In an encore of their regional opener yesterday, the No. 2 national seed Texas Longhorns kept their bats rolling and had no trouble Saturday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, putting away the Arizona State Sun Devils in a 10-3 win.
With game two of the Austin Regional serving as a pivotal one, head coach David Pierce elected to start Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Ty Madden. As was the case for much of the season, the move paid off big for the Horns, with Madden tossing an excellent six innings, allowing just seven baserunners and one run while striking out seven.
While Madden was at work on the mound, the Texas bats got going in the bottom half of the third inning.
Arizona State starting pitcher Justin Fall lost complete control of his pitches, issuing four walks, hitting one batter, and throwing a wild pitch to ultimately allow three runs to score. Of the 26 pitches Fall threw in the inning, 20 of the pitches were balls.
This disaster of a performance caused the Sun Devils to call on their bullpen early, which Texas took advantage of in the very next inning. With a runner on third base, first baseman Zach Zubia blasted a two-run home run into deep center field on an 0-2 pitch up and out over the plate, putting Texas up 5-0 through four innings.
The Sun Devils got one run back in the top of the fifth, but the Longhorns increased their lead to 8-1 after a three-run seventh inning. With runners on first and second, shortstop Trey Faltine battled off a high, inside pitch and blooped a single into shallow center field.
Arizona State scored again in the following inning, this time adding two on a home run off of Texas relief pitcher Tanner Witt. But the hole was much too deep for the Sun Devils to dig out of, and after allowing the two runs to score, Witt allowed just one baserunner the rest of the way.
Texas added two more runs in the eighth inning, courtesy of a single by catcher Silas Ardoin. Working with a seven-run cushion, Witt closed down the Sun Devils in the ninth, finishing off the game for the Longhorns with a nicely-turned double play by the middle infield.
Texas now has the pleasure of waiting to see who they will face with a trip to the Super Regional round at stake. After defeating Southern earlier on Saturday in an elimination game, Fairfield will face Arizona State in another elimination game. Arizona State won their first matchup against Fairfield on Friday in a thrilling 7-6 victory.
The winner of that game will then turn around and face Texas tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Central. You can catch the game at the Disch or watch on ESPNU.