On a beautiful day on the South Plains, left-hander Lucas Gordon continued his dominance for the No. 2 Texas Longhorns on the mound, scattering six hits and only giving up one run in six complete innings of work at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock on Sunday afternoon against the No. 16 Texas Tech Red Raiders in a 12-1 win to avoid a sweep.
Gordon did a fantastic job of mixing speeds and keeping the Red Raiders hitters off balance all afternoon. Right-hander Coy Cobb came into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and faced only four Tech batters to end the inning, and the game.
Offensively, every batter in the Longhorn lineup had at least one hit. Texas was 17-for-34 at the plate for an incredible .500 team batting average in the game. Three players hit home runs — shortstop Trey Faltine, third baseman Skyler Messinger, and second baseman Mitchell Daly.
Both teams went scoreless in the first inning. The Longhorns opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning when catcher Silas Ardoin led off with a double down the left field line, and Faltine drew a walk to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Messinger then laid a sacrifice bunt down the third base line to move both runners into scoring position before Daly found a fastball up in the zone and delivered a sacrifice fly to center field to score Ardoin from third.
With two outs, right fielder Dylan Campbell laid a bunt down the third base line for an infield single. With leadoff batter Eric Kennedy at the plate, Campbell attempted to steal second base and was called out on a bang-bang play that was reviewed, and upheld, by the officiating crew.
Texas Tech tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the third inning. Leadoff batter Easton Murrell doubled to left-center field and moved over to third base on a bloop single to left field by first baseman Cole Stillwell. Second baseman Jace Jung hit a sac fly to right field to score Murrell.
Both teams hung goose eggs on the board in the fourth inning, but the Longhorns put up a crooked number in the top of the fifth inning. Messinger led off the inning with a home run to left center field on a full count breaking ball that was down in the strike zone.
Mitchell Daly then jumped on an 0-2 letter-high fastball on the inner half of the plate, and crushed his first home run of the season to push the score to 3-1.
The Texas offense scored two more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Designated hitter Murphy Stehly, who was inserted into the lineup as a designated hitter, led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Ardoin stepped into the batter’s box and ripped a single just inside the first base line to score Stehly from second base. Faltine’s sacrifice bunt attempt was right back at the mound, and Red Raider starting pitcher Mason Molina pounced on it and threw to second base to get Ardoin out at second base. Messinger stepped in, and sliced a single down the right field line to move Faltine all the way to third base. Campbell then dumped a blooper over the shortstop’s head for a single to score Faltine.
In the seventh inning, the Longhorns sent 10 batters to the plate and pushed seven runs across to bring the 10-run rule into play. Center fielder Douglas Hodo, III led off the inning with a double off the bottom of the left field wall. First baseman Ivan Melendez, who was retired by the Red Raiders for the first time all weekend in the third inning, followed that with a single to left field that sent Hodo to third base. Stehly continued his hot hitting weekend by driving a single up the middle to score Hodo to make the score 6-1. Ardoin then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Melendez to third base and Stehly to second. With a full count, and one out, Faltine destroyed a hanging breaking ball that landed somewhere near the Caprock. It put Texas up 9-1 and chased reliever Kyle Robinson from the game.
Messinger welcomed Red Raider reliever Jase Lopez from the bullpen with a hard hit single up the middle, and Daly drove him home from first base with a double over the head of the Tech centerfielder to push the score to 10-1. After Campbell grounded out to the third baseman, Kennedy hit a single into right field to score Daly from second base, making it 11-1. Hodo then knocked a fly ball into right field that freshman right fielder Owen Washburn had trouble tracking down. The ball glanced off Washburn’s glove and rolled to the fence, which allowed Kennedy to score all the way from first base. Melendez grounded out to the third baseman to end the inning and the scoring onslaught by the Texas offense.
The Longhorns return home to UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday night to face in-=state rival Texas A&M. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central on Longhorn Network.