In contrast to some of the midweek games Texas has played against lower level schools this year, the Longhorns went out and dominated the Texas Southern Tigers to the tune of a 17-3 ballgame.
The Texas offense was presented with the opportunity to put up a large number of runs and took full advantage. The TSU pitching staff walked six batters and hit multiple others that consistently put Longhorn runners in scoring position. Couple the free rides with a season-high 18 hits and Texas would go on to score 17 runs in only six innings of at-bats.
The left side of the Texas infield had a perfect day at the plate. Junior third baseman Ryan Reynolds and senior short stop Masen Hibbeler went a combined 7-7 and combined for two of the team’s runs.
Four others had multiple hits on the day. Junior Duke Ellis and freshmen Lance Ford, Eric Kennedy and Caston Peter combined each had two hits. Peter and Kennedy had over half of the team’s RBI, as the two of them collected a total of eight.
Peter, in particular, had the best day of his young career. The catcher had a home run and a double, and brought in five RBI. Peter, who didn’t expect to have a major role on the team coming into the year, is starting to find his groove both in the batter’s box.
“It’s interesting because the other day I got onto him in a meeting and told him it was time for him to grow up,” head coach David Pierce said. “He’s actually growing up right in front of us.”
Peter was the team’s lone healthy catcher on Tuesday night after senior Michael McCann was diagnosed with a severe groin contusion this past weekend at Stanford and senior DJ Petrinsky was ruled out for a year after battling a torn labrum. With little experience catching Texas’ pitchers, Peter also had his best day behind the plate as well.
“(Catching gets) more comfortable every single day,” Peter said. “Every time I catch a guy, I get more comfortable with him and he gets more comfortable with me.”
Starting pitcher Matt Whelan had another solid start. The sophomore went for four innings and allowed only one run on three hits. Sophomore Nico O’Donnell would go for one inning and allow two earned runs. And the duo of senior Matteo Bocchi and freshman Jack Neely would combine for no earned runs only one hit through the game’s final two innings.
The 17 runs put up has to be a morale boost for a Texas team that struggled mightily on the road in Palo Alto, where it lost three of four to the Stanford Cardinal. The team will likely feel more confident as one of the hottest teams in the country in No. 11 Texas Tech travels to Austin to face the Longhorns.
Friday night’s affair with the Red Raiders will be at Disch-Falk Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 P.M.
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