Jaguars split DH against Texas Wesleyan
Tuesday's GamesThursday's Schedule
Texas Wesleyan 3, UHV 1 (9)
UHV 3, Texas Wesleyan 0
Sterling College at UHV, DH, 5 p.m.
Rex Garner knew he would get a starting assignment with the University of Houston-Victoria playing 11 games over a seven-day span.
"I enjoy starting a lot," Garner said. "I like being the guy out there who is going to win or lose the game."
Garner responded by pitching six shutout innings to lead the Jaguars to a 3-0 win over Texas Wesleyan and a split of a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at Riverside Stadium.
The Rams (16-10) won the first game 3-1 in nine innings and took two of three games from UHV (10-15).
"If you're going to win one, it should be the third one," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "It was a grind. We did not swing the bats well. The pitching was fabulous and the defense was good. This game requires three aspects, and we failed at one of them."
Garner made sure it would not be a lost series for the Jaguars, limiting Texas Wesleyan to three hits before giving way to Pete Ontiveros, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
"You've just to go out there and work and hold them to as less runs as you can," said Garner, who grew up in Victoria before attending high school at Fort Bend Elkins. "We've been struggling to hit, but they turned it around and got me a few runs and it worked out."
Garner was making his fourth start in eight appearances and was able to pick up his first win of the season after suffering some tough breaks in his three previous starts.
"He started off pitching really well and a lot of times he had some misfortune that kind of got him in a funk," Puhl said. "But as all players, you have to work through tough times. He threw a good game today."
Garner had two strikeouts and two walks and did not allow a base runner past second base after the first inning.
"My mechanics are finally consistent and that's really what it's about, staying consistent every pitch," Garner said. "I threw a lot of changeups. Changeups had them fooled today and then I would come back with the fastball and they just weren't ready for it.
"I've got to keep doing what I'm doing," he added. "I've got to keep it up and bring it to the next game."
The Jaguars combined for only 12 hits in the series, and backed Garner with six of them, including RBI doubles by Austin Kent and David Baker.
"As a hitter you want to get a pitch to hit," said senior Jerrod Dugas. "Whether it's the first, second, third, fourth or fifth pitch, you got to get a pitch that you can drive.
"We have guys on this team who are going to work the count deeper and we have guys who are going to go after the first pitch. The important thing is you get a pitch to hit and capitalize when they give it to you."
Dugas had three of UHV's four hits and the only RBI in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader.
Staring pitcher Cory Carter yielded only one run in five-plus innings.
The Jaguars played outstanding defense, including twice foiling squeeze attempts by the Rams before Christian Soberanes' hit a two-run, two-out single with the bases loaded to bring home the decisive runs.
"Every now and then you're going to hit rough spots hitting wise and pitchers are going to have their off days," Dugas said. "The one thing we can always do is play defense well and that's something we've improved on this year."
The Jaguars are hoping to see more production at the plate when they return to Riverside Stadium for a doubleheader against Sterling College of Kansas on Thursday at 5 p.m.
"You have to go back to making them get the ball deeper into the strike zone and in my opinion coming down through the top half of the ball," Puhl said. "In my opinion, we were way out in front or swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. It's difficult enough to hit. When you start increasing the strike zone by a foot, it makes it very difficult."
TW 000 001 002 - 3 9 3
UHV 000 000 100 - 1 4 1
Jacob Lyons, Patrick Stanley (7) and Matt Taylor. Cory Carter, Casey Newman (6) and Tres Tyler, Brandon Bohanon (6). W: Stanley (3-0). L: Newman (0-1). Highlights: (TW) Lyons 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 SO, 1 BB; Taylor Jockers 2 for 4, 2B, R; Hunter Robinson 2 for 4, RBI; Christian Soberanes 1 for 4, 2 RBIs. (UHV) Carter 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 5 SO, 1 BB; Jerrod Dugas 3 for 4, 2B, RBI.
TW 000 000 0 - 0 3 2
UHV 002 001 x - 3 6 1
Bradley Stone, Nolan Barbee (3), Christian Mendoza (6) and Justin Snider. Rex Garner, Pete Ontiveros (7) and Brandon Bohanon. W: Garner (1-3). L: Stone (0-1). S: Ontiveros (2). Highlights: (TW) Taylor Jockers 2 for 3. (UHV) Garner 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 SO, 2 BB; Austin Kent 1 for 2, 2B, R, RBI; David Baker 1 for 3, 2B, RBI; John Longoria 2 for 3; Cory Hulsey 1 for 2, 2B, SB. Records: Texas Wesleyan 16-10; UHV 10-15.