Texas baseball sweeps Oklahoma, sits atop Big 12


Sam Ortega

Senior outfielder Mark Payton leads the Longhorns’ lineup with a .361 batting average, but has struggled to find his swing in the last few games. Texas will need his bat if it wants to perform well against Oklahoma this weekend.

Evan Berkowitz

The No. 7 Longhorns swept Oklahoma in Norman this weekend, bouncing back from a midweek loss to Rice. Led by sophomore shortstop C.J Hinojosa, Texas averaged more than eight runs a game.

The first game was the only close one of the series, and it was decided in extra innings. Hinojosa quickly gave the Longhorns (29-8, 9-3 Big 12) the lead in the 10th on a leadoff home run. Junior second baseman Brook Marlow’s walk gave the Longhorns an insurance run to finish 10-8. Texas is now 3-0 in extras this season.

Five of the Longhorns’ 11 hits were good for extra bases, but the Sooners stayed alive. Texas’ four errors resulted in five unearned runs to taint junior pitcher Parker French’s day. French went 5.2 innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs.

Freshman pitcher Morgan Cooper came in to throw three perfect innings of relief, picking up the win. Sophomore closer John Curtiss got his fifth save.

Though Texas stole a quick lead, scoring six in the first, Oklahoma (23-14, 4-5 Big 12) put up a six spot of its own in the third to pull ahead 8-6 and give way to its bullpen which hadn’t allowed a run in 24.1 innings.

Sophomore outfielder Ben Johnson’s RBI double ruined that streak in the seventh. Freshman third baseman Zane Gurwitz, junior outfielder Collin Shaw and Hinojosa each had multi-hit games.

Game 2 went smoother for Texas en route to a 7-2 win. Five-straight singles spurred a four-run fourth to break a 1-1 tie. That proved plenty for junior pitcher Dillon Peters (5-2), who went seven innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits. Curtiss closed out, pitching two scoreless innings.

It was a balanced offensive attack for the Longhorns on Saturday. Five different players recorded an RBI, while nine Longhorns recorded a hit. Only Hinojosa had a multi-hit game for this matchup.

In the finale Sunday, behind senior pitcher Nathan Thornhill and his 0.73 ERA, the Longhorns completed the sweep 8-1. Thornhill (6-0) allowed just one run.

Texas jumped on the Sooners in the first with a Marlow leadoff homer for the third consecutive game. An OU second-inning double tied the game, but Texas scored three in the fourth.

Texas tops the Big 12, just ahead of Oklahoma State.