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Texas picks up 2-1 series win over Kansas State

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While a three-game sweep could have been a big boost for the struggling Horns, a series win will have to do.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Friday: Texas 6, K-State 3

Morgan Cooper's return from injury picked up another strong performance in the K-State series opener, with Cooper allowing just four hits, a walk, and a run while gunning down seven Wildcat batters in 6 innings. Connor Mayes contributed a scoreless 7th inning before allowing a one out hit in relief, Travis Duke added another out before allowing a two-run homer, and Chase Shugart shut the door in four outs to record his second save of the year.

On the offensive side, the Clemens brothers keyed a strong showing from the Horns. A Kacy Clemens single in the 2nd set up a Patrick Mathis sacrifice and Zane Gurwitz RBI, giving Texas an early 1-0 lead. In the 3rd, a Travis Jones single set the table for a Kody Clemens two-run homer, pushing the Texas advantage to 3-0.

In the 7th, holding a 4-1 lead, Kacy Clemens followed his younger brother's homer with a two-run shot of his own, pushing the Horns to a decisive 6-1 lead. The elder Clemens finished the day going 4-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs, continuing his strong junior campaign.

Saturday: Texas 12, K-State 5

If there's a Texas starter that doesn't need a ton of run support, it's senior Ty Culbreth and his starting-best 2.68 ERA. But that ERA wasn't tested Saturday as the Horns offense struck early and struck late. Culbreth cruised through five scoreless before giving up three in the 6th.

Patrick Mathis got the ball rolling in the second with a solo shot, his team best 5th HR of the year. In the 3rd, Kody Clemens and Travis Jones went back to back jacks to push the lead to 3-0. Bret Boswell scored Zane Gurwitz in the 4th to extend the lead to 4-0. Gurwitz then drove in Kacy Clemens two innings later to move Texas to 5-0.

Following K-State's three runs in the 6th, Texas blew up in the 7th. Tyler Rand started the response with a single, and came home on a Travis Jones single. A Tres Barrera hit and Kaleb Denny HBP loaded the bases for Patrick Mathis, who pushed one across with a full-count walk. Then a bases loaded triple from Zane Gurwitz cleared the bases and moved Texas to a decisive 10-3 advantage. Each team added two runs to finish the game, lifting Texas to a 12-5 win.

Sunday: Texas 2, K-State 3

Badly in need of three wins against a struggling Wildcat group, Texas got off on the right foot on Sunday. Kacy Clemens opened the second with a single, advanced on a sacrifice, moved over on a wild pitch, then scored on a Patrick Mathis sac fly.

Kyle Johnston gave a solid effort on the afternoon, working through 6 innings of scoreless work, including one stretch of eight consecutive batters retired. With one on and one out in the 7th, Travis Duke relieved Johnston and immediately gave up a double. Chase Shugart then came on and induced a fly ball, but that would score one of the Wildcat runners. Then in the 8th, Kansas State put across two runners with two out.

Down two in the 9th, Zane Gurwitz started a rally on his own, knocking a solo shot to pull the Horns within one, but that would be the extent of the threat as Texas fell 3-2.


Texas Record: 14-18

This week: Tuesday against UH in Sugar Land, weekend against Kansas in Austin