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Texas Shuts Out Rice 2-0; Saturday Open Thread

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Dillon Peters threw a brilliant 8 innings and the Horns got some big contributions from its freshman in a 2-0 Friday night victory over home town Rice. The Horns play Houston at 3:30 on Saturday to go for the "series" win.

Peters gave up four hits over eight innings while striking out six and throwing 106 pitches. The junior was fantastic and ensured Rice was unable to build any momentum so long as he was on the mound.

Texas got all the scoring it needed in the 4th when Tres Barrera and Ben Johnson hit back to back doubles to give the Horns a 2-0 lead they'd never relinquish. Things got hairy in the 9th when new closer Nathan Thornhill struggled to throw strikes after recording two quick outs. Rice loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before Thornhill shut the door with a strikeout looking to give Texas the win.

Is Thornhill the answer at closer? He has certainly had his troubles moving to the new role, walking six in 7.2 innings of relief on the year and looking imminently hittable when he falls behind hitters as he did on Friday after getting two quick outs. Those are troubling numbers that need to be corrected if he's going to continue in the role. Thornhill's career 3.5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and experience coming out of the bullpen in his freshman and sophomore years suggests he can succeed as closer though.

The freshmen also contributed mightily to a Texas victory. Barrera's huge hit plated him his first career RBI, Kacy Clemens was 2-3 with a number of solid defensive plays, and Andy McGuire continued his solid play at 3B. Johnson was the other standout for Texas as he smoked the ball in all three at bats and narrowly missed a homer to left field in the 4th.

Texas was the only Big 12 team to win in Houston on Friday as Texas Tech lost to Texas' Saturday opponent Houston 9-0 and Sunday opponent Sam Houston State beat TCU 9-4.

Texas beat Rice on Friday night of a similar tournament two years ago before dropping ugly games to Tennessee and Arkansas. Winning one more game this weekend will allow Texas to solidify its momentum early in the season in a way the Horns couldn't in 2012.

First pitch is at 3:35, game is on LHN and this'll be your open thread.

Hook 'em.