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Texas takes care of business against Abilene Christian, cruise to 9-1 victory

The Longhorns jumped out to a 9-0 lead to move to 14-3 on the season.

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Eric Kennedy and Zach Zubia
Texas baseball

On a night where the sports world was very much front and center in the national news, the Texas Longhorns somewhat quietly overpowered the Abilene Christian Wildcats onWednesday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The Longhorns did most of their damage in the first half of the game, scoring all nine of their runs in the first four innings.

Coach David Pierce elected Kolby Kubichek take the mound to start the game. In his most recent appearance against Missouri in the Shriners’ Classic, Kubichek could only get one batter out en route to giving up four hits and three runs in the loss.

This time around, Kubichek handled the task brilliantly.

Kubichek, a sophomore right-hander, set a career high in innings pitched against Abilene Christian, notching 4.0 innings to go with two strikeouts. More impressive, however, is that Kubichek, who like most of Texas’ bullpen and weekday staff has dealt with control and location issues, only allowed two runners on base, walking one and yielding one hit.

This performance was more than enough for the Longhorns, who jumped all over ACU in the opening innings.

Scoring opened in the first inning, with Texas getting one Longhorn across in the opening frame. Austin Todd opened the bottom of the first with a single, making it his 17th straight game to get on base. A bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Trey Faltine was enough to bring home Todd, and give the Longhorns the 1-0 lead.

After the first inning, ACU pulled their starting pitcher and put in a reliever, which in turn opened the door for some midweek college baseball madness. After Murphy Stehly reached base on a single, Andre Duplantier moved him to second on a sacrifice grounder. A balk from pitcher Colby Adkins moved Stehly to third and he later scored after a throwing error from the second baseman from an Austin Todd ground ball.

After two innings of putting up just a run, the Longhorns opened up the game in the third.

Zach Zubia started things off with a home run to left center field. The solo shot added to Zubia’s team-leading home run (3) and RBI (21) counts on the year.

Following the homer, Eric Kennedy walked, then stole second, then stole third as two parts of a three-steal game for him. After ACU’s pitcher Austin Glaze loaded the bases on two more walks, the Wildcats called on their fourth pitcher in just 3.1 innings of play, summoning Trevor Jackson out of the pen.

Jackson didn’t fair much better than his counterpart, as he immediately threw a wild pitch while facing Stehly that allowed Kennedy to score from third. Stehly then grounded out, scoring Ardoin from third and moving the Longhorn lead up to 5-0. Texas would squeeze one more run out of the inning on an Austin Todd single through the left side that scored Peyton Powell.

Texas added their final three runs of the game in the fourth inning, refusing to take their foot off the gas and the Wildcats’ throats in the opening half of play. Silas Ardoin moved a run across with an RBI single that scored Kennedy. Murphy Stehly brought in the final two runs of the frame on an RBI single to left field. The hit plated Peyton Powell and Faltine, bumping the lead up to 9-0 for the Horns.

Abilene Christian got their lone run of the game late in the contest. Texas pitcher Will Swope ran into some trouble in the eighth inning, allowing a single then a triple that yielded a run for ACU and broke the glass on the Texas shutout. Swope rebounded to get the final two outs of the inning, followed by Justin Eckhardt, who pitched a perfect ninth inning to finish off the Wildcats.

Though scores in baseball can sometimes be deceiving, this one is anything but. The Longhorns dominated the Wildcats Wednesday night, and almost any number you find in the box score will back that up.

The Longhorns drew 12 walks in the game, and faced a grand total of nine ACU pitchers in just eight innings of at bats. Meanwhile, the pitching staff was collectively in control of the game from start to finish, minus the back-to-back hits allowed by Swope in the eighth. The Horns pitchers allowed just five hits, two walks, and struck out eight in the victory.

Texas will return to the diamond this weekend to face New Mexico at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. However, with the recent progression of the coronavirus, The University of Texas has issued that all home sporting events through March 22nd be closed to fans.

Unfortunately, this obviously includes the upcoming weekend series against the Lobos. So if you were planning on catching the Longhorns in action on the baseball field, Wednesday may have been your last chance to do so for a while.

But, because this is the University of goddang Texas, there’s still a good amount of options to catch their games this weekend, including on the Longhorn Network or 104.9 FM The Horn.