Texas falls to Stanford 11-5 in series finale

Evan Berkowitz

The series finale didn’t go well for No. 22 Texas as junior starter Lukas Schiraldi and the Texas pitchers struggled Sunday afternoon in an 11-5 loss to No. 25 Stanford. In just two innings of work, Schiraldi (1-1) surrendered four hits, four walks and five earned runs.

“He appeared to be out of rhythm,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “When you’re trying to find a rhythm, you struggle.”

Stanford got the scoring going in the second inning on a one-out suicide-squeeze, barely beating the tag of freshman catcher Tres Barrera. But the real damage came with two outs. After another Schiraldi walk, the bases were loaded for left fielder Wayne Taylor, who promptly cleared them with a triple to the 405-foot marker in the right-center gap to give Stanford a 4-0 lead.

“We lost the momentum in the first part of the game,” Garrido said. “It makes the rest of the game more stressful, feeling like you have to be perfect.”

The next inning didn’t go much better for Schiraldi. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, Schiraldi’s night was done as Texas went to the pen with sophomore lefty Travis Duke.

With one out and the bases juiced it looked as though Duke was going to get out of the jam. The crowd thought Duke had a strikeout, but the first base umpire called a balk before the pitch, sending Garrido sprinting from the dugout.

“I want the players to know I will fight for them,” Garrido, who was tossed on that play, said.

While the Cardinal offense put up five quick runs, the Texas offense struggled early on against the six-foot-nine, hard throwing freshman, Chris Viall (2-0). Through four innings, Texas (5-3) recorded just two hits. But the offense came alive in the fifth, sparked by a one-out triple by sophomore left-fielder Ben Johnson. Freshman right fielder Zane Gurwitz then singled him home to open up the scoring for Texas. Two straight walks loaded the bases for Texas’ three and four hitters with one out, but Texas was unable to capitalize.

Stanford (3-4) came right back out in the top of the sixth and blew the game open. On two consecutive pitches off sophomore reliever Ty Culbreth, Stanford hit a two-run double and two-run homer to extend the lead to 10-1 and send fans to the exits.

“Both teams played almost the same game,” Garrido said. “The difference was a bases loaded triple and that two-run homerun. They got the timely hits and we didn’t sustain the rally.”

Texas kept battling, putting four runs on the board in the sixth behind two more RBI’s from Gurwitz, but it was too little, too late as the slow-paced game was called for time after eight innings.

Payton went 1-for-1 on the day with three walks, continuing his hot streak. In the weekend series, Payton finished with a .800 average for the series with five walks. The Longhorns will have a day off before UT-Pan American comes to Austin Tuesday.

“Tuesday is going to be another day,” Payton said.