Texas Longhorns baseball (28-14) may not always be a thing of beauty, but the team continues to find ways to win.
After the Longhorns’ offense propelled the team to an 8-6 come back victory over New Orleans in game one on Friday night, Texas took game two over the Privateers (17-24) in a 3-1 defensive battle on Saturday afternoon at the Disch.
The ‘Horns struck early, but not often. David Hamilton batted leadoff and reached base in the first on a walk and then stole bag No. 25 on the season to get to second. Masen Hibbeler then knocked him home on an RBI single to make the score 1-0.
After a rare Kody Clemens strike out, Zach Zubia struck a one-out double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Andy McGuire then came through with a sac fly to make it 2-0 ‘Horns.
It would be the last time Texas until the eighth inning, as the ‘Horns did not perform well with runners in scoring position. Texas would fail to put any runs across in the sixth inning with runners on second and third with one out after two straight strikeouts to DJ Petrinsky and Tate Shaw.
That left the game in starting pitcher Chase Shugart’s hands with little room for error. Thankfully, the junior righty had one of the best afternoons of his Texas career.
Shugart allowed eight hits in his 7.2 innings pitched, but had excellent damage control. The lone run he allowed came in the fourth inning, when UNO notched three consecutive singles to make the bases loaded. The Privateers then scored on a sac fly, but the next batter grounded into a double play to end the inning with the score at 2-1.
In his 101 pitches, Shugart recorded the aforementioned eight hits, five strikeouts, and one walk. He was pulled in the eighth with a runner on second and two outs, but it would take his replacement Bryce Elder two strikeouts to get out of the inning.
Elder struck out the first batter he faced, but a passed ball to the backstop allowed him to reach first and put runners on the corners. The freshman then got the next batter out looking on a 2-2 in a huge strikeout to get out of the jam.
In the bottom of the eighth, Texas added a much needed insurance run. Zubia hit another one out double — his third hit of the day — to get things started. Ryan Reynolds later knocked a two-out single to score Michael McCann, who pinch ran for Zubia.
With the score at 3-1 entering the ninth, Elder stayed on the hill to close the door. Elder got a line out to put the leadoff man down, but then allowed a pair of singles to make it interesting. However, an interference ground out followed by another ground out to the pitcher ended the game to give Texas the series win.
Texas will go for the sweep on Sunday at 1:30 pm CST at Disch-Falk field. You can catch the action on the Longhorn Network or by tuning into 104.9 the Horn.