Longhorns rally in extra innings to split series with Rice

Nick Castillo

Despite starting the weekend with a win over Rice, Texas put itself in jeopardy of dropping its opening series Sunday afternoon after the Owls swept Saturday’s doubleheader. 

Still, the Longhorns found a way to salvage the weekend – with a late-game rally, No. 6 Texas overcame a 3–0 deficit to defeat Rice, 4–3, in 10 innings at Rice’s Reckling Park on Sunday afternoon to split the series. 

The game began as a pitchers’ duel as Longhorns junior pitcher Chad Hollingsworth and Rice junior pitcher Austin Orewiler kept the game scoreless through four innings. But the Owls broke through in the bottom of the fifth, and the threat of losing the series magnified when Rice took a 3–0 lead.

In the seventh inning, however, the Longhorns battled back into the game, adding three runs to eventually send the game into extra innings. 

In the 10th inning, sophomore catcher Tres Barrera drew a two-out walk before redshirt freshman infielder Bret Boswell followed Barrera with a single up the middle. With a scoring threat on second base, Texas sent freshman designated hitter Michael McCann, who was 0–4 on the day, to the plate. McCann smacked an RBI double down the left-field line in the top of the 10th to give Texas a 4–3 lead.

In his first collegiate appearance, freshman pitcher Kyle Johnston was able to finish the game to give the Longhorns their second win of the season.

On Friday, to begin the series, Texas started off slow, but it overcame its 10–6 hit deficit. Senior pitcher Parker French only gave up one run in five innings of work, while senior right fielder Collin Shaw went 2–5 and hit the go-ahead, two-run double to propel the Longhorns to a 3–1 win.

In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, sophomore pitcher Kacy Clemens struggled as he gave up eight runs on eight hits and made it through just three innings in his first collegiate start. Texas fought valiantly, getting to within one run of the lead twice, but Rice took the 10–9 win. Texas fell into a 5–0 deficit in the second game of the doubleheader. Barrera hit a two-run home run in seventh inning for Texas’ only points.

The Longhorns (2–2) will look to improve when they return to action Tuesday against UTSA (2–1) for their home opener.