FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
AUSTIN, Texas — The No. 9 Texas Longhorns got strong contributions on the mound and at the plate to coast to an 8-1 win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in baseball action at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Wednesday evening.
Texas (26-8) equaled a season-high with 15 hits, including three doubles, one triple and back-to-back home runs by Brandon Belt and Tant Shepherd. Belt led the armada, going 4-for-4 with one double, one home run and two RBI. Kevin Keyes, who was wearing No. 42 in honor of the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s MLB debut on April 15, 1947, went 3-for-3 with two runs and two stolen bases. Kevin Lusson, making his first collegiate start, went 2-for-2 with two walks, one double, one run and one RBI. Travis Tucker added a pair of hits.
The dominance of the Longhorns’ pitching staff was also above board. Five pitchers combined to allow just four hits on the day. Brandon Workman started the game allowing one run on a solo homer, the only hit he allowed, while striking out three over 3.0 innings. Stayton Thomas (1-0) picked up the win allowing just one run and one walk while striking out two over 3.0 shutout innings. Kendal Carrillo kept the Islanders offense embayed striking out three of the four batters he faced in a scoreless seventh inning. Taylor Jungmann and Sam Stafford capped off the keelhauling with shutout eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13-24) fired the opening salvo in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Jeramie Marek deposited a first-pitch offering from Workman into the leftfield bullpen for a 1-0 lead.
After firing across the Islanders’ bow in the first three innings and stranding three runners in scoring position, the Longhorns finally got the game back to an even keel in the bottom of the fourth. Keyes hit a leadoff single up the middle, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Loy, moved to third on a balk and scored on Lusson’s first career hit, a single to rightfield.
The Islanders were poised to reclaim the lead in the top of the fifth when Jeremy Narvaez hit a leadoff double off Thomas. Justin Greiner sacrificed Narvaez to third with a bunt, but the rally capsized when Jonathan Reyes’ leeward fly ball pulled Narvaez into the range UT centerfielder Connor Rowe’s cannon arm and the inning-ending play at the plate was not close.
In the wake of the stellar defensive play in the top of the fifth, the Longhorns took their first lead of the game in the bottom half of the frame. Travis Tucker tripled down the rightfield line and scored on a sacrifice fly by Belt. Shepherd was hit by a pitch and Keyes singled to the gap in right centerfield to put runners at the corners. Loy plated Shepherd with an infield single. Keyes stole third base and scored on a wild pitch to stake the Horns to a 4-1 lead.
Texas put the Islanders over the barrel with four more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Belt and Shepherd led off the frame with back-to-back dingers to leftfield. The rally was capped by a double by Lusson, an RBI double by Preston Clark and an RBI single by Rowe.
Texas continues its 11-game homestand with a three-game set against the Oklahoma Sooners at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Game times for the series are 6 p.m. Central on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
My Pictures from the Game;