Stanford should feel cheated. Not cheated by today’s game or any game in Austin, but cheated by their opening weekend opponent.
After crushing the Rice Owls for 27 runs and 34 hits in three games at The Sunken Diamond, the Cardinal have only mustered three runs on 13 hits against the pitching-strong Texas Longhorns, dropping the first two games of the weekend series. in Austin.
Following yesterday’s 6-0 win, the Longhorns marched out yet another towering pitcher with a mid-90’s fastball. Brandon Workman (1-0) had no trouble with his opponents from Palo Alto, allowing six hits and two runs in five innings, tacking on six strike outs to a pair of walks on 97 pitches.
For the second straight day, Stanford failed to produce a run after a first inning double, stranding the runner with an inning-ending strikeout. Texas didn’t have the same problem with their first frame.
Longhorn 1B Tant Shepherd, starting his second straight game in the leadoff spot, deposited a Scott Snodgrass pitch into the Texas bullpen behind right field for a 1-0 lead.
The Longhorns increased the lead in the second inning after Jordan Etier performed a perfect squeeze bunt to score Connor Rowe from third base. Shepherd picked up his second RBI of the game on an RBI single between Stanford SS Jake Schlander and 3B Kenny Diekroeger, scoring Kevin Lusson from second.
Stanford scored their first run of the series in the top of the third. With one out and the bases loaded, LF Stephen Piscotty batted in Diekroeger from third on a fielder’s choice.
The Longhorns would build a 4-1 lead on a bases loaded balk by Snodgrass before Stanford clawed back to within a run of Texas.
Piscotty added his second RBI on a fifth inning sacrifice fly, while pinch hitter Tyler Gaffney came around to score on Jonathan Kaskow’s groundout, after leading off the inning with a walk.
The final runs of the game came in typical Longhorn fashion. With a pair of runners on base, and two outs, SS Brandon Loy ripped a double over the glove of Diekroeger to close out the scoring and put Texas three runs up on the Cardinal.
Workman struggled through his five innings with his pitch count, but got critical outs when his team needed them. Snodgrass (0-1) did not fare as well. In picking up the loss, the lefty had trouble finding the strike zone, walking four batters over 3.2 innings. Texas managed five hits and four runs, two earned, on the starter, while only striking out twice.
Chance Ruffin entered the game for Texas with one out in the fifth. Ruffin struck out four Cardinal batters and allowed only a single hit, picking up his first save of the season.
Shepherd lead the Longhorns with a superb day at the plate. In five plate appearances, the junior collected a pair of hits to accompany three walks. He also produced a pair of runs and added two RBI. Collin Walsh, the second baseman for Stanford had three hits, including a double, and drew a walk in his four plate appearances.
Texas improved to 4-2 while Stanford dropped to 4-2. The teams will conclude their series Sunday afternoon at 1 PM.