No. 1 Baseball loses 12-8 series finale to San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- Although the Longhorns' offense continued to battle back over the final five innings, it could not overcome a seven-run fifth by the Toreros as No. 1 Texas lost a 12-8 decision to San Diego in front of 1,200 fans at Cunningham Stadium during the finale of a three-game series on Sunday, Feb. 5.
While the loss dropped the Horns record to 0-3 on the year, marking their first 0-3 season start since 2001, USD improved to 3-0 on the new campaign by earning a series sweep.
The Horns jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the first with two down when Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) connected on the first home run of the 2006 season for UT. USD attempted to respond in the bottom half of the first two frames by placing two runners on with one out, but Texas starter Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) induced a double play groundout in the first and two straight outs in the second to work out of both jams. UT then looked to up its lead in the fourth as Stubbs and Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) reached with one out on a walk and single, respectively, before pulling off a double steal. Even so, San Diego starter Ricardo Pecina, who had recorded six strikeouts over the first 3.1 innings, managed to keep the score at 1-0 by getting a sharp groundout to first followed by a flyout to left.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Toreros received a leadoff walk and a double down the right-field line off the bat of Jordan Abruzzo to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Alaniz recorded his first strikeout of the afternoon for the first out of the inning, Ryan Lilly came up with a double just inside the left-field line to give USD a 2-1 lead. With San Diego still threatening in the frame, Alaniz got a fielder's choice before reliever Riley Boening (Yoakum, Texas) retired his first batter on a flyout to right to end the inning. Texas then managed to load the bases with one out in fifth on two walks and a single before Jordan Danks (Round Rock, Texas) and Stubbs came up with RBI-singles to drive in a combined three runs and give the Horns a 4-2 advantage.
Battling back immediately in their half of the fifth, the Toreros used three walks and a pair of singles to knot the game at 4-4 and keep the bases loaded with one out. Another walk, followed by a base hit from David Harris and a hit batter then gave USD a 7-4 advantage before Justin Snyder came through with a two-out, two-run single to make it a 9-4 game. Failing to go quietly, UT scratched across a run in the sixth via a hit batter and back-to-back, two-out singles from Clay Van Hook (Brenham, Texas) and Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas), but San Diego came right back with a run in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run from Josh Romanski to push the lead to 10-5.
A leadoff walk in the top of the seventh to Stubbs followed by singles from Wheeless, Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) and Preston Pehrson (Arnold, Md.) brought home two more scores and cut the Toreros lead to three. The Horns then came up with another run in the eighth, but USD had tacked on two more scores in the bottom of the seventh to hold a four-run cushion entering the top of the ninth. While Texas placed its leadoff runner on in the final frame, San Diego reliever Russell Holzhauer managed to retire the next three batters in order to close out the victory. Picking up the win was Holzhauer, who worked the final 2.1 innings of the contest, while Boening incurred the loss for the Horns.
Paving the way for Texas' 12-hit attack was Stubbs, who matched a career-best with three hits while scoring twice and driving in a pair, and the duo of Peoples and Van Hook, who each collected a pair of hits on the day while combining for three runs scored and one RBI. Meanwhile, USD's offense, which scored 12 runs on 14 hits, was led by the tandem of Abruzzo and Lilly, who each posted three hits and three RBI while combining for three runs scored.
Up next, the Longhorns return to Disch-Falk Field for their home season opener against the Broncs of UT-Pan American on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m. Central. For tickets, call 1-800-982-BEVO.