For the second straight game, Texas Longhorns baseball was able to jump out to an early 5-0 lead on the LSU Tigers — only this time, the ‘Horns were able to finish the game off with a win.
Texas blew out LSU in the third game of weekend series on Sunday, winning 11-1 in Baton Rouge. The Longhorns still lost the series, as David Pierce’s team dropped the Friday and Saturday games 13-4 and 10-5, respectively.
Texas used a trio of doubles to blow open the game in the third inning. Tate Shaw, who turned in an excellent weekend at the plate, got things started with a lead off double. Michael McCann and Duke Ellis both grounded out, but David Hamilton then followed with a double of his own, scoring Shaw with two outs.
The scoring wasn’t done for the ‘Horns in the third. Masen Hibbeler knocked an infield single to short stop and advanced to second on a passed ball, and Kody Clemens was intentionally walked to load the bases. Zach Zubia, who hit two homers in Saturday’s game, then knocked a double to clear the bases and put Texas up 4-0.
The ‘Horns never looked back. Texas extended its lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning after a Duke Ellis RBI groundout scored Shaw. In the sixth, Texas added two more runs after a Ryan Reynolds bases loaded one-out single knocked Kody Clemens and Hibbeler home.
Texas wasn’t done scoring. In the seventh, Reynolds got hit by a pitch, Shaw singled, and then McCann was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Ellis came through for his second RBI of the day on a fielder’s choice, and then Hamilton singled to knock home McCann.
Hamilton was caught stealing second, but a two-out Hibbeler double scored Ellis. Kody Clemens then hit a single to knock home Hibbeler and make it 11-0.
Meanwhile, Texas starting pitcher Blair Henley allowed six hits and three walks in his six complete innings, but never broke when he bent. The sophomore threw some timely excellent pitches and managed the game well enough to not allow a single Tiger to cross home.
Andy McGuire, the former top recruit who missed both the 2015 and 2016 season, came on in relief and continued what Henley started. In his two innings of work, McGuire allowed no runs on two hits, no walks, and a strikeout.
Beau Ridgeway then closed the game and allowed a run off of two hits, but ultimately put down the Tigers to give Texas a win that should surely give the ‘Horns some confidence going forward.
LSU hasn’t pitched well this season, but Texas’ 13 hits on Sunday are not to be overlooked. Shaw and Hamilton both had three hit games on Sunday, and the ‘Horns as a whole looked comfortable at the plate this weekend.
This weekend was far from perfect, but any win at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge is hard to come by, so Texas can’t be too disappointed about getting only one victory against LSU in the three game series.
Still, the ‘Horns could’ve won the series against an LSU team that is far from its top form right now. Any time Nolan Kingham starts is usually a recipe for a win, but the junior came out sloppy in game one. In game two, Texas blew a 5-0 lead and gave up 10 unanswered runs to the Tigers.
The ‘Horns have work to do, but this inexperienced team has also shown that they can be competitive with top programs. If the bats can continue to stay hot, then this season could be an entertaining one.
The Longhorns, who now sit at 4-3 on the season, will return to action on Tuesday with a mid-week game against UTSA at home.