SAN DIEGO -- Three fielding errors and a nine-strikeout effort by USD pitchers Matt Couch and Josh Romanski handed No. 1 Texas a 6-0 shutout loss to San Diego in front of 1,342 fans at Cunningham Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The loss not only clinched a series victory for the Toreros (2-0) over Texas, but also handed the Longhorns their first 0-2 season start since 2001. Additionally, the shutout was the first thrown against UT since May 15, 2004 (1-0 shutout by N.C. State at Disch-Falk Field).
Although Jordan Danks (Round Rock, Texas) came up with his first career hit with a one-out triple in the top of the first, Couch induced two consecutive infield fly ball outs to work out of the early jam. In the bottom half of the frame, the Toreros took advantage of a three-base error with one out off the bat of Keoni Ruth with a RBI-single from Justin Snyder to break on top 1-0. After a scoreless second for both sides, San Diego loaded the bases with two outs in its half of the third, but UT freshman starter Kyle Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) got his next batter to groundout to second and end the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Toreros loaded the bases with no outs on a pair of singles and an error on a sacrifice. A RBI-base hit off the bat of Steve Singleton then combined with an outfield error to bring in three scores and give USD a 4-0 lead for the second day in a row. With San Diego still threatening, Joey Parigi (Monterey, Calif.) emerged from the UT bullpen and, after forcing Ruth to fly out on the infield, managed to catch Singleton trying to steal home to end the frame. While the Horns came up with their fourth extra-base hit of the game in the top of the fifth, Couch again side-stepped trouble with a strikeout and groundout to keep USD on top by four.
After the Toreros added another run behind a walk, a hit-and-run single and a fielder's choice in the fifth to pull in front 5-0, the Longhorns received a walk to Danks and a single from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) with no outs in the sixth. Even so, Couch kept the shutout in tact as he stranded runners on second and third by recording a strikeout and a flyout to left. A leadoff double from Snyder in the seventh followed by a wild pitch and a single by Magness then yielded another USD run to move the lead to 6-0. Texas would put a runner on with two outs in the eighth via a walk when Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) launched what appeared to be a home run, but left fielder David Harris reached over the wall and brought it back to end the inning. Romanski, who came on in relief to start the seventh from his left field starting spot, then worked a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the win and earn his first save behind three hitless innings of work. Earning the win was Couch, who fanned six and allowed only five hits over six innings in his first start of the year, while Walker, who worked 3.1 innings during his collegiate debut, shouldered the loss.
Highlighting the day for the Texas offense, which had four of its five hits go for extra bases, was Danks, who went 1-for-3 in his second college start. The Toreros, meanwhile, had their 11-hit attack led by Singleton, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and the trio of Snyder, Jordan Abruzzo and Romanski, who each posted a pair of hits while combining for three runs scored and two RBI.
These two teams wrap up their three-game series at Cunningham Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. Central.