MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Combining solid starting efforts from Kyle McCulloch and Adrian Alaniz to go along a pair of 14-hit attacks that included seven home runs from six different players, No. 9 Texas swept a doubleheader from Kansas State by scores of 7-2 and 10-2 in front of 2,340 fans at Tointon Stadium on Saturday, April 8.
With two wins over the Wildcats (21-7, 2-6 Big 12), the Horns (23-11, 8-2 Big 12) have not only now won four of their last five road games, but have also secured their third straight Big 12 series victory to remain in first place in the league standings.
In the opener, the Horns jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first courtesy of a two-run home run from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas). Solo round-trippers from Jordan Danks' (Round Rock, Texas), Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) and Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) in the second, third, and fifth, respectively, then made it 5-0 in favor of UT. Longhorns starter Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas), meanwhile, kept the Wildcats off the board through five after working out of a jam in the fifth with a runner at third and two outs.
Two-out singles from Kainer in the seventh and Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) in the eighth with a runner at second each time would push the Texas lead to 7-0. From the defensive side, McCulloch faced the minimum between the sixth and eighth frames to move the contest to the ninth. Down to their final three outs, the Wildcats rallied by using a pair of singles around a one-out walk to break up the shutout and a two-out, RBI-double from Barrett Rice to make it a 7-2 contest. With two runners now in scoring position, Joey Parigi (Monterey, Calif.) emerged from the UT bullpen and struck out the first and only batter he faced to seal the victory. While McCulloch, who allowed only two run on six hits and struck out seven over 8.2 innings, earned the victory, KSU starter Brad Hutt, who fanned six over seven frames, shouldered his first loss of the year.
Paving the way for Texas' offense in the first game were Kainer, who matched a career-best with four hits while scoring one run and driving in a pair, and the duo of Wheeless and Danks, who each collected three hits while combining for four runs scored and two RBI. The Wildcats, meanwhile, were led offensively by Rice, who went 3-for-4 with a RBI, and Cris Tapia, who posted two hits and drove in one run. Of additional note for UT, McCulloch had tossed 24 consecutive scoreless innings before surrendering a run in the ninth.
The second game of the afternoon saw KSU grab its first lead of the series at 2-0 in the bottom of the first as a leadoff walk was followed by a one-out, RBI-triple from Jared Goedert and a two-out, run-scoring single off the bat of Joe Roundy. While the Wildcats then managed to load the bases in the opening frame with another walk, Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) induced a double play to work out of further trouble. Answering right away, Texas received solo home runs from Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) in the second and Danks in the fourth to knot the game at 2-2. Alaniz and Kansas State starter Adam Cowart then combined for two and one half scoreless frames to send the contest to the seventh.
In the top of the seventh, the Horns placed a runner in scoring position with one down after a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt. UT then used three consecutive bunts, two of which went for base hits and one that resulted in an error on a sacrifice, to bring in three runs and claim a 5-2 lead. Still battling in the frame, Kainer delivered a two-out, two-run double to up the advantage to 7-2 and cap off a five-run inning. A two-run home run from Kyle Russell (Tomball, Texas) and an RBI-double off the bat of Wheeless in the eighth then made it a 10-2 game before Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas) and Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) each worked a scoreless inning to cap the win. Earning his fifth victory of the season was Alaniz, who tossed six shutout innings after the first to complete a seven-inning effort in which he surrendered only two runs on five hits while fanning five. On the other side of the ledger, Cowart, who struck out six and walked none over 6.2 innings, incurred the loss for KSU.
Headlining UT offensively in Game #2 were Kainer, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI to end the day by going a combined 7-for-9 (.778) with two steals, one run scored and four RBI, and Suttle, who scored three runs to match a career-best during a 3-for-4 effort. The Wildcats, meanwhile, had their six-hit attack paced by Roundy, who went 2-for-4 with a RBI. Notably for Texas, Suttle extended his current hit streak to a career-long 10 games with hits in both tilts, and Danks batted .556 (5-for-9) in the twinbill with three runs scored, two RBI, a pair of home runs and a stolen base.
The Horns and Wildcats will now conclude their series at Tointon Stadium on Sunday, April 9 with a 12 p.m. Central contest. Of note, the finale will be televised "live" by both Fox Sports Net Southwest and Midwest.