For Halloween this past October, sophomores Bryce Elder and Kamron Fields dressed as The Incredibles’ Mr. Incredible and Frozone. The two were a tale raw power and icy-slick excellence over the course of nine innings against No. 1 LSU in performances that could only be described as “superheroic.”
On Friday night, the LSU Tigers travelled to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns in the first of a three-game series. The result was an inspiring 8-1 win for the Texas as they handed LSU its first loss of the young season.
Elder and Fields were the story of Friday night’s affair. The two combined to pitch the entire game for Texas and overmatched the Tiger lineup from the game’s first pitch. Elder has become the ace Texas hasn’t had since head coach David Pierce’s arrival in Austin. The starter went for 6.2 innings and allowed zero earned runs on only four hits. Elder’s ERA is down to a miniscule 0.44 and he added seven more strikeouts to bring his season total to 22.
Fields’ relief effort was the perfect compliment to Elder’s start. The lanky flamethrower went for 2.1 innings and didn’t allow a run or a hit. In his four appearances in 2019, Fields has a spotless 0.00 ERA. The two were a nasty combination against one of the country’s top offenses, and the pairing looks like a match made in heaven. But while the two exhibited a kinship on the field Friday night, their bond goes beyond the baseball diamond.
“Down here in Austin, (Fields) is for sure my best friend,” Elder said. “We’re there for each other. And for him to close it out it… it means a lot. I appreciate him doing that. And hopefully there’s many more like that.”
Offensively, Texas continued to light up the scoreboard. Up one run going into the fourth inning, one of the most unlikely Longhorns showed some major power he hadn’t before in his career.
After senior Masen Hibbeler, whose two hit, two RBI performance was vital to Texas’ win, led off the inning with a double, junior Duke Ellis hit a 2-run, opposite-field homerun that cleared the left field fence with ease. Just the second home run of his career, Ellis knew he hit it out right away.
“They always say, ‘if you hit a ball and don’t feel it, it’s most likely out,’” Ellis said. “I hit it and I had no idea I even hit it. It felt great, and I knew it was gone right off the bat.”
The Longhorns put the game out of reach in the seventh inning when the offense put up five more runs to make it an 8-1 ballgame.
Texas’ Friday night win wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, but it wasn’t expected either. After a Wednesday night loss against UTSA that was more or less a comedy of errors, the Longhorns’ performance was a statement to rest of college baseball.
“We got some young guys in there that realized they can play with anybody in the country,” Pierce said. “I think that’s big for our confidence.”
Texas will have another two games to show their worth against LSU on Saturday and Saturday, however, they will likely see an even hungrier Tiger team. Saturday’s game will be played at UFCU Disch-Falk in Austin, Texas. First pitch is set for 3:30 P.M.
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