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Texas baseball routs Texas Tech, 17-1, to take series

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Woah. That was unexpected.

via @Texas_Baseball

Somehow, Texas Longhorns baseball managed to pull off a second consecutive demolition of the No. 11 Texas Tech Red Raiders with a 17-1 Sunday victory to win the series in Lubbock after giving up 13 unanswered runs on Friday to blow a 5-0 lead. All this despite still sitting at two games under .500.

So this bipolar, up-and-down edition of Longhorns baseball continues to alternate moments of brilliance -- like the series win over TCU in Austin -- with moments of absolute ineptitude -- like consistently losing midweek games to mediocre opponents.

For the moment, let's focus on the latest positive performance.

On Sunday, Texas jumped out to an early lead courtesy of left fielder Tyler Rand's first home run of the season in the second inning, a three-run blast over the left-field fence that left little doubt as to its eventual destination when it came off the bat. The 'Horns kept pouring it on, scoring five runs in the third inning, five more runs in the fourth inning, and four in the ninth.

Shortstop Joe Baker deserves top billing as the offensive hero amidst several strong performances, as the sophomore went 4-4 with six RBI and three runs scored, including a two-run home run. Right fielder Patrick Mathis added three more RBI, as did center fielder Zane Gurwitz, who hit a home run of his own.

On the mound, Kyle Johnston experienced his typical command issues in walking five Red Raiders, but managed to make it through six innings because he scattered four hits and struck out six batters. Chase Shugart came on to close out the seven-inning affair shortened by the mercy rule.

The series win helped the Longhorns creep up towards the top 100 in RPI after handing the Red Raiders the program's first conference loss this season.

It's certainly possible that head coach Augie Garrido's team could take a step back tomorrow evening at home against Texas State in what would be a fitting result in this frustratingly inconsistent season, but until then, it's probably worth appreciating the offensive explosion that answered Friday's disappointing result.

A year after securing an NCAA Tournament birth by winning the Big 12 postseason championship, Texas is showing signs of peaking at the right time to make another run a month from now.