Garret Guillemette’s walk-off magic leads to a Longhorn sweep over #14 Texas Tech


Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter

Garret Guillemette said that Sunday was the coolest moment he’s ever had in his baseball career.

Guillemette hasn’t been in Austin for very long, but he’s already solidifying himself as a fan favorite after a walk-off bomb to sweep Texas Tech on Sunday. Between a killer bat flip and a shaving cream shower, Guillemette said he “blacked out” after he hit his massive 407 foot home run to walk-off the Red Raiders.

“We feel like we want to just go out and truly be better every single game,” head coach David Pierce, “We’ve just continued to try and go play but they know what’s going on. They’re pretty pumped.”

Texas started their Big 12 season off with a bang, sweeping the no. 14 ranked Texas Tech after a 9–8 win on Sunday in Austin. The win marked the Longhorn’s 14th straight starting on March 3 against Sam Houston. Texas started conference play with a 3–0 record after their second straight walk-off win.

“We brought a lot of energy from the jump,” Guillemette said. “There was no sense of panic at all, at the end of the day all you can ask for is confidence.”

The home run was the third of the week for Guillemette, who registered his first two homers of the season on Tuesday against Incarnate Word.

“I’m making my muscles more loose,” Guillemette said about his recent adjustments to his swing. “I got a pitch to hit and it went right through my barrel path. I was ready for a heater.”

Though the Longhorns led for almost all of the game, they found themselves in trouble in the 8th inning. Down five, Texas Tech stormed back, scoring two runs each off of right handers junior Chris Stuart and freshman Cody Howard. 

Ace Whitehead gave the Longhorns a bit of life, striking out junior second baseman Austin Green to end the eighth. Though Tech was able to tie the game in the ninth after a triple and an RBI single, Whitehead kept his composure and retired the next three batters, setting Texas up for a chance to walk it off with one swing of the bat.

“I just felt like we won the game,” Whitehead said about his final strike out, “I knew our guys on offense got a way to score multiple ways, heading into the ninth tied I felt pretty good about our chances.”

Texas started the game hot off the back of junior third baseman Peyton Powell’s powerful swing. The junior third baseman took a 1–2 fastball for a ride, hitting an opposite-field wall-scraper with senior center fielder, Eric Kennedy, on second to give the Longhorns an early 2–0 lead. Powell also added another home run in the 4th, a solo shot to extend the Longhorn leads to four.

Powell entered the year with only two home runs and nine total hits in his first three seasons, but the junior has already more than doubled his home run numbers with his fifth on the season in 24 games. Powell now sits at a .397 batting average and a 1.185 OPS, both best on the team, alongside the five home runs and 19 RBI from the hot corner.

Junior right-hander Charlie Hurley added another solid starting performance after making his first start on Tuesday against Incarnate Word. Hurley yet again threw for four innings of one-run baseball with four strikeouts, mirroring his performance five days earlier. Hurley gave up just one hit but did have some concerns with his command, walking three and hitting three separate batters.

“Today he just never got in a great rhythm, he was effectively wild because he was pitching behind,” Pierce said about Hurley’s command. “I don’t think they got a hit until the fourth inning but we felt like we were in trouble every inning.”

Freshman first baseman Jared Thomas added his best game of the season on Sunday, notching his first home run of his career while adding two more hits and two RBI. Thomas’ three-hit game was his second of the season and could not have come at a better time with Big 12 playing officially starting.

Texas will travel to College Station on Tuesday to face intra-conference rival Texas A&M before traveling to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State for a weekend series.

“It starts with good pitching, that’s always the key right there,” Pierce said. “It’s another challenge, a tough week. We opened up with two of the best teams in the league in Tech and Oklahoma State.