Texas Longhorns baseball is now down to one midweek game remaining after head coach David Pierce’s squad took down the UT-Arlington Mavericks by a score of 4-1 on Tuesday evening at UFCU-Disch Falk Field.
The news wasn’t entirely positive, however, as starter Kyle Johnston only made it through 2.1 innings after allowing five hits and issuing three walks — there seems to be little hope at this point that his control will ever allow him to serve in a high-leverage relief role or as a Friday or Saturday starter.
The bullpen, on the other hand, pitched at a high level against the Mavericks, with Nick Kennedy earning his seventh win of the season after replacing Johnston and inducing an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
The sophomore pitched 3.2 innings, allowing only one hit and no earned runs.
With the four double plays turned by Texas on Tuesday, the Longhorns are now tied for the nation’s lead with 52, a credit to both the pitchers and the superb play of shortstop David Hernandez in particular.
At the plate, Texas struck quickly, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after a single by first baseman Kacy Clemens and a double by left fielder Travis Jones plated Clemens thanks to a miscue by UT-Arlington.
A sac fly from Clemens and an RBI double from third baseman Ryan Reynolds broke the tie in the third inning before Jones completed the scoring with a home run in the sixth inning, his fourth of the season.
Meanwhile, Tyler Schimpf and Beau Ridgeway finished out the game to help Kennedy earn the win with scoreless efforts. Schimpf pitched two innings and stuck out three of the nine batters he faced, while Ridgeway was remarkably efficient, needing only five pitches to retire UT-Alrington in the ninth for his 11th save.
Texas will head to Fort Worth this weekend for another important conference series against TCU, the current leader in the Big 12 standings, in large part thanks to a 7-2 conference record at home.