Texas baseball dominates in first game back home against UTRGV

Nick Hargroue, Sports Reporter

After fighting back from a late deficit against Oklahoma to take this past weekend’s series in dramatic fashion, the Longhorns took care of business as usual on Tuesday with an impressive batting display, defeating UTRGV 13-5.

Texas opened the game with a bang on Tuesday, scoring six runs in the opening frame. The Longhorns made it through the entire order, with redshirt senior infielder Murph Stehly and sophomore infielder Mitchell Daly both hitting home runs in the inning. Texas held onto this lead for the remainder of the ballgame. Each time the Vaqueros put runs on the board, the Longhorns answered with runs of their own.

Tuesday’s game against UTRGV marks the first game of a five-game homestand for the Longhorns after two consecutive series on the road against then No. 16 Texas Tech and unranked Oklahoma.

“(It’s good) to be up on the backside (of the schedule), to be at home and hopefully play some really good baseball,” head coach David Pierce said. “It’s a good lesson understanding how grueling it was, to really appreciate being at home, (to) have a little bit more comfort.”

Despite the win, Texas’ pitching inconsistencies continued. The Vaqueros scored five runs on 10 hits in the game. Reliable pitching has plagued the Longhorns this season, as the season-ending injury to star sophomore pitcher Tanner Witt threw a wrench into the rotation.

“I thought (Justin Eckhardt) pitched well until he got to 0-2, and didn’t do a good job of putting guys away,” Pierce said. “I think that’s what he has to work on.”

However, solid performances in relief by redshirt sophomore Jared Southard, freshman Luke Harrison and redshirt freshmen Lebarron Johnson Jr. and Travis Sthele prevented this game from getting close. Combined, the relievers only gave up one run in just over four innings of work.

Texas is going into this weekend 3–3 in Big 12 Play, but despite their conference record, the Longhorns look to stay focused on the road ahead, unfazed by their past performances.

“I think the biggest thing is to just breathe, and understand it’s no different than anybody we’re facing,” Pierce said. “This team’s always locked in. … They’re not always perfect, but they’re always locked in.”

Texas will face another Big 12 rival in No. 23 TCU this weekend at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, hoping to exit the weekend with a 6–3 record in conference play and a commanding series victory over the Bullfrogs.