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Jaguarsbaseball falls at home to Hilltoppers

By MIKE FORMAN
March 21, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated March 21, 2012 at 10:22 p.m.

John Longoria catches the ball at first base as a St. Edwards player slides onto the plate after trying to steal a base. AMANDA STEEN/ASTEEN@VICAD.COM

Andrew Thibodeaux's freshman season at the University of Houston-Victoria has been a struggle.

Thibodeaux came into Wednesday night's game at Riverside Stadium with only three hits and having struck out 24 times in 39 at-bats.

"I've been working with coach a lot trying to get my swing down the way he needs it for me to manufacture hits and runs in a game," Thibodeaux said. "It's trying to find a zone either inside or outside and then relaxing a lot more instead of putting a lot of stress on myself."

The Cuero graduate took a step in the right direction with a three-run home run to account for all the Jaguars' runs in a 6-3 loss to St. Edward's.

"It's a huge adjustment," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "He's gone from high school baseball to playing against guys who are four years older.

"It is difficult. A freshman is not going to come in here and light things up. It's just not going to happen. If they do, they probably shouldn't be here."

Thibodeaux struck out in his other two at-bats, but his final strikeout came against St. Edward's closer Stephen Johnson, who is considered a draft prospect by Baseball America and struck out five in two innings.

"Every game is something different," Thibodeaux said. "You just try find it within yourself and sometimes little things like that will help, but you never really know."

The Jaguars (7-14) had six hits and only one against St. Edward's starter Brad Nasis through six innings, as the Hilltoppers (16-6) built a 6-0 lead.

"I was very disappointed in the way we started out the ballgame," Puhl said. "Just from the hitting standpoint we didn't get any quality at-bats and we never hit the ball hard.

"We can't afford to do that. We've got to come and grind it out every inning against these good teams because they can beat you in one or two innings."

Thibodeaux hit a 3-2 fastball off of reliever Bobby Scott over the scoreboard in left field in the bottom of the seventh to bring home John Longoria, who had walked, and Corti Wilson, who had singled.

"He's had better swings in the last couple of games," Puhl said. "Those things get a little bit of confidence going."

St. Edward's 6, UHV 3

St. Edward's 201 110 100 - 6 10 2

UHV 000 000 300 - 3 6 2

Brad Nasis, Bobby Scott (7), Ross Speed (7), Paul Smith (8), Stephen Johnson (8) and Kyle Harris. Clayton Fowler, Corbin Mitchell (3) , Nathan Falkenstine (5), Brayden Blanton (7), Orlando Quiroga (9) and Brandon Bohanon, Mark Macias (6). W: Nasis (3-1). L: Fowler (0-2). S: Johnson (6). HR: (SE) Adam Shank (solo); (UHV) Andrew Thibodeaux (3-run). 2B: (SE) Shank, Marshall Burford. Highlights: (SE) Shank 2 for 5, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Wes Koenig 1 for 3, RBI; A.J. Hermanson 2 for 3, 2 SB; Beau Rogers 1 for 4, R, RBI, 2 SB. (UHV) Creighton Hoke 2 for 4; Josh Ledesma 1 for 2; Thibodeaux 1 for 3, HR, 3 RBIs. Records: St. Edward's 16-6; UHV 7-14.

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