May 20, 2011
Box Score |
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 5 Texas Longhorns clinched a series win over the No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown with a 6-4 victory at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Friday evening.
The victory guaranteed the Longhorns a share of the Big 12 Conference regular-season title and the No. 1 seed at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. If Texas wins the series finale on Saturday, the Longhorns win the title outright. If Aggies win on Saturday, Texas and Texas A&M share the league crown. It marks the third straight Big 12 regular-season title for the Longhorns and the seventh overall.
The 2010-11 edition of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown ended with a 9.5-9.5 tie and Texas retains possession of the trophy.
With the score tied 4-4 at the seventh-inning stretch, Texas pounced on the Aggies coming out of a rain delay of nearly 90 minutes. After Mark Payton was thrown out at second trying to stretch a leadoff single into a double, Tant Shepherd was issued a one-out walk from reliever Joaquin Hinojosa. Brandon Parrent came in from the bullpen to spell Hinojosa and yielded a single by Erich Weiss to put runners at the corners. Paul Montalbano stake the Horns to their first lead of the game with a single to rightfield, scoring Weiss.
Texas (40-12, 19-7 Big 12) tacked on an insurance run in the eighth. With one out, Lusson reached on an error and moved to second on a groundout by Brandon Loy. Mark Payton doubled to the wall in right centerfield to drive in Lusson for the 6-4 advantage.
Hoby Milner retired the first batter he faced in the ninth. But issued a walk to Andrew Collazo and threw a pair of balls to Tyler Naquin before Corey Knebel came into close the game. Knebel threw a pair of balls to Naquin for a walk that was credited to Milner, but bounced back to fan Krey Bratsen on three pitches and induced a game-ending, first-pitch groundout by Matt Juengel to earn his 16th save of the season.
Texas A&M drew first blood with when Adam Smith deposited an 0-1 offering over the leftfield fence for a solo home run with one out in the top of the second inning.
The Longhorns tied the game at 1-1 in the home half of the third. With one out, Brandon Loy singled to right field and moved to second on a wild pitch. Mark Payton pushed Loy to third with a groundout to first. After Tant Shepherd was issued a walk to put runners on the corners, Loy scored when Aggies’ catcher Kevin Gonzalez’s rundown throw on a double steal bounced down the leftfield line.
The Aggies reclaimed the lead with a three-run sixth inning. With two outs, Jacob House singled to centerfield and stole second base. Smith drew a walk and Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brandon Wood singled up the middle to push in a pair of runs with a single up the middle and Kenny Jackson finished the damage with a single to rightfield for the 4-1 edge.
The Longhorns immediately responded with three runs in the home half of the sixth. With one out, Weiss and Montalbano singled to put runners on the corners. After Jonathan Walsh struck out for the second out of the inning, Jordan Etier singled up the middle to plate Weiss and cut the lead to 4-2. Cohl Walla followed with an infield single to load the bases. Kevin Lusson knotted the game at 4-4 with a pinch-hit single up the middle, driving in Etier and Montalbano.
Milner (6-3) worked 2.2 hitless innings of relief, scattering two walks while striking out three to earn the win. Texas starter Cole Green allowed all four runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out seven over 5.2 innings.
Hinojosa (2-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing one run on one hit and one walk over 0.2 innings. Texas A&M starter Michael Wacha yielded four runs, three earnes, on eight hits and two walks while striking out three over 5.2 innings.
Montalbano led the Texas offense, going 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Payton added a pair of hits including a double and added one RBI.
Smith went 2-for-3 with one triple, one home run, two runs and one RBI to lead Texas A&M. Wood finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The series finale in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown is slated for a 6:06 p.m. first pitch at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.