Texas baseball cruises to midweek victory over Abilene Christian

Nathan Han

On Sunday, the Longhorn offense had its best game of the season against Cal State Fullerton, setting a season high of 12 hits and matching their season high of eight runs. 

But it only took the red-hot Longhorns (14–3)  four innings Wednesday to break that season high for runs in their 9-1 victory over Abilene Christian (7–8) at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.  

They also set another season high with 12 walks before Texas head coach David Pierce followed the early lead by putting in several bench players and going to his bullpen early.

“It was a good Wednesday ballgame for us,” Pierce said. “We got an opportunity to see a lot of arms and position players that need to play.”

In the seven games since Texas hit .143 and struck out 16 times against LSU, the Longhorns have averaged seven runs a game and batted .284 as a team. 

It’s been an effort across the entire lineup to fuel this streak of hot hitting. At second base, junior infielder Murphy Stehly had his third multi-hit game in his last four games. 

Senior right fielder Austin Todd continued his torrid hitting streak, hitting 2-4 with two singles and a RBI . The two other outfielders, sophomore Eric Kennedy and senior Duke Ellis, drew five walks in total.  

“We’ve just stayed with the process that we do every day and trusted it,” Todd said after Sunday’s game. “Just wait for your pitch ‘cause you know you’re eventually going to get it.”

On the mound, sophomore starting pitcher Kolby Kubichek pitched a seamless four innings and collected the win but was pulled after hitting his pitch count. 

“Kolby is really interesting because I was curious to see his velocities,” Pierce said. “He has a great sinker and a plus changeup, but I think he was struggling to find his slider early.”

Pierce also hinted that he would keep Kubichek in that midweek starting pitching role. The right-hander hasn’t allowed a run in his two midweek starts but struggled out of the bullpen against Missouri on March 1. 

“I felt good about what he did tonight, and I think that’s kind of where he’s comfortable in that starting role,” Pierce said. “Some guys are real quirky about that. Maybe the routine and the preparation is the best for him, but we’ll see.”

Much like many of the wins Texas has picked up so far in its nonconference schedule, Wednesday’s win against a 7–8 Abilene Christian team doesn’t do much to inspire fan excitement.

Texas will continue to face more non-Power Five teams as it hosts a three-game series against New Mexico this weekend followed by a Tuesday game against Incarnate Word and a Wednesday game against UT-Arlington. 

Despite the perceived difficulty of the nonconference, non-Power Five teams, these games are still tests of how the Longhorns stack up to other Big 12 competition. TCU beat Abilene Christian 14-4 in similar fashion earlier in the season. New Mexico will play Big 12 favorites Texas Tech right after the Lobos play the Longhorns. UT-Arlington was able to take down TCU in Fort Worth 6-4. 

Despite how seemingly simple this win was for the Longhorns, they still passed a test and took care of business.  

“We went out and took care of business,” Pierce said. “It was a good night for us.”

As reported Wednesday night, the Longhorns’ home sporting events will all take place without fan attendance until March 22, which will affect Texas’ weekend series with New Mexico and next Tuesday’s matchup with Incarnate Word.