By any means necessary.
The No. 12 Texas Longhorns didn’t even pick up a base hit until the sixth inning and overcame nine walks to pull out a series victory over the No. 11 Texas Tech Red Raiders in another comeback victory at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Sunday.
In the midst of a challenging senior season at the plate, shortstop Masen Hibbeler came through with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning, driving home left fielder Austin Todd and right fielder Eric Kennedy to give Texas the lead.
Horns put up a three spot in the 6th and lead it, 3️⃣-1️⃣!— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 17, 2019
CLUTCH, @masenhibbeler. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/2iRtTin2Fn
The Horns added another run on a double steal that inning when the throw to third went into left field, scoring Hibbeler.
Two innings later, Hibbeler brought home another big run when he single into left field to score pinch runner Bryce Reagan, who had advanced to second on a wild pitch after replacing designed Zach Zubia on the base paths
Texas needed each of those runs, as reliever Matt Whelan gave up a two-run home run to Texas Tech standout Josh Yung in the ninth inning. Freshman Koby Kubichek, in the biggest appearance of his young career, came on in relief and picked up his first career save by retiring all three batters he faced.
On the mound, the seven Texas pitchers had to battle all day, stranding 12 Texas Tech baserunners, scattering eight hits and those nine walks and working out of jams in just about every inning.
Starter Coy Cobb went only 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and zero earned runs, before he was replaced by freshman Ty Madden, who left the game with an injury after facing two batters. Matteo Bocchi, Tristan Stevens, and Mason Bryant combined to work three innings before Whelan came on and combined with Kubichek to do just enough to secure the victory.
A strikeout by Bryant with the bases loaded in the sixth inning was particularly big, especially considering how the Horns responded in the home half.
Got ‘em. @bryantmason00 gets the K with the bases loaded and we head to the home half of the 6th. Horns trail by one. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/o6r7HR5RVM— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 17, 2019
Now 15-7 with two big series victories, Texas was able to stabilize the infield defense with Hibbeler at shortstop in place of Reagan, as well as the defense behind the plate with the return of Michael McCann from the injury he suffered last weekend against Stanford.
One of the nation’s toughest schedules won’t let up this week, though, as Arkansas comes to town for two games with a national ranking and a 17-2 record. First pitch on Tuesday and Wednesday will be at 6:30 p.m. Central.