Texas beats Air Force 7-1 behind three home runs

JT Bowen, General Sports Reporter

Texas got back in the win column in Tuesday’s action, beating Air Force 7-1 and getting back on track after dropping the weekend’s series versus Oklahoma State.

Redshirt junior third baseman Peyton Powell, whose strong batting had been a catalyst for Texas’s 16-game win streak, bounced back after going 1-12 in his at-bats against Oklahoma State, opening up the scoring with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. The home run was the first of three on the day for the Longhorns.

Left-handed sophomore Ace Whitehead drew the start for the season and was awarded the win after pitching four innings and allowing just one run in the second inning, the Falcons’ only run of the game.

Redshirt sophomore first baseman Cam Constantine notched the first hit of his career on a single in his 11th at-bat of the year, took a walk, scored a run and logged eight putouts at first base filling in for freshman starter Jared Thomas.

“That’s what I love about the development and what I dislike about the transfer portal,” Texas head coach David Pierce said of Constantine’s performance. “Guys like that, being able to have them stick around and be a part of a culture. All the memories he’ll have in this clubhouse and on the team will go with him forever.”

Freshman catcher Rylan Galvan turned in the best performance of his young career, launching a triple-RBI off the wall in the first inning to extend the lead to three and adding a solo homer in the fifth inning. Galvan went 2-3 at the plate for the day, and has now logged four home runs and a triple on just 9 career hits. 

“He’s just powerful,” said Pierce. “To me, it’s all about being on time, and if he’s on time, he’s got a chance to (bat) a baseball.”

The Longhorns extended the lead 4-1 in the fourth inning with redshirt senior outfielder Eric Kennedy’s sacrifice fly to punch in a double by junior infielder Jack O’Dowd. Junior Dylan Campbell, who handled five outs and added an assist on an impressive throw from deep-right field to second base, homered to left center field to score himself and Constantine as he continues to find his bat.

Galvan’s home run extended the lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth, and the teams traded scoreless innings the rest of the way. After Whitehead’s four frames, the Longhorns got two innings from junior Chris Stuart, and one apiece from junior Heston Tole, junior DJ Burke and freshman Kobe Minchey, who made his debut out of the bullpen. The four relievers didn’t allow a hit.

“That’s my main focus; trying to go out there and make our pitchers better,” said Galvan of his focus this season. “And on that day, I’m gonna line up, if I’m hitting I’m hitting, (and) if I’m not, I’m not. My main concern right now is going back there and making our pitchers the best they can be.”

Texas improves to 21-9 on the year, and will host Kansas State this Thursday as Big 12 play continues.