No. 22 Longhorns roll over Texas Southern, earn 12–2 victory

Hunter Dworaczyk, Sports Reporter

It did not take long for the Texas bats to get going against Texas Southern.

On just the second pitch of Tuesday’s ballgame, redshirt sophomore Douglas Hodo III hit a double to start the Longhorn’s offensive onslaught. A 420-foot home run from redshirt sophomore Silas Ardoin capped off a four-run inning for the Longhorns. 

Powered by its hitting, No. 22 Texas cruised to a commanding 12–2 midweek victory at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The victory improves Texas’ record to 35–17 on the season. 

A notable amount of the Longhorns’ offensive success came through doubles. Texas hit seven doubles throughout the night, tying its best for the season. Head coach David Pierce said it was fun to see the team’s hitting approach throughout the night.

“When they can back-spin the ball into the gap, no matter what the velocity or the pitches are, it’s a real good sign of maturity,” Pierce said.

Redshirt senior Skyler Messinger, who earned four hits in the game, hit his ninth home run of the year. With the solo shot, Messinger is one homer away from joining Ivan Melendez, Murphy Stehly, Trey Faltine and Silas Ardoin in the double-digit home run club for the Texas lineup. 

While Melendez leads the other Texas hitters by a considerable margin, Messinger said he and the other Texas batters have fun trying to keep up with each other.

“At this point, it’s kind of a challenge for second place,” Messinger said. “Guys are always trying to catch up to the guy ahead of them, but it’s all in good fun.”

Freshman pitcher Luke Harrison picked up his first career start for Texas on Tuesday. The normal relief pitcher threw 39 pitches in 2.2 innings of work. The righty allowed one run, gave up four hits and struck out four Texas Southern batters.

Coming out of the bullpen for Harrison, redshirt senior Marcus Olivarez earned his first win of the season. Olivarez shut down the Tigers after they scored in the top of the third, pitching 1.1 shutout innings. Redshirt sophomore Jared Southard also impressed in his outing, striking out four batters in two shutout innings.

The Texas pitching staff combined for eleven strikeouts and issued one walk against Texas Southern. Pierce said it was good to see his bullpen pitchers relax and compete on the mound.

“Those are guys that we feel like are going to pitch for us in the stretch run,” Pierce said. “We’ve got to get them clear-minded and right. I thought they did a great job.”

With finals approaching for the student-athletes, Texas baseball will not play a series this weekend. Pierce said his team will have the next three days off before returning for an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday.

“We’ve always used (bye weekends) like an All-Star break,” Pierce said. “Clear your mind, let your body heal a little bit. Just relax, get away from the game for a little bit and focus on exams.”

Texas baseball will return to UFCU Disch-Falk on Tuesday to take on Sam Houston State before it plays its last series of the regular season against Kansas.