The ending was one that the right fielder isn’t likely to soon forget — the second-year freshman battled at the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning, fouling off two two-strike pitches before he smashed a line drive into the left-center gap.
The two-out double scored second baseman Mitchell Daly from first base and the Longhorns notched a walk-off win against their Red River rivals at UFCU Disch-Falk Field to move to 16-6 on the season and 3-1 in Big 12 play with the 4-3 win.
Hodo’s big swing capped a competitive game that featured only 15 total hits and 27 strikeouts in 11 innings.
For Texas, ace right-hander Ty Madden struggled with his command in the first inning, allowing two runs on three hits and needing 22 pitches before he recorded the first three outs. In the second inning, Madden settled in a bit, although he did have to strand a runner at second base after an infield single and stolen base. More adversity surfaced in the third thanks to a leadoff double to right center and a walk, but Madden induced a double play to escape the jam.
After throwing 94 pitches through six innings, Madden left the game with Texas in the lead after striking out six and walking two batters while scattering six hits. He didn’t have his best stuff, but as is becoming common with Madden when he’s not dominant, he battled on the mound and recovered from his shaky start.
Texas took the lead in the second inning with three runs. First baseman Zach Zubia led off the inning with a massive home run that cleared the center field wall just left of the batter’s eye by 50 or more feet. Shortstop Trey Faltine followed up with a single to left field and advanced on a sacrifice bunt, then scored when Daly doubled down the left-field line. A single by Hodo III to left scored Daly and gave Texas a 3-2 margin.
When the Oklahoma starter left the game after one pitch in the seventh inning, Texas only had four hits in the game, all of them coming in the second, against eight strikeouts — it wasn’t the best offensive performance for the Longhorns, but that’s hardly uncommon for Friday games in conference play.
To start the seventh, Daly had an impressive piece of hitting, keeping his hands in and dropping the barrel of the bat on an inside fastball, smashing a line drive that hit the padding near the foul ball just left of the visitor’s bullpen cutout, narrowly missing a home run. Hodo moved Daly to third with a sacrifice bunt. A strikeout by designated hitter Dylan Campbell forced Texas to produce a run with two outs. Unfortunately, following a walk to left fielder Eric Kennedy, center fielder Mike Antico flied out to end the threat.
A 1-2 wild pitch by right-hander Tanner Witt with two outs and a runner on third thanks to a two-base error scored the game-tying run in the eighth inning. Right-hander Aaron Nixon came in for Witt and was able to end the inning with a flyout to center field, but the damage was already done. Nixon threw 39 pitches over 2.2 innings, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out two Oklahoma batters. In another strong outing, right-hander Colt Quintanilla replaced Nixon in the 11th inning and struck out both batters he faced.
It was another effective outing for the Longhorns as head coach David Pierce’s team continues to consistently make enough plays to win. The team return to the field at the Disch on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Central on Longhorn Network as Texas attempts to win a second consecutive series to open Big 12 play.