The Longhorn bats couldn’t stop hitting.
After an 11-2 romp the night before, the Longhorns tallied 10 hits in a 7—0 win over the UNLV Rebels in the series finale on Sunday.
The run support was a sight for sore eyes at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, as the Longhorns looked to erase the memory of numerous extended slumps throughout 2015.
“It’s been a complete turnaround,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “This team is more focused on the process rather than the results.”
Sophomore right fielder Patrick Mathis started the scoring barrage in the bottom of the first. Mathis jumped on the first pitch he saw, clearing the left field fence to put the Longhorns up 1-0.
The home run was a strong end to an action-packed series for Mathis. After a misjudged fly ball in the eighth inning cost the Longhorns the lead on Friday night, Mathis finished the series with a pair of home runs, along with three hits and two RBI’s.
“Things happen, that’s baseball,” Mathis said. “We need to just stick with what we know and stick with the process.”
Sophomore Connor Mayes took the hill for the Longhorns. Mayes completed four innings in an expectedly short outing, giving up zero runs and just four hits. But despite the clean scorecard, the Rebels made Mayes work, forcing the right-hander to rack up 77 pitches in four frames.
“The players who grow up wanting to be Longhorns never want to fail and think they can never make a mistake,” Garrido said. “But [Mayes] just has to get that behind him. Because this is an imperfect game, not a perfect game.”
Redshirt sophomore Morgan Cooper entered the game in the top of the seventh. Cooper was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team in 2014 after posting a 4–2 record and 2.89 ERA. But his 2015 season was over before it began, as he underwent Tommy John Surgery prior to the season opener.
Cooper picked up right where he left off over a year ago. In his first inning of work, he recorded a clean stat line, striking out two Rebels. He finished the seventh inning with a blistering fastball for a strikeout, hitting 94 miles per hour on the radar gun.
“I’m not worried about the velocity,” Cooper said. “I’m just happy that my arm’s feeling good. If my arm’s feeling good, the velocity will come.”
Despite an inauspicious opener, Texas recovered to win the series and advance its record to 2–1. The season has just begun, but Garrido said he’s happy with the Longhorns progress early on.
“I’m very encouraged,” Garrido said. “It means that we’re doing the right things and putting together all parts of the game very well.”