Oh how sweep it is!
For the third time this season, the Texas Longhorns have swept a weekend series — the Longhorns defeated the Cal State Fullerton Titans Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field 8-4 to take the series finale. Despite a shaky start from Coy Cobb, the Longhorns bullpen shut down the Titans lineup while a slew of Longhorns bats put the game away.
Scoring kicked off early in this one, with each team putting runs on the board in the first thirty minutes of the game. Texas got things started in the first inning. After Austin Todd and Duke Ellis both singled, Trey Faltine doubled to left to bring in Todd from second. The next batter up, Eric Kennedy, continued his recent hot streak by knocking a single to right that brought in Ellis and Faltine. The two-RBI single from Kennedy put Texas up 3-0 after one.
Cobb then ran into some serious trouble in the top of the second inning. After getting the 3-0 lead to work with, Cobb walked a batter, hit a batter, then threw an errant pick-off throw to first to put runners on third and second base. Cobb got a groundout to get one out on the board, but gave up a run on the play. After walking the next batter he faced, Texas head coach David Pierce decided to pull Cobb early in the game after retiring just four batters.
Tristan Stevens took the hill for Cobb and he started things off for himself by inducing another RBI groundout. Fullerton’s Jackson Lyon then doubled to deep right center, bringing in one more Titan and tying up the game, 3-3. Stevens got a popup in foul territory to get out of the inning, but not until the lead Texas acquired in the first inning was squandered in the second.
However, the Longhorns didn’t take long to get their lead back. Peyton Powell doubled to left field before Todd homered over the left field wall to push the Texas lead back up two, the score now 5-3 Texas.
The Longhorns added another run in the third inning when Faltine singled and moved to third on a Kennedy single. Murphy Stehly grounded out, but the ball in play scored Faltine from third.
Two more Texas runs were put on the board in the fourth and sixth innings. The Longhorns got one run across in the fourth inning courtesy of a Zach Zubia sacrifice fly RBI that scored Todd. The eighth and final run for Texas came in the sixth inning, with a solo shot from Peyton Powell landing over the fence in right field.
More like Peyton Powerful, right? pic.twitter.com/b8jcujxTEt— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) March 8, 2020
Meanwhile, as the Texas bats were slowly building on a lead, the bullpen was holding the Titans down. Junior right-hander Dawson Merryman pitched four innings of relief in the game, starting in the third inning and pitching through the sixth. Merryman was outstanding in the game, allowing just an unearned run in the fourth inning and hitting one batter. Other than those two blemishes, Merryman couldn’t be touched, striking out two but allowing no hits against the 14 batters he faced en route to picking up his third win of the season.
Picking up after Merryman, Kamron Fields rebounded from his previous shaky performance against Arizona by firing a complete inning and allowing just one hit. Sam Walbridge and Jared Southard both combined for an inning to close out the eighth, and Andre Duplantier, who got his first start at third baser today, closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning.
The Texas bullpen started working with one out in the second inning. From that point on, the bullpen combined to throw 7.2 innings, allowing just three hits, one unearned run, no walks two hit batters, while striking out five. All things considered, this was the best performance we’ve seen out of the bullpen this season.
Texas gets a two-day break before returning to the Disch to take on Abilene Christian on Wednesday evening. The game is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Central — be sure to check back in here for your game day preview.