Jags win on clutch hitting, pitching
UHV has shown signs of the team it could be this season.
The hard part has been trying to figure out which team it actually is.
The Jaguars put their best side on display Wednesday night at Riverside Stadium, claiming a 7-5 win over St. Edward's.
UHV improved to 15-21, but among those wins are victories over four NCAA Division II teams, including the Hilltoppers (23-10), St. Mary's, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Texas A&M-International.
"We've been playing well," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "We don't have a soft spot on our schedule this year, which forces you to really play well. Your pitching staff has to excel. Our pitching and our defense have played better."
The Jaguars got a solid seven innings from starter Orlando Quiroga, who overcame a shaky, four-run first inning, and two shutout innings from Andre Del Bosque, who earned his seventh save.
"Orlando settled down and threw some pretty good innings in between," Puhl said. "It wasn't the best we've seen (Quiroga) this year, but he was adequate. In the first inning, he made two bad pitches, and both of them were hit."
One of them went for a three-run home run by Dylan Watts, but the Jaguars came back to score two runs in their first inning at-bat.
"We kept on fighting," Puhl said. "We came right back in that first inning and put a two spot on them, and that was the difference in the ballgame. I thought we were back in it."
The Jaguars pulled within a run on a two-out base hit by Dylan Blaha in the fourth inning - their first hit in seven chances with runners in scoring position.
Blaha also had a two-out hit to tie the game in the sixth, and UHV took the lead on a two-run throwing error.
"You can tell that we have been catching on and hitting better," Blaha said. "They usually try to stay away, and I finally went the other way with one and get a run in and was able to do it again."
Kyle Bludau gave the Jaguars an insurance run with a single in the seventh inning.
"They finally started falling in," Blaha said. "We finally got a two-out error from them that helped us out a lot that scored two runs. We just haven't been catching many breaks this year, and hopefully, if we win most of the way, we'll be back into it and make the conference tournament."
UHV doesn't play again until April 11, when it travels to Houston to play four games in three days.
"Hopefully, this gets us going into the big games in Houston and then going to Alexandria and go in there and get a few wins," Blaha said. "This game got us back in the season. We hurt ourselves earlier in the season. Hopefully, this game will get us going."
UHV 7, St. Edward's 5
St. Edward's 400 000 100 - 5 5 1
UHV 200 103 10x - 7 11 1
Cam Hatch, Kyle Seithel (5), Vinny Whitenight (7), Grayson Pratt (7) and Gable Whitacre. Orlando Quiroga, Andre Del Bosque (8) and Matt Herrera. W: Quiroga (3-3). L: Seithel (1-1). S: Del Bosque (7). Highlights: (SE) Dylan Watts 1 for 3, 3-run HR; Ryan Dolezal 2 for 3, solo HR. (UHV) Del Bosque 2 IP, 1 H, O R, 3 SO; Dylan Blaha 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBIs; Kyle Bludau 2 for 4, RBI; Ryan Suescun 2 for 5, R, SB; Robert Gleinser 1 for 2, R, RBI. Records: St. Edward's 23-10; UHV 15-21.