If fans worried that the Longhorns’ outburst of runs at Kansas this past weekend might not carry over to Austin, those fears were put to rest quickly Tuesday night.
Texas batters lashed out eight hits and scored five runs in the first three innings, including the team’s first home run at home in almost a month, in a 7–3 win over Texas State.
After giving up two runs in the top of the first, the Longhorns immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning by getting the first three batters on base, none of which came on a hit. Freshman first baseman Michael Cantu followed that up with a double-play grounder that brought in a run.
“All of us as coaches saw a good carry over from the Sunday game into this game,” head coach Augie Garrido said.
Sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera tied the game when the Texas State center fielder whiffed on a catch, allowing a run to come across and Barrera to scamper all the way to third. Freshman third baseman Bret Boswell drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning to give Texas the lead.
Two innings later, sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz lined a shot off the left-field foul pole for a two-run homer to give the Longhorns a 5–2 lead. The blast was the first Texas home run at UFCU Disch-Falk Field since senior right fielder Collin Shaw hit a two-run home run against Kansas State on March 22.
Gurwitz, who had six hits and three RBIs in the series against Kansas, said keeping the game simple is what ultimately led to the team’s success.
“It’s been working — just keeping the game simple and bringing it back to the basics,” Gurwitz said. “If you make it too hard on yourself, it’s going to eat you up.”
Boswell added a two-run home run, his first collegiate four-bagger, in the eighth inning to up the lead to 7–3.
Sophomore starting pitcher Josh Sawyer, who has been up and down this season since being dropped from the weekend rotation, struggled early in the game. He threw 29 pitches, giving up two runs on a double to left and a single up the middle.
But Sawyer settled in after that, retiring the next 11 batters and finishing the night with four strikeouts in five innings of work — the most innings he’s thrown since March 8 at Stanford.
“I was leaning forward, so [associate head coach Skip Johnson] said, ‘Just stop when you get down to the bottom — and then go forward,’” Sawyer said.
The win is Texas’ second victory over Texas State this season. The Longhorns defeated the Bobcats 6–4 in San Marcos on March 24. The two will meet again May 5 in Texas’ last regular-season home game.
The Longhorns resume conference play with a crucial series at TCU beginning Friday.