Payton picks up right where he left off in Texas’ 2-1 series win over Sacramento State

Sara Beth Purdy

Stock Up: 
Mark Payton: The right fielder did not let the offseason slow him down. Payton hit .583 on the weekend with three runs off seven hits and five RBI. He started off with an impressive 4-for-5 performance with two runs and three RBI in the Longhorns’ season opener Friday night. Payton slowed down a bit on Saturday in the Longhorns’ loss but came out with an RBI in the effort. On Sunday, Payton had two hits, one run and another RBI.

Stock Down: 
Corey Knebel: The Longhorns’ closer had a solid 2012 season but failed to impress against Sacramento State. Knebel came in as relief for Toller Boardman in game one but couldn’t clean up as he came out after giving up one run and one hit to just two batters. In game three, Knebel came in as relief again and gave up two hits with one run across two innings, including a solo homer in the ninth.

By the Numbers:  
2: Number of home runs given up by the Longhorn pitching staff in game three
5: RBIs by Payton over the weekend vs. Sacramento State
35: Hits by the Texas offense this weekend. The Longhorns looked good at the plate in their opening series with all but one starter hitting above .200.

Game Breakdown:  
Game 1: Starting pitcher Parker French dominated through seven innings of work. French only gave up three hits and no runs on the night. The Texas bullpen, however, couldn’t get it together in the eighth and gave up five runs in the inning. The Texas offense stayed solid posting a 6-0 lead before the eighth, finishing with 14 hits and six runs. Freshman C.J Hinojosa had three hits of his own and one RBI. The Longhorns won 6-5.
Game 2: Starter Nathan Thornhill struggled on the mound throwing for 3.2 innings with six hits and four runs. The Hornets put up a 4-1 lead that the Longhorn offense was not able to overcome. The Longhorns fell 3-5 with nine hits.
Game 3: A solid performance across the field. Dillon Peters threw seven innings with only two runs and five hits, though he gave up the first home run of the year, a solo shot over left field. The Texas offense was solid and steady throughout the game. Payton and Hinojosa each had strong at-bats and the Longhorns combined for 11 hits in the 6-3 win.

What’s Next: 
The Longhorns will face the University of Texas at Arlington for a mid-week game Tuesday at 6 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The Mavericks swept Louisiana Tech at home this past weekend.