Nixon holds on once again as Texas holds on 4-3 over Baylor for 8th straight win

Vicente Montalvo

In the ninth inning at Baylor Ballpark, after a solo home run turned the game into a one run game, head coach David Pierce decided to keep freshman pitcher Aaron Nixon in the game after coming on to start the inning with two outs and a runner on second base.

The decision to keep Nixon on the mound turned out to be the right call as the batter struck out swinging, dashing the Bears’ hopes and securing the 4-3 victory for the Longhorns on Saturday.

No. 10 Texas extended their win streak to eight straight games and ensured a series victory after defeating Baylor in Waco on Friday.

Redshirt junior pitcher Tristan Stevens got the start for the Longhorns and struggled early on against Baylor. Facing runners on second and third base with one out and a run already scored, Stevens hunkered down and found his control, striking out the remaining two batters and ending the first inning.

Stevens finished the contest, going six full innings for the Longhorns with six strikeouts and allowing only two runs on seven hits. 

“(Stevens) was outstanding,” Pierce said in a postgame interview on 104.9 The Horn. “He understands who he is. He knows how to pitch … (Stevens) did a wonderful job at attacking the zone with all four pitches.”

This game marks the second time this season that the former reliever turned Saturday starter pitched through the sixth inning after having trouble completing six full innings early in the season. 

In the sixth inning, Stevens showed that improvement. He allowed runners to get on first and second base, but instead of allowing a run to score or being relieved, he struck out the batter, ending his night.

Texas and Baylor followed each other’s offensive production early in the game as they matched each other’s runs in similar ways in both the first and fourth inning, including a one run home run by each team in the later inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Longhorn batters were quite early on until the sixth inning. The Texas batters came together for five straight hits, but none were bigger than redshirt senior catcher DJ Petrinsky’s two-run RBI double that gave Texas a 4-2 lead. 

Although the Longhorns captured the lead in the sixth inning, they failed to capitalize on a big opportunity with bases loaded. Jimmy Winston, Baylor redshirt senior pitcher, ended Texas’ hope of adding to the lead, as he struck out the two Texas batters and ended the opportunity for the Longhorns.

“Instead of trying to drive in three, just get the job done,” Pierce said. “Get it in play, and good things are going to happen for us.”

Texas had a great day at the plate after having a slow one yesterday, as they tallied 12 hits on the day including a solo home run in the fourth inning from redshirt junior outfielder Cam Williams. But the Longhorns will need to improve on bringing runners home to complete the series sweep, after leaving 10 runners stranded Saturday.

Texas will have an opportunity to sweep Baylor on Sunday in the only three-game series between the two Big 12 teams.

“You can’t be satisfied with winning a series,” Pierce said. “We have an opportunity to win on Sunday and go for a sweep. We’ll see what happens."