Jaguars sweep Dustdevils 2-1
March 5, 2014 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.
Orlando Quiroga began the season pitching out of the bullpen, but he'd much rather be a starter.
"I get to see more innings," Quiroga said, "and it's a bigger challenge for me."
The junior from Spring bolstered his case by pitching seven strong innings to lead UHV to a 2-1 win over Texas A&M-International on a chilly, overcast Wednesday at Riverside Stadium.
Quiroga yielded five hits and walked three while allowing only one earned run. He struck out six to pick up his first win of the season in his fourth start.
"I was able to get ahead with the fastball and pound the strike zone and keep the ball low," Quiroga said. "They hit a lot of ground balls today, and it allowed me to use my other pitches and finish them off strong."
UHV coach Terry Puhl wasn't surprised with Quiroga's performance after watching him struggle earlier this season.
"We need him pitching the way he has been," Puhl said. "He was spotty at the beginning. He would pitch two good innings and then have a bad inning and lose velocity.
"He and I had a little sit down the other day," Puhl added. "I told him not to look over here anymore. He's going to get 100 pitches and if he gets banged around, he gets banged around. He just needs to focus every inning and he did a good job today."
The Jaguars (9-13) had only six hits, but Quiroga got all the run support he needed in the third inning.
Robert Gleinser doubled and Brandon Bohanon followed with his first home run of the season over the left-field fence.
"I saw a good pitch," Bohanon said. "It was there and I put a good swing on it."
Bohanon was even more impressed by what he saw from Quiroga when he was behind the plate.
"That's the best I've seen him in a while," Bohanon said. "He was able to command all of his pitches. His changeup was really effective tonight and that's what we were able to keep them off balance with."
The Dustdevils (5-13) loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning, but Quiroga escaped unscathed by getting a fielder's choice at the plate and two strikeouts.
"Orlando's got pitches he can get strikeouts with," Puhl said. "He's got a good changeup and that's why you don't want to be in a rush to get him out of there."
A&M-International scored its only run in the seventh inning, but UHV's Andre Del Bosque pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn his fourth save.
"We're playing well," Bohanon said. "The pitching is there. They're throwing strikes and doing what they have to do. It's up to us hitters. We're going to go as far as our hitters will take us."
UHV travels to Austin on Thursday to play St. Edward's at 1:30 p.m.
UHV 2, TAMU-International 1
TAMUI 000 000 100 - 1 7 0
UHV 002 000 00x - 2 6 0
Armando Manrique, Garrett Taggert (3), Ryan Williams (4), Clay Phillips (7), Jared Curnel (8) and Daniel Benavides. Orlando Quiroga, Andre Del Bosque (8) and Brandon Bohanon, Matt Herrera (9). W: Quiroga (1-1). L: G. Taggert (1-1). S: Del Bosque (4). Highlights: (TAMUI) Alex McKeon 2 for 4; Benavides 2 for 4. (UHV) Quiroga 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO; Stephen Shorkey 2 for 4; Robert Gleinser 1 for 3, 2B, R; Kyle Bludau 1 for 3, 3B. Records: TAMUI 5-13; UHV 9-13.