Horns secure series win, shut out Jayhawks 7-0

Vicente Montalvo

The Texas baseball team secured a conference series victory for the third-straight weekend as the No.5 Longhorns routed the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas.

Redshirt junior Tristan Stevens had arguably the best pitching performance of his career Friday night, making it past the sixth inning for the first time all season. Stevens emptied the tank on the mound, pitching seven full innings and throwing 107 pitches in a shutout effort.

The Jayhawks were unable to find their rhythm due to Stevens’ versatile pitching arsenal, Texas head coach David Pierce said.

“Tristan did a great job on the mound of mixing pitches and minimizing anything that they got started,” Pierce said in a postgame interview on 104.9 The Horn.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Stevens found himself in a pickle after giving up multiple hits that led to Kansas putting two runners in scoring position. With his endurance drained after a long starting outing, Stevens found extra gas in the tank and struck out the Kansas batter on a fastball to end the scoring threat, simultaneously surpassing the 100-pitch mark.

“That was something that I wanted to do,” Stevens said about passing the 100-pitch mark in a postgame interview on 104.9 The Horn.

The Texas defense continuously bent but never broke Friday night, leaving a total of nine Kansas base runners stranded on eight hits. Defensively, the Longhorns continued to make impressive plays that sent Jayhawk batters back to the dugout.

“Their (defensive) discipline was outstanding,” Pierce said. “The team defense is really gelling. I really like to see that.”

The Longhorns got off to a fast offensive start as they put runs on the board in the first two innings, continuing their hot performance from game one of the series.

Although redshirt senior transfer Mike Antico did not register a hit in the ballgame, he came up big in the sixth inning as he popped up to the outfield, allowing the runner on third base to cross the plate, extending Texas’s lead to 3-0.

Nursing the three-run lead heading into the last two frames, the Texas offense put some insurance runs on the board as four runners crossed the plate, extending Texas’ margin to 7-0.

Redshirt sophomore Cole Quintanilla relieved Stevens in the eighth inning and finished the game for the Longhorns. Quintanilla only gave up one hit and managed to strike out two batters.

Going into the final contest of the three-game series, the Longhorns will have an opportunity to sweep a Big 12 conference opponent for the first time this season. Texas failed to do so against Baylor and Oklahoma earlier this year.

One thing’s for sure: The sweep will be on the Longhorns’ minds during the last game of the series.

“They’re going to be ready to go,” Pierce said. “I’m going to make the lineup and sit back and watch them play.”