No matter what he did, John Ely couldn’t get Kyle Russell out. Russell hit two home runs and a single off Ely, a right-handed starter for Miami University of Ohio.
The problem for the Texas Longhorns was Ely dominated the rest of them with ease.
With his fastball. With his changeup. With his curveball.
Everything Ely threw to the plate seemed to be the perfect pitch as Miami defeated Texas 6-2 on Friday during the first night game at the partially renovated UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
“It feels good to do this against a team like Texas,” Ely said. “I just tried to keep my pitches down, attack the strike zone and get ahead of the count.”
That’s exactly what Ely did, which is why it took him 135 pitches to get through the entire game. He gave up just seven hits.
“The story is more about what they were able to do instead of what we weren’t able to do,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said. “To take anything away from (Ely) would be unprofessional. It was his night.”
The Redhawks jumped on Texas starter James Russell (3-2), scoring two runs in the first and second innings for a 4-0 lead.
“I had a little trouble with location, and the good pitches I made, they put in play,” said Russell, who gave up six runs (five earned) and 10 hits in five-plus innings.
Once the Redhawks (3-4) jumped ahead, the Longhorns (13-7) couldn’t touch Ely.
The Horns loaded the bases in the second inning with two outs, but Travis Tucker’s hard-hit ground ball found the glove of Miami third baseman Jordan Petraitis, who ended the inning with a force at second.
“That was a play of great reflexes,” Garrido said. “If that’s a hit, the momentum changes right there. But he makes that play, and they keep the momentum.”
There were bright spots for Texas. Kyle Russell continued to pound the ball, going 3 for 4, including the solo shots in the sixth and eighth innings. He has eight home runs and 21 RBIs in just 20 games.
Last year Russell started strong before tailing off and finishing with 10 homers and 42 RBIs.
“I’m just sitting here, relaxing, seeing the ball and hitting the ball,” he said. “I’ve experienced tailing off, and I think this year I’m more mature.”
The other bright spot was reliever Keith Shinaberry, who pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one walk.
Texas will face Miami again at 2 p.m. today, sending right-hander Adrian Alaniz to the mound to face Connor Graham.