Longhorns bash their way to decisive 17-1 victory

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Sophomore shortstop Joe Baker knocked in four runs in the Longhorns’ rout of No. 10 Texas Tech on Sunday. Texas won the series, taking two of the three games.

Photo Credit: Gabriel Lopez | Daily Texan Staff

A sea of crooked numbers flooded the scoreboard at Dan Law Field in Lubbock at Rip Griffin Park on Sunday as Texas took down Big 12 leader Texas Tech 17-1 in the series finale. A 13-run barrage extended the Longhorns streak of 18 straight runs, dating back to the fourth inning of Saturday’s victory over the Red Raiders. 

“We’ve played sixteen consecutive innings now of high quality baseball,” head coach Augie Garrido told 104.9 The Horn. “We’ve been more patient at the plate and maintained our aggressiveness.”

After a quiet first inning saw no runs cross the plate, the Longhorns bats blasted their way through the next three frames. Texas got on the board in the second via a three-run bomb from freshman Tyler Rand, his first of the year. 

The home run gave the Longhorns an opening lead for the third consecutive game, but unlike on Friday — where Texas gave up 13 unanswered runs in a 13-6 loss — Garrido’s squad never let up. Texas plated three in the second frame and five in each of the next two innings, blowing the game open by the end of the fourth. 

“Everyone in the lineup needs to take their own responsibility to get it started,” Garrido told 104.9 The Horn. “We can’t wait for somebody else to do it.”

Eight Longhorn starters recorded hits Sunday, led by sophomore shortstop Joe Baker. Baker hit two doubles to left field in consecutive innings, totaling four RBIs. And with the Longhorns holding a commanding 13-1 lead, Baker extended it, blasting a two-run homer to left. 

Sunday’s success was a welcome sign for Baker, who has struggled since returning to the lineup on March 19 after being sidelined for nearly a month with a stress fracture in his lower leg. Prior to Sunday, Baker had gone 4-23 in his last six games.

Three other Longhorns recorded multi-RBI games on Sunday, with junior Zane Gurwitz, Rand and sophomore Patrick Mathis compiling three RBIs apiece. 

The weekend series in Lubbock saw an offensive explosion from Mathis. In 10 at-bats, Mathis collected five hits, while driving in nine RBIs. He is now hitting .315 on the year, leading the team. 

A bleak beginning to the season dug Texas a deep hole. But taking two of three from the conference-leading Red Raiders — and five of the last six games — is an encouraging sign for a team that has underwhelmed throughout the year. And while winning the conference is still a long shot, Garrido believes his team has the talent, and now the momentum, to do it.

“It’s not over by any stretch of the imagination,” Garrido told 104.9 The Horn. “We’re continuing to get better and we’re showing we can be a championship team.”