Texas is back (to its winning ways).
The Longhorn lineup exploded on Tuesday night for a 17-3 victory in a seven-inning run-rule victory over Texas Southern and did so with an unexpected spark plug leading the way.
The win is exactly what the Longhorns needed with the beginning of Big 12 play set to begin this weekend.
“We needed to come out here and play with some energy. I thought we had a great crowd for a Tuesday night (game),” said head coach David Pierce. “It was actually a pretty energetic game for our dugout, so that was great to see, and I think the kids are ready to start conference play.”
After going down a run in the top of the second inning, the Longhorns scored 10 unanswered runs of their own to put the game out of reach.
Texas’ offense was capitalized by walk-on catcher, Caston Peter, who went 2-3 at the plate this evening with a bases loaded double down the first base line and a three-run home run over the left field wall.
Peter, who has stepped in for the recently injured Michael McCann, has experienced some hiccups during the Stanford series while trying to adjust to the speed of the game and step in as an everyday player.
“It’s interesting, because I got onto (Caston Peter) the other day in the media and told him it was time to grow up,” Pierce said. “And he is actually growing up right in front of us.”
Peter’s double in the third inning was the first extra base hit of his career which he quickly topped with his first career home run in the sixth inning.
“He looked very comfortable (at the plate), the game is slowing down now,” Pierce said. “He blocked his tail off tonight, but then to go out and get a couple hits and some RBIs — it was awesome.”
Coming into the season, it was hard to imagine a night like this would have even been possible for Peter. The former co-valedictorian at Stratford High School in the Houston area came into the season as the third catcher on the depth chart, but due to injuries, he found himself in a position he never thought possible.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without DJ (Petrinsky) and Mike (McCann),” said Peter. “They work with me every single day to get me in the best position to succeed.”
With conference play set to begin this weekend, it was imperative the Longhorns got the offense right after scoring just seven runs in the four game series against Stanford over the weekend.
Texas did just that — responded with the 17 run outburst — the most the school has scored in the David Pierce era and the most since April 24, 2016, against then-No. 11 Texas Tech.
“(The win) is something that we can build on,” said Peter. “We had 18 hits and we kinda struggled offensively at Stanford, so it’s good to get this confidence to get back right into Big 12 play.”
Speaking of Texas Tech, they come to Austin this weekend for the beginning of Big 12 play with a three game series that begins on Friday at 6:30 p.m.