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Texas overcomes Cajun comeback as Longhorns go 1-0 on the season

#24 Longhorns win opener in Lafayette

Photo: TexasSports.com

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Though it took some late game heroics, an undefeated season is still on the table for Texas baseball.

As expected with the first games of the season, pitchers shined and hitters struggled. The majority of game felt this way until a late Louisiana-Lafayette comeback tied the game 1-1 in the ninth inning and sent the game into extras. However, a 10th-inning double by junior outfielder Austin Todd put the Longhorns up 3-1 and proved to be enough to win the first of a three game series in Lafayette, La.

What was unexpected, however, was the show that sophomore starting pitcher Bryce Elder put on. Through eight innings, Elder was relentless. In only his second collegiate start, Elder sliced and diced his way through the Ragin’ Cajun lineup to the tune of one earned run. More impressive, though, was the control he showed so early in the season. Not only did Elder not walk a batter, he struck out nine and only allowed four hits.

But Elder was not alone in his impressive effort on the mound. It was not until the seventh inning when senior catcher Michael McCann ground-rule doubled over the right field fence to score one run, that either team was able put a number on the scoreboard.

With a 1-0 lead going into the ninth, head coach David Pierce sent Elder back to the mound to go the distance. But the try was short-lived as Elder let up a leadoff single and would be replaced by sophomore reliever Kam Fields.

Fields got one out, but struggled to find his command and let up the game-tying run. He was pulled shortly after and replaced by senior reliever Brandon Ivey. Ivey recorded his one, and maybe the most important, out of the game as it sent the game into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, freshman shortstop Bryce Reagan set the tone with a leadoff single to left. Junior outfielder Duke Ellis followed suit as he also found his way on. With men on first and second, Todd hit a two-out double into the left-center gap that scored both, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

After regaining the lead, freshman reliever Mason Bryant was thrown into the pressure cooker in his collegiate debut, tasked with getting the last three outs of the ball game. In the end, he did just enough as Texas pulled out the first game of the season by a score of 3-1.

Texas will not likely be able to replicate Elder’s performance, but if Friday night was any indication on how these two teams stack up, it’s as even as it gets.

Stay tuned as Texas will play their second game of this three game series against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday, Feb. 16th at M. L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park in Lafayette, La. First pitch is scheduled for 2 P.M.

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