Baseball opens weekend with 5-1 win against UC Santa Barbara
March 8, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Sophomore right-hander Parker French (Dripping Springs/Dripping Springs HS) tied a career high with eight innings Friday as the Texas Longhorns defeated the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 5-1, in the first game of a three-game series at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. French allowed just one run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts for Texas (8-5).
Mark Payton snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth with a two-run triple as part of a 2-for-3 night with two RBI. Weston Hall and Taylor Stell also had two hits as the Longhorns recorded 12 hits in the game. It was the third time this season that Texas has registered 10 or more hits in a game.
Austin Pettibone (2-1) took the loss for UC Santa Barbara (8-5) after giving up four runs on 11 hits in six innings of work, walking three and striking out four.
Stell and Erich Weiss opened the Texas fourth with back-to-back singles before Payton drilled the two-run triple to right field. C.J Hinojosa then singled home Payton for the 3-0 lead. Woody Woodward doubled in the UCSB sixth, advanced to third and scored on a French wild pitch for the lone Gauchos' run.
Three straight singles by Matt Moynihan, Jacob Felts and Codey McElroy loaded the bases as Hall blooped a single to right for the 4-1 score. Brooks Marlow capped the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth as Corey Knebel closed out the ninth for the Longhorns.
The series continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. with a noon start on Sunday. Both games will be broadcast live on Longhorn Network with audio on AM 1300 The Zone. Gametracker live stats will be available on TexasSports.com with live Twitter updates @Texas_Baseball.
Notes: Texas tied its hit total from Feb. 17 against Sacramento State (12) with the season high (14) taking place in the 2013 season opener against the Hornets on Feb. 15...Mark Payton registered his ninth career triple...Parker French now has a 1.59 ERA in 28 1/3 innings this season with opponents hitting only .208 against him...the Longhorns have 10 errors through 13 games (.980 fielding percentage) and have gone errorless in the last four games.
UCSB 000-001-000---1-6-0 TEXAS 000-301-01x---5-12-0
Texas head coach Augie Garrido
On each player in his team's batting order getting a hit tonight: We're obviously swinging the bat more and bunting less in situations. We really need to let these guys know that we have confidence in their ability to hit and let them get as comfortable as they possibly can with that and then we can start to add things like bunts. With an inexperienced team, if you keep shifting from hitting to bunting to hit-and-runs to base-running to stealing, there is just too much for inexperienced players to process mentally and stay focused at the level that they need to hit well. They are performing pretty well--much better. There was a big separation between the number of hits and the number of runs. I'd like to see that ratio closer. That's what the little game does for you. But we're not ready to play that game, yet.
Sophomore pitcher Parker French
On whether it was also the most complete outing for his team this season: Definitely. Look at the defense. We made great plays all-around. We hit one through nine and we made tough outs everywhere we hit the ball. We made rallies at different parts of the order and came out with big hits. We put pressure on (their pitcher), who was a really good pitcher. We didn't give them easy outs. It was definitely a complete win.
Junior outfielder Mark Payton
On whether it felt different tonight and whether he knew early on that his team would be focused for all nine innings: Yes. We came ready to play. We loosened ourselves up in the locker-room. We opened everything up. We're having fun playing together. I think that's the key. As long as you're having fun and hustling on and off the field, good things are going to happen.