No. 4 Baseball edges Texas State, 6-5
April 13, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Down one in the bottom of the eighth, the No. 4 Texas Longhorns got a two-out, two-run triple from outfielder Paul Montalbano to earn a 6-5 come-from-behind win versus the Texas State Bobcats and extend their winning streak to nine Tuesday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
With Texas trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Tant Shepherd got things going with a leadoff single of relief pitcher Fielding Pittman. The rally appeared to be snuffed out when Texas State pitchers retired the next two batters, but Kevin Keyes walked to put two runners on before the Longhorns got some help from the Bobcats. Kevin Lusson hit a lazy fly ball for what appeared to be the third out, but it was dropped by rightfielder Laurn Randell, allowing Shepherd to score and putting runners at the corners. Montalbano, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, then sent a 2-0 pitch over the center fielder to score Keyes and Lusson and complete the comeback, putting UT up 6-5.
Chance Ruffin closed the door to earn his ninth save of the season, allowing just one hit in a scoreless ninth. Texas starter Sam Stafford lasted just one inning, allowing three runs on two hits as Texas used a combined six pitchers. Relief pitcher Keifer Nuncio (1-0) earned his first career win after recording the final two outs of the eighth inning.
Texas State (20-11) struck first in the top of the second, highlighted by a three-run home run to cap off a four-run inning. Leadoff batter Kyle Kubitza reached after being hit by a pitch and a Kyle Livingstone singled to right field to put runners on the corners. McVaney followed with an RBI single to right field to take a 1-0 lead, knocking starting pitcher Stafford out of the game.
New pitcher Kendal Carrillo entered the game with runners on first and second, and Andrew Stumph jumped on Carrillo’s second pitch, sending it over the fence in left center to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead.
Texas State threatened again in the top of the third after putting runners on first and second with one out, but Kevin Lusson started a 5-4-3 double play to prevent any further damage.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Texas offense finally got on the board after RBI hits from Russell Moldenhauer and Keyes. With one out, Shepherd reached on an infield single followed by a walk by Cameron Rupp. Moldenhauer then connected on an RBI double off the centerfield wall, scoring Shepherd to put runners on second and third with one out. Keyes followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield to plate Rupp and cut the lead in half. However, starting pitcher Brian Borski struck out the next two batters to end the threat and keep the score at 4-2.
In the top of the sixth, Livingstone and McVaney started the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners in scoring position. After a strikeout to Stumph, the Bobcats attempted a double steal and Rupp threw out McVaney to get the second out of the inning. However, Vest doubled to right center to extend the lead to 5-2 before relief pitcher Andrew McKirahan forced a fly out to end the inning.
Texas looked to answer in the bottom of the sixth after Rupp and Moldenhauer recorded consecutive singles with one out, but Borski got Keyes to ground into a double play to escape the jam.
A leadoff single by Lusson and a one-out single by Etier put runners on the corners in the bottom of the seventh. Walla reached on the next at-bat after an error by the third baseman scored Lusson and put runners on first and second. But new pitcher Carson Smith got Loy to hit into an inning-ending double play and keep the score 5-3 before Texas’ eighth-inning rally.
Shepherd and Moldenhauer led the Texas’ offense with two hits apiece while Montalbano led all Longhorns with two RBIs. Walla, Moldenhauer and Keyes recorded the other RBIs as Texas improved to 2-0 on the season versus Texas State in the team’s final matchup.
Starter Borski pitched 6.0 innings, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits while striking out five to lead Texas State. Relief pitcher Garret Carruth (2-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing one run on one hit. Offensively, Livingstone and McVaney led all Bobcats, each going 3-4 while Stumph recorded a game-high three RBI.
The Longhorns return to action Friday for the State Farm Lone Star Showdown versus Texas A&M. Friday’s game is a 6:05 p.m. start at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Saturday and Sunday’s games will be played in College Station.
On the team in this situation: Our hitters were more patient in this game when they were trying to come from behind and at the momentum shifts they took better at-bats than in any other game . For the hitters, it is about sustaining rallies and that is about a lot of little things done one right after another. It is about the little things from pitch to pitch. I hope the pitchers take from this that even though the nation expects them to never give up a run that they get to come out here and pitch like any other pitcher in college and that includes giving up runs and when they do they have teammates that will support them and come from behind to win.
OF Paul Montalbano
On staying confident and the team’s mindset: I feel like we should not lose a game all season with the team and pitching staff that we have. It is so deep and I have never been on a team like this before and it is just a very good team top to bottom. I am really confident in everybody that he puts up there. We have a good team.
1B Tant Shepherd
On being down early: They got the lead early and baseball is a game that it does not matter how many runs you can score in an inning. There is no limit. The way we looked at it, as long as we stay calm and take our bats and play Longhorn baseball we will come out on top.