Six-run ninth inning lifts San Diego to sweep Texas baseball

Jacob Martella

For eight innings, the Texas pitchers managed to work around various situations to keep San Diego off the board.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the ninth, that luck ran out.

John Grimsley, San Diego freshman center fielder, grounded out to second base, allowing the first run of the game to score. The Toreros added five more runs in the ninth to take a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Texas was unable to rally and ultimately lost the game to San Diego.

“I think that we played with a lack of discipline,” head coach Augie Garrido said.

Texas sophomore starting pitcher Josh Sawyer struggled a little through the first four innings but managed to come through when he needed to. San Diego got a runner to third in three of those four innings but ended up with nothing.

Sophomore pitcher Kacy Clemens followed up, allowing San Diego to get runners to second and third with one out. Clemens got the next two batters to strike out and fly out to get out of the fifth inning.

It wasn’t until the ninth inning that everything went haywire.

After surrendering a leadoff walk, junior relief pitcher Ty Culbreth fielded a bunt and airmailed the throw to first, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Following an intentional walk to load the bases, Grimsley broke the 0–0 deadlock with the RBI ground out. San Diego followed that up with three more RBI singles and a sacrifice fly.

Texas was unable to cash in during the bottom half.

The Longhorns had a chance with a runner at second and one out in the eighth to take the lead but failed to follow through at the plate.

“In the eighth inning … it was still about strikeouts on balls outside of the strike zone,” Garrido said. “We consistently did that throughout the two games.”

Cold weather and a slight drizzle forced the cancellation of Friday and Saturday night games and turned Sunday’s one scheduled game into a doubleheader.

The first game of the doubleheader also looked promising for the Longhorns, who struck first in the first inning after senior right fielder Collin Shaw stretched out a double and then scored on a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa.

In the top of the second, freshman third baseman Bret Boswell overthrew the ball to first to allow San Diego’s leadoff man to reach second. The Toreros tied up the game on a single by freshman designated hitter Hunter Mercado-Hood. Mercado-Hood then scored on a double to give San Diego a 2–1 lead it would not relinquish. The Toreros added one more run to win the first game, 3–1.

Texas will travel to Palo Alto, California, to face Stanford in a four-game series beginning Thursday.