Longhorns sweep Stanford on Stubbs's walkoff homer
AUSTIN, Texas -- Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) hit his second inside-the-park home run in as many days to leadoff the bottom of the ninth inning and lift No. 1 Texas (11-0) to a 5-4 victory and a three-game sweep of No. 5 Stanford (7-5) in front of a season-best crowd of 6,720 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Sunday, Feb. 20. Notably, the win not only earned the Horns the first three-game, regular-season sweep for either team in the series, but also ran UT’s record to 11-0 – marking the best start to a season for any UT club since 1995 (15-0).
The Cardinal jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Chris Minaker was hit by a pitch with one out and Stanford came up with back-to-back singles from Adam Sorgi and Brendan Domaracki to plate one run before scoring a second off a throwing error. Three innings later in the top of the fifth, Jed Lowrie connected on his third home run in as many days to stake the Cardinal to a 3-0 advantage. The Texas bats, meanwhile, were held to one hit over the first five innings by Gallagher as he also fanned five over that span to keep Stanford in front by three.
In the sixth, the Longhorns received a one-out single from Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) that was followed by a looping fly ball off the bat of Thomas Incaviglia (Monterrey, Calif.) that got by the right fielder and scored Kainer to make it a 3-1 game. One batter later, Clay Van Hook (Brenham, Texas) dropped a squeeze bunt to plate Incaviglia and pull the Horns within one. With two outs in the frame, Calvin Beamon (Aurora, Colo.) singled and saw both Dooley Prince (Sulphur, La.) and Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.) walk to load the bases. Stubbs then came up with a full-count, base hit up the middle to bring in two runs and give Texas a 4-3 lead. Looking to answer in the top of the seventh, the Cardinal received a leadoff double from Michael Taylor and a one-out walk to Lowrie, but UT reliever Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) retired his next two batters to maintain the Horns’ one-run advantage.
Stanford then put runners on the corners with one out via a walk and a hit-and-run single in the top of the eighth before knotting the game at 4-4 with a RBI-single from Jim Rapoport. Still threatening in the frame, the Cardinal used two consecutive base hits to load the bases, but J. Brent Cox (Bay City, Texas) came out of the UT bullpen and induced his first batter to hit into a double-play to end the inning.
After Texas went quietly in the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinal again loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth, but Cox fielded a groundball to the mound and started a 1-2-3 double-play to end the threat unscathed. In the bottom of the frame, Stubbs drilled the first pitch he saw to deep right-center field and when the ball hit off the center fielder’s glove and the wall, the Preseason All-American raced around the bases for his fourth home run of the year and lifted the Horns to a 5-4 win. Earning the victory in relief was Cox, who worked 1.2 scoreless frames, while Stanford reliever Matt Leva shouldered the loss.
Headlining the Longhorns’ offense on the afternoon was Stubbs, who went 2-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI while extending his hitting streak to 11 games, and Incaviglia, who tallied a triple, scored one run and drove in another. Stanford, meanwhile, had its 12-hit attack led by Lowrie, who went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI, and the trio of John Mayberry, Jr., Taylor and Sorgi, who each posted a pair of hits on the day.
Up next, Texas hosts UT-Arlington in a 2:30 p.m. Central game at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, Feb. 22.