Following a quality opening weekend showing on the road against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, where David Pierce’s ball club just won two-out-of-three games, the Texas Longhorns remained steady across the national baseball polls on Monday.
Throughout this baseball season, I’ll provide a weekly update on where Texas stands in each of the college baseball ranking systems every Monday. For the sake of the ranking systems, we’ll be using D1Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game, RPI, and the USA Today Coaches Poll for our weekly ranking sources. D1Baseball, Baseball America, and Perfect Game were the only sites to update their rankings after the first weekend of action.
Led by starting sophomore pitcher Bryce Elder, who gave up one run in eight innings pitched, Texas escaped in extra innings (10) with a 3-1 win on opening night. Senior Austin Todd’s two-run double in the 10th inning was the ultimate difference.
Elder earned Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors for his eight-inning, nine-strikeout performance on Friday.
The relief pitching behind starter Blair Henley throughout game two was phenomenal. After Henley allowed four earned runs in two innings of work, Cole Quintanilla, Tristan Stephens, Owen Meaney, and Nico O’Donnell worked together to hold the Ragin’ Cajuns to just one run the rest of the game. The bullpen propelled Texas to a 6-5 win on Saturday.
Texas’ lineup was able to fight their way back from an 8-1 deficit in the series finale. But it wasn’t enough offensively, as Louisiana’s bullpen shut the door in the 9th to secure their first win of the season, 8-6. Despite this loss, it was still a successful opening weekend for the Horns. Notching a series road win against a quality ball club surely qualifies as successful start to the season.
D1Baseball (D1): No. 23 (PR: 23)
Non-Conference opponents: LSU (No. 2), Stanford (No. 12), Arkansas (No. 16)
Big 12 opponents: Texas Tech (No. 3), Baylor (No. 15), TCU (No. 18), Oklahoma State (No. 19)
Baseball America (BA): No. 19 (PR: 19)
Non-Conference opponents: LSU (No. 2), Stanford (No. 7), Arkansas (No. 17)
Big 12 opponents: Texas Tech (No. 8), Baylor (No. 16), TCU (No. 24)
Perfect Game: NR (PR: NR)
Non-Conference opponents: LSU (No. 1), Stanford (No. 7), Arkansas (No. 13)
Big 12 opponents: Texas Tech (No. 5), Baylor (No. 12), TCU (No. 16), Oklahoma State (No. 20)
USA Today Coaches Poll: (PR: 16)
This week’s slate features another road matchup against the Rice Owls (2-1) on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the Conference USA television network. After Tuesday’s game, the Longhorns will return home to get ready for a four-game weekend series against the Purdue Boilermakers (0-3). Following Friday’s home-opener, the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and finish the series with an earlier scheduled game on Sunday.
Rice took two-out-of-three games against Rhode Island over the weekend, while Purdue was swept by Southern Mississippi (BA: No. 21) to start their season.
WEEK 2 Schedule (Feb. 18-Feb. 24)
Tues. Feb. 19: @ Rice (7:00 p.m. CT; CUSATV)
Fri. Feb. 22: v. Purdue (6:30 p.m. CT; LHN)
Sat. Feb. 23 (DH): Game 1 v. Purdue (1:00 p.m. CT; LHN)
Game 2 v. Purdue (approximately 20-30 min. following Game 1; LHN)
Sun. Feb 24: v. Purdue (12:30 p.m. CT; LHN)