Coming off of its sweep of LSU, Texas’ only task in its mid-week game against UT-Rio Grande Valley was not to get upset. And while the Longhorns tried their damnedest not to accomplish their goal, a 3-run eighth inning would pull out a 4-3 victory for Texas.
“We weren’t very sharp, but we found a way to win the game,” head coach David Pierce said. “We’ll take it and move on.”
Going into the eighth, the Longhorns’ performance could be summed up as lackluster at best. Starting pitcher sophomoreMatt Whelan went for three innings, but also issued three walks. He was pulled in the top of the fourth in favor of sophomore Kam Fields. Fields threw two wild pitches, which both resulted in runs scored, though both were charged to Whelan.
Freshman Kolby Kubichek would replace Fields in the fifth inning and finally brought some consistency to the mound. He would end up going for 2.2 innings and allow one earned run on three hits. Sophomore Tristan Stevens would follow as Texas’ next arm out of the bullpen. His outing was as solid as he’s had all year as he went for 1.1 innings and refused to give up a run.
Meanwhile, Texas struggled to get anything going offensively. The team’s only run going into the eighth inning came on an Austin Todd double in the sixth. The junior would find another way to make an impact as he hit a two-run single in the eighth inning that tied the game for Texas.
Todd, who had the walk-off hit to sweep LSU on Sunday, has found himself at the plate with the game on the line more than once this year. And more often than not, he’s delivered.
“Obviously I’d love to win the game a little sooner as a team,” Todd said. “But if it does come down me, I’m just going to keep sticking with my approach, seeing the ball well and putting the bat on the ball.”
He would find his way to third base over the course of the at-bat of Texas’ next batter, senior Tate Shaw, who came in to pinch hit for senior DJ Petrinsky. Shaw hit a sacrifice fly to deep left that brought Todd in to take the lead for Texas. That would be all Texas would need as the white-hot Cole Quintanilla came into close things out for the Longhorns.
The result was a perfect inning from Quintanilla and yet another comeback win for Pierce’s squad. Texas will look to ride this momentum going into the weekend, where it will face a top-of-the-line Stanford program on its own turf for a four-game series in Palo Alto, Calif. First pitch on Thursday is set for 8:05 P.M.
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