Porter Brown goes long three times as the Longhorns dominate No. 6 West Virginia to kick off weekend series

Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter

The Longhorns needed to play their best baseball of the season if they wanted a chance at a Big 12 championship title. Thankfully for Texas, Porter Brown helped the Longhorns secure a much-needed win on Thursday night.

With their backs against the wall, needing a sweep against No. 6 West Virginia to even have a shot at the regular season title, junior left fielder Porter Brown’s bat delivered. Despite the daunting task of facing a top 10 team in the nation that features some of the best pitching in the Big 12, Brown didn’t let the pressure get to him, launching three home runs and recording eight RBI’s in a 12-2 route over the Mountaineers.

“I might have a tough time going to bed tonight,” Brown said during a post-game press conference.

Brown became one of just seven Longhorns to hit three home runs in a game, and his opposite-field shot in the sixth inning tied the school’s record for most home runs in a season. Brown has now hit his 10th, 11th and 12th home runs in a Longhorn uniform, now passing his home run totals over four years at TCU.

“I feel like transferring from TCU and coming here, I had a lot to prove,” Brown said. “I kept my head up and kept working. I think the hard work I’ve been doing through the whole fall and spring is kind of paying off.”

Junior starting pitcher Lucas Gordon ended his Big 12 regular season just as he started it, shutting out teams and dealing for the Longhorns. Gordon bounced back after three straight unlucky outings, going seven innings and striking out eight Mountaineers. The lefty gave up just four hits to the Big 12’s second-best batting team and made sure the crowd knew about his performance while exiting the game, strutting off the mound after the top of the 7th and pumping up the crowd to the sound of Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba.”

“It was awesome,” Gordon said. “I think we knew the Disch was going to be rocking tonight and I was prepared mentally.”

Junior right fielder Dylan Campbell continues to break records for the Longhorns in 2023, extending his hitting streak to 31 games in a row, starting all the way back on March 25 against Texas Tech. The previous Texas record was 25, held by Michael Torres in 2008, but Campbell’s 31 games straight is second in Big 12 history, needing just four more to tie the record.

“He’s just complete,” said head coach David Pierce about Campbell. “Another kid that just comes in every single day and tries to get better.”

Though Thursday night’s game didn’t feature a sold-out crowd of 7,000 Longhorn fans, the audience was pumped to watch their team in a high-stakes scenario. Every RBI and every Brown home run was followed by roaring cheers, and after almost a month since the Longhorns’ last conference matchup at home, it was clear the fans were proud to see Texas pounding at the Disch.

“Oh yeah it was fun,” Gordon said. “This is a huge series and the last one at the Disch, so we want to give them a good show tonight.”

Texas now sits two games back from West Virginia in Big 12 play, meaning a sweep would be necessary to tie with them in first place. Oklahoma State sits just one game back, so the Longhorns need a sweep and a Cowboys loss versus Oklahoma in one of their three games to win the Big 12 title.

The series will continue through Friday and Saturday, with their next matchup starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at home.