With Tuesday starter Lebarron Johnson Jr. lasting only 2.2 innings, the Texas Longhorns turned to right-handed reliever Charlie Hurley to eat innings and the USC Trojans transfer responded, pitching 5.1 scoreless innings in a 7-2 victory at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, the sixth straight win for head coach David Pierce’s team.
Johnson allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and a walk before giving way to Hurley, who entered the game with the Longhorns trailing 2-1. The Bison weren’t able to get a runner on base against Hurley until the seventh inning, but did threaten in the eighth, loading the bases before Hurley secured two crucial outs. Right-hander Heston Tole pitched a scoreless ninth.
Jayden Duplantier, who received his first start in left field and went 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBI, and one run scored, picked up his first RBI with a bases-loaded walk in the second inning.
It wasn’t until the Horns scored two runs in the fourth and three runs in the fifth that they took control of the game. A two-run double with two outs in the fourth by center fielder Eric Kennedy gave Texas the lead. RBI singles by Duplantier and shortstop Mitchell Daly and a fielder’s choice groundout by first baseman Jared Thomas notched three runs in the following inning.
Designated hitter Porter Brown drove home the final run with a double in the eighth inning.
Texas and North Dakota State face off again on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Central on Longhorn Network.