No. 5 Baseball blanks Kansas State, 3-0, in series opener
March 18, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 5 Texas Longhorns used another impressive pitching performance from ace pitcher Taylor Jungmann and some timely hitting to register a 3-0 over the Kansas State Wildcats in both teams’ Big 12 Conference opener on Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk field.
The game marked the Horn’s sixth straight regular season conference win dating back to last season.
Jungmann (5-0) dominated the Wildcat lineup early in the game, allowing just a walk and an infield single through the first six innings. He weaved 8.0 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out four. Jungmann lowered his ERA to 0.63 on the season and improved to 14-0 for his career as a starting pitcher at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Corey Knebel earned his fifth save of the season with a three-up, three-down ninth, including one strikeout.
Texas (13-5, 1-0 Big 12) started the scoring early on with a two-run first inning. With one out, Mark Payton and Cohl Walla reached base on back-to-back infield singles. Erich Weiss walked to load the bases for Jonathan Walsh. Walsh’s groundball to first led to a close out at home where Payton was retired, keeping the bases loaded with two outs. Jacob Felts hit a sharp line drive just over the glove of Kansas State shortstop Tanner Witt to stake the Longhorns to a 2-0 lead.
Kansas State (12-5, 0-1 Big 12) threatened with men on first and third with one out in the top of the seventh. After Mike Kindel and Kent Urban singled to put runners on the corners, Felts fielded a foul ball behind the plate and Jordan Etier fielded a groundball to escape the jam.
Texas tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh. Tant Shepherd and Etier started off with back-to-back walks. Kansas State brought in Evan Marshall from the bullpen and he issued a walk to Brandon Loy to load the bases for the Horns with no outs. Payton hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Shepherd and increase Texas’ lead to 3-0.
Jungmann faced another jam early in the eighth when Chase Graskewicz and Jake Brown singled to lead off the frame. After Jared King flied out to leftfield, Nick Martini crushed a pitch to rightfield driving Payton to the warning track, but a wind blowing rightfield-to-leftfield allowed the ball to fall into Payton’s glove and keep the Wildcats off the scoreboard. Jungmann closed out the frame by catching Jason King looking on a 1-2 curveball.
Kyle Hunter (2-1) was saddled with the loss. He allowed three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six over 6.0 innings.
Texas and Kansas State resume play with the second game of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Navy Leap Frogs are scheduled to parachute into UFCU Disch-Falk Field as part of the pre-game ceremony.
Freshman catcher Jacob Felts
On working with the Texas pitching staff: It’s going really well. Each game we get more on the same page. Each pitcher is gaining more command on their pitches, so it’s going well.
Freshman outfielder Mark Payton
On the new bats this season: It’s definitely tough getting a read on the ball. Our bench and infield are doing a great job of telling us where to go. Every time somebody hits the ball whether it’s off the end of the bat or squared up, it all sounds the same.
Junior pitcher Taylor Jungmann
On his command of the breaking ball: I was still fighting it early on in the game, but towards the end I found it. It was nice to have that pitch working for me late.