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No. 10 Texas holds off Baylor in 4-3 win to take series

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Aaron Nixon struggled to get the final outs in the ninth inning, but struck out Baylor’s best hitter with three straight sliders.

The No. 10 Texas Longhorns moved to 2-0 in Big 12 play and took the opening series from the Baylor Bears with a 4-3 victory at Baylor Ballpark in Waco on Saturday.

Led by three base knocks from second baseman Mitchell Daly, the Longhorns had 12 hits against the Bears, including a home run by third baseman Cam Williams. The biggest swing came from designated hitter DJ Petrinsky, whose sixth-inning single to right field drove in two runs. Texas also scored a run in the first inning when center fielder Mike Antico doubled to center field, driving in left fielder Eric Kennedy.

Right-hander Tristan Stevens earned his second win of the year for Texas, making it through the sixth inning once again, though it wasn’t without some difficulty thanks to two two-out singles, but Stevens was able to strike out Davion Downey to end the inning. Stevens scattered seven hits over his 6.0 innings, allowing two runs and striking out six Baylor batters.

Out of the bullpen, right-hander Cole Quintanilla produced a positive outing, striking out two and allowing a single hit in his 2.0 innings of work.

In the ninth, right-hander Aaron Nixon had some struggles earning his second save after pitching in Friday’s win. With one out, Downey homered to left field. Then, with two outs, Chase Wehsener doubled into the left-center gap, bringing up Baylor’s best hitter, Jared McKenzie, who had two hits on the day and is batting over .400 this season. Taking an aggressive approach, McKenzie was no match for three good sliders from Nixon, swinging and missing all three to end the game.

Texas has now won eight straight games as it looks for the sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central on ESPN+ as right-hander Kolby Kubichek (2-1, 2.50) takes the mound against right-hander Hayden Kettler (1-0, 1.54).