UT misses first postseason since 1998

AUSTIN, Texas -- Augie Garrido is giving himself one day to grieve.

It might not seem like enough time given that a 13-year baseball postseason run, which included two national championships, ended when Texas did not make the NCAA tournament Monday. But really when you look at what happened to Texas baseball and how much there is that needs to be fixed, it might seem like too much time. There is work to be done, make that a ton of work, and it needs to be done now.

That work starts Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. for a team that finished with a 30-22 record, its worst since 1998.

“You have to really do a thorough examination of what went wrong here, how it got into this position, how we got here,” the Texas baseball coach said. “This is a championship program. We can’t change that watermark. We are expected, and rightfully so, to live up to that. We have fallen way short.

“This is a time where you really dig into all of the details.”

There is plenty to dig into.

Texas, a team built to dominate the mound, finished with just four healthy pitchers, none of which were effective enough to help the Longhorns avoid losing eight of their last 11.

The infield was makeshift and as a result made errors in bunches. It’s never a good thing when a team that is second to last in the conference in offense also has the conference’s worst defense.

“When your best infielder is your catcher, that is a rough combination,” Garrido said.

It was a few other things -- immaturity and injuries being chief among them -- that had Garrido feeling as if he had been kicked in the gut when the tournament selections were announced.

“It’s borderline devastating,” he said. “When you have the habit of being included and then you are not, rejection is a b----. That’s what it feels like.”

The rejection is doubly hard when having to watch others take the trip to the postseason.

“There were teams that got in that we thought we might’ve beat out for that last spot,” sophomore Alex Silver said.

Houston Baptist and UT-Arlington were teams that were singled out by Garrido. But Garrido did not begrudge or really even dwell on those teams being included. Instead he more lamented his team’s inability to do what it had done so many times in the past -- play decent baseball when it mattered.

“I do think we had opportunities to avoid this and we failed on the playing field to support ourselves and avoid giving the committee a chance to leave us out of the tournament,” he said. “We have to take the responsibility to man up to that.”

Now, to a man, Texas has to figure out what went wrong and why it went wrong so it does not repeat the same mistakes again in the 2013 season.

“We have to find out what needs to be done to fix it and then act on that,” Garrido said. “That’s one of my main jobs is to be responsible for that. So I will.”