NR/No. 24 Baseball holds on for 6-5 victory over Sacramento State in 2013 season opener
Feb. 15, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Junior outfielder Mark Payton tied a career high with four hits while sophomore right-hander Parker French threw seven scoreless innings Friday as the NR/No. 24 Texas Longhorns beat the Sacramento State Hornets, 6-5, in the 2013 regular-season opener for both teams at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Since 2002, the Longhorns are 10-2 in season openers and have won six straight openers. Today marked the first meeting between Texas and Sacramento State.
French (1-0) allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out five. Payton went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Freshman shortstop C.J Hinojosa was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a double and one RBI. Junior reliever Ty Marlow picked up the save with two scoreless innings, including a key strikeout with the bases loaded in the eighth to preserve a one-run lead.
The Longhorns jumped on the board in the bottom of the first as Payton drove in sophomore Taylor Stell, who singled and stole second. Erich Weiss singled to right, advancing Stell to third before Payton delivered the first run.
Texas extended their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third, posting three runs off singles from Payton and third baseman Madison Carter.
Rhys Hoskins led the Hornets with a 3-for-5 night with two doubles and two RBI. Tanner Mendonca (0-1) took the loss for the Hornets, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and one strikeout in three innings. Brandon Creel relieved Mendonca in the fourth allowing two runs on six hits, two walks and two strikeouts in four innings.
UT pushed across a run in the fifth and seventh innings for a 6-0 lead, but Sacramento State would make it a close game with five runs in the eighth as the first nine batters reached base safely. Toller Boardman and Corey Knebel would not register an out before Marlow entered with the bases loaded. Junior catcher Jacob Felts made a huge play by picking off David Del Grande at third for the first out before Marlow got Scotty Burcham to pop up to second. Marlow then struck out Nathan Lukes to keep the Longhorns ahead.
The series continues tomorrow with a 2 p.m. start before the series finale on Sunday (Feb. 17) at 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on Longhorn Network with audio on AM 1300 The Zone (Saturday) and TexasSports.com (Sunday).
Notes: Mark Payton has recorded three or more hits 11 times in his career...he had four hits last season on March 16 at Oklahoma...tonight tied French's second-longest career stint (8.0 innings last year on April 14 against Oklahoma State and 7.0 innings on April 21 against Kansas)...French allowed only one earned run in 36 innings last season in games pitched at UFCU Disch-Falk Field...since his Division I debut in 1975 at Cal State Fullerton, head coach Augie Garrido is now 24-15 in season openers...tonight marks the 119th season of play for the Texas Baseball program...seven players made their Texas debuts (Matt Moynihan, Madison Carter, C.J Hinojosa, Codey McElroy, Weston Hall, Toller Boardman and Ty Marlow)...the top four batters in the Texas lineup (Moynihan, Taylor Stell, Erich Weiss and Payton) went a combined 8-for-16 (.500).
SAC 000-000-050---5-9-0 TEXAS 103-010-10x---6-14-2
Texas head coach Augie Garrido
On tonight's close win: I feel that this is an example that supports my comments about two things: one, baseball is an extremely cruel game. We beat them eight out of the nine innings and almost lost. How does that happen? And then, two, the unexpected was what decided the game. Corey (Knebel), who we expected to come out, had his own problems. We put him in a very difficult situation. We brought in Ty Marlow, who is a shortstop/short reliever, who will not be an All-American, and who is not a professional prospect, but plays like he's six-foot-five and has a giant heart. The games are many times decided by the unexpected and we'd rather have ball players than prospects.
On whether he minds his team facing adversity in a home opener: It's mandatory. If it gets too soft, they don't believe that the game is difficult or that it can turn on them. When you're winning and you're really playing well--you're in that groove--it seems so easy and that's why you're playing well. At the plate, we tried to keep it simple. We had a simple hitting plan and they ended up with 14 hits and six runs. There were some base-hitting mistakes and things like that, but we're trying to be aggressive and we're saying, "When in doubt, run."
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Parker French
On the close finish to tonight's game: You're going to go through stuff like that. Baseball is a game of adversity. You're going to get hit in the mouth sometimes and it's how your respond. The biggest thing is that we got hit in the mouth there at the end and we responded well. Guys picked each other up. It's going to take all 35 to win this year. I think that's what we showed tonight. It was a good team win.
On winning the first game of the season: The win is what matters. If you win by one or you win by 10, it's a win. That's all were looking at. We're looking to get better each and every day. We want to learn for the things we didn't do so well and build on the things we did do well and get after it tomorrow.
Junior outfielder Mark Payton
On opening the season with a win: Baseball is a crazy game. Baseball is won in different ways. Today, we won by (junior) Ty (Marlow) coming in and shutting the door and (junior) Jacob (Felts) making that huge throw at third. That's part of baseball. We're ready to get back at it tomorrow.
On how he opened the season with good batting: Just saying with myself and not trying to do too much. I just wanted to play like myself--no matter where I bat in the order, hit like myself. I wanted to keep everything simple.
Freshman shortstop C.J Hinojosa
On his first at-bat as a Longhorn: I stepped out on the field and I felt the atmosphere. It was great, but I took the same at-bats that I did in practice this week. Coach talks about a lot of confidence up there, so I just went up with a lot of confidence and it paid off.
On the statement his team made my securing a win in their home opener: It's a big statement. Yeah, we fell down. (We gave up) the five runs in the eighth inning. But we came back. Ty Marlow came in and shoved it. We couldn't ask for a better win.