No. 2 Baseball topples UTSA, 6-4, for 17th consecutive win.
April 27, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 2 Texas Longhorns stretched their win streak to 17 games Tuesday night in a non-conference matchup, defeating the UTSA Roadrunners 6-4 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. With the victory, Texas extended its longest win streak since 1988.
Cohl Walla led the Horns’ offense, going 2-3 with two RBI and knocking his fifth home run of the season, as pitcher Keifer Nuncio pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief to improve to 2-0. The Roadrunners fell to 14-24 while Texas improved to 35-7 in the team’s only meeting this season.
UTSA struck first in the top of the second after Ryan Hutson reached on a walk and Casey Selsor was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with no outs and ending starting pitcher Sam Stafford’s night. Nuncio entered and walked his first batter to load the bases with not outs. Jeff Taliaferro followed with a sacrifice fly to left to plate Hutson and give UTSA a 1-0 lead, but Nuncio escaped the jam, forcing a double play to end the inning.
Texas responded in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted Walla’s two-run home run. After a leadoff double by Kevin Lusson, Jonathan Walsh advanced Lusson to third with a sacrifice bunt, who then scored on a balk by UTSA starting pitcher D.D. Towler. Following a walk by Connor Rowe, Walla blasted a two-run shot over the left field wall to give the Horns a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Horns extended their lead to 5-1 after successful bunts by Connor Rowe and Jordan Eiter. Lusson began the inning with a walk, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Walsh and stealing third to give Texas a runner on third with one out. Rowe followed with an RBI bunt single down the first base line to make the score 4-1.
Attempting to steal second, Rowe was caught by Towler, but the first baseman’s throw to second bounced into left field, moving Rowe to third. Etier followed with a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, plating Rowe for a four-run lead.
UTSA cut the lead in half in the top of the seventh, rallying with two outs and a runner on second. Rummel’s RBI double off the right field wall cut the lead to three, scoring Rockett who singled earlier in the inning. Ryan Dalton followed with an infield single, beating out the throw from new pitcher Stayton Thomas. However, the throw got away from Shepherd and Rummel scored from second to make the score 5-3.
New pitcher, Chance Ruffin, entered the game and allowed a single to Hutson to put runners on the corners with two outs, but Ruffin struck out Selsor to end the inning and preserve the two-run lead.
Texas answered in the bottom half of the inning, using a two-out single by Kevin Lusson to extend their to lead to 6-3. With one out, Kevin Keyes forced a walk before Kyle Lusson entered as a pinch-runner. Kyle Lusson then stole second, before Kevin Lusson followed with an RBI bloop single to center to give the Horns a three-run lead.
After Ruffin retired the first two batters in the ninth, UTSA managed one last rally, scoring one run off Ruffin and placing runners on first and second. However, Ruffin struck out Rummel to end the threat and earn his 10th save of the season.
With his tenth save, Ruffin became the first Texas player to record both a 10-win and 10-save season in their career.
Stafford lasted one inning, allowing one hit and one run while giving up two walks, while Kendal Carrillo led all Horns with three innings pitched, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Hoby Milner pitched a perfect seventh, while Stayton Thomas recorded two outs in the eighth, allowing two runs off three hits, before giving way to Ruffin.
Towler earned the loss for UTSA, pitching 3.2 innings while allowing five runs, four earned, and striking out three. Lance Brown and Rummel led the offense with two hits and one RBI a piece.
Texas returns to Big 12 Conference play Friday when they travel to Waco to face Baylor in a three-game split series. Friday’s game is slated for 6:30 p.m. in Waco while Saturday and Sunday’s games are slated for 8 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively, in Austin.
Head Coach Augie Garrido
On having a No. 1 ranking: We try to teach [the players] not to have expectations and to not make assumptions . We know that the rankings are not really what is important. Anytime you have expectations you are setting yourself up for failure. We did that the first time, and we will see what happens this time.
Pitcher Chance Ruffin
On coming in during a tight situation: I’ve been doing that all year. That’s my role as a closer, to come in during tight situations. I felt pretty comfortable in that situation. I came out and did my best to keep them from scoring and keep the win on the board. I succeeded in that.
Pitcher Kendal Carrillo
On how he felt: I felt good. I just go in and try to throw strikes and go right at the hitters. That’s been my philosophy ever since I got here, and it worked. I felt good out there.
Third Baseman Kevin Lusson
On his performance tonight: I’m getting my confidence back, that’s for sure. Sunday’s game really helped me a lot. Tonight, I hit the ball well. Whenever you have trouble hitting the ball, you want to go back to a simple swing and just try to put the ball in play. It’s been working pretty well so far.