Tonight’s game seemed like it was going to be another nail-biter. Each team was making plays on defense, and the pitching staff was keeping things in check. Then Jordan Etier decided to hit a curveball and sent it over the Longhorn bullpen for a three-run home run in the ninth inning. Texas was able to cruise to victory on freshman closer Corey Knebel’s arm, and force a game three tomorrow night at 6 PM CST.
- Like last night, the pitching and defense in this game kept the bats quiet.
- Longhorn second baseman Jordan Etier struck out twice on six pitches last night with runners in scoring position. Tonight he broke out of his funk to pick up a pair of hits over his first three at bats, then silenced his critics with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth.
- Etier turned the game around in the ninth with his homer. Shepherd followed it up with a triple to center field, and it was really the first time the Texas crowd was really into the game during the series so far.
- Texas came up with the defensive play of the night. Arizona State had pinch runner Michael Benjamin on second with two outs. Johnny Ruettiger hit an infield single to second base, beating out the throw. First baseman Tant Shepherd turned around and fired the ball to the plate just in time for catcher Jacob Felts to get Benjamin out in a collision at the plate. The play kept Arizona State from tying it up in the eighth inning.
- That wasn’t the only collision at home. After Shepherd’s triple, Brandon Loy flew out to right field. Shepherd attempted to score from third, but Newman’s throw beat him in, and Austin Barnes held onto the ball after a big collision to get the double play.
- Arizona State designated hitter Joey DeMichele grabbed his third RBI of the series with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.
- Arizona State turned four double plays, including their second 3-6-1 double play of the series. Right fielder Matt Newman and center fielder Andrew Aplin each helped out, throwing out runners attempting to advance on fly balls.
- Arizona State will use their full staff tomorrow against Texas. Freshman pitcher Jake Barrett would normally be the third starter, but an arm injury has kept him our since May 15. Texas will counter with Sam Stafford, the second-round pick of the New York Yankees.