Coming off a 1-2 performance over the weekend at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic in Houston, the Texas Longhorns (10-2) will take on the Arizona Wildcats at UFCU Dish-Falk Field this evening – the team’s first of what will be a nine-game homestand.
It’s the first time the two teams have met since March 2005, when the Longhorns swept the Wildcats in three-game series in Tucson. Arizona is heading to Austin with a 7-4 record. They’re coming off a 2-1 performance at the Arizona Tournament last weekend, where they beat the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Rhode Island Rams in their first matchup, only to later lose in their second contest against Rhode Island to cap off the weekend.
For the Wildcats, the Longhorns will be their first true road test of the 2020 season. They currently lead the PAC-12 Conference in batting percentage (.464), on-base percentage (.412), runs scored (87), RBIs (82), doubles (27) and total bases (172). Dating back to their most recent shutout loss on March 27, 2018, against the Washington Huskies, Arizona has scored at least one run in 105 consecutive games – the longest streak in the PAC-12.
As for Arizona’s pitching staff, through 11 games this season, they’ve notched the 20th-best performance nationally, and the second-best among their conference opponents, striking out more than 10 batters in 10 games this season – on pace to surpass their 2019 mark.
Then there’s the Longhorns. After getting off to a hot 9-0 start to kick off the season, at the College Classic last weekend, they went home with losses to the No. 11 LSU Tigers and the Missouri Tigers, as well as a win over the No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks. It was up and down.
Texas pitchers have so far compiled a 1.89 ERA with 52 strikeouts, and in terms of how well they’ve managed to swing a bat this season, they’ve compiled a .196 batting average this year. In particular, the Longhorns’ freshman class has a played a large part in their success: Shortstop Trey Faltine has hit in 9-of-12 games and has seven runs scored and five RBI. Outfielder Douglas Hodo leads the team with 13 walks. Not to mention the success we’ve seen out of freshman left-handed pitcher Pete Hansen, who earned his first start last week.
First pitch is expected for 6:30 p.m. Central on the Longhorn Network.