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Texas opens homestand with midweek wins

The Horns took down the Bearkats and the Bears at the Disch to close in on .500.

Texas baseball

The Texas Longhorns secured much-needed victories on Tuesday against the Sam Houston Bearkats and on Wednesday against the Mercer Bears to open a 14-game homestand at UFCU Disch-Falk Field that finishes with the start of Big 12 play.

The wins push Texas to 6-7 on the season with a weekend home series looming against Manhattan.

On Tuesday, the Longhorns handled the Bearkats 7-5 in a comeback victory spurred by a four-run sixth inning.

Sam Houston took the lead with a three-run home run in the third inning against right-hander Lebarron Johnson Jr. and added single runs in the fifth and the seventh. Continuing a bid for the weekend rotation, Johnson allowed four runs, two earned on seven hits over six innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Right-hander Charlie Hurley pitched the final three innings for his second save at Texas while giving up one run on two hits.

The Longhorns scored four in the sixth with four straight singles to lead off the inning, a fielder’s choice, a groundout, and a double by center fielder Eric Kennedy. Shortstop Mitchell Daly added a solo home run in the eighth inning.

Third baseman Peyton Powell continued the hot streak that started on the road against Cal State Fullerton over the weekend with three hits, two runs, and one RBI. The fourth-year player is now receiving consistent playing time for the first time in his career and taking advantage by elbowing his way into the starting lineup.

Texas followed with a much more dominant performance against Mercer in Wednesday’s 11-3 victory.

Four runs in the second and third innings opened up an early lead thanks to a two-run home run by catcher Rylan Galvan, who finished 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Left fielder Porter Brown added a run-scoring double in the inning before doubles by center fielder Eric Kennedy and right fielder Dylan Campbell highlighted the scoring in the third inning. Campbell was 3-for-4 with two runs scored as Texas finished with 15 hits and 10 walks.

Six pitchers combined to allow three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts, led by left-handed starter Ace Whitehead and the debut from right-hander Max Grubbs, who gave up one hit in two innings while inducing six groundouts.