Expect to see new faces on the field for the Longhorns this season. The defending Big 12 champions loss many starters because of graduation or the MLB draft.

Notable Longhorns who left the Texas baseball program include Parker French, Chad Hollingsworth, Ben Johnson, Collin Shaw, C.J. Hinojosa and Brooks Marlow.


French pitched 91 innings last season, posting a 5-3 record and was drafted in the fifth round by the Colorado Rockies. Hollingsworth, who was injured much of 2015 and decided to retire from baseball due to injury, threw 40.2 innings.

After an excellent freshman campaign, expectations are high for sophomore right-handed pitcher Connor Mayes to step up and help fill French’s spot. During the 2015 season, Mayes pitched 66.1 innings and finished with a 2.58 ERA. He started only four games but made 29 appearances on the mound. Mayes finished third in the Big 12 in appearances and eighth in ERA.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kyle Johnston could be another starter this year for the Longhorns. As a freshman, Johnston appeared in 25 games, striking out 41 batters in 40.2 innings pitched. He finished the season with a 2.21 ERA and a high strikeout percentage that could lead him to be a closer if not chosen as a starter. Johnston started the Big 12 championship game last season, giving up three hits and two earned runs. He struck out seven batters in six innings of work, and the Longhorns won the Big 12 tournament.

Junior left-handed pitcher Josh Sawyer looks to earn his starting role back this season. Sawyer began the 2015 season as a weekend starter before being demoted to a midweek starter then put in the bullpen. He finished with 4.82 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched.

Other pitchers Texas should expect to perform this season include Travis Duke and Ty Culbreth. Duke is a senior left-handed relief pitcher. Last season he posted a 3.30 ERA, but in his career at Texas, he holds a 1.69 ERA. He pitched 30 innings last season, 30.2 as a sophomore and 35.1 as a freshman. Culbreth is a senior left-handed pitcher as well who made 27 appearances last season. Texas called upon Culbreth to make his first start last season against Kansas in April after 21 appearances as a reliever. Culbreth finished the season with five starts, one complete game and four saves. He recorded a 3.95 ERA in 54.2 innings pitched.


Johnson was drafted in the 11th round by the Kansas City Royals and Shaw graduated after the 2015 season, leaving junior Zane Gurwitz the only seasoned outfielder for the Longhorns in 2016. Shaw played in all 57 games last season, and Johnson played in 56.

Gurwitz played in 54 games, finishing with a .987 fielding percentage. He hit for a .260 average in 177 at-bats. Gurwitz earned the Most Outstanding Player award in the Big 12 tournament after hitting 8-for-13 over four games.

Sophomore Patrick Mathis could be an everyday outfielder for the Longhorns this season, filling one of the missing pieces. Mathis played in 12 games last season but only started in four. As a senior in high school, Mathis was ranked the No. 4 outfielder in the state of Texas by Perfect Game. He hit .493, including 32 runs and 25 RBIs.

Freshman Tyler Rand could be another player to help Texas fill its outfield hole. Rand is from Cypress, Texas, and attended Langham Creek High School. He started his junior and senior year on varsity as the center fielder, hitting for .321 with 44 RBIs.


The Longhorns have two positions to replace in the infield: shortstop and second base. Hinojosa, the former shortstop, played in 54 games and finished with a .946 fielding percentage last season. Some of Hinojosa’s appearances included outfield time, though. Marlow played second base for the Longhorns 2015 campaign. He finished 2015 with 55 games played and a .979 fielding percentage.

Sophomore Joe Baker should fill one of those holes in the infield, becoming a permanent starter for the Longhorns. Head coach Augie Garrido noted that Baker would probably play second base. Baker played in 37 games last season, finishing with a .946 fielding percentage. He hit for a .294 average in 126 at-bats.

Texas will be looking for a new face to fill the other hole in the infield, and it is looking like it will be freshman Kody Clemens. Garrido said that he would most likely play third base, moving redshirt sophomore Bret Boswell to shortstop.

Boswell played in 52 games at third and finished with a .938 fielding percentage last season. He hit for a .253 average in 178 at-bats. At the Big 12 tournament, Boswell earned all-tournament honors for third base.

Junior Tres Barrera and Sophomore Michael Cantu shared catching and first base duties in 2015. Barrera played in all 57 games last season, and Cantu played in 52 games. Barrera recorded a perfect fielding percentage. He hit for a .288 average in 212 at-bats. Barrera scored 38 runs, tying for first on the team. Cantu recorded a .997 fielding percentage and hit for a .249 average in 185 at-bats. He drew 33 walks, tying for first on the team. Barrera and Cantu are expected to share catching duties again this season.

Junior Kacy Clemens is expected to return to first base, sharing time with Barrera. Clemens played first base as a freshman but moved to the mound last season. Because of an arm injury, Clemens only pitched in 10 games last season. Garrido said the injury will keep Clemens from returning to the mound this season. Clemens owns a .210 career batting average at UT. In his freshman year, Clemens recorded a .992 fielding percentage.

Garrido is entering in his 20th season as the Longhorns’ head coach. He owns a 799-395-2 record and two national championships with Texas. Overall, Garrido has won 1,950 games in 47 years with five national titles in his career.

The first time to see the 2016 team is Feb. 6 when current Texas players face the alumni. Then UNLV travels to Austin for a three game series starting Feb. 19.