Texas uses strong pitching, clutch hit to top PVAMU 1-0

Peter Sblendorio

Texas has not had much luck in one-run games of late, losing its last three contests coming into Tuesday night’s game.

The Longhorns were able to reverse this trend against Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, beating the Panthers 1-0 behind strong pitching and timely hitting late in the game.

Texas put together a two-out rally in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie. Designated hitter Jacob Felts reached base on a fielding error by Andre Oliver to start the scoring threat, and second baseman Brooks Marlow followed with a single to left field.

With runners at first and second, catcher Jeremy Montalbano delivered a line-drive single to left field to drive in Felts and give Texas the 1-0 lead. The freshman is hopeful that his clutch hit will be the first of many for the Longhorns in their remaining games.

“It wasn’t pretty but it was something we needed because we’ve been lacking the two-out hits,” Montalbano said. “It was nice for myself to be able to get that two-out hit and it will hopefully lead to more at-bats like that for the whole team.”

Prairie View A&M threatened to tie the game in the eighth inning. After Greg Salcido doubled with two outs, Dominiq Harris flew out to center field to end the inning.  

Starting pitcher Josh Urban turned in another strong outing in his fourth-consecutive Tuesday start, pitching five scoreless innings while allowing just four hits. Following the game, head coach Augie Garrido said he was pleased with the right-hander’s start and will use him this weekend against Kansas State if needed.

“He’s been very effective every time he’s walked out there on Tuesdays,” Garrido said. “He’s been very consistent. The only reason we didn’t let him go farther was to be able to use him in the weekend series.”

Travis Duke struck out three in a pair of scoreless innings in relief to lower his ERA to 0.58 on the season. Ty Marlow would limit the Panthers to one hit in the eighth inning to preserve the lead, and Corey Knebel pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his eighth save and clinch the win for Texas.

Despite picking up the loss, Stephen Lunsford had a solid start for the Panthers. The right-hander pitched an eight-inning complete game and allowed just five hits while striking out two. The only run he allowed was unearned. 

With the win, Texas improves to 23-20 with the win and 19-8 at home. Despite this, the Longhorns’ struggles in conference play have them one game out of the last spot in the Big 12 Conference behind Texas Tech, who owns the tiebreaker. 

The Longhorns will have the chance to improve their place in conference standings this weekend when they host Kansas State for a three-game series. The first game is scheduled to begin Friday at 6:35 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.