Jaguars earn split with Incarnate Word
By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 28, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.
Nick Huff has put his disc golf career on hold.
The senior pitcher from Groveton is still coming to Riverside Park almost every day, but for other reasons.
He's has been spending most of his at Riverside Stadium using his arm for a different purpose.
Huff pitched into the seventh inning to lead UHV to a 3-2 win over Incarnate Word in the first game of a doubleheader on a cold Thursday night. Incarnate Word rallied to win the second game 12-1 and split the doubleheader.
Huff yielded six hits and had 10 strikeouts, while picking up his first win of the season.
He helped the Jaguars end a four-game losing streak and snapped the Cardinals' eight-game winning streak in the process.
"It does feel good," he said. "I've had some rough losses this year. I've just been fighting hard trying to get my first win. The team's first so I'll take the first win."
Huff walked five but threw 64 of his 108 pitches for strikes. He got into trouble in the fifth inning when Incarnate Word (11-2) scored both of its runs.
But he came back after UHV (4-11) regained the lead to retire the side in order in the sixth.
"The cold really didn't bother me," he said. "I think it just got in my head a little bit and maybe I got to working too fast. I needed to take a deep breath. That helped a lot I came back out there with a lot of confidence and set the side down and it felt great."
Incarnate Word had base runners against Huff in every inning but the sixth. But he limited the Cardinals to one hit in six chances with runners in scoring position.
"He threw the ball amazing tonight," said catcher Brandon Bohanon. "He hit his spots when he needed and made the pitch. He was on tonight."
The Jaguars were able to get the clutch hits to give Huff just enough support.
Andrew Thibodeaux hit a two-run single in the fourth, and Bohanon's RBI single pushed across the decisive run in the fifth.
"That's something we finally broke through with runners on," Bohanon said. "It's something nice to see. It will get us going. It's going to light a fire in us."
UHV coach Terry Puhl allowed Huff to come back out for the seventh but went to the bullpen with one out and two runners aboard.
Orlando Quiroga got the final two outs and picked up his first save of the season.
"Nick hung in there and gave us almost seven strong innings and we gave him a little bit of help there at the end with Orlando," Puhl said. "You know we got some key hits and that's what it's come down to. The second ballgame we just matched up against a pretty tough pitcher. I think we were a little bit overmatched."
Incarnate Word starter Geno Encina yielded only five hits over seven innings in the second game.
The Cardinals took control by scoring four runs on five hits off of UHV starter Cory Carter in the fourth inning.
"This was one of the better Division II teams out there," Puhl said. "To play alongside them is good. In the second game, Cory had a pretty good game going and then with the balks and everything it kind of got out of hand."
NOTES• UHV outfielder Deric Hawkins has been dismissed from the team for violations of team rules.
UHV 3-1, UIW 2-12
UIW 000 020 0 - 2 6 1
UHV 000 210 x - 3 4 0
Dylan Boss, Joe Mills (6) and Zac Russell. Nick Huff, Orlando Quiroga (7) and Brandon Bohannon. W: Huff (1-3). L: Boss (2-1). S: Quiroga (1). Highlights: (UIW) Adam Pena 2 for 3, RBI, Ryan Pudwell 1 for 3, 2B, SB; Thomas Rinn 1 for 2, R. (UHV) Huff 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 10 K; Quiroga 0.2 IP, O H; Andrew Thibodeaux 1 for 3, 2 RBIs; Bohanon 1 for 3, RBI; Ryan Suescun 1 for 3, R, SB; Chad Kruse 1 for 2.
UIW 000 401 34 - 12 14 3
UHV 000 001 00 - 1 6 2
Geno Encina, Nick Gonzalez (8) and Jonathan Armijo. Cory Carter, Clayton Fowler (6), Chance Marshall (7), Jose Muniz (7), Nick Montalbano (8), Colton Cowart (8) and Matt Herrera. W: Encina (3-0). L: Carter (0-3). Highlights: (UIW) Jordan Littlefield 3 for 4, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Ryan Pudwell 2 for 5, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBIs; Lucas Miller 2 for 4, 2 R; Armijo 2 for 3, 2B, R; Aaron Warren 2 for 4, 2 RBIs. (UHV) Josh Boothe 2 for 3. Records: UIW 11-2; UHV 4-11.