The No. 23 Texas Longhorns (5-1) started the day by defeating the Purdue Boilermakers (0-5) 13-6 in the first game of their doubleheader despite early pitching woes.
Purdue jumped on Texas early. Hoping to bounce back from his poor performance in Lafayette, starting pitcher Blair Henley continued his streak of slow starts. Right out of the gate, Henley walked leadoff batter Cole McKenzie on a four-pitch walk. A less than ideal start resulted in Purdue putting three up on the scoreboard in the top of the first behind three hits and an error.
However, the Horns wouldn’t be down for long and never looked back.
Subsequent to a second frame that went much smoother for Henley, the Longhorn bats exploded – putting up seven runs in the bottom of the second to retake the lead. With the bases juiced and one out, catcher Michael McCann doubled to left center, clearing the bases and bringing it to a tie game. The game didn’t stay tied for very long as the very next batter, freshman Bryce Reagan, homered to right field.
Still with one out following a Duke Ellis walk, another freshman, this time Eric Kennedy, homered to right field to cap off an explosive inning for the Horns. For the record, Duke Ellis has had at least two walks in every game so far this season. I mean, the guy just knows how to get on base. For a leadoff man, that is exactly what you want.
Not much for Purdue materialized following their three-run first inning, as Henley only faced the minimum amount in the third and fourth innings. However, Henley ran into trouble in the fifth, as the Boilermakers were able to cut the Longhorn lead to one. Control issues from Henley and good hitting on the part of Purdue compromised the Longhorns ability to maintain a sizable lead. Both Owen Jansen and Zac Fascia were the ones responsible for driving in three runs in the inning to bring the score to 7-6.
No sweat for the Longhorns, though, as they matched Purdue’s three-run inning with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Following hits by Todd and Petrinsky, Sam Bertelson RBI doubled to right field, expanding the lead to three runs. Eventually in the inning, Bertelson scored off a Lance Ford sac fly, bringing the lead to 10-6 after five.
The Longhorns kept their foot on the pedal as a couple more runs came across in the bottom of the sixth after a 10-pitch inning from Henley. Austin Todd gave the Horns an extra cushion with a two-run homerun over the right field fence, marking the third longball for Texas for the day and a 12-6 lead.
Henley’s day was done after registering his third HBP of the day in the top of the seventh, handing the ball over to local prospect Mason Bryant to finish out the inning. Blair’s numbers are listed below:
Blair Henley – 6.2IP, 6R, 4ER, 7H, 1BB, 4SO, 97 pitches
An additional run was added in the bottom of the seventh thanks to an RBI walked issued to Tate Shaw increasing the lead 13-6. However, the Horns would leave the bases loaded leaving another opportunity for Texas to add to their riches.
In the end, the combination of Mason Bryant and Donny Diaz squandered any hope for a miracle comeback from the Boilermakers as the Longhorns took the first game of the doubleheader scheduled for the day.
The second game of the day is set to start at 4:30 P.M. You can catch the next game on the Longhorn Network, on 104.9 The Horn, or make your way to the ballpark to watch Texas try to capture the series win.