.

Torres sparked another rally in the fourth. He led off with a single up the middle and Belt plated him with a double off the wall in left centerfield. Shepherd sacrificed Belt to third and Preston Clark drove him in with a single to leftfield, inflating the cushion to 4-0.

Texas scored its final run in the eighth inning. Connor Rowe hit a leadoff single down the leftfield line and Clark was hit by a pitch. Rowe stole third to put runners on the corners and scored on a single by Kyle Lusson.

Belt led the Horns attack with two RBI and Torres logged two runs.

Missouri (8-9, 1-1 Big 12) mustered just three hits.

The Horns and Tigers wrap up the series with a 1 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Sunday.


TEXAS QUOTES

Head coach Augie Garrido

On losing the opener of the double header: I think that their pitcher was absolutely brilliant. He had a 94-mile an hour fastball that he was locating. He threw three pitches for strikes, and he threw them in any count. When you can do that, you're pretty good. You take his pitching and the way they played defense - they're shortstop's really good, the second baseman made a couple great plays - they got themselves a shutout.

On rebounding with a victory in game two: Game two was better. Brandon [Workman] gave us the kind of game we needed from the mound, although Chance [Ruffin] pitched well in his game, it's just that they got four hits in the same inning. Workman did a real good job and Austin [Wood] shut them down, and we played well defensively.

On the difficulty of facing Missouri pitcher Kyle Gibson: We had five opportunities with two outs to drive in runs. We had five guys on second base the entire game. We did not have a leadoff hitter on. In the second game, the difference was we had the leadoff hitter on five of the eight innings and scored four times. When you do get the leadoff hitter on and you execute and make productive outs, you can get some runs across.

On the difference second baseman Travis Tucker makes in the lineup: He's one of those guys that makes you go. Every team wants a leadoff guy like Tucker and a leader like Tucker because anything can happen at any time. His teammates really respect the way he plays the game and respect him. This game does have a lot of "follow-the-leader" in it and he provides that leadership. It's great to have him in the lineup.

On another strong outing from pitcher Brandon Workman: It's what you hope for. This is a game of bitter disappointments and unfortunate surprises. But he has done well. Our pitching staff is driving the bus. It's what pitchers are supposed to be doing. Chance did his part and pitched a brilliant game.


First baseman Brandon Belt

On the low-scoring first game: It might put a little pressure on us, but it also puts us at ease knowing what our pitching staff is doing right now. We know that Ruffin is going to keep us in the game, so if they get a couple runs, who cares, we have to score anyway.

On rebounding in the second with a 5-0 victory: The second game, we knew we had to go out there and win. We definitely don't want to lose two on our home turf. They put a little pressure on us after the first game and luckily we got it done.


Catcher Preston Clark

On coming back for a win in the second game: First off, you have to tip your hat off to that guy [Kyle Gibson]. A guy that throws a downward angle like that with several pitches, it's tough to hit no matter how good of a hitter you are. It's one of those things. He was on his game today and he didn't miss a lot of opportunities. When he did leave us opportunities we didn't capitalize on them. That's how the game went. No matter who we're throwing, we still have to capitalize on what we know how to do. So that's what we did today on the second part and I felt good about it.

On not having many homeruns yet this season: I don't think it has anything to do with the weather. I think our power is going to come. It's like anything else. You hit singles, you hit a couple of them and you can score guys from them no matter where. We have a lot of speed on the team. If we get those guys on, we can move them around. Home runs are going to come. I can tell you from experience that if I'm going to swing for it, I'm not going to hit it.  We're good about driving the ball to the gap. It's just one of those days today where it's not going to happen very often. But when it does, if the ball is going to carry, I'm just going to go for it.


Pitcher Brandon Workman

On his performance today: I came out throwing well. I had good velocity. I was locating well. My location stayed pretty good the whole game. I walked two guys. But I got it right back and had really good control of my pitches today, and that let me keep guys off balance and stay ahead in the count.

On the pitching performance today from both teams: As a pitcher in the second game, you're going to go out there and try and do your job: try not to give up hits and runs. It was nice to see the pitchers were having success today but it didn't change my mindset at all.

On his expectations before pitching a game: I definitely don't go out there expecting to get hit. I go out there and expect to make my pitches. I believe that if I make good pitches throughout the game that I'll have good results.