Downtown Porter Brown’s three-run home run elevates Texas to comeback win over Indiana

Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter

Porter Brown has been playing in front of the home crowd in Austin for just one week, but he’s already made his power evident with the Horns.

The TCU transfer hit the team’s go ahead three-run home run in the 8th inning, catapulting the Longhorns into a 4-2 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers. Friday night’s matchup was the first of three games being played in Austin for Texas’ first home series of the season.

With the UT offense stalling for most of the game, failing to create a major rally for the first seven innings, it was up to the outfielders to start a rally for the Longhorns. In the bottom of the 8th, senior center fielder Eric Kennedy led off the inning by lacing a double over the center fielder’s head. Junior right fielder Dylan Campbell walked five pitches later, setting up Porter Brown for his first major opportunity in burnt orange and white.

The left fielder squared up to bunt for the first two pitches of the at-bat, but after two straight balls, Brown was given the green light. After fouling off a 2-0 pitch, Brown took an inside pitch for a ride, smoking the ball out to right field and clearing the fence. The Longhorns went from trailing for the majority of eight innings to being in the lead with one swing of the bat. 

“I felt like Porter (Brown) was going to get a pitch to hit because of their actions,” head coach David Pierce said. “He got a good pitch and did a great job.”

Brown’s bomb wasn’t the first of the season for the TCU transfer, as his home run in the seventh inning against Arkansas one week prior was the first RBI of the season for the Longhorns. Though Brown struggled to find more offense until Friday night, the left fielder made his name known to the home faithful in Austin.

“I just went up there thinking to do my job, get a pitch to hit, get a pitch to bunt,” Brown said. “(Coach) had full faith in me and I respect that of him.”

The story of the Longhorns’ night can’t be told without mentioning junior starter Lucas Gordon. “Geno” didn’t miss a beat from a week prior in Arlington, striking out seven batters in five and two-thirds innings with only one earned run. Indiana’s lineup, who’d scored 24 combined points in their past two games, was at mercy to the lefty. 

“Just make your pitches,” Gordon said. “Doesn’t matter who it is, you make your pitches, you should get them out.”

The Longhorn bullpen continued off of Gordon’s success, holding the Hoosiers to just three more hits and one run in three and a third innings of work. Junior pitcher Chris Stuart, who gave up five base runners in his previous appearance against Arkansas, shut down the Hoosiers for the final two and a third innings. 

“He’s a beast,” Gordon said about Stuart. “I told him we’re gonna need him in the future and he’s gonna win us some ball games, and he came out and won us this ball game.”

The Longhorn fans also let their presence known, enjoying their first big matchup at UFCU Disch Falk field since last year’s Austin Regionals. Between the Texas Fight chants and the ear-splitting roar of the crowd after Brown’s slam, Austin sounded happy to be back watching baseball.

“I love the crowd and the fans here at The Disch,” Brown said. “At TCU, we didn’t have an atmosphere like that.”

Porter Brown not only left his mark on the diamond, but also on one of his teammates’ faces. 

“He actually punched Heston (Tole) on accident because he was so hyped,” Gordon said.

“I was just caught in the moment and I didn’t even realize I hit him until he brought it up,” Brown said. “He was like, ‘Dude you just popped me in the face,’ and I profusely apologized in the dugout.” 

Texas plays Indiana again at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, and the Longhorns are hoping for more bombs and less punches from their newfound star.