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Jaguars give Puhl win over former teammate

By MIKE FORMAN
March 29, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated March 28, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.

UHV coach Terry Puhl greets Incarnate Word coach Danny Heep before Tuesday's game. Puhl and Heep were teammates on the Houston Astros.

Tuesday's ScoreNext Game

UHV 8, Incarnate Word 3

UT-Brownsville at UHV, DH, 4 p.m. Saturday

Terry Puhl has fond memories of playing the outfield with former Houston Astros teammate Danny Heep.

"Danny's a free-spirit guy," Puhl said. "He's just off the wall. He's funny and what a beautiful swing he had. He could throw a ball. He pitched at St. Mary's. We used to throw long a lot in the outfield and Danny had an arm that would just carry the ball.

"Not quite a fleet of foot and that was really his downfall. He had a good major league career, but he could have been a five-tool player if he could have run."

Heep went into coaching after playing for 13 seasons with the Astros, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves.

Puhl called Heep, who is in his 14th season at the University of Incarnate Word, for advice before he became the head coach at the University of Houston-Victoria in 2008.

"On this level you've got to back up and understand the mistakes," Heep said. "You're dealing with kids and it's more of a patience type of thing more than anything.

"The big league level you might make two mistakes in a week and here you might make two mistakes in five minutes. Try to get kids who listen and you can teach and are motivated."

The former teammates got to test their philosophies against each other on Tuesday at Riverside Stadium, and Puhl's Jaguars captured an 8-3 win over the Cardinals (18-10), who are ranked No. 25 in NCAA Division II.

"I asked him about recruiting and I asked him about players and how they act," Puhl said. "Danny's always been a good friend and we played today in a very, gentlemanly sportsmanlike fashion and we just kicked their tail."

The Jaguars (19-16) won for the 10th time in 11 games. They backed a solid pitching performance from Rex Garner and Danny Lopez with 14 hits and scored six of their runs with two outs.

"Rex settled in and gave us some good innings," Puhl said. "Danny threw strikes and we made them swing the bats instead of giving them free passes and then bang. Defensively, we've been playing better, and offensively we had some key hits and big two-out hits."

Cory Hulsey had three hits, and David Baker, Tyler Steiner and Ryan Gilbert each had two.

Baker had a double and three RBIs, Steiner hit a solo home run, and Gilbert hit a double, stole a base, and scored two runs. Memorial graduate Jeremy Urbano hit a RBI triple in his only plate appearance.

"Terry knows what he's doing," Heep said. "He knows the game. I wasn't surprised. I was expecting them to have a good club when we showed up."

The Jaguars and Incarnate Word will play again April 19 in San Antonio.

UIW 020 000 010 - 3 12 2

UHV 004 012 10x - 8 14 1

Matt Hickman, Justin Kanas (4), Zach Anderson (6), Colin Carmody (7), Elroy Urbina (8) and Josiah Rodriguez. Rex Garner, Danny Lopez (6) and Brandon Bohanon. W: Garner (2-3). L: Hickman (0-2). S: Lopez (1). Highlights: (UIW) Rodriguez 3 for 4; Derrick Walls 2 for 4, RBI. (UHV) Garner 5 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 4 SO; Corey Hulsey 3 for 5, R, RBI, SB; John Longoria 2 for 3, 2 R; Tyler Steiner 2 for 4, solo HR, 2 R, 2 RBIs; David Baker 2 for 4, 2B, 3 RBIs, Ryan Gilbert 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R, SB; Jeremy Urbano 1 for 1, 3B, RBI. Records: Incarnate Word 18-10; UHV 19-16.

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