Last week, David Pierce said he had never had a bad win after Texas won a 9-4 game over Houston. The same could be said for Tuesday’s victory over Texas State, where the Longhorns overcame poor pitching and shaky defense to rally from a 10-6 deficit and win 11-10 on a walk-off grand slam from David Hamilton. It wasn’t pretty, and it could have a devastating loss for a team who still has an outside shot of hosting a regional, but the end result was memorable night for Hamilton and the 31st win of the season for the Longhorns.
- Kamron Fields received the start on the mound and struggled his command, only lasting 2 innings and allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits while walking 2. Fields continues to sit in the low 90’s with his fastball and flashes a plus slider, but the Freshman only threw 21 of his 47 pitches for strikes.
- “When the ball is up, you are going to get hit. That’s all it was. So at that point, he was getting by with so many pitches, and they finally got to him.” -David Pierce on Fields
- It was not a good night for the Longhorns bullpen. Parker Joe Robinson threw 2 scoreless innings following Fields departure from the game, but it took 8 pitchers to get through the last 5 innings. Nico O’Donnell, Brandon Ivey, Beau Ridgeway and Bryce Verplank all lasted less than an inning. Ivey and Verplank both failed to record an out. After the game, Pierce admitted he was giving some regular bullpen guys a rest, but he also wanted to find out who was going to step up and want the ball in key situations.
- “It was really frustrating early because we were not getting it done out of the bullpen. So many guys looked like they were trying to place the ball, and guys are trying to earn innings and we are in May. So that part of it is very frustrating.”
- “The plan was to find out who wants the ball and who’s capable of getting outs. That has continued to be a struggle for us, and I needed to rest a couple of guys. I needed Bryce Elder to catch his breath. I needed Josh Sawyer to catch his breath. We need guys to step up and see if they can help this ballclub.”
- Despite the performances on the mound, the Texas offense continued to chip away at the plate, with every starter except Jake McKenzie recording a hit. Kody Clemens collected 2 hits and Zach Zubia went 1 for 2 with 3 walks.
- Entering the 9th inning, Texas was trailing 10-6 with the top of the order due up. Texas State reliever Brayden Theriot was called upon to record the final 3 outs. Theriot promptly walked Masen Hibbeler and Duke Ellis to begin the frame.
- “We are looking out there and he’s struggling to throw strikes. We just kept saying ‘Hey, he’s not comfortable. See the ball well, be patient. Understand that we need 90 here, and that’s exactly what they did.’ “
- Kody Clemens followed with a single into RF, with Hibbeler scoring after the right-fielder misplayed the ball. Zach Zubia then came to the plate representing the tying run. Zubia walked on 5 pitches, loading the bases for David Hamilton.
- Hamilton said after the game that he was sitting fastball the entire at-bat because he knew Theriot was struggling to throw strikes. Once the count reached 3-2, Hamilton hammered a low offering from Theriot over the RF wall, completing the comeback.
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