C.J. Hinojosa gets his second walk-off hit of the year as Texas nears sweep of UC-Santa Barbara

Sara Beth Purdy

C.J Hinojosa did it again.

For the second time this year, the talented freshman shortstop came up big at the right time for the Longhorns. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Hinojosa hammered a fastball to deep right field to plate junior Erich Weiss with a walk-off double. The Longhorns beat UC-Santa Barbara, 3-2, to grab the series victory. Texas, who won Friday’s series opener over UCSB, will look for the sweep Sunday afternoon.

“I think it is testimony to his maturity. I keep referring to him as an old soul, but I’m convinced he has played this game in the sky in another lifetime,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “He let the pitches go that he wasn’t looking for and in a very calm and mature way stayed zeroed in on the zone.”

On Friday night, behind sophomore Parker French on the mound, the Longhorns logged a 5-1 victory to take game one. Junior Mark Payton went 2-for-3 Friday with two RBIs.

Sophomore Dillon Peters started on the mound for the Longhorns. Peters gave up two runs on two hits before junior Ty Marlow relieved him in the sixth. Marlow, who surrendered only one hit, earned his first for the Longhorns after tossing 3.1 scoreless innings.

At the plate, Weiss continued his recent hot streak, going 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Hinojosa finished 2-for-5 with one RBI. Texas finished with eight hits to UCSB’s three. The Longhorns had three doubles and two triples for the afternoon after struggling to record extra-base hits over the past few weeks.

“It’s awesome. It shows that we can’t just rely on one person and that the whole team has to be involved,” Weiss said. “It shows that we all want to win and have the drive to win.”

The Longhorns will take the field looking for the sweep Sunday afternoon against the Gauchos at noon. Junior Nathan Thornhill (1-1, 2.16) will to start on the mound for Texas.