Jaguars hope to step up against Islanders


April 6, 2011 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2011 at 11:06 p.m.

The University of Houston-Victoria is planning a Black Out Day at Riverside Stadium for Thursday's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

If the Jaguars had their druthers, they would prefer to black out the results of Tuesday's game against St. Mary's in San Antonio.

The NCAA Division II Rattlers ran off with a 10-0 win in a game stopped after seven innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

"The put up an eight spot in the first inning," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "I just couldn't bring in a pitcher with significant experience. We don't have the pitching depth at the top level."

The task won't get any easier for the Jaguars (21-19) against A&M-Corpus Christi, a NCAA Division I school.

The Islanders (20-12) are coming off an 8-7 loss to Texas on Tuesday night at Whataburger Field.

But A&M-Corpus Christi defeated the Longhorns 8-7 earlier this season in Austin.

"The best thing is the players get to see the talent gap between the NAIA and NCAA," Puhl said. "It takes quite an athlete to say you're a great player at that level.

"It's not the same league," he added. "You're not comparing apples to apples. Your best hope is that they don't come prepared to play."

Cory Carter is scheduled to be the starting pitcher against A&M-Corpus Christi. Puhl will have Danny Lopez, Casey Newman and Pete Ontiveros available for relief.

"You can say it's a challenge and that's fine and dandy," Puhl said. "But the fact remains if you play these teams 10 times, they're probably going to win 9 out of 10. Can you win one time, absolutely."

The Jaguars' game against A&M-Corpus Christi will be the first of five against NCAA teams at Riverside Stadium.

UHV will play NCAA Division III East Texas Baptist in a single game Friday and a doubleheader Saturday before hosting NCAA Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville in a single game Wednesday.

"I see playing these teams as a way of getting us quality games," Puhl said. "It hurts our record, but it makes us a better team.

"I'd rather play a tough team and get beat than play a down team and win."

NOTES: Special UHV Black Out Day T-shirts are on sale at the UHV athletic office in Jaguar Hall for $10. Anyone purchasing a shirt will receive a free general admission ticket to the game. Anyone wearing a black shirt will receive $2 off their ticket price at the gate.



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