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Texas Beats West Virginia 4-3; Sat Open Thread

Redshirt freshman walk on Connor Macalla hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field on Friday scoring Ben Johnson and giving Texas a victory in its first Big 12 game.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas fell behind early on Friday night in large part due to shaky defense. CJ Hinojosa couldn't handle a rocket hit at him with two outs in the first and then Collin Shaw was unable to make a spectacular catch in right to give WVU a 1-0 victory through 1 inning. Texas tied things in the 3rd when Ben Johnson doubled to right and Hinojosa crushed a ball to the wall in left for a triple.

Things would stay tied until the 6th inning when the Bad Defense Monster struck again. A Hinojosa throwing error put the leadoff runner at second and a Bret Boswell throwing error scored him.

Texas showed its mettle over the rest of the game though. Brooks Marlow homered to lead off the bottom of the sixth and Hinojosa tied the game in the seventh with a solo shot. Parker French was magnificent, throwing 9 IP while giving up just 7 H, 3 R (2 ER) and striking out 7 with just a single walk. French threw only 81 pitches over the final seven frames after needing 33 to get through the first two. Kirby Bellow pitched a perfect 10th to set up the victory.

Marlow doubled to lead off the 10th and was advanced to third on a fly out by Boswell. Kacy Clemens came in and got hit on a 3-0 pitch setting up pinch hitter Connor Macalla to be the hero. Macalla, a walk on with only three previous ABs, lifted an 0-1 pitch to deep center field and Marlow jogged home for the winning run as Macalla raised his right arm in triumph.

On the plus side for Texas, five of the Longhorns' eight hits were for extra bases. The Horns also took five walks giving them lots of opportunities to blow this game open. The negative from last night was that the Horns ended up leaving 10 on base for the night, continuing a theme for the early part of the season.

Overall this was a solid Friday night victory for the Longhorns. Parker French is looking like the ace he can be and the Texas bats are alive and well. Texas has lost each of its first two series against West Virginia as a Big 12 foe but this is the first time the Horns have taken the Friday game. Texas will have two opportunities for an opening series win beginning tonight at 5 PM. It'll be Josh Sawyer on the mound and this'll be your open thread.

Hook 'em.