Following the Longhorns’ Friday night takedown against LSU, Tiger fans left Disch-Falk Field with their heads held high. One leaned against a railing and laughed as Longhorn fans passed by celebrating their win.
“Settle down,” he said. “It’s a series — this is only one game.”
But by the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday, LSU fans resorted to booing Longhorn batters in an attempt to distract them as Texas tacked on one more win to its record after an 8-4 win.
“You’re playing a quality team, one of the top teams in the country, and you have very little room for error,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “So, you can’t give away at-bats, you can’t give them anything. They have to earn it. And for the most part, we’ve done that the last two days.”
Texas’ overall domination began early in the second inning when left fielder Eric Kennedy stepped up to the plate, ready to bring his runners home. Center fielder Duke Ellis already put the game at 1-0 but was confident in his abilities on the plate.
“You got to think that you’re better than the pitcher and know that you’re going to get a hit,” Kennedy said. “I mean, I started out zero-for-whatever, but kids are going to fall whether they're hard or soft. And then just hit the ball, see the ball, simple as that.
Kennedy showed off his powerful batting by hitting a single into right field, tallying two RBIs in one play. His hit completely changed the momentum of the game, and fans knew it.
They fed off his energy as the Longhorns now led 3-0. Fans were not prepared, however, for the major lead Texas would take in a matter of minutes. By the end of the second inning, Texas held a 6-0 advantage.
“Our lineup was grinding — everyone grinds out at-bats. There is no easy out,” Kennedy said. “If one person gets a hit, there is a very good chance a few other people will get a hit,” Kennedy said.
For a fleeting moment, LSU fans tried to rally their team. However, Texas fans powerfully overcame their voices with a loud “Texas Fight” chant.
“(The fan energy) probably topped last night, but the two nights combined were great,” Pierce said. “I really enjoyed listening to Texas Fight when they started a little bit of ‘Geaux Tigers’ or whatever they said, LSU.”
The nail in LSU’s coffin came in the seventh inning when the Tigers found a slow tempo against pitcher Blair Henley with two runners on plate with zero outs. Then, pitcher Cole Quintanilla came in for relief and subsequently shut down the LSU offense with back-to-back strikeouts.
In the final pitch of the game, Longhorns held their horns up high, sending their luck to Quintanilla as LSU fans exited the stands.
“Coach preaches, ‘Do your job,’ and my job is to finish the game and make sure we get a win,” Quintanilla said. “You know, I don't really get caught up in the crowd. I just know my stuff’s good, and I know I'm prepared for that type of situation. So, I just go play the game.”
Now, the Longhorns have a chance to sweep the series Sunday at 1 p.m. While Pierce recognizes its tough for any team to sweep, he believes the Longhorns can accomplish it with the right mentality.
“You can survive, you can win a series or you can sweep,” Pierce said. “So, if we have an opportunity to win a sweep on a Sunday, you’re in a pretty good position.”