Pitching falters for UHV in doubleheader loss to Doane
Doane College 7-13, UHV 1-9
Doane College vs. UHV, 11 a.m., Riverside Stadium
Pitching wasn't on Dylan Blaha's mind when he arrived at Riverside Stadium.
Blaha hadn't pitched since his senior year in high school at Weimar and has played exclusively at shortstop during his two seasons at UHV.
But after the Jaguars (1-2) went through eight different pitchers, Blaha found himself on the mound for the final two innings of Sunday's doubleheader loss to Doane College.
The Tigers (2-1) won the first game 7-1 and claimed a 13-9 decision in the second game.
"No, not at all," Blaha responded when asked if he thought he would be pitching this season. "It just so happened we ran low on pitching, and we needed to save some arms for a nine-inning game tomorrow. I told coach (Terry) Puhl when he came out there one time I was ready."
Blaha was UHV's most effective pitcher. He worked two hitless innings, striking out three and throwing 18 of his 26 pitches for strikes.
His only blemish was a hit batsman - one of seven hit by Jaguars pitchers.
"He threw well," Puhl said. "He threw with a very good command of the strike zone. I know he's pitched in high school."
Puhl's description of his other pitchers was far less flattering, considering Doane scored in nine of 14 innings and had more than one run in six innings.
"Horrible in a lot of ways," Puhl said. "That was not a good day of pitching. We've got a few things to work on. There were a lot of mistakes out there today. It was pretty sloppy baseball."
UHV committed four errors that led to seven unearned runs in the second game.
Its seven pitchers combined to issue five walks to go along with three hit batsmen.
Doane designated hitter Kevin Clausen hit a solo home run in each game and went a combined 4 for 8 with six RBIs and scored five runs.
The Jaguars had 24 hits in the doubleheader, including 17 in the second game, but missed out on a number of scoring opportunities.
"In that first game, we had three innings where we had drunk (loaded) bases, and we just got taken out of the inning," Puhl said. "If we could have just put something up, and that gets a little disheartening after a while."
Brandon Bohanon had two hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games dating back to last season, and Blaha had three hits to push his hitting streak to six games.
"We still lost, but we had more hits than them, and it just goes to show we're hitting the ball, just not at the right times," Blaha said. "We get bases loaded and no outs, and we only score one run. It's early in the season, and hopefully, our clutch hits will start coming around."
Blaha will be back at shortstop when the teams conclude the series Monday at 11 a.m., but Puhl won't hesitate to have him pitch again.
"Absolutely," Puhl said. "He's such a valuable commodity at shortstop, but we will look at him."
• UHV lost the second game in a season for the first time in the program's seven-year history.
• Puhl said freshmen Cody Carver and Bo Sheridan would pitch Monday's game.
• The Jaguars will play again Saturday when they visit Texas A&M-Kingsville for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
Doane College 7,13; UHV 1,9
Doane 012 103 0 - 7 11 1
UHV 000 000 1 - 1 7 1
Brandon Stennis, Josh Hayden (6), Logan Fast (6) and Matt Cuellar. Nathan Falkenstine, Tyler Vakey (6), Jose Muniz (6) and Matt Herrera. W: Stennis (1-0). L: Falkenstine (0-1). Highlights: (D) Kevin Claussen 2 for 4, solo HR, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBIs; Andres Rivera 2 for 3, 3B, R; Alex Arkfeld 2 for 4, 2 RBIs; Jake Smith 2 for 3, 2 R. (UHV) Dylan Blaha 1 for 3, R.
Doane 221 260 0 - 13 12 2
UHV 100 321 2 - 9 17 4
Austin Caspersen, Jackson Mancieri (5), Grant Ozaki (6) and Nick Studer, Aaron Tully (7). Matt Brister, Corey Hulsey (2), Clayton Fowler (3). Colten Cowart (4), Jose Muniz (5), Andre Del Bosque (5), Dylan Blaha (6) and Blake Diver. W: Caspersen (1-0). L: Falkenstine (0-1). Highlights: (D) Kevin Clausen 2 for 4, solo HR, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBIs; Andres Rivera 2 for 3, 2 R, 3 RBIs; Studer 2 for 4, 2 RBIs; Ethan Schroeder 2 for 4, 2 R, RBI, SB. (UHV) Robert Zaragoza 2 for 3, 2 RBIs; Josh Boothe 2 for 4, 2 2B, R, RBI; Ryan Pearsall 3 for 4, 2 R, RBI, Kyle Bludau 2 for 4, 3B, 2 R; Stephen Shorkey 2 for 4, R, RBI; Dylan Blaha 2 for 5, R, RBI. Records: Doane College 2-1; UHV 1-2.