After the weekend sweep, the Texas Longhorns dropped out of the top 25 for the first time this season, but bounced back on Tuesday with a seven-inning, run-rule win over the Houston Baptist Huskies at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, 13-3.
Texas scored four runs in the first inning on the first five pitches from Houston Baptist right-hander Daxton Tinker and never looked back. Center fielder Douglas Hodo III and left fielder Ace Whitehead led off the game with back-to-back bunt singles, first baseman Ivan Melendez hit a line-drive double into the left-center gap, and second baseman Murphy Stehly followed with a two-run home run.
Melendez finished the game 3-for-3 with two doubles and two walks.
With two runs in the fourth inning and seven more runs in the fifth inning, the Longhorns were able to end the game early.
It wasn’t always easy for the pitching staff, however. Right-hander Zane Morehouse pitched two perfect innings in a second straight strong start, but right-hander Joshua Stewart struggled in the second, allowing two hits and two walks, forcing head coach David Pierce to call on right-hander Tristan Stevens, the Saturday starter, to get out of the bases-loaded jam. Stevens struck out the only batter he faced to retire the side and keep the Texas lead at 2-2.
Right-hander Andre Duplantier and right-hander Travis Sthele both struggled in their inning of work, walking two batters apiece, with Sthele’s continued command issues leaving Pierce’s bullpen in flux even as the regular season nears its completion.
So it was hardly a complete performance for the Longhorns against a bad opponent, but they got the necessary result and didn’t waste any unnecessary innings doing so. Texas travels to Morgantown this weekend for a conference series against West Virginia.