Texas baseball drops two, grabs two wins against Cal Bears

Evan Berkowitz

The starting pitching lived up to the Longhorns’ expectations, allowing just one earned run on the weekend in Berkeley, Calif.

Senior outfielder Mark Payton didn’t disappoint, smacking three extra base hits while hitting .529, but errors doomed the Longhorns in two of their games.

Despite allowing just four earned runs on the weekend, No. 22 Texas won just two of four games against California to start off its season.

The Texas errors began to hurt the Longhorns in the third inning of the first game, after junior starter Parker French threw away a sacrifice bunt, allowing runners at first and third with no outs. French escaped the jam allowing just a sacrifice fly, but the unearned runs began to pile up.

 Cal led off until a double before French threw away another sacrifice bunt to push the score to 2-0 and open the floodgates for a big fifth inning. After an error by freshman first baseman Kacy Clemens, a wild pitch by French and an error by freshman third baseman Andy McGuire, it was a 6-0 game all of a sudden. Cal added one more in the eighth to win the game 7-0.

The second game of the series Saturday came down to the wire. The Longhorns jumped out to an early lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly, before junior second baseman Brooks Marlow committed an error in the third that led to yet another unearned run and a tie game.

The game remained that way for seven innings as junior Dillon Peters allowed just five hits. But in the eighth against junior Justin Peters, Cal pushed across the winning run on a single up the middle to win 2-1.

Payton and McGuire’s bats carried the Longhorns to their first victory in the tail-end of the double-header Saturday. The duo accounted for all six of the Longhorns’ runs while junior Lukas Schiraldi went seven innings strong, allowing just one earned run in the 6-2 win. 

The Longhorns won the fourth 5-0. After freshman Zane Gurwitz opened up the scoring for the Longhorns in the sixth, Payton helped add some insurance runs with an RBI triple. Senior Nathan Thornhill carried the Longhorns on the mound, allowing just four hits as he kept the Bears scoreless.

After receiving much praise in the preseason from Garrido, freshman catcher Tres Barerra struggled mightily, striking out in key situations and hitting into a costly double play while recording just one hit on the weekend. Garrido moved him down to eighth in the order, with Clemens replacing him in the four hole.