Longhorns down Jayhawks 11-2, secure first conference sweep of season

Vicente Montalvo

For the first time since 2001, the No. 5 Texas baseball team has swept the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas.

After struggling the past two weekends to sweep conference opponents Baylor and Oklahoma, the Longhorns finally completed their first conference sweep of the season with Saturday’s 11–2 victory over Kansas.

“It’s tough to win on the road in the Big 12,” head coach David Pierce said in a postgame interview on 104.9 The Horn. “To go into any place and sweep is awesome for our kids.”

Texas showcased its versatility after securing its previous two victories with solid pitching and defense, turning to its offense Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns finished the game with 14 hits, including home runs from redshirt junior infielder Cam Williams, redshirt sophomore infielder Ivan Melendez and redshirt senior outfielder Mike Antico.

“Offensively, we used a short game, we used the running game, we used the power game today,” said Pierce.

Texas only scored in four innings, but they made them count as they managed to bring home multiple runs each time they got into a scoring groove.

However, the Longhorns didn’t get off to the most ideal start. Texas failed to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation in the second inning. But instead of shying away, the Longhorns returned in the third inning determined to put runs on the board.

Williams continued to show why he’s regarded as the team’s top slugger when he blasted a two-run home run in the third inning. Texas finished the frame with five hits to take a 4–0 lead.

The Longhorn offense came together in the fourth and eighth innings, adding two runs in each, to solidify the Longhorns’ 8–2 lead. Antico hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to secure the victory.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Kolby Kubichek threw one of the most complete performances of his young career, striking out three Jayhawks in six innings, while only allowing six hits and one run. Melendez, meanwhile, completed his best three-game performance of the season behind the plate. He finished the series with eight hits on 13 at bats, making him Texas’ hottest hitter.

“It’s what you work for,” Pierce said. “To watch these kids come out here and accomplish some of their goals is good.”

The Texas defense also enjoyed a solid performance as it finished the ballgame with zero errors and stranded 13 Jayhawk runners.

Texas (20-8, 7-2) will head back to Austin for a 10-game home stand, their longest this season, which is set to start Tuesday at 6:30 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.