Baseball opens season with 7-3 win over San Diego State
SAN DIEGO -- No. 1 Texas (1-0) sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the eighth and scored four runs to snap a 3-3 deadlock en route to posting a 7-3 victory over San Diego State (0-1) in front of 2,857 fans at Tony Gwynn Stadium during the opener of a three-game series to kick off the 2005 season for both clubs on Friday, Feb. 4. Notably, the game was played in front of the largest crowd for a college game in stadium history and marked UT's fourth straight season-opening victory.
Despite the Aztecs putting two on in the bottom of the first to stage the first threat of the ballgame, the score remained knotted at 0-0 heading into the third. Texas then claimed the first lead of the contest when back-to-back singles from Will Crouch (Austin, Texas) and Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) to start the frame produced two runs via a sac bunt from Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.) and a throwing error with two outs. Two innings later in the fifth, the Longhorns upped their lead to 3-0 as Crouch reached on an error, moved to second on a bunt, advanced to third on an infield hit from Hudson and scored on a sac bunt off the bat of Dooley Prince (Sulphur, La.).
Looking to respond in the bottom of the fifth, San Diego State put runners on second and third with two down via a fielder's choice and a double from Garrick Evans before Clayton Carson delivered a two-out, two-run single to pull the Aztecs back within one at 3-2. Still alive in the frame, SDSU saw its next three batters walk to tie the game, but UT starter Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas), who fanned five over five innings of work, struck out his fifth Aztec of the evening to move the contest to the sixth.
Following two scoreless innings, UT regained the lead in the top of the eighth when Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) led off with a double and came around to score on a two-base error on a chopper off the bat of Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) to make it a 4-3 game. The Horns then managed to load the bases on a hit from Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) and a walk to David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas) before a walk to Crouch, a sacrifice fly from Kainer and a wild pitch brought in three more runs to put Texas on top 7-3. After J. Brent Cox (Bay City, Texas) came on in relief and struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth, UT tacked on two more scores via a triple from Johnston, a double by Teagarden and a bases-loaded groundout from Kainer to push on top by a score of 9-3. Cox then retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win. While Clayton Stewart (Angelton, Texas), who struck out a career-high three over two hitless innings of relief, earned his first career victory, SDSU reliever Will Miller shouldered the loss.
Paving the way for the Texas offense, which capitalized on five Aztec errors on the night, were Teagarden, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI, and Hudson, who collected two hits in three at bats while also driving in one run. The Aztecs, meanwhile, were led on the mound by starter Bruce Billings, who allowed only one earned run while striking out five over seven strong frames, and offensively by the duo of Evans and Carson, who accounted for two runs, two RBI and four of San Diego State's five hits.
Up next, the Horns and Aztecs square off in Game #2 of this three-game series at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. Central.