Texas notches season high in hits, doubles in 18-3 win over Texas Southern

JT Bowen, General Sports Reporter

Coming off the heels of a disappointing sweep at home versus Oklahoma, Texas sorely needed to get back in the win column before two straight road Big 12 series.

“We’ve gone through adversities like this before,” Texas head coach David Pierce said of the Oklahoma series. “It was gut-wrenching, kicked us in the tail and we understand it and so, at some point you’ve gotta move on.”

Judging by Tuesday’s result, it looked like the Longhorns moved on.

Texas did its best to avenge the weekend’s series, setting new season highs in hits and doubles through seven innings en route to an 18-3 beatdown of Texas Southern on Tuesday night. The Longhorns’ bats were solid to start and came out smoking following rain delays with a nine-run third inning.

Texas raced out to a 5-0 lead through two innings due to a combination of solid hitting and pitching, but as junior Charlie Hurley took to the mound in relief at the top of the third the rain started to come down and fans headed for the upper decks.

After more than an hour of delays, play resumed, and the Longhorns looked ready to go, assembling one of their finest offensive innings of the season, scratching out a single, a pair of homers, and five doubles, four of which came in consecutive at-bats. The Longhorns got excellent hitting contributions from the entire lineup, capped off by junior shortstop Mitchell Daly’s three-run shot into the visitor bullpen to make it a 14-0 game.

While the hitting was terrific top to bottom, redshirt junior third baseman Peyton Powell led the way for the Longhorns, opening up the scoring in the bottom of the first with one of his three doubles on the night in a 3-4 outing. First baseman Jared Thomas also enjoyed one of his better nights of his freshman year, launching his second career homer, going 3-3 at the plate and scoring four runs.

Junior DJ Burke drew his first career start pitching for the Longhorns, and despite tossing just two runless innings, Coach Pierce was pleased with what he saw.

“We’ve had some talks, and with DJ, I think eventually he could become a starter if that’s in the plans,” Pierce said. “I just told him to go out there and compete for two innings, I’m not going to burn you for the weekend, and he did a really nice job.”

Sophomore Ace Whitehead tacked on a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Longhorn run count to 16 before Texas Southern answered to score its second run of the night. Redshirt junior left fielder Porter Brown scored on a bases loaded walk and freshman pinch hitter Cade O’Hara’s first career RBI came on a sacrifice fly to punch in freshman Jayden Duplantier and score Texas’s 18th and final run of the night.

Texas’ soul-searching following the Oklahoma series showed up in Tuesday’s result, and the Longhorns will be tested once again in a pivotal Big 12 road series against TCU.

“There’s kind of an eye opener on Sunday, and just kind of refocus and basically let them know that there’s a standard, and we’re not going to accept that,” Pierce said. “And so that presentation is important to how we present it and how we approach our work, and making sure they understand those standards.”

Texas now sits at 28–15, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. Friday in Fort Worth.