No. 16 Baseball upends No. 11 Arizona State, 11-6
AUSTIN, Texas -- Carson Kainer turned in his third consecutive three-hit game and drove in a career-best five runs to lead No. 16 Texas to an 11-6 victory over No. 11 Arizona State in front of a season-high 6,642 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 14.
With the triumph, the Longhorns (14-9) have now won five of their last six and four of their last five against top 25 opponents, while the Sun Devils (17-6) had their current win streak halted at seven games.
Texas broke on top, 2-0, in the bottom of the second as the Horns used a hit batter, an error on a sacrifice and another sacrifice bunt to place runners on second and third with one out before a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hunter Harris (Tulsa, Okla.) and a double from Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) brought in two unearned scores. One inning later in the third, Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) led off with a single, stole second and came around to score on a two-out, RBI-base hit from Kainer (Tomball, Texas) to up the lead to 3-0. Following an error to extend the frame, Kyle Russell (Magnolia, Texas) then delivered a two-run double to right-center field to make it a 5-0 contest. Answering right back in the top of the fourth, Arizona State's Colin Curtis picked up an infield single before stealing second and scoring on a two-out hit from C.J. Retherford to cut the advantage to 5-1. Texas starter Riley Boening (Yoakum, Texas) then induced a groundout to end the Sun Devil rally in the fourth before working a 1-2-3 fifth courtesy of a double play.
UT looked to up its lead in the bottom of the fifth by loading the bases with two down, but reliever Brett Bordes worked ASU out of the jam with a strikeout to move the game to the sixth. The Horns then managed to load the bases with two down for the second time in as many frames in the bottom of the sixth on a single and two walks. From there, Kainer doubled down the right field line to clear the bases before Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) tallied an RBI-single and three consecutive walks produced another run to make it a 10-1 ballgame. After Kainer singled in Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas), who doubled with one out in the seventh, with another two-out hit to up the lead to 11-1, Longhorns relievers Joseph Krebs (Bridgeport, Texas) and Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) then combined to work three scoreless frames to send the contest to the ninth. Failing to go quietly in their final at bat, the Sun Devils began to rally by loading the bases on two singles and a hit batter with one out. A two-run single from Brett Wallace followed by a walk and a run-scoring base hit off the bat of Seth Dhaenens yielded three runs and cut the advantage to 11-4. ASU then received a two-out, two-single from Rocky Laguna to pull within 11-6, but UT reliever Kyle Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) then came on to retire the first batter he faced to close out the five-run victory. Earning the win was Boening, who tossed a career-high five innings and allowed only one run on two hits while striking out four. On the other side of the ledger, Arizona State starter Brett Bruneel incurred the loss.
Paving the way for Texas' offense, which scored 10 of its 11 runs with two outs and posted 10 or more hits for the seventh time in nine games, was Kainer, who went 3-for-3 while tying a career-high with three runs scored and setting a career-best with five RBI, Clark, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, and Wheeless, who collected two hits and scored two runs. Arizona State, meanwhile, had its eight-hit attack led by Curtis, who went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and Wallace, who scored once and drove in two runs during a 2-for-4 effort. Of additional note for UT, Suttle scored a career-high three runs and has now reached base safely in 22 of 23 games this year.
Up next, the Horns open Big 12 action on the road at Texas Tech with the opener of a three-game series at Dan Law Field on Friday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m. Central.