Texas Baseball opened a 4 game series against 7th ranked Stanford at Disch-Falk Field, and the Longhorns pounded out 12 hits and scored 3 runs in the 7th to break a 5-5 tie en route to a 8-6 victory over the Cardinal. The victory moves the Longhorns to 9-4 on the year, while the loss drops Stanford to 11-2.
Freshman Nico O’Donnell received the start for Texas and lasted 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 5. The right-hander said after the game that he feels like he is continuing to grow each start and felt his offspeed pitches played a key role in his success against the Stanford offense.
“I think I’m getting my offspeed more stable over these outings,” O’Donnell said when asked about what improvements he has seen over his 3 starts this season. “They felt really good today, especially the slider, that’s what got me through those 4 innings.”
Bryce Elder received the win in relief after tossing 1 ⅓ innings, allowing a single run. Stanford ace Tristan Beck only lasted 4 innings and received a no decision, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits.
The Longhorns opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st. David Hamilton led off with a walk and promptly stole 2nd. After a Masen Hibbeler flyout to center advanced Hamilton to 3rd, Kacy Clemens delivered a RBI groundout to give Texas a 1-0 lead.
David Petrinsky helped Texas add to their lead in the 2nd inning. After Ryan Reynolds singled into LF, Petrinsky smacked a double off the wall in left field, scoring Reynolds.
In the third, the Longhorns stretched their lead to 3-0 when Kody Clemens blasted a solo home run to RF.
Tate Shaw opened the bottom of the 4th with a single into RF. After a sacrifice bunt from Jake McKenzie moved Shaw to 2nd, Duke Ellis came through with a RBI single, scoring Shaw and padding the Longhorns lead to 4-0.
Stanford responded in the top half of the 5th with a 2 run homer from Maverick Handley, cutting the Longhorn lead to 4-2. Texas responded in the bottom half of the inning, however. Kody Clemens led off with an opposite field double and scored the next batter when Zach Zubia singled up the middle, extending Texas’ lead to 5-2.
In the 6th, Stanford cut the deficit to 5-4 on a 2 run single by Kyle Stowers. The Cardinal would tie the game the next inning on a RBI single by Brandon Wulff.
Texas regained the lead with a big 7th inning. Hibbeler led off the frame with a walk and advanced to 2nd two batters later when Zach Zubia grounded out to the pitcher. With two outs, Reynolds delivered a RBI single to give Texas a 6-5 lead. After a double by DJ Petrinsky placed runners at 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, David Pierce opted to pinch hit Austin Todd for Tate Shaw. Todd rewarded the decision by lining a single off the glove of a diving second basemen, scoring 2 runs and stretching the Texas lead to 8-5.
Stanford would get a run back in the 8th on a RBI groundout by Nick Oar, but Chase Shugart did not allow any more damage, tossing the final two innings for his first save of the season, securing a 8-6 win for Texas.
Following the game, head coach David Pierce said he was excited about the way the Longhorns battled in all 3 phases of the game.
“I thought Nico settled in after the first,” Pierce said. “He got a couple of breaks there. Defense played outstanding behind him, but he threw some quality pitches. I was hoping to get 5 out of him, we got 4 and just watching the kid grow up, it’s happening right in front of us. Offensively, we had some guys really clutch up tonight. We played a complete game and the thing I enjoyed most tonight is we popped early, they popped us, and then we countered. That’s a sign of our maturation right there.”
Texas and Stanford will continue their series with game 2 tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM. Follow along here at HornSports and on twitter (@hornsports) for live updates.
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