Austin Wood is back on track.
The junior left-hander struggled in the Houston College Classic, giving up three runs, two of them earned, and walking four in a 5-4 loss to Tennessee, but on Friday against Stanford, Wood returned to form.
“He had some problems down in Houston and this was his opportunity to learn from it or become afraid because of it and he obviously learned from it,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido.
Texas (9-2) beat Stanford (6-5) at UFCU Disch-Falk on Friday, 5-2. Wood got the win with a career-high in strikeouts, ringing up eight Standford batters, while giving up two runs on five hits in a career-long seven and two-thirds innings pitched.
Both of the runs against Texas came on a two-run shot from Stanford catcher Jason Castro on the last pitch Wood would throw in the game. It would also be the only runs Stanford would score in the game as freshman pitcher Chance Ruffin came on to successfully close out the final inning and third.
Wood said he rushed his last curve ball, which left it out over the meat of the plate for Castro, but he was pleased with he rest of the win.
“My fast ball was a little high but I worked through it. I just kept battling to put my team in a place to win and we did,” said Wood.
Stanford head coach Mark Marquess agreed that Wood's performance was the main factor in Texas' win on Friday.
“I don't think we swung the bats very well today, but a lot of that had to do with what (Wood) did today,” said Marquess. “He's an experienced pitcher, he's not some freshman. He knows how to pitch. He did a good job of getting it done today.”
Texas got a pair of runs a piece from Travis Tucker and David Hernandez and had a strong outing at the plate, but one of the major marks against the Longhorns in the game, as it has been this entire season, was errors, with Texas committing two against Stanford.
“We're cutting down our errors, we're only making two a game now,” joked Garrido, dryly. “In the not too distant future, we may play a game with none and then when do that we'll pass out a silver sombrero for the award or something.”
Texas has only had two games without an error this season.
The Longhorns continue their series with Standford and their quest for error-free games (and the mythical Silver Sombrero) on Saturday at 2 p.m. and then wrap things up with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.
-Texas associate coach Tommy Harmon was tossed in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes.
-Former Texas women's basketball coach Jody Conradt was at the game and stopped by the press box as she toured the facilities at UFCU Disch-Falk field.
-Catcher Preston Clark returned to the line-up as a DH with Cameron Rupp getting the start behind the plate.