STANFORD, Calif. -- Although they managed to score four runs in the last four frames, the Longhorns could not overcome a nine-run third inning by the Cardinal offense as No. 7 Texas lost a 13-9 decision to No. 11 Stanford in front of 2,115 fans at Sunken Diamond on Monday, Feb. 20.
With the loss, the Horns fall to 5-6 on the young season, while the Cardinal (6-3) register a 2-1 series victory by winning the final two games of this three-game set at Sunken Diamond.
Freshman Kyle Russell (Magnolia, Texas) followed a pair of walks that came around two outs in the top of the first with a triple to right-center field to bring in two runs and stake Texas to an early 2-0 advantage. Stanford answered right back in the bottom of the opening frame by sending seven batters to the plate and coming up with four hits, including a RBI-double from Chris Minaker and a run-scoring single by Michael Taylor, to knot the score at 2-2. While both starting pitchers worked out of jams in their respective halves of the first inning, Matt Leva for Stanford and Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas) for Texas managed to combine for a scoreless second and move the game to the third inning tied at 2-2.
In the top of the third, Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) drew a leadoff walk and, after a sacrifice bunt, scored on a double by Preston Pehrson (Arnold, Md.) to reclaim the lead for the Longhorns at 3-2. Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) then came up with a two-out single to bring home Pehrson and make it a 4-2 contest. Again trailing by two, the Cardinal responded in the bottom half of the third by loading the bases on a pair of one-out singles and a hit batter before two consecutive walks and a wild pitch plated three scores and gave Stanford its first lead of the game at 5-4. With still only one out in the inning, the Cardinal had its next three batters reach via walks to bring in two more runs before Minaker hit his second career grand slam and extended the lead to 11-4.
While the Longhorns would receive a solo home run from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) in the fifth, Stanford's Jim Rapoport connected on his own solo blast in the bottom of that inning to keep the UT deficit at seven. Three singles by the Texas offense in the top of the seventh, including a two-out, RBI-base hit from Kainer, made it a 12-6 game before four more base hits in the eighth pulled the Horns within five and kept the bases loaded with one down. With the tying run now in the on deck circle, Stanford reliever Sean Ratliff induced a strikeout and a fielder's choice to end the threat. The Cardinal then tacked on a single run in the bottom of the eighth via two singles and a sacrifice fly to pull in front by a score of 13-7. Failing to go quietly in the ninth, the Horns received a one-out walk, a RBI-double off the bat of Brett Lewis (Rockwall, Texas) and a run-scoring groundout to make it a 13-9 game, but Ratliff struck out his next batter to cap the victory. While Cardinal reliever Blake Holler, who fanned four over 4.2 innings of work, picked up his first win of the season, Boone shouldered the loss for UT.
Pacing Texas' 13-hit attack on the afternoon was Stubbs, who tied a career-best for the second time in the series with three hits while also scoring two runs and tallying a pair of RBI, and Kainer, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Stanford, meanwhile, had its offense led by Minaker, who went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a career-high five RBI, Rapoport, who scored two runs and drove in two during a 1-for-3 outing, and three other players with two hits apiece, including John Hester, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Of additional note for Texas, Stubbs extended his current hit streak to five games while both Russell and Lewis each posted two hits while combining for two runs scored and three RBI on the day.
Up next, the Horns return to Disch-Falk Field for a 2:30 p.m. Central game against Texas State on Wednesday, Feb. 22. For tickets, call 1-800-982-BEVO.