AUSTIN, Texas -- After trailing 3-0 in the first inning, the Longhorns scored seven unanswered runs between the second and seventh innings as No. 7 Texas recorded a 7-4 come-from-behind win over Texas State in front of 4,550 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
With the victory, the Longhorns improve to 6-6 on the season and snap a two-game losing skid, while the Bobcats fall to 3-6 on the year.
The Bobcats broke on top 3-0 in the top of the first as a leadoff walk and a fielding error that allowed a runner to reach base safely came in front of a two-run triple off the bat of Cody Merrell and a RBI-single from Kyle Jones with one out. After UT starter Riley Boening (Yoakum, Texas) worked out of the jam with a pop-up in foul territory and a groundout, the Texas offense went to work in the bottom of the second by loading the bases with one out on a single by Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) and a pair of walks. Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) then came up with a two-run double into left field and Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) followed with a sacrifice fly to knot the score at 3-3. Texas State would attempt to answer in the top of the third by loading the bases with two outs, but Boening induced his next batter to flyout and end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Texas took its first lead of the ballgame as with two runners on and one out, Kyle Russell (Magnolia, Texas) lined a double to left-center field and staked UT to a 4-3 advantage. The Bobcats would challenge the one-run lead in the next two frames as they put a runner on second with no outs in the fourth and loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Boening recorded a pair of strikeouts and reliever Joey Parigi (Monterey, Calif.) had Suttle turn in two fine defensive plays at third base to end the respective threats. The Longhorns then had Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) draw a one-out walk in the fifth, steal second and score on a Russell base hit to right field and up the lead to 5-3.
A two-out triple with two runners on in the bottom of the seventh from Jordan Danks (Round Rock, Texas) increased the UT advantage to 7-3, while Parigi retired 11 in a row to keep the Bobcats' offense in check through eight. In the top of the ninth, the Bobcats attempted to rally as a walk followed by a double by pinch-hitter Jared Bunn with no outs put two runners in scoring position. A sacrifice fly with one out from Merrell brought in one run to make it a 7-4 game, but reliever Kenn Kasparek (Weimar, Texas), who entered in the ninth, set down the final three batters he faced to seal the win. While Parigi, who allowed only one hit over a career-best four innings and tied his career-high with three strikeouts, notched his first career victory in relief, Texas State starter Ryan Bennett shouldered the loss.
Leading the Horns' offense on the afternoon was the duo of Russell and Suttle, who each collected a pair of hits and RBI, Danks, who tallied one hit and drove in two runs, and Stubbs, who scored three of Texas' seven runs. Meanwhile, the Bobcats were paced by Merrell, who went 3-for-4 and registered three RBI, and Jones, who turned in a 2-for-4 afternoon that included one RBI. Of additional note for UT, Boening struck out a career-high five over four innings of work in his second start of the year, while Stubbs extended his current hit streak to a season-best six games, and Fuller, who drew a pair of walks on the day, has now reached base safely in 11 of Texas' 12 contests to date.
Up next, the Horns open a three-game weekend series against the Villanova Wildcats at Disch-Falk Field with a 2:30 p.m. Central game on Friday, Feb. 24. For tickets, call 1-800-982-BEVO or log on to www.TexasBoxOffice.com.