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Strong pitching lifts Texas to 4-0 win over Rice

Ty Madden made his season debut and kept the Owls off of the scoreboard.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 08 Baylor at Texas Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With a strong season debut from Ty Madden, as well as a few solo home runs, the Texas Longhorns moved to 2-0 on the season and secured the series with a 4-0 win over the Rice Owls at Reckling Park in Houston on Saturday.

Madden earned his first win of the season thanks to six scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out seven. The sophomore seemed to pitch his best in the last six at bats, with three of his seven strikeouts coming in his final innings, going three up, three down in the fifth and six innings to finish his day.

Freshman lefty Pete Hansen took care of business in the seventh and eighth innings, giving up just one hit in his debut, while fellow freshman Andre Duplantier II closed the game out with a pair of fly outs and a strikeout.

Offensively, the stars for Texas were the freshmen Douglas Hodo III and Brenden Dixon, both going yard with the first hit of their collegiate careers. Holdo’s came in the second, giving the Longhorns a early 2-0 lead, while Dixon extended Texas’ lead to four runs in the top of the ninth.

The Longhorns only had six hits on the day, but the two home runs pushed the team total to five over two games, already 18.5 percent of the total from 2018, when Texas only hit 27 home runs. So with the infusion of young talent on offense and the addition of Troy Tulowitzki as a volunteer assistant, the Horns are showing much improved power after averaging one home run every two games last year.

The Longhorns have a chance to close out the series-opening sweep Sunday with Coy Cobb on the mound at 1 p.m. Central.