May 3, 2011
Box Score | Quotes
AUSTIN, Texas – Four pitchers combined to pitch the 11th shutout of the season for the No. 6 Texas Longhorns as they registered an 8-0 win over the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Tuesday evening at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Freshman Nathan Thornhill (2-0) retired all 15 batters he faced in 5.0 innings of work to pick up a victory in his first career start. The freshman recorded four strikeouts on the evening.
The Texas bullpen kept the game scoreless, allowing just four baserunners in 4.0 innings of work. Andrew McKirahan allowed one hit while striking out three over 2.0 innings. Kirby Bellow yielded one hit while striking out one in a scoreless eighth inning and Stayton Thomas finished the game off allowing a hit and a walk in the ninth, but ending the game with a 5-4-3 double play.
The Longhorns pounced on the Panthers early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Brandon Loy reached on a leadoff single and stole second base. With one out, Tant Shepherd sent Loy home with a ground-rule double down the leftfield line.
Texas tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Shepherd walked and Weiss singled up the middle to start the inning. With runners at the corners, Paul Montalbano lofted a ball to centerfield to score Shepherd on the sacrifice fly. After Weiss stole second and third base, Jonathan Walsh plated him with a ground out to first base to give the Longhorns a 3-0 edge.
The cavalcade of runs continued for the Longhorns with three in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jacob Felts reached on leadoff single back to the pitcher and stole second base to start the inning. Loy drew a walk and with one out, Prairie View committed an error on a grounder by Shepherd to load the bases. Weiss made the Panthers pay with a single up the middle driving in a pair and Montalbano recorded his second sacrifice fly of the game to inflate the Texas cushion to 6-0.
The Longhorns manufactured a run in the sixth to increase the advantage to 7-0. With one out, Jordan Etier reached on an infield single and Felts singled through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners. Loy bounced into a fielder’s choice ground out to push Etier across for the seven-run lead.
Texas capped off the scoring with a run in the eighth inning. With one out, Walsh tripled to the wall in centerfield and scored on an RBI groundout by Etier.
Weiss went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases, one run and two RBI. Felts went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Montalbano tallied two RBI. Loy and Shepherd each scored two runs and added an RBI apiece.
Kellen Simmons (4-5) was saddled with the loss for the Panthers. Rafael Perez registered the lone extra-base hit for Prairie View A&M (23-19) with a double.
Texas returns to action on Friday when the Longhorns travel to Lincoln, Neb., for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Hawks Field.
TEXAS POST-GAME QUOTES
Head Coach Auggie Garrido
On tonight’s performance overall: We came out and showed respect for the game of baseball. We played it well defensively from every position, in every inning. We made an important adjustment at bat. We made the ball go up the middle and to the openings in the field. We could have easily come out and decided there was no need to take this game seriously, but instead we bought into the philosophy of the game, and played it very well tonight.
On tonight’s pitching and Nathan Thornhill’s performance: The pitching was great tonight. The defense behind it was sharp on time. We didn’t give them any extra hits and we didn’t give them any extra outs. Nate is an impressive pitcher. He has a great presence about him on and off the field. He moved through this season with steady progression and complete confidence. We were not surprised by his performance, but we are very excited by it.
On the upcoming week: This is going to be a tough weekend in Nebraska. We have to get past the assumption that they are not any good because they are in last place. Nebraska is a capable team. However, if we play them as seriously as we played tonight’s game, then we should do very well.
Freshman pitcher Nathan Thornhill
On starting tonight: It was a dream come true having grown up just down the street. I didn’t know if I would get this opportunity this year, and I was really pleased that it happened tonight. I was a little nervous in the first inning, but overall I felt really good.
On his increasing role: I’m just really glad that the team could use me. I understand that there are a lot of ways I will be able to help the team in the future. When you come to Texas we are told that when you can throw strikes, you can play. It took me a while to develop to the point I am now, but it is as simple as throwing strikes now. That is my role in the future and that is what I intend to do for my team.
Junior shortstop Brandon Loy
On the Nathan Thornhill’s performance: He has helped us a lot this year, and it was nice to see him finally get the opportunity to start the game for us. He claimed he was a little nervous going in, but obviously, his play was no reflection of that. It was a great outing overall for him, and I’m thrilled to see what he can continue to do for us.
On getting prepared to play Nebraska: We are planning on taking the game very seriously regardless of rankings. They are a solid baseball team, and they will require our full focus and effort as much as any other team has or will this season.
Senior outfielder Paul Montalbano
On the game overall: We played very well in our ability to adjust to the competition. I think the pitching was a little bit slower and that can be just as hard to hit as faster pitching. But we made quick adjustments and were able to get runs on the board pretty quickly.
On looking forward to the weekend: It is going to be a tough weekend against Nebraska. I’ve never been up there before, but I’ve heard it is a very hostile environment. In addition, we know that they are going to give us their all. I think we are looking at a very good game for Texas Baseball.
Freshman third basemen Erich Weiss
On Nathan Thornhill’s performance: He did such a great job out there tonight. Whenever he takes the mound he gives 110%. His curveball was on and his fastball looked flawless. It was a great outing for him. We need him this weekend. He is going to be a great relief pitcher.
On the win: We did a great job hitting and defensively today. There were a few changes we were focused on making as a team. We wanted to be more tactical behind the plate, and we wanted to be crisper out on the field. I honestly feel like we were able to do both very well.