The Texas bats remained hot on Wednesday evening when the Longhorns welcomed the UT Pan-American Broncs to UFCU Disch-Falk Field for a midweek game. UTPA first baseman Roger Bernal came into town leading the country in batting average with a scorching .494, but it was the bat of Texas left fielder Jonathan Walsh that proved most lethal last night. Texas went 11/32 with 9 walks as a team, winning the game 9-5 with some well-timed fireworks that couldn’t be dampened by rain.
Texas got the scoring started in the first inning when Mark Payton led off being hit by pitch. After Jordan Etier struck out, Payton stole second and was then joined on base by a walked Erich Weiss. Jonathan Walsh then stepped to the plate and delivered a triple off the wall in right center, plating Payton and Weiss. Â After Brooks Marlow was walked, Walsh came home and Marlow moved to second on a wild pitch, pushing the score to 3-0. Alex Silver, continuing his hot streak of late, rocketed a double to the wall in left center, bringing home Marlow and giving Texas a 4-0 lead.
Freshman Dillon Peters got the start for Texas and served up two solid innings of pitching, allowing only one run on three hits, and stranding two Broncs in a tough second inning. Thanks to a stellar relay and tag play by Mark Payton and Jacob Felts, and strong defense from senior shortstop Jordan Etier, the Longhorns were able to hold the Broncs at bay for the first two innings. UTPA came back in the third when Ricky Jacquez took the mound in relief. Jacquez gave up back-to-back singles to the Broncs to lead off the third inning, and after recording a fly out to center, he gave Vincent Mejia the perfect pitch to hit over the wall in left field, knotting the game at four runs apiece. Angel Ibanez recorded his second hit of the evening on a one-out double and came home on a 4-3 ground out to give the Broncs a 5-4 lead.
Texas responded in the fourth when Jordan Etier hit a clutch two-out RBI double to re-tie the game at 5-5. Hoby Milner entered the game for Texas to start the fourth inning, throwing 101 pitches over six innings and virtually silencing the Bronc bats for the rest of the evening. The Longhorns tacked another run to the board on the seventh when Landon Steinhagen led off the inning with his second single of the night. Landon was joined on base by Taylor Stell who was walked, and then Mark Payton, who executed a perfect bunt single down the third base line. Jordan Etier ground into a double play, 4-6-3, while Steinhagen came home, bringing the score to 6-5. Texas answered the Broncs’ third inning home run with a little tit for tat, when Jordan Etier and Erich Weiss led off the eighth inning with singles. Jonathan Walsh promptly smashed the first pitch he saw through the rain and over the center field wall, extending the Texas lead to 9-5. Hoby Milner finished the game for Texas, continuing to dominate the UTPA batters, striking out eight while allowing no runs and only two hits.
Texas’ next game will be Friday evening at 7pm when the Longhorns face off against the Golden Bears of Cal, a fellow 2011 CWS participant. This weekend’s series will be played at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.
Photos: Donald Boyles
Cross-Posted from: Texas Baseball Blog.
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