April 22, 2012
Box Score | Quotes | Box Score
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 23 Texas Longhorns fell behind early but bounced back to register a 7-2 win over the Kansas Jayhawks in Big 12 Conference baseball action Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
With the victory, the Longhorns won two of three against the Jayhawks to claim their12th consecutive Big 12 Conference series and Texas has won 24 of its last 25 league series.
Kansas (16-25, 4-11 Big 12) jumped on the board quickly with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Tucker Tharp led off the inning with a single down the rightfield line and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Kuntz. Chris Manship drew a five-pitch walk to put a pair of runners on base. Brooks Marlow appeared to save a run when he dove to his left to snag a would-be single and retired Alex DeLeon at first. The groundout put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Texas offered up two runs to the Jayhawks as a wild pitch allowed Tharp to score and a balk by Dillon Peters brought Manship home for the 2-0 lead.
After being held hitless through the first four innings, the Longhorns pounced on the Jayhawks for four runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Kevin Lusson and Mark Payton sandwiched walks around a single up the middle by Jordan Etier to load the bases. The Longhorns entered the game with just six hits on the season with bases loaded, but an RBI single to leftfield by Taylor Stell drove in one run and Erich Weiss followed with a two-run double off the wall in rightfield to give Texas its first lead of the game, 3-2. Jonathan Walsh capped off the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to rightfield to plate Stell.
The Longhorns’ lead ballooned to 6-2 with a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning. Marlow reached base on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lusson. Etier laced a double down the rightfield line to drive in Marlow. After Etier moved to third on a wild pitch, he scored when Payton pushed a sacrifice squeeze bunt down the first base line for the four-run lead.
Texas (23-14, 11-4 Big 12) tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning. Weiss was issued a walk to start the frame and was replaced at first by Walsh who bounced into a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Felts singled to centerfield to put runners on the corners. Marlow followed with a wall-banger to the gap in right centerfield to plate Walsh for the 7-2 lead. The inning ended when Felts was retired at home trying to score on Marlow’s double.
Hoby Milner (6-4) worked 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out four to earn the win. After Peters struggled in the start, John Curtiss came in and settled the game down. He worked 3.1 shutout innings, retiring 10 of the 11 batters he faced with one hit allowed. Corey Knebel retired all seven batters he faced in a non-save situation, including two strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
Taylor Thomas (4-5) was saddled with the loss for Kansas. He allowed four runs on three hits and five walks while striking out two over 4.2 innings.
Etier led the Longhorns at the plate going 2-for-4 with two runs, one double and one RBI. Weiss went 1-for-3 with one double and two RBI. Payton went 0-for-1 with three walks, one sacrifice bunt, one run and one RBI.
Tharp went 2-for-4 to lead the Jayhawks’ batters.
Texas returns to action on Tuesday when the Longhorns host the Central Arkansas Bears in a 6 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Head Coach Augie Garrido
Opening statement: The turning point for this weekend was a defensive play by [senior IF Jordan] Etier in the third inning of the second game yesterday. They had a runner on second and third, there were two outs, and we were ahead by one run. They hit the ball hard up the middle, he dove, caught the ball, got to his feet, made an active throw to first to get the third out of the inning. And from that point forward we got momentum. It allowed us to win that game. Today we continued to play quality defense. [Sophomore RHP Justin] Peters obviously had a rough start. He found the air to be a little bit thinner on game day when it’s a Big 12 conference game that you must win versus a Tuesday game. So he wasn’t breathing well. But I think [assistant coach] Skip [Johnson] did an outstanding job of positioning the pitchers and making very timely changes with the pitching staff as he brought them in against the top of the order. Like most college teams, there’s a distinction between the top of the order and the bottom of the order. It’s pretty typical. And he had someone ready at the right time to replace the pitcher in the game, to face the top of the order. He did that three times. And that made a significant difference. So I thought the pitching picked each other up.
Junior LHP Hoby Milner
On coach switching up the pitchers today: Coach told us to go out there and treat it like a Tuesday game. Go out there for a few innings and then he was going to go to the bullpen. So we all were expecting to throw at least two innings.
On freshman RHP John Curtiss today: He was lights out. He went out and threw strikes, strikeouts, popouts, groundouts.
Senior SS Jordan Etier
On the momentum switch: Friday night we weren’t hitting the ball hard so we had a team meeting. We were hitting the balls hard, but they just weren’t dropping. So we talked about it as a team and said, “We have to keep fighting. It may not go our way at the beginning but we’re not going to let up.” And I think we did a good job staying with that.
On their at-bats during the game: We took good at-bats throughout the entire game. Coach gave us a good mentality when we were up there. Put a little prize up there at the plate if we did good. It was awesome.
On playing A&M next weekend: It gets real businesslike. It’s going to be some good business time. I’m excited to play them in the new stadium, we’re just going to go out there and compete. But there is going to be a little bit more gut.
Sophomore 3B Erich Weiss
On the importance of a come-from-behind win: That’s very important. I think we did a great job today, just sticking around and going about our game plan even though we were behind for I think four innings. Even though we came back and won, it showed a lot about how dedicated we are to our game plan.
On the number of walks today: They had a lot of walks today so that helped. [Coach Garrdio] has talked about it a lot. Taking walks and having good at-bats is what he preaches today. So all of that is good.
Freshman RHP John Curtiss
On today’s win: It was a team win. Everybody contributed. It’s just great to see us get another series win. It’s always fun on a Sunday to win a series when everybody really contributes equally.
On feeling comfortable out there: Honestly, the biggest thing this year has just been getting more experience. Any situation they put me in I feel comfortable now just as a result of more innings that I have got. The key thing is to just go in there and throw strikes, and then trust the defense.