The slugfest saw eleven pitchers surrender 29 total hits but, when the dust settled, RHP Hunter Harris (2-0) picked up the win after yielding three earned runs on six hits in three innings of work. He fanned two and walked one. Texas, which moved to No. 7 in this week's Baseball American poll, improved its record to 26-9.
Five Longhorns enjoyed multiple-hit outings. Bradley Suttle went 2-for-2 with 4 RBI while Nick Peoples went 3-for-4, including a double and a RBI. All told, Texas cranked 15 hits and committed no errors while the Roadrunners (17-12) accounted for 14 hits and one error.
Jordan Danks replaced Travis Tucker in the leadoff position for the first time since the 12th game of season (against Texas State on February 20).
The Roadrunners took a 1-0 lead after LHP Kyle Walker surrendered a two-out solo shot in the top of the second to C Zack Etheredge. The visitors pushed three more runs across during their next at-bat. With one down, Walker served-up three consecutive singles to plate another Roadrunner run. His brief stint was done after issuing a walk to load the bases. Harris (6.0 ERA) made his seventh appearance of the season and just his first since March 6. The RS-freshman issued a two-run single down the left field line on his first pitch, and the Horns now trailed 4-0.
But Texas would send 11 batters to the plate in a tide-turning bottom of the third. Nick Peoples' bunt single followed Brett Lewis' leadoff walk. Danks' sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position.
Chance Wheeless surprised everyone by swinging on a 3-0 pitch, resulting in a RBI-bloop double and Texas' first run. Kyle Russell walked to load the bases for Suttle. The sophomore's grand slam on a high fastball cleared the right field wall. It was the first grand slam by a Longhorn since J.D. Reininger turned the trick on March 28, 2004.
The Horns weren't done. With one down, Russell Moldenhaur and Travis Tucker both singled to put runners on the corners. Josh Blakely replaced Blake Brannon on the mound to face Chaise Fuller, the ninth Horn to bat in the frame. His RBI-sacrifice fly made it a 6-4 ballgame. Lewis' second at-bat of the inning resulted in a single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch to complete the seven-run rally.
At the rate Kyle Russell is going, he could shatter Texas' single-season home run record this weekend. His two-run homer down the left field line in the fourth gave him an NCAA-leading 18th on the season, just two shy of Jeff Ontiveros' school record set in 2002.
Texas would extend their lead, 10-4, during their next at-bat courtesy of Danks' RBI-single. He plated Peoples who doubled to left on a 3-2 pitch. But then UTSA made things interesting.
Austin Wood relieved Harris in the top of the sixth after issuing a solo shot to Mitch Ponza down the right field line and then surrendering two singles. Wood walked the bases loaded before Michael Rockett cleared the bags with a grand slam over the left-center field wall. Texas held a 10-9 lead at the end of six.
The Horns got those runs back with a two-spot in both the seventh and eighth innings. PH Clint Stubbs (brother of former Longhorn All-American Drew Stubbs) got things started with a leadoff triple in the eighth. Lewis reached on an error and advanced to third on the throw as Stubbs crossed home plate. Lewis scored on Danks' sacrifice fly.
Closer Drew Bishop relieved Joseph Krebs in the top of the ninth. After issuing a single and wild pitch, Bishop forced two pop-ups and fanned Ponza to end the contest.
Texas travels to Kansas for a three-game series starting Thursday.