It felt like more of the same for Texas baseball on Saturday as the Horns fell into a 3-0 hole having left five baserunners on base through five innings. The Horns clawed their way back though, getting a run thanks to a Jacob Felts double that missed home run distance by about six inches and another run on a ground ball out by Brooks Marlow to make the score 3-2 in the 6th. Texas was down 4-2 in the 8th but the Horns tied the game on a HBP, a single, a balk and a grounder to make it 4-4.
The Horns threatened offensively in the 9th and 10th but were unable to push anything across until the 11th. Mark Payton singled through the right side with two outs which was followed by singles by Taylor Stell (his first as a Longhorn), Erich Weiss and Jonathan Walsh to give Texas a 6-4 lead. The Horns banged out 14 hits overall on Saturday, raising the team BA to .254. Stell's hit in particular highlights the biggest issue facing the Texas offense right now, the DH spot. The Horns are actually doing pretty okay offensively with the exception of Felts (who is pretty much irreplaceable at this point) and the DH spot where Kevin Lusson (.163 BA), Landon Steinhagen (.161 BA), Collin Shaw (.130 BA) and Christian Summers (.111 BA) have all been wildly ineffective. Production from the DH spot may make this an almost dangerous lineup, and it may be the freshman Stell's chance to see if he can do anything.
Parker French started on the mound for Texas but lacked the stellar command that made him unhittable in Norman. French (4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) left in the 5th having really only made one bad pitch that resulted in a two-run homer. Hoby Milner was the first reliever out of the pen, giving up another run on two hits while striking out two. The real hero of the game, however, was the trio of John Curtiss, Dillon Peters and Corey Knebel who combined to hold the Wildcats without a hit for the final 5.1 innings. Knebel was dynamite, striking out four over four innings, although he threw 63 pitches and may only be available for one inning on Sunday if needed.
Ricky Jacquezz looks to rebound today from his sightly rough Norman start. A win would give Texas a much needed road series victory and help them keep pace with Baylor in the conference standings. Look for Peters and Curtiss to be the first two arms out of the bullpen should Jacquezz falter. Game time is 1 PM and it'll be broadcast on Fox College Sports again.