The game definitely started on the wrong foot for Texas (20-7), but the Longhorns played small ball and got some lockdown pitching down the stretch to beat the Texas State (16-7) by a score of 5-3.
It was not a fun day for pitcher Kyle Walker. The sophomore lefthander got the start but gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning pitched.
“It leaves him in a struggle with himself to find consistency,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “He’s been working very hard, he’s put a lot of work into it and he’s disappointed in himself that it didn’t work better.”
Walker was yanked in favor of Austin Wood, who put in one of his best performances of the season, holding the Bobcats scoreless over the next five innings before being replaced by Randy Boone in the top of the seventh. The win for Wood ran his record to (3-0). The seventh was also the first inning since the first that Texas State got a run and it was a very unceremonious one, as Boone balked home the runner at third (earned run was credited to Wood because it was his runner on base). But that would be the final runner for the Bobcats as Boone shutdown Texas State over the final two and two-thirds innings.
The Longhorns got their first run in the bottom of the second when Russell Moldenhaur came to the plate and, as his walk-up song accurately predicted, “Here comes the BOOM.” Moldenhauer’s solo shot to left put the score at 2-1 Texas State.
That’s when Texas took off. Over the second, third, fourth innings, Texas scored five runs with adept base running and fielding mistakes by the Bobcats, including scores on a passed ball and an error at first. Those five runs would be all the Longhorns needed. Texas also got the runs using Garrido’s small-ball style of play moving runners and setting up scores. However, Garrido was most proud of the way his pitchers and defenders in the field played down the streatch.
“Baseball, in a strange way, is like all other sports: Defense wins it,” said Garrido. “Defense wins the championships.”
Texas next takes on Kansas State in a three game series at the Disch, starting this Friday at 6:05 p.m. First pitch for Saturday’s game is at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday’s is at 1:00 p.m.