Northwood sweeps doubleheader, takes 3 of 4 from Jaguars
Jan. 29, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 28, 2011 at 7:29 p.m.
Patience is not only a virtue for University of Houston-Victoria coach Terry Puhl, it has become a necessity.
The growing pains were evident as the Jaguars were swept by Northwood University in a doubleheader on Saturday at Riverside Stadium.
The Knights claimed a 6-4 win in the first game, and a 2-1 decision in the second to take three out four games of the season-opening series for the second straight year.
Puhl expected some ups and downs with a team that includes 12 freshmen and two sophomores.
"You have to keep on playing them," Puhl said. "I'm not the type of person that makes rash decisions. I'll just keep throwing them out there. They have to get some experience.
"It's sometimes hard to sit over there and watch it, but that's just the nature of this game," he added. "It's a little different than in the big leagues you've got the very best with you all the time, Here you got to make them into the very best. The only way they get better is by playing."
Puhl was only a two-hour drive from where he played for the Houston Astros, but he might as well have been a world away.
The Jaguars committed two errors that opened the door for Northwood's decisive two-run seventh inning in the first game. An error allowed Northwood to score what proved to be the winning run in the sixth inning of the second game.
"We're playing a little bit out of position," Puhl said. "We've got to get everybody healthy positionally before this is a good team. Pitching-wise it wasn't bad. I'm not disappointed too much in the pitching."
The Jaguars had eight hits in the first game, but only one in the final three innings. They had four hits in the second game and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
"Coach is calling on guys to step up and it's get your feet wet early and it will be good in the long haul," said junior John Longoria. "It's defense, it's situations and keeping your cool in those situations. We've just got to string hits together. We're hitting the ball we're just not hitting it in a sequence."
Puhl is still experimenting with his lineup, but was not pleased with his hitters' at-bats.
"We've got to improve a lot in our approach in being more aggressive early in the count," he said. "If you're going to swing at the pitch, swing at it. Don't give me some in-between swing when you're either first pitch or later in the count and ahead in the count.
"That's probably my biggest disappointment. I just didn't think... it's almost like let it go. You've got to show your talent."
Justin Cudd, a freshman from Katy, started the first game for the Jaguars, yielding four hits in four innings, but three of them were home runs. Rex Garner worked two scoreless innings before Pete Ontiveros suffered the loss.
Daniel Lopez pitched into sixth inning of the second game, yielding three hits and one earned run before being relieved by Ontiveros.
"This team has a lot of potential," Longoria said. "These games, it's just a couple of things here and there. Just getting the young guys some experience and just settling down. It's a long season."
Northwood 6-2, UHV 4-1
Northwood 012 100 2 - 6 6 0
UHV 002 200 0 - 4 8 3
Josh Matthews and Johnny Aldaz. Justin Cudd, Rex Garner (5), Pete Ontiveros (7) and Brandon Bohanon. W: Matthews (1-0). L: Ontiveros (0-1). Highlights: (N) Edwin Arroyo 2-for-3, 2 runs, SB; Kal Saldana 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI; Aldaz solo HR; Cutter Forman solo HR, (UHV) John Longoria 2-for-3, RBI, SB; Bohanon 2-for-3, 2B, RBI.
Northwood 100 001 0 - 2 4 1
UHV 001 000 0 - 1 4 1
Jaime Paxton, Garrett Randle (7) and Johnny Aldaz. Daniel Lopez, Pete Ontiveros (6) and Nick Garza. W: Paxton (1-0). L: Lopez (0-1). S: Randle (1). Highlights: (N) Paxton 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 SO, O BB; J.P. Cazares 1-for-3, RBI; Adam Humes 1-for-3, RBI. (UHV) Lopez 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 SO, 2 BB; Nick Garza 1-for-3, 2B; Ryan Gilbert 1-for-3, 2B. Records: Northwood 3-1; UHV 1-3.