Photo credit: @TexasBaseball
AUSTIN, TX - After a weekend off for finals, the Texas Longhorns (36-17, 11-10) returned to Disch-Fa'lk Field to take on the Sam Houston State Bearkats (29-22) in a midweek matchup. A ferocious start for the 'Horns allowed for a coasting victory before culminating the regular season with a weekend meeting with the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Longhorns began with a blitzing offensive effort, scoring seven runs in the first inning after three quick outs from starter Zane Morehouse.
Douglas Hodo III and Austin Todd led off with singles to left field before Ivan Melendez drove them home with a 3-run bomb past the scoreboard. Murphy Stehly followed up on the very next pitch with a solo shot of his own past the scoreboard giving the 'Horns a quick 4-0 lead. After a grounder from Silas Ardoin and a single from Skyler Messinger, Trey Faltine registered a double to right center bringing Ardoin home and setting up two runners in scoring position. A sacrifice fly from Campbell scored Messinger while Eric Kennedy notched an RBI groundout to bring home Faltine.
Kennedy saw his first action since injuring his hamstring on April 2nd in a game against Oklahoma. The Longhorns smartly erred on the side of caution, holding Kennedy to just five innings. However it's great to see him healthy and contributing again.
After Melendez's 3-run homer in the first, his season total is now at 26, bringing him just two shy of Kyle Russell's team record of 28 (2008). With a single series left against the last place Jayhawks this weekend, Melendez will have chance at tying or even breaking that record.
The Bearkats were able to tally a couple runs with an RBI double in the fourth and a bases-loaded RBI single in the seventh. A valiant effort from the WAC's top offensive team, but the pitching from the Longhorns were able to hold them to a quiet evening.
The Longhorns tacked on a couple runs in the sixth with a double from Dylan Campbell who was driven home by Mitchell Daly in his first at-bat of the game, with an RBI double to right center. Melendez followed with an RBI grounder that dribbled past the shortstop to bring in Daly.
Texas returns to the field Thursday, May 19th at 6:30 PM, for the last series of the regular season. The meeting with the Kansas Jayhawks will air on Longhorn Network.
Melendez: (2-5) 4RBI, 1HR
Stehly: (1-3) 1RBI, 1HR
Morehouse: 5.0 IP, 5 SO, 1ER