No. 6 Texas runs past Texas State 4-1

Vicente Montalvo

Texas only needed three more outs to secure the victory against the Bobcats for the third and final game during this regular season. For the Longhorns, it was time to turn to the bullpen once again and bring on their closer in freshman pitcher Aaron Nixon.

After getting the first two batters out quickly, Nixon struggled to find the strike zone as he walked a batter. But instead of losing his composure, Nixon took a moment and collected himself as he jammed the batter allowing redshirt junior infielder Murphy Stehly to make the throw to first in time for the final out of the ballgame.

The No. 6 Longhorns defeated Texas State 4-1 as they held the Bobcats to only three hits behind a dominant pitching performance from multiple Longhorns.

“Guys filled up the strike zone,” assistant coach Sean Allen said. “We had a good plan going in from a pitching standpoint. It was a good overall team win.”

After it was recently announced by head coach David Pierce that redshirt freshman pitcher Pete Hansen would replace redshirt sophomore pitcher Kolby Kubichek in the weekend rotation, there was much speculation as to who was going to get the start tonight for Texas. Pierce ultimately turned to freshman pitcher Lucas Gordon for his first career start.

Gordon did not disappoint during his three innings of work, only allowing one batter to reach base in the longest outing of his career. Allen said Gordon has always been impressive, but it just takes time to adjust to expectations that come with playing baseball at UT.

“I don’t care who you are. You get here, this environment, the expectations — it’s hard to handle,” Allen said. “I think he finally realized, ‘Hey, I can do this.’”

Gordon came into the contest ready to showcase his pitching arsenal, retiring eight straight Bobcat batters before finally allowing a hit. Even though Gordon had an impressive start to the game, he faced some adversity in the top of the third inning.

After giving up the first hit of the game for Texas State, Gordon found himself in a tense situation. He was trying to find the strike zone as the count suddenly became 3-1. Instead of letting the situation get to him, Gordon hunkered down and managed to get the batter to pop up to center field, ending the inning and his outing.

“He was awesome tonight,” Allen said. “I was impressed with him because most of those guys that haven’t started yet, their routines are really fast. He wasn’t that way at all. He wasn’t in any panic.”

After having secured the victory Tuesday night, the Longhorns now set their eyes on what could be a deciding Big 12 regular-season championship series against TCU. The team knew how important tonight’s game was to them and are ready for what awaits them in Fort Worth, according to redshirt junior infielder Zach Zubia.

“We kind of thought to ourselves, ‘We got to get our feet back under us right here before we head into such a big series,’” Zubia said. “This was a growth game for us, and it’s going to help us out when we go to TCU this weekend.