Texas stays red hot against Red Raiders in 6-2 win, picks up 12th straight home victory

JT Bowen, General Sports Reporter

Texas overcame a sluggish start at the plate to make it a dozen straight Friday night, opening up Big 12 play with a victory over Texas Tech at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in the first of this weekend’s three game series.

Expectations were high for the Longhorns after an 11th consecutive win of their 14-game home stint, having pulled themselves out of the 3-6 hole they started the season in and looking to start their conference play with a win against the Red Raiders – who are ranked 14th according to D1 Baseball’s top-25 rankings.

“We don’t put on our Big 12 uniforms,” said head coach David Pierce at a media availability on Wednesday. “We just got to go play baseball.”

Junior Lucas Gordon drew the start on the mound, pitching a solid 5.1 innings that saw eight strikeouts to just two runs allowed. All six outs in the third and fourth innings forced by Texas came off Gordon strikeouts, including the final two in fourth with the bases loaded.

After both teams exchanged three scoreless innings, Texas opened up the scoring in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to left field by junior shortstop Mitchell Daly that sent home junior catcher Garret Guillemette. 

Texas Tech responded in the top of the fifth after junior right fielder Dylan Campbell couldn’t handle a deep shot pinned against the wall, tying things up at 1-1.

Texas failed to register a hit in the bottom of the fifth, and after Gordon allowed a solo homer that gave Texas Tech the lead, the Longhorns turned to redshirt junior Zane Morehouse to close out the game.

The Longhorns retook the lead 3-2 on a timely two-run homer by redshirt junior left fielder Porter Brown at the bottom of the sixth, batting in Guillemette. Brown scored another run and was intentionally walked in the eighth inning with runners on second and third, a testament to his knack for hitting the long ball.

Guillemette had a nice game of his own, going 2-2, getting walked once, tacking on a sacrifice bunt and scoring two runs. He additionally threw a crucial out from home base in the sixth, preventing a Texas Tech runner from stealing second base and ending the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, Texas stomped out any chance of a Tech comeback on a 2-RBI double into deep right field by second baseman Jack O’Dowd that gave the Longhorns a 5-1 lead, and a sacrifice fly by Daly sent home Porter Brown to put his team up comfortably 6-1. 

Redshirt junior third baseman Peyton Powell came up big late defensively, executing a crucial play to handle a shallow bunt and throw the hitter out at first and extending fully to snag an impressive out on a line drive hit down the third base line. 

Morehouse was near-perfect in his relief of Gordon, throwing a no-hitter and four strikeouts in 3.2 innings.

“It’s always great throwing after Lucas,” Morehouse said. “He sets the ball really high and you come in out of the pen and try to just mimic what he does.”

“Nightmare, electric,” said Porter Brown of Morehouse’s performance. “We’re roommates, so he’ll probably go back to the crib and just talk about it all night, so I’ll be there to listen, and I love it.”

“It’s nice to be opening up at home with a young team,” Pierce said of winning their first Big 12 matchup. “They’re a really good team as well, I just thought it’s what we do every weekend. But it is nice to have great weather, a great crowd, and play really well.”

The Longhorns will look to continue their momentum tomorrow against the Red Raiders and clinch the weekend series.