Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas baseball takes down Abilene Christian 11-1 with fifth inning scoring spree

Ale de la Fuente
Jared Thomas swings a pitch from Abilene Christian University, giving the horns an extra run during the game on April 2, 2024.

Following up on its ranked series win last weekend, Texas baseball continued its success streak on Tuesday night against Abilene Christian, finding a sweet spot at the bottom of the fifth to put an 11-1 win on the schedule.  

Checking in at the regular season’s halfway point, Texas’ matchup against ACU posed as a solid representation of the program’s foundation thus far, highlighted by a sharp defense, late offensive success and thorough pitching. Spending nearly a month out of the top 25 rankings, inconsistency and failing to perform through all nine innings of baseball have hindered the Longhorns from reaching their full potential, but Head Coach David Pierce said he was pleased with the team’s execution on Tuesday.

“I thought we played really clean tonight with pitching defense, getting some timely hits,” Pierce said. “The power is still continuing to come, we really just need to keep building off our momentum.”      

Pierce has harped on the individual potential of each player, mentioning that team-wide success comes from unlocking and believing in said potential. His reliance on top hitters, such as sophomore Jared Thomas, who sits as the top starting player on the lineup, stems from Thomas’ ability to find and use that energy inside. This has led Thomas to act as a catalyst for the rest of the team, with Tuesday night being a prime example. Thomas swooped in at the bottom of the fifth to slam a home run to right field, opening the scoring floodgates for his teammates. 

“Coach put me in the leadoff spot this year just to kind of be the tone setter, and I think that’s just who I am as a person,” Thomas said. “I’m trying to do the best I can every game.” 

Texas was able to get runs on the board early, as the team saw an RBI double from sophomore shortstop Jalin Flores to bring first baseman Thomas home to score. A single up the middle and another RBI from junior catcher Kimble Schuessler put the Longhorns at 2-0 going into the second inning.

At the top of the second, ACU managed to get a double and RBI from a pop out to left field, bringing the score to 2-1. Pitching efforts on both sides left the scoreboard bare from the bottom of the second to the bottom of the fifth, leaving each opponent with multiple players left on base.

Thomas’ seventh home run of the season was a solo shot and came in the bottom of the fifth and would ignite success within the rest of the team as Flores followed up with a solo home run of his own. Sophomore outfielder Max Belyeu doubled to right field with Schuessler not far behind with a single to advance Belyeu to third base. 

From there, the Longhorns began to heat things up, with freshman outfielder Will Gasparino reaching on a throwing error and advanced to second, bringing Schuessler and Belyeu home. Nearly every starter on the lineup saw action in the fifth inning, with hits from sophomore catcher Rylan Galvan, freshman infielder Dee Kennedy, Thomas and Flores, and seven RBIs to secure a 10-1 lead over the Wildcats.

To cap off the night, Flores slammed another home run into an empty Yeti Yard at the bottom of the eighth, sealing the win for Texas. 

“It always feels good winning, we’ve talked about it a lot that winning is hard, so we’re just kind of enjoying it,” Thomas said. “We’ve got a big series this weekend, we’re just gonna go out there and do our jobs like we’ve been trying to do all year.”  

The Longhorns will return to UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Thursday to begin their series against BYU and continue Big 12 conference play.

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About the Contributor
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.