The No. 6 Texas Longhorns (36-11) remained undefeated at home in midweek games to set up the massive Cowtown Showdown this weekend against No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs by beating the Texas State Bobcats 4-1 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday.
It was hardly the type of dominating performance that the Longhorns turned in throughout most of the midweek games this season, but five pitchers combined to allow only three hits and a single earned run on a home run given up by right-hander Drew Shifflet.
Left-hander Lucas Gordon went three innings with one hit allowed and zero walks in his first career start, right-hander Cole Quintanilla grabbed his fourth win of the season by pitching two perfect innings with three strikeouts, right-hander Tanner Witt struck out all three batters he faced, and right-hander Aaron Nixon earned his sixth save working the ninth inning.
With catcher Silas Ardoin and third baseman Cam Williams out of the lineup, Texas struggled to get going at the plate as Texas State starter Trevis Sundgren showed better control than he has at other points in the season in going five innings with three hits and one run allowed. Sundgren hit the mid 90s with his fastball and was effective with two off-speed pitches that he often struggles to locate.
In the second inning, the Horns were able to scrape out a run with two singles, a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Eric Kennedy, and an RBI groundout by shortstop Trey Faltine.
After the home run by the Bobcats in the fifth inning, first baseman Zach Zubia responded by driving a high fastball out over the right-field fence on a two-strike pitch after missing a hanging breaking ball.
A two-out rally in the seventh added another run after an infield single by designated hitter Ivan Melendez following two walks resulted in the Texas State third baseman rushing a throw to third as Mike Antico rounded the base too aggressively. The throw went into short left field and Antico scored.
In the eighth, Texas produced another run the hard way with two walks, a sacrifice bunt, and a groundout to first base.
So even though the Longhorns only managed five hits on the day, drawing seven walks and executing in key situations combined with strong pitching and defense to provide the winning margin.
First pitch against TCU on Friday is at 7:30 p.m. Central on Friday on ESPNU.