On a night full of uneasiness due to the encroaching impact of Coronavirus, the Longhorns came ready to play. Texas faced off against Abilene Christian in this midweek matchup behind their starting pitcher Kolby Kubichek.
Kubichek pitched 4 shutout innings allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk on 57 pitches. The final 5 innings saw 5 different relievers pitch. Among these 5, Austin Wallace and Justin Eckhardt performed well. Wallace pitched 1.2 innings, allowing just 1 hit and 1 HBP with 4 strikeouts on 24 pitches. The only downfall to Wallace’s performance was his two wild pitches. Eckhardt made his first appearance as a Longhorn, and the redshirt freshman was extremely efficient. With just 4 pitches Eckhardt forced 3 groundouts to end the game.
The pitching was a notable strong suit Wednesday, but the defense also played well. André Duplantier was given the start at 3rd base, and will see more starts in the near future after news broke that Cam Williams will be out following hand surgery.
— Jeff Howe (@JeffHowe247) March 11, 2020
Despite the injury new to Williams, the Longhorns are looking strong defensively. While the team did commit 1 error, they held the Wildcats to 1 run despite leaving 8 runners on base throughout the game.
Offensively, Texas came out hot. The team scored all of their 9 runs in the first 4 innings, with the highlight coming with a 4-run 3rd inning. This inning featured a Zach Zubia home run (3rd of 2020), 3-consecutive walks that lead to Eric Kennedy scoring on a wild pitch, an RBI groundout by Murphy Stehly, and and an RBI single to left field by Austin Todd. The 4th inning displayed both plate discipline and smart baseball decision-making by the Longhorns, from making smart reads to allowing pitches to give the batters free bases.
The most effective hitters of the night for the Longhorns were Austin Todd, Silas Ardoin, and Murphy Stehly. Todd finished with 2 hits on 4 ABs, including 1 RBI. His success has continued to be an offensive spark for Texas, as his .375 batting average leads the team. Ardoin provided 2 RBIs on his 1 hit over 4 ABs, also adding a walk. Stehly was back to his hitting ways Wednesday, batting 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs. While this was a marginal win for Texas, it provided an important confidence boost to both Stehly and Ardoin. Stehly will be able to use this as he continues to hit well lately, and Ardoin can use this as fuel for success moving forward.
This was a strong win for Texas, but it may be the last time the Longhorns play for a while. Their upcoming weekend series was supposed to be against New Mexico, but the Missouri Valley Conference, in which the Lobos play, has indefinitely suspended all spring sports.
Mountain West Suspends Spring Sports Competitions pic.twitter.com/cpD4rAokzO
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) March 12, 2020
The Longhorns have also suspended all sports competitions until March 29th. You can read more about it here:
Official statement from Athletics Director Chris Del Conte on the recent announcements from the Big 12 and the NCAA.https://t.co/O4EQMwMRUA
— Texas Longhorns (@TexasLonghorns) March 12, 2020
While it is unfortunate that we will not be able to watch the team play during this time, we wish positive vibes for the health safety of all players and people associated with all athletics programs, as COVID-19 has made itself a pressing issue to many.
Due to this unusual situation, follow the Texas Longhorns twitter for more information on their next baseball activities, sports competitions dates, and overall updates on COVID-19.
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