Longhorns avoid sweep against Kansas State with 9-5 win on Saturday

Shane Lewis

On Friday night, the Longhorns used a seven-run inning to stage a big ninth-inning comeback against Kansas State, only to see their efforts fall short, 11-10. On Saturday, Texas had another seven-run frame, only this time it fueled a 9-5 victory over the Wildcats. The win helped Texas (17–12, 6–3 Big 12) avoid being swept in a three-game series for the first time this year.

Down 5-2 in the top of the fifth, the Longhorns used timely hitting and patient at-bats to spur the offensive outburst. Texas loaded the bases to start the inning, thanks to a pair of walks and an error by the Wildcats.

Freshman designated hitter Zach Zubia proceeded to bring in two runs, driving an RBI double to centerfield. Sophomore infielder David Hamilton followed with a walk to once again load the bases.

Redshirt junior infielder Joe Baker recorded his first hit since March 3, a single that tied the game at five a piece. Texas continued to ride the momentum, scoring four more runs on the next four at-bats.

All nine batters in the lineup reached base in the inning, and the Longhorns did their damage only recording three hits. Texas walked five times in the frame.

The game looked like it might be a back-and-forth affair early. Texas jumped out to a 1-0 lead  in the first inning thanks to an RBI single from sophomore infielder Ryan Reynolds. But Kansas State was quick to answer, leading off the second inning with a home run to right field.

The Longhorns then staged a two-out rally in the third inning, which culminated with redshirt junior pitcher Andy McGuire being hit by a pitch to draw in a run.

Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the third, junior pitcher Chase Shugart loaded the bases to start the inning and couldn’t get out of the jam. The Wildcats scored four runs in the frame and looked poised for a series sweep. But Texas had other plans.

Shugart was awarded the win, going six innings while surrendering seven hits and five earned runs. McGuire got the save, retiring the final four batters of the game without giving up a hit.

Junior pitcher Matteo Bocchi also made an appearance, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings. The right-handed transfer hasn’t surrendered a run dating back to the Stanford series in early March, and he now has a 2.13 ERA on the season. 

McGuire also recorded three RBIs in the game, giving him six for the series. Prior to this three-game slate with Kansas State, McGuire had only driven in one run on the year. Junior outfielder Tate Shaw and infielder Masen Hibbeler both had multi-hit games, each going 2-for-5.

After four straight games on the road, the Longhorns return to UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Monday to take on McNeese State at 6:30 p.m.