The Longhorns could not escape Texas’ cold weather even as they traveled to Stanford, California. With temperatures dipping into the mid-40s Thursday night, No. 12 Texas took the first of a four-game series 4-0 at Klien Field at Sunken Diamond.
“We stayed with quality at-bats throughout, we (had) a little bad luck in the middle of the game,” head coach David Pierce said in an interview with Texas Sports Audio. “But nobody panicked, we just continued to have good at-bats against a very good right-hander. But just a great win for our team tonight.”
Texas was able to tack on another win to their now 12–3 record thanks to offensive momentum in the ninth inning and pitcher Ty Madden.
The Longhorns’ action began in the ninth when center fielder Duke Ellis started off the inning with a base hit. Two walks later, the Longhorns found themselves in a bases-loaded situation with third baseman Ryan Reynolds at-bat. A forced walk by Reynolds gave Texas a 1-0 lead with bases still loaded.
First baseman Tate Shaw was able to unload the bases with a single through the right side that brought two Texas runners back to home plate. From there, Reynolds was able to tally Texas’ last run after a wild pitch.
“I just credit Tate coming in and just so many good at-bats there in the ninth and Tate getting a big hit,” Pierce said.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinal tried to match Texas’ rally with a ground-rule double. The runner was able to advance to third on a wild pitch, but Texas’ defense shut down their efforts with a strikeout by Kamron Fields and a fly-ball catch to center field.
Though the Longhorns were unable to find a offensive rhythm for eight innings, freshman pitcher Ty Madden threw 107 pitches and tallied seven strikeouts, five hits and three walks.
“(Madden) was outstanding,” Pierce said. “It’s interesting to think that just a year ago he was pitching in (Cypress Ranch) down in Houston and then he’s toeing it up at Sunken Diamond against a pretty good team. Boy, he rose to the occasion today, he was outstanding.”
His departure in the bottom of the eight put the Longhorns in trouble when Tristan Stevens came in for relief. Though he started his showing strong with one strikeout, Stevens could not keep his streak when with two outs on the count, allowing two consecutive walks and put the Longhorns in a jam.
Pierce pulled the redshirt sophomore and placed Fields on the mound, who successfully closed out the eighth inning.
With another nationally ranked win under its belt, Texas will go into Friday’s game with an advantage. The Longhorns will face the Cardinal at 8:05 p.m. Friday for their second game of the four-game series.