Bats erupt in Texas baseball’s sweep of Columbia

Matt Warden

The pitching staff continued its dominance this weekend, but it was the Texas bats that stole the show against Columbia.

No. 19 Texas played nearly flawless baseball this weekend, sweeping Columbia in its three-game series. The Longhorns tallied 24 combined runs, showcasing a new element that the team has been searching for all season.

Game 1 was the closest of the weekend, but Texas used timely hitting to defeat Columbia 7-3, behind six strong innings from junior pitcher Dillon Peters. The Longhorns started a rally in the fourth inning after junior outfielder Collin Shaw tripled to score sophomore shortstop C.J. Hinojosa, before scoring himself on a double by freshman catcher Tres Barrera.

Texas pounced on Columbia again in the next inning when Shaw singled with the bases loaded to put two more runs on the board, making the score 5-0. Shaw finished the game with three hits and three RBIs to lead the team.

“[Shaw] is making it look easy,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “You don’t always get a hit. The weakest ball that Ben Johnson has hit in a week was a hit. So this business of hits, I told Ben it is just about luck — maybe hitting is about being lucky. But, Shaw did a great job.”

In Game 2, Texas pulled out in front in the first inning with an RBI groundout by Hinojosa. Columbia answered with a run of its own in the top of the second, but it would be the only run the Lions could push across against the Longhorns.

The Longhorns ended up taking the game 6-1 behind 7.1 strong innings from junior pitcher Parker French, who struck out six while allowing just six hits. Junior second baseman Brooks Marlow buoyed the offense with a 2-for-4 and two RBI performance while Hinojosa added two RBIs of his own.

Game 3 was the most lopsided win of the weekend, and perhaps of the year for Texas. Senior pitcher Nathan Thornhill starred with his eight innings of scoreless baseball on the mound. When the dust settled, Texas had compiled 11 runs on 13 hits, taking the game 11-0.

The biggest surprise of the third game was the 4-for-5 effort by Barrera, who has struggled at the plate all season. He, along with three other Longhorns, posted two RBIs a piece in the blowout.

Texas will look to keep the offense firing on all cylinders when they host Texas State on Tuesday night.