Texas (6-5) blasted four home-runs in Friday's 5-2 win, Adrian Alaniz fanned eight in a 5-3 win on Saturday, but the Longhorns' 10-8 loss to Stanford (3-5) on Sunday was the most spectacular game of the weekend series.
A pitchers' duel it was not.
"It was a pair of opportunistic teams today, crawling all over both pitching staffs and they (Stanford) ended up doing the right thing at the right time right there at the end," said Texas head coach Augie Garrido.
That right thing was a jaw-dropping defensive play from Stanford first baseman Brent Milleville.
Texas trailed 10-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but a two-run homer from Chance Wheeless narrowed the Cardinal lead to two. Texas pinch hitter Jeff Boes reached on an error and center fielder Nick Peoples hit a single to right, putting two runners on and bringing left fielder Jordan Danks, who already had a homerun, to the plate with no outs. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Danks fired a line drive down the right field line. This drive was on a rope, about as hard as a ball can possibly go, but Milleville dove to his left, snagged the ball in mid-air and touched his glove to first base while still in the air, also putting out Peoples. The Stanford first baseman got an unassisted double-play before anybody could even move.
"I can't hit the ball any harder, I think," said Danks after the game. "It was a great play by the first baseman. Can't do anything about it."
Stanford pitcher Max Fearnow struck out the next batter, catcher Preston Clark, to seal the win. Garrido said that in the game of baseball everything can change in an instant.
"I thought the ball Jordan hit was great contact and if the ball goes past the first baseman, who made a brilliant catch, we've got runners on first and third, one run down, nobody out. We've got ourselves in position to win the game. That's baseball right there," said Garrido.
Texas senior pitcher Randy Boone got the loss, dropping his record to 0-3 on the year. Blake Handcock, who came on in the 8th for Stanford was credited with the win, his first of the season (1-0).
Despite the unexpected play from Milleville in the 9th, it was Danks' best game of the season, getting three hits, four runs, two RBI, one walk and a two-run homer in the bottom of the 6th. Clark had a homerun of his own in the bottom of the 5th. Each was the sophomores' first of the season. Even with the loss, Garrido liked what he saw from his team.
"As they scored runs, we became more competitive and that's what you want to see," said Garrido. "That's a great instinct to have in a team. I've been confident in that throughout the year and I'm still confident in that."
Danks likes the way this team is heading and said the Horns will be great once they get consistency from all of the elements of hitting, pitching and fielding.
"We need to be, sometimes, more consistent," said Danks. "Lately we've been hitting it real well and I think we'll be alright. We'll get better as the year goes on and we're a tough team to beat."
It was the Longhorns final game at the Dell Diamond this season as Texas returns to the newly-renovated Disch-Falk Field for what will be its home opener Tuesday, February 20th at 2:30 p.m. against Texas State.