Texas (11-9) improved to 2-0 in conference play with a 4-0 victory over Kansas (12-6) on Saturday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The Longhorns received strong pitching and received another big game from Kody Clemens to take the second game of a 3 game series against the Jayhawks.
Texas starter Blair Henley improved his record to 3-1 with the win. The sophomore scattered 5 hits across 7 shutout innings, striking out out 4. Beau Ridgeway entered in the 8th inning with the tying run on deck, but retired the next 3 hitters and pitched a scoreless 9th inning to pick up his 3rd save of the season. It was Ridgeway’s first appearance since allowing 5 runs in 2 ⅓ innings against Arkansas in his first career start this past Tuesday. After the game, head coach David Pierce spoke about the importance of Ridgeway’s performance after having struggled for several outings.
“For him to come in and get the job done was as big for him as it was for the team,” Pierce said. “It’s just another confidence booster. When I went to the mound, I started rattling a bunch of stuff to him and I finally just looked at him and said ‘believe in yourself and compete, that’s it’, and that’s what he did”
Kansas starter Taylor Turski was tagged with the loss after allowing 3 earned runs in 7 innings, striking out 5. Jaxx Groshans and Owen Taylor for the lone Jayhawks to record 2 hits.
The Longhorns opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st when Clemens connected on solo home run to right field, his 5th of the season. Clemens collected another big hit in the 3rd inning, driving home Masen Hibbeler on a RBI single to give Texas a 2-0 lead.
Texas added to their lead in the 6th with the help of an error. Clemens lead off the frame by lofting a fly ball that CF Rudy Karre dropped, allowing Clemens to end up on 2nd base. After a Zach Zubia walk and Austin Todd sacrifice bunt to advance both runners, Ryan Reynolds grounded a ball back to the pitcher, who mishandled it for a moment, allowing Clemens to score and push the lead to 3-0.
In the 7th, Texas recorded their final run of the game when Duke Ellis lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Jake McKenzie and giving the Longhorns a 4-0 lead.
After guaranteeing themselves a series win, Texas will look to sweep the series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 PM and Chase Shugart will receive the start on the mound for the Longhorns. Follow along at Hornsports.com for live updates.