April 10, 2012
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AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 23 Texas Longhorns continued their hot hitting to take a 6-1 lead after four innings and coasted to a 9-2 win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday evening.
Coming off a season-high 19 hits in Saturday’s 14-3 win at Texas Tech, the Longhorns registered 12 hits through the first four innings to take a 6-1 lead. Erich Weiss went 3-for-4 with one run, one double, one hit by pitch and three RBI to lead the Texas offense. Mark Payton went 2-for-4 with one sacrifice bunt and three RBI. Taylor Stell went 2-for-3 with two runs, one walk, one double and one sacrifice bunt. Jonathan Walsh and Alex Silver each added two RBI. Silver extended hit streak to 16 games, the longest streak for the Longhorns this season.
The Longhorns pounced on the Islanders early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Payton hit a leadoff single up the middle to extend his streak of games reaching base to 31, including all 30 games of 2012. Payton advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stell and scored when Weiss laced a single into the gap in left centerfield to stake the Horns to a 1-0 lead.
Texas (18-12) inflated the cushion to 3-0 with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Stell deposited a double down the leftfield line to start the frame and moved to third on a single to right field by Weiss. A fielder’s choice grounder put Walsh on third in place of Weiss and Silver followed with a single to centefield to drive in Stell. With two outs, Walsh scored on a single to leftfield by Jordan Etier to give Texas the three-run lead.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13-19) shaved a run off the lead with three infield singles off Texas reliever John Curtiss in the top of the fourth. The Islanders’ Eric Weiss hit a leadoff single down the third base line to start the frame and moved to second on a groundout by Jonathan Gonzales. With two outs, Jordan Lee singled to third base to put runners on the corners. Jeramie Marek followed with a dribbler down the third base line that Curtiss mistakenly picked up rather than allowing it to roll foul and Weiss scored on the single to cut the lead to 3-1.
Texas bounced back with a big inning in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Payton reached on a bunt single. On a balk call by the umpire, Stell hit a slow roller to third base. The Islanders appeared to think it was a dead ball, but Stell continued to first base for the single, putting two runners on. Erich Weiss doubled to leftfield to knock in Payton and Walsh followed with a single to rightfield to score a pair and Texas took a 6-1 lead.
The Islanders mounted a rally in the top of the eighth. With Austin Dicharry entering the game from the bullpen for Texas, Drew Vest reached on an error when Silver was unable to handle Etier’s throw at first base. Stafford Brantley followed with a pinch-hit single to leftfield. Gonzales plated a run with a single down the leftfield line to plate Vest, cutting the lead to 6-2. Hoby Milner entered the game and induced a pop up to second base, recorded a looking strikeout and finished the inning with a fly ball to put out the fire.
The Longhorns registered three runs without a hit in the eighth inning to increase the lead to 9-2. Marlow was issued a walk and Maitland was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Payton laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw was errant to first base allowing Marlow to score and moving Maitland to third. Stell drew a walk to load the bases and Erich Weiss was hit by a pitch to knock the Horns’ eighth run in. Silver grounded out to the pitcher allowing Payton to score and Texas took a seven-run lead.
Dillon Peters (2-0) worked 3.0 scoreless innings, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced, allowing one hit while striking out three to earn the win. Parker French tallied two scoreless innings with one walk and one hit batter. Milner entered the game with the tying run on deck with no outs in the top of the eighth and retired all six batters he faced, including three via strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.
Jake Dziubczynski (0-3) was saddled with the loss. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks over 2.2 innings. Franco Pace was solid in his 1.1 innings of work, retiring all four batters he faced, including three strikeouts. Trevoer Belicek and Phillip Garcia both retired all three batters they faced in their respective innings of relief and both notched two strikeouts.
Gonzales was the Islanders’ top hitter going 2-for-3 with one walk and one RBI.
Texas returns to action Friday when the Longhorns host the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a three-game series at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.