With a Big 12 series against the Kansas Jayhawks hanging in the balance, the Texas bats left no doubt about which team was winning the finale. Pounding out 23 hits, the Longhorns drilled the Jayhawks 16-7 to win the series, 2-1 and improve to 8-7 in league play.
After being held scoreless in the first two innings, Texas scored a total of 14 runs over the next five frames. The big blow came in the top of the fifth inning where the Longhorns scored seven runs, all coming with two outs on the board. Texas tacked on another pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning to finish with 16 runs.
Every Texas hitter reached base at least twice and eight batters had at least two hits on the afternoon. Texasâ€™ 23 hits in the game marks a season high, and is only two base knocks shy of the school record (25).
The Longhorns mashed four homeruns in the game, two coming off the bat of Ben Johnson. Texasâ€™ left fielder had a memorable day at the plate, going 4/5 at the plate with three runs scored, three RBI, a walk, and a double (in addition to the two longballs). Johnsonâ€™s total of 11 bases on Sunday is a new career high.
In a 16-run effort, the offensive accolades are plentiful:
- CJ Hinojosa hit for the cycle
- 13 extra base hits is a team high in the BBCOR bat era
- 6 players scored at least two runs
- Joe Baker and Hinojosa each accounted for 4 RBI
On the mound, four pitchers saw action, but Jon Malminâ€™s appearance was very brief. Kacy Clemens started the game and threw four innings, scattering five hits and allowing two earned runs. Andy McGuire was the winning pitcher (1-0), and Travis Duke picked up his first save of the year for throwing the final 3.1 innings.
On the offensive explosion: â€œWell, it was the extra base hits, especially the home runs that do that. We make a lot of fly ball outs, so when that wind [was blowing] out today, our batters eyes go about as big as silver dollars. They were very excited about knowing that their fly balls were going to make it over the warning track and over the fence.â€
On winning the series: â€œWe needed the series â€¦ it puts us right in the running and keeps us in the race. It gives us a chance in the next nine conference games to better our position, and every game that we win brings us that much closer to being included in the regionals, and even in the conference championship race, actually.â€
On playing error-free defense over the entire series: â€œThey've been doing it consistently, we [had a] .993 [fielding percentage] in the series before, defensively. It is one of the things that we can accomplish consistently. Now, we have to add quality at bats and productive quality outs to the run scoring.â€