The Texas Longhorns secured a series win on Saturday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field with a 10-4 win over the Manhattan Jaspers.
With right-fielder Dylan Campbell still batting under .200, Texas head coach David Pierce made the first truly substantive change to the batting order on Saturday, moving Peyton Powell into Campbell spot second in the order, switching left fielder Porter Brown and designated hitter Garret Guillemette, and moving shortstop Mitchell Daly up to the No. 5 spot.
And while the moves paid off with a victory, Manhattan out-hit Texas 13-9, hit better with runners on base, hit betters with runners in scoring position, hit better with two outs, and avoided any errors. But perhaps it’s a sign of growth that the Longhorns had a significant advantage in impactful hits in a victory that rarely seemed in doubt beyond a sixth-inning rally by the Jaspers.
In what’s becoming an increasingly familiar story, Powell was a catalyst for Texas, finishing 2-of-3 with a double, two walks, two RBI, and two runs scored. Catcher Rylan Galvan also came through with a team-high three RBI on one hit.
Right-hander Zane Morehouse got in trouble early for Texas, allowing a run in the first inning on a one-out double and run-scoring single before retiring the side. The Longhorns responded quickly, however, earning six straight walks after center fielder Eric Kennedy was hit by a pitch to lead off, eventually scoring three runs.
Kennedy was hit again in the second inning and scored on a double down the left-field line by Powell. Brown came through with a two-out single to extend the lead to 5-1.
In the third, Morehouse allowed a second run, but got some help from Kennedy and Daly on a relay throw to home that cut down a runner from first on a double. A two-out single brought in the second score for the Jaspers before Morehouse stranded two runners with a full-count strikeout, ending his outing after three innings with a line of two runs allowed on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Right-hander Max Grubbs worked around a hit batter in the fourth and left-hander David Shaw stranded two runners in the fifth before getting into trouble the next inning, allowing two singles and then an unearned run on a error by first baseman Jared Thomas on a pickoff play and another unearned run on a double that hit the left-field line.
The big mistake by Thomas made it 6-4 — the Horns had scored a run in the previous inning thanks to a walk by Campbell, two stolen bases, and a single by Powell on an 11-pitch at bat.
In an echo of the first inning, Texas quickly responded in the bottom of the sixth — Daly drew a one-out walk and second baseman Jack O’Dowd doubled to the wall in right field, forcing a pitching change, and with the infield drawn in, center Rylan Galvan singled up the middle to score Daly and O’Dowd.
Often working backwards while heavily relying on a sharp curveball, right-hander Heston Cole struck out the side in the seventh.
For the third time on Saturday, Kennedy was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout by Powell, and then scored on a fielder’s choice. Then Brown brought Guillemette home with a sacrifice fly deep into the left-center gap to make it 10-4. Remaining on the mound, Cole worked around an infield single, striking out two. Another single in the ninth didn’t faze the Arkansas transfer, who struck out two more batters to finish with seven in three innings.
Texas goes for the sweep on Sunday at noon Central on Longhorn Network with right-hander Travis Sthele on the mound.