Texas (35-20) still hasn't proven it has a bullpen, but the bats were working on Thursday, giving Texas a 15-9 win over Texas A&M (42-16).
First baseman Brandon Belt paced the Horns with four RBI on four hits, including a two-run shot over the left field wall in the sixth. Short stop David Hernandez was right behind with three RBI, which helped make up for his three errors in the sixth.
Fortunately for the Horns, the sixth was the first time the Aggies managed to get onto the board. For the first five innings, it was all Texas. The Longhorns put up seven runs in the top of the first, another three in the second and a pair in the third to take a very comfortable 12-0 lead.
For five innings, Texas was dominant at the plate and also on the mound. Starter Austin Wood shut the Aggies down until the top of the sixth, when A&M's Jose Duran singled up the middle to score Dane Carter and break the shutout. From there, Texas A&M mounted a comeback attempt, scoring all nine of its runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Brandon Workman relieved Wood, but the freshman right-hander couldn't hold the Aggies, giving up a pair of runs in his inning and two-thirds of work. Texas A&M put up another run on lefty Kyle Walker, who came in for Workman in the eighth, but couldn't score on freshman right-hander Stayton Thomas, who closed out the ninth with a trio of pop-outs.
Texas also managed to pick up three more runs over the final three innings to build enough cushion to hold on for a 15-9 win.
Wood (5-3) was awarded the win for his strong performance to start the game. His final line was five and a third innings pitched, seven hits, six runs -- only three of them earned -- with three strikeouts and no walks. Aggie pitcher Brooks Raley (6-2) was saddled with the loss, giving up 10 runs in just one and two third innings pitched. Raley's previous high in runs given up was half that and the 15 total runs were the most given up by Texas A&M all season. The game also continued a recent trend of dominance for the Horns over the Aggies. The Longhorns now own a 17-3 record versus Texas A&M since the 2003 Big 12 Championship.
Texas moves to 1-1 in the round robin-style tournament and will face Oklahoma on Saturday at 9 a.m. The Sooners' 3-2 win over Missouri in Thursday's second game means Saturday's winner in the Red River rivalry could advance to Sunday's championship game. A Texas win combined with a Missouri loss to Texas A&M will send the Horns to the title game. An Oklahoma win, and the Sooners are in. A&M, the top seed in the tourney, falls to 0-2 and is out of contention for the tournament title. The Ags and Tigers will play Saturday at 12:30 p.m.