Texas baseball edges past Sam Houston State in shootout

Amsal Madhani

Fresh off a series victory over Houston, Texas built on its momentum with another great day at the plate in a 15-9 win over Sam Houston State Tuesday night.

 

“I thought we hit the ball really well,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “I think just some of the work we put in today and some of the communication between the coaches and the hitters made a lot of sense to the hitters.”

 

It didn’t take the Longhorns long to make their presence felt at the plate as they scored four runs on four hits in the first inning to go up 4-1 on the Bearkats. But what appeared to be the start of a blowout quickly became a close game after Sam Houston State rallied with seven runs in the sixth inning, cutting Texas’ lead to one.

 

The rally, however, was cut short after freshman pitcher Tanner Witt struck out Bearkat sophomore outfielder Colton Cowser with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. The Longhorns held Sam Houston State scoreless in the final two innings and Texas held on for the victory.

 

Unlike their last game against Houston where the Cougars allowed 10 walks, the Longhorns weren’t often handed free bases. Instead, Texas had one of its best offensive days of the year.

 

Tuesday was the fifth time this season the Longhorns recorded at least 10 runs and the fourth time they’ve recorded 10 hits. Texas was led at the plate by redshirt junior infielder Zach Zubia, who finished with two runs on three hits and five RBIs.

 

“(Zubia’s) been really good,” Pierce said. “He just sees the ball really well.”

 

The Longhorns had a solid defensive outing as well, led by redshirt freshman pitcher Pete Hansen who gave up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in four innings of work.

 

“I felt kind of free and easy today,” Hansen said. “I just felt good.”

 

The Bearkats, however, gave Texas a run for their money as their batters were able to rally back after a slow start. They mustered together nine runs, with seven of them coming in the sixth inning, and had 11 hits in their comeback effort against Texas.

 

Their play wasn’t enough to win, though, as the Longhorns’ high-powered offense was just too much to contain. Of the five pitchers Texas faced Tuesday night, three gave up at least three hits to Texas batters. The Longhorns scored all 15 of their runs in the first seven innings as the team continually annihilated the Bearkat pitchers.

 

Now winners of four of its last five matchups, Texas will look to build on its momentum from the past few games in the Friday night series opener against South Carolina.