Texas couldn’t get anything going early on at the plate — then junior Travis Jones stepped into the box.
Jones stood at the plate with the score locked at zero and two outs, but one swing changed that. The junior left fielder sent a line drive over the right field fence into Comal Street, giving the Longhorns a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Two-out runs have been the theme for the Longhorn ballclub this season. Friday night was no different. Five of the seven runs the Longhorns plated occurred with two outs in their 7-1 victory over New Orleans Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
“It’s huge,” head coach David Pierce said. “Knowing that the inning is still alive with two outs and just staying within yourself and having quality at bats is how you end up getting a two-out rally and that’s what we did tonight.”
Sophomore Nick Kennedy took the mound for Longhorns in game one, but head coach David Pierce said he didn’t tell Kennedy he’d be starting till the day of the game.
“I was sitting in my car,” Kennedy said. “I was going to class and they told me I was starting and I was like ‘Come on, what the heck? What are we doing?’
Pierce also said Kennedy has been fighting a sickness. However, neither that or the late notice seemed to affect his performance.
Kennedy retired six out of the first seven batters he faced en route to shutting out the Privateers in his six inning performance.
“I thought Nick pitched really well,” Pierce said. “He’s sick, but he came out and gutted it up. He was really good with his fastball for a good fastball hitting team.”
As Kennedy refused to give up a run, freshman David Hamilton hit an RBI single in the fourth to make the score 3-0. One inning later, senior first baseman Kacy Clemens sent his eighth home run of the season over the right field fence to increase the Longhorns’ lead to 4-0.
Clemens wasn’t done. With bases loaded in the seventh the senior first baseman sent a shot to center field to break the game open by giving the Longhorns a 6-0 lead.
However, Clemens said he still isn’t at his best.
“Honestly, I don’t feel very comfortable at the plate right now,” Clemens said. “I really don’t. I’ve been missing a lot of pitches that I think I should hit … I’ve got to get better at hitting my pitch earlier in the count.”
The Longhorns extended their lead to 7-0 before the Privateers managed to plate one run in the top of the ninth. But that’s all the Longhorns (26-15) allowed in the win.
The Longhorns will be back in action for game two against New Orleans at 4 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Saturday.