In the series opener against Northwestern, Texas baseball stranded 10 runners and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, ultimately falling to the Wildcats, 6-2, at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The loss drops Texas to 5-4 on the season, while the win improves Northwestern’s record to 3-4. Longhorn starter Chase Shugart was tagged with the loss, allowing 5 runs and 6 hits in 6 innings, striking out 6. After the game, head coach David Pierce said the right-hander ran into some trouble when he was unable to keep his pitches down in the zone.
“When he got the ball down, he was really good,” Pierce said. “When they got something going on, his peripheral couldn’t handle the running game and he got the ball up”
Wildcat’s reliever Richard Fordon received the win, throwing 1 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief after entering for starter Quinn Lavelle, who allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 4 ⅓ innings. Tommy Bordignon threw the final 3 innings, collecting his first save of the season.
Northwestern scored the game’s first run in the 2nd inning. Willie Bourbon led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a 1 out single by Jack Claeys. David Dunn then ripped a RBI single into centerfield, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
Texas responded in the bottom of the 3rd. Michael McCann led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on an infield single by Duke Ellis. Following a David Hamilton strikeout, Masen Hibbeler loaded the bases by reaching on an error by the third basemen. Kody Clemens capitalized, driving in McCann on a RBI groundout to even the score.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the 5th inning behind a 2 run double by Kelly Jack, whos first hit of the season gave the Wildcats a 3-1 lead. Texas cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the inning on an opposite field RBI double by Zach Zubia, who was the only Longhorn to record more than 1 hit in the game.
Northwestern began to pull away in the 6th. Jack Dunn led off the inning with a solo home run into the visitors bullpen. Later in the inning, Connor Lind drove the Wildcats 5th run with a sacrifice fly.
In the 9th, a David Dunn triple drove home Claeys, giving Northwestern the winning margin of 6-2.
The Longhorns will look to rebound tomorrow, when the two teams will meet for a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for 1:30 PM, with the second to follow approximately an hour after the conclusion of game 1.
“They’ve got some momentum, and we got to take the momentum back,” Pierce said. “All of our guys are available in the ‘pen going into it. We need everybody to be ready and do a job when they are called on.”
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