Freshman gives much-needed relief to Jaguars
Feb. 16, 2014 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 15, 2014 at 8:16 p.m.
UHV coach Terry Puhl doesn't usually visit the mound with two outs in an inning and no one on base.
But Puhl wanted to speak with freshman pitcher Bo Sheridan, who was one out away from his first win.
"I reminded him - I saw a smile on his face after that ground ball to (first baseman Josh) Boothe - I walked out out there and asked him how many outs were there, and he said, 'two outs,'" Puhl said. "I said that last one is always the most difficult to get. I used a couple of other sentences. I just wanted him focused and going after the hitters."
Sheridan responded with a strikeout to cap the Jaguars' 8-5 win over Texas Wesleyan on Sunday afternoon at Riverside Stadium.
Sheridan's three innings of relief helped UHV improve to 5-8 and split the two-game series with the Rams (4-4).
Texas Wesleyan had taken a 1-0 win in 12 innings Saturday at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.
"I felt good in the bullpen," Sheridan said. "Everything was working well for me. Everything kind of fell into place on the mound."
Sheridan decided to try out at UHV after his girlfriend at Fort Bend Austin High School, Caroline Carvajal, signed to play soccer at the school.
"I came to a try out a week before I graduated from high school," Sheridan said. "They liked what they saw, and here I am. I looked around here, and I liked the record. I'd like to be a starter, but I'll do anything to help the team."
Sheridan made a good case in his fourth appearance of the season.
He followed Cory Hulsey's two innings of scoreless relief and limited Texas Wesleyan to two hits and one walk and one unearned run.
"This will get his confidence going," Puhl said. "He's got to get a little bit more take it and really run with it. He's not quite as confident as I'd like to see him, but he's got the pitches. He learned the cutter during the spring. He had an injury during the fall, and he never really pitched at all. So now, he's got three pitches."
The Jaguars broke a 15-inning scoreless drought on Dylan Blaha's sacrifice fly in the third.
But the Rams led 4-1 before Kyle Bludau doubled and scored in the fourth, and one of four Texas Wesleyan errors made it 4-3 in the sixth.
UHV took the lead for good when it batted around and scored five runs in the seventh on RBI singles by Bludau, Robert Zaragoza and Matt Herrera and a balk.
"After yesterday's game, that field over there, it's 348 to right field and into the wind," Puhl said. "We hit balls that were so well hit, and we got nothing for, and it was frustrating. You couldn't hit the ball out in center there, and we put the ball too much up in the air.
"They are more comfortable here," he added. "The site lines - they're just more comfortable. The bottom line was I still think that game got away from us yesterday."
Sheridan made sure to keep the game in hand Sunday by retiring the final five batters.
"I felt nervous my first and second outing, but today, I felt confident that I could go out there and beat those guys," Sheridan said. "We swung the bats, and that kind of pumped me up when I was in the dugout. That long inning that we had kind of helped a lot - scoring those five."
The Jaguars return to Riverside Stadium to play St. Mary's on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and St. Edward's on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
UHV 8, Texas Wesleyan 5
Texas Wesleyan 200 200 010 - 5 11 4
UHV 001 101 50x - 8 8 2
Mitch McLeod, Blake Ballard (7), Avery Sullivan (7) and Garrett Gray. Orlando Quiroga, Cory Hulsey (5), Bo Sheridan (7) and Blake Diver, Matt Herrera (7). W: Sheridan (1-0). L: Ballard (0-1). Highlights: (TW) Jake Howeth 2 for 4, R, SB; Manny Sanchez 2 for 4, R, RBI; Tyler Kamtz 2 for 4; Dakota Lee 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Adam Turpin 3 for 4, 2 2B, 2 R. (UHV) Kyle Bludau 3 for 5, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Robert Zaragoza 1 for 3, RBI; Diver 1 for 2; Herrera 1 for 1, 2 RBIs. Records: Texas Wesleyan 4-4; UHV 5-7.