Augie Garrido has a standing offer for the mid-major baseball programs from Texas that fill the Longhorns’ schedule of Tuesday non-conference games.
He asks their coach if he wants to play under a 10-run rule, enabling them to get a head start for home if they trail by that margin after seven innings.
“If I was a long ways from Austin, I would want a 10-run rule to get the kids back at a reasonable hour,” Garrido said.
Prairie View A&M coach Waskyla Cullivan declined the offer Tuesday. Then his team gave the Longhorns a difficult time before losing 1-0 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Freshman catcher Jeremy Montalbano drove home Jacob Felts with the only run with two out in the seventh inning.
Right-hander Josh Urban pitched the first five innings for the Longhorns and was followed by Travis Duke, Ty Marlow and Corey Knebel. Duke (4-0) went two innings, improving his ERA to 0.58. Knebel picked up his eighth save.
Garrido was asked if he was surprised how close the game was against a team that arrived in Austin with a 20-20 record.
“It surprised me a lot,” Garrido said. “We were talking about a 10-run rule before the game and we’re holding on for dear life in the seventh inning.”
Prairie View pitchers began the week with a 5.33 ERA, which ranks 243rd in the nation.
On Tuesday, senior right-hander Stephen Lunsford made only the second start of his career. He began the game with a 5.00 ERA. The Longhorns (23-20) managed just two hits against Lunsford through 6 2/3 innings.
Then came the turning point. Prairie View second baseman Andre Oliver had made diving catches to rob C.J Hinojosa of hits in the first and fourth innings. In the seventh, Oliver bobbled a routine grounder by Felts for an error. Garrido credits Felts for inducing the error.
“That second baseman looked up just as he was trying to catch the ball to see where (Felts) was,” Garrido said. “He was surprised he was running so hard and not turning it into an automatic out. That had something to do with him bobbling it.”
Brooks Marlow followed the error with a single, and then Montalbano drove in the run. He also gave credit to Felts.
“It was a great hustle play,” Montalbano said. “It definitely made the inning.”