Texas jumped out early against UCONN and never looked back. Freshman Ryan Reynolds hit his first career homer, Jake McKenzie threw 4.1 innings of 1-hit ball, and the Horns flashed some excellent defense to take the series.
The strong defense started in the top of the first when Zane Gurwitz and David Hamilton turned a UCONN double into an out at the plate. The Horns also later turned an athletic double play with an unnecessary but still neat dive at the end.
the tail end of this double rundown is the kind of acrobatic swarming defense that we're going to need against the spread in conference play pic.twitter.com/5xxa3ONkta— Ulysses S. Cocksman (@USCocksman) February 26, 2017
Reynolds had his best day at the plate as a Longhorn. The freshman homered in the third at bat of the game for Texas giving the Horns a 2-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish and then scored on a Kacy Clemens double in the 3rd.
The real star of the day, however, was junior reliever Jake McKenzie. McKenzie was called upon after freshman Blair Henley ran into trouble in the top of the 3rd. UCONN had cut the Texas lead down to just a run and had runners at 2nd and 3rd with just one out when McKenzie entered and produced a line drive double play.
The junior pitched 4.1 innings giving up just one hit and no runs. He struck out four while walking none and picked up the win for his troubles.
Texas wins the series and improves to 5-3 on the season against a tough early season schedule. Texas has some obvious weaknesses but this is also a young team with a strong upside. Things will stay tough for the next week as the Horns take on a 6-2 Lamar team midweek before heading out to Palo Alto for the annual tilt with Stanford.