No. 4 Baseball tops UT-Arlington, 9-1, in Austin Regional opener
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore starter Kenn Kasparek struck out a career-best seven over a career-high 7.1 innings to help lift No. 4 Texas to a 9-1 victory over UT-Arlington in front of 4,933 fans at Disch-Falk Field during the opening round of the Austin NCAA Regional Tournament on Friday, June 2.
Five Longhorns players posted multi-hit afternoons to lead UT's 12-hit attack (41-19) against the Mavericks (29-35) as the Longhorns won their seventh straight regional tournament opener. With the victory, Texas will now face No. 3 seed Stanford (31-25) in the winner's bracket game of the regional on Saturday, June 3 at 3 p.m. Central, while UT-Arlington will play an elimination game at 11 a.m. Central on Saturday against N.C. State (38-21).
UTA threatened to break on top early by placing runners on the corners with one out in the second via a double and a single, but Kasparek (Weimar, Texas) induced a come-backer to get the lead runner at the plate before a strikeout following a walk to load the bases worked him out of the jam. In the bottom of the second, UT used an infield hit from Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) and an error on a sac bunt by Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) to get runners on second and third with no outs. Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) then delivered a sac fly followed by a RBI-double off the bat of Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) to stake Texas to a 2-0 lead. Answering immediately in the top of the third, Daniel Rieder led off the frame with a solo home run to cut the Mavericks' deficit in half at 2-1.
An inning later in the bottom of the fourth, the Longhorns placed runners on first and second with one down courtesy of a walk and a single before an overthrow on a potential double play allowed one run to score and put another runner in scoring position. Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) then connected on his fourth home run of the year to push UT on top by a score of 5-1. Kasparek, meanwhile, set down eight in a row before working out of a two-out scoring chance for UT-Arlington in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth frame, Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a balk and scored on a RBI-single from Kainer to extend the Texas lead to 6-1. Kasparek then stranded a base runner in the sixth and two more in the seventh to keep the five-run lead in tact.
The Longhorns again upped their advantage in the seventh by stringing together three straight two-out singles with a runner on first to bring in a pair of scores and break in front, 8-1. After reliever Joseph Krebs (Bridgeport) finished the eighth for Kasparek, who left with one out and a runner on second, by inducing a pair of groundouts, UT tacked on another score in the bottom of the frame to grab a 9-1 lead. Krebs then worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to seal the victory for UT. While Kasparek won his second straight decision after allowing only one run on eight hits and issuing two walks over his 7.1-inning effort, UTA starter Kyle Gainley shouldered the loss.
Paving the way for the Texas offense on the day were Kainer, who went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI, Suttle, who matched a career-best with three runs scored, and the trio of Wheeless, Fuller and Clark, who each collected a pair of hits while combining for two runs scored and six RBI. The Mavericks, meanwhile, had their attack led by Rieder, who went 3-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI, and Robby Winn, who posted one of UTA's two doubles on the afternoon. Of additional note for the Horns, Wheeless extended his current hit streak to seven games and Stubbs earned Louisville Slugger second-team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball earlier in the day - marking the second straight season he has been tabbed an All-American performer.
Up next, the Horns square off with the Stanford Cardinal in a 3 p.m. Central contest at Disch-Falk Field during second-round action at the Austin NCAA Regional Tournament. The game will be televised by ESPNU, carried on radio by 1300 AM "The Zone" in Austin and have live audio and stats available through www.TexasSports.com. Additionally, tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-982-BEVO.
NCAA Regional Tournament Game Notes