AUSTIN, Texas -- By scoring eight runs in both the third and eighth innings and having starter Kenn Kasparek (Weimar, Texas) turn in a solid seven-inning performance, No. 5 Texas (46-14) earned a 20-2 victory over Quinnipiac (26-23) in front of 5,047 fans at Disch-Falk Field during the opening round of the Austin NCAA Regional Tournament on Friday, June 3. With the win, the Longhorns move into the winner's bracket of the regional and will face Arkansas on Saturday, June 4 at 6 p.m. Central, while the Bobcats will play Miami University in a second-round elimination contest at 12 p.m. Central on Saturday.
Quinnipiac ran out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as the Bobcats loaded the bases on two singles and a catcher's interference call before a double-play groundout off the bat of first baseman Brian Sabatella brought home the game's first run. While the Bobcats would continue to threaten in the frame with runners on first and third following a walk with two down, Kasparek struck out the next batter he faced to end the inning. Texas immediately countered in the bottom of the opening inning as Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas), with Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) on second with one out via a walk and a fielder's choice advance during a double-steal attempt, extended his current hit streak to eight games with a RBI-single to knot the score at 1-1. The Bobcats quickly reclaimed the lead at 2-1 in the top of the second on a one-out, solo home run from second baseman Randy Gress, but a one-out single from Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) in the bottom half of the inning with Will Crouch (Austin, Texas) on second after reaching on an error, tied the score at 2-2.
In the third, the Longhorns claimed their first lead of the game as they sent 13 men to the plate and scored eight times behind seven hits and two errors to grab a 10-2 advantage. After back-to-back singles to open the inning from Stubbs and Johnston, a wild pitch brought in one run in front of two-run home runs off the bats of Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) and Crouch and a three-run, round-tripper from Stubbs. While UT then managed to tack on two more scores in the sixth courtesy of RBI-hits from Crouch and Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) to push in front 12-2, Kasparek retired 12 of his next 13 hitters, including eight in a row, to move the game to the bottom of the seventh. Following two scoreless half innings, the Longhorns loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth and took advantage of two errors and a wild pitch with a three-run triple from pinch-hitter Calvin Beamon (Aurora, Colo.) and a pinch-hit, RBI-single from Clay Van Hook (Brenham, Texas) to key an eight-run frame and make the score 20-2 in favor of UT. Texas relievers Buck Cody (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Clayton Stewart (Angleton, Texas), meanwhile, worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the win. While Kasparek, who allowed only one earned run and struck out four over a career-best seven innings, picked up the win to improve to 7-0 overall, Bobcats starter Pat Eagan shouldered the loss.
Leading the way offensively for the Longhorns were six players with multi-hit nights, including Crouch, who set a career-high with four runs scored while matching his game high for RBI with three, Kainer, who went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI, and Stubbs, who went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and three RBI. On the other side of the ledger, Quinnipiac had its attack led by third baseman and leadoff hitter John Delaney, who went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Of additional note for Texas, Kasparek has now worked at least six innings in each of his last three starts and a minimum of five innings in nine of his 10 starting assignments overall.
Postgame Notes & Quotes
· Texas improves to 116-43-1 in NCAA Regional play. The Longhorns are now 60-34 under head coach Augie Garrido in Regional Tournaments.
· Texas' 20 runs scored marked the second-highest output for UT in NCAA Regional history (21-7 vs Southern Illinois - 5/22/86) dating back to 1947.
· With three home runs in the bottom of the third inning, Texas matched its previous 2005 season best for home runs in an inning (at Oklahoma State, April 23). It also marked the third time this season the Longhorns have connected on three home runs in a game.
· With 16 hits on the day, the Texas offense has now tallied 10 or more hits in 32 of 60 games to date and in each of its last five contests.
· The UT defense matched a season best by turning three double plays, which marked the sixth time this season.
· P Kenn Kasparek has now worked at least 5.0 innings in nine of his 10 starts and as least 6.0 innings in each of the previous three.
· SS Seth Johnston extended his hitting streak to eight games. Johnston owns hits in 39 of the last 44 games and has at least one RBI in seven of the last eight games.
· With two hits on the day, Johnston now has 100 hits this season, which ties him for 10th on UT's all-time list (Jose Tolentino, 1983). Additionally, the two-hit performance marked his team-best 33rd multiple-hit game of the season.
· With three hits on the day, CF Drew Stubbs now has 24 multiple hit games this season and has recorded at least one hit in 51 of 60 total games in 2005.
· LF Carson Kainer's two-run home run in the third inning marked his second of the season and second in as many games. The home run also extended his hitting streak to five games.
· DH Will Crouch's two-run home run in the third inning marked his fifth of the season.
· With three RBI in the game, Crouch recorded his sixth multiple-RBI game this season and tied a career high. Crouch also established a career high with four runs scored.
· RF Nick Peoples extended his hit streak to six games.
· Calvin Beamon's three RBI marked a career high. Beamon now has two triples in his career.
· Quinnipiac falls to 0-1 in NCAA postseason play.
· 2b Randy Gress' home run in the second inning marked his fourth of the season.
· With three hits on the day, 3B John Delaney has recorded at least two hits in four of his last five games.
Head Coach Augie Garrido
On the team's offensive production: The offense demonstrated throughout the game was the most consistent of our entire season. It was a complete game from our point of view, and one of the best ones of the year. A lot of things contributed to that, such as power, patience in taking walks, courage, and many elements to sustain those rallies we had. I've asked the players to take confidence from everything they did well tonight.
On Freshman RHP Kenn Kasparek's start and overall team contribution: In every one of his starts this year, the pattern has been the same. No matter what it appears to be, it is consistent with how he's pitched all year. I think the whole team benefited from Kenn's performance, and the offensive performance. I think this is what you want out of the first game if you can get it, where you don't have to dig deep into your bullpen. It gave us a chance to use some pinch hitters, and they've been contributing and they did a good job again in tonight's game. It was pretty much everything you'd want if you could script it.
Freshman RHP Kenn Kasparek
On his first career postseason start: I have to give Quinnipiac credit, because they came out battling. Their hitters don't sit back and wait; they jump on the first pitch. Our defense played amazing behind me, and the offensive produced amazing runs. I was pretty excited out there; it was a fun game for me.
Senior DH Will Crouch
On the all-around offensive contribution: I think it was the most consistent offensive game of the year. We had some momentum as an offense from the Big 12 Tournament, and it was good to get everyone involved. It was a good, complete offensive game for us.
Head Coach Dan Gooley
Opening statement: That is a very good team that we played against this evening. You can absolutely understand why the Texas Longhorns are one of the finest teams in the country. They attack you from every facet of the game. Kenn Kasparek did a terrific job. We had a chance to score some runs early, but he made a big pitch to hit into the double play in the first. Defensively, they are a solid club. I have to tip my hat to the University of Texas. They were outstanding, and they deserved to win.
On being in Quinnipiac's first Regional: It's a thrill to be in our first NCAA Regional. We are certainly not happy with the way we played. Any experience that you run into, you want to make a positive one. We have an opportunity to come back and start all over tomorrow. Coming out of the loser's bracket is not easy, but our ball club is still in this tournament.
Sophomore 2B Randy Gress
On his home run in the second inning: I have been seeing the ball well lately. I got the pitch that I wanted to hit, and everything happened after that.
Freshman 3B John Delaney
On going 3-for-4: I came in trying to make sure to swing at good pitches and not chase and get down in the count. I was looking for Kasparek's fastball, and if I saw his curveball with two strikes, I was hoping to see it and adjust.