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Texas Longhorns baseball defeats UConn 4-1

Two long balls by Kacy Clemens propelled the ‘Horns to a series opening victory over the Huskies.

Texas baseball scores a go-ahead run against Rice.
Brian Hoang.

In a game that was perhaps Texas’ most likely to lose this weekend, the ‘Horns came away with a 4-1 win despite facing UConn’s sophomore stud Tim Cate. Though Texas struck out 11 times on the game and only had six hits, two exciting homers from Kacy Clemens provided more than enough offensive output to get the win. Morgan Cooper had a great night to keep the lead in check, and Tyler Schimpf and Chase Shugart finished things off on the mound for the ‘Horns.

Texas now boasts a solid 4-2 record. David Pierce’s team will be back in action Saturday at 2 p.m. CST and Sunday at noon.

Hitting Notes:

  • Michael Cantu got things going with a rope past the third baseman for a double in the fourth. Cantu held Texas’ only two hits of the game at one point. That was until...
  • Kacy Clemens knocked home Cantu with a long ball to right field to make the score 2-0 Texas in the fourth. The older Clemens bro’s night was not done.
  • Later in the fourth, Joe Baker knocked Andres Sosa home from second on a base hit. It was the freshman Sosa’s first career run scored to make things 3-0.
  • Kacy Clemens followed up his home run with another dinger to right field in his next at bat, this time a solo screamer to make the score 4-0. Most of Texas’ runs have been manufactured off of the long ball this year, a strange sight to behold considering the ‘Horns only had 34 homers in 57 games in 2016. The ‘Horns already have seven homers through six games in 2017.
  • Kacy probably distracted fans from the fact that Texas was pretty bad at the plate as a team tonight -- 11 strikeouts and six hits at the plate doesn’t always get the job done, but it did and more tonight.

Pitching Notes:

  • UConn’s starting pitcher Cate struck out 13 in his debut last weekend, so this thing was set to be a pitcher’s duel from the get-go. Both Cate and Texas’ Morgan Cooper were not seriously threatened through three. But Cooper emerged the victor in this battle of who could remain steady longer. Cate was pulled during Texas’ fourth inning burst after an apparent shoulder injury, but Cooper remained strong for a full seven innings.
  • Cooper faced moderate trouble early when he allowed a runner to get on second with one out in both the third and fourth inning. Center fielder Zane Gurwitz saved Mo by gunning down a runner trying to tag on a flyout from second to third in the fourth. A very nice play by Gurwitz in the senior’s first appearance of the year.
  • Cooper finally began to lose his stuff in the seventh inning when he allowed a lead-off single followed by a double to put UConn runners on second and third with no outs. Following a strikeout, UConn would go on to score on a sac fly to make it 4-1. However, Cooper would get out of the jam with no more damage.
  • Cooper exited the game after finishing off the seventh inning. His seven full innings will keep the bull pen fresh the rest of the weekend, which is huge because relief pitching is the only area the defense has struggled thus far in 2017. Cooper’s final line: 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K. The eight K’s jumps out because Cooper isn’t considered to be a strikeout pitcher. The only one walk allowed is equally impressive.
  • Tyler Schimpf took the hill in the eighth for Cooper. The junior has been a nice surprise as a consistent reliever for Texas after getting some work in against Rice and performing well. Though he hit a batter and walked a man, Schimpf did well in his 1.1 innings. He didn’t have great command, but after having virtually no role last year, his ability to contribute was a good sign for him getting more work in the future.
  • Chase Shugart finished things off for the ‘Horns and notched a save to his name after recording the final two outs for the ‘Horns.