The threat of heavy rains on Sunday forced Texas to play a doubleheader on Saturday. But the change in scheduling did not deter the Longhorns, who swept the doubleheader.
The second game of the set was tight throughout, as Texas (20-13, 9-3 Big 12) and Oklahoma State (18-16, 5-7 Big 12) came into the eighth inning in a 2-2 deadlock.
Mark Payton put an end to the tie quickly, however, as he led off the frame with a home run that put Texas ahead 3-2.
Hoby Milner entered the game in the ninth and quickly set the Cowboys down in order to end the game.
“Corey [Knebel] threw a lot on Friday, so when that happens I have to be the backup closer, I guess, so that was cool,” Milner said.
In the second game of the doubleheader the bullpen played a key role of keeping the team in the game, as UT starter Ricky Jacquez exited after four innings. He battled through control issues to give up two early runs. From there the relievers took over and John Curtiss, Dillon Peters and Milner combined to four scoreless innings to keep the Cowboys in check.
In the early game on Saturday, the Longhorns received a sparkling eighth inning performance from freshman Parker French. French allowed only six and didn’t give up a run.
“Parker threw really well; it was obviously the best outing he’s had,” Milner said. “He was pounding the zone with his sinker and slider while getting ahead of guys. It was definitely the best outing by a pitcher all season. I mean, he didn’t give up a run in eight innings.”
French’s long outing also set up the team for the second game of the doubleheader, as his lengthy stay on the mound allowed Texas to save its bullpen for the second game of the day, which as it turns out, really was needed.
“French’s long outing was key; it set the stage for the second game,” said UT head coach Augie Garrido.
In what was a precursor to his save in the second game, Milner came into the first contest and closed out the game in the ninth, giving him the rare achievement of having two saves and relief appearances in one day.
While French and Milner pitched well, the offense was busy putting up five runs early on as Texas cruised to a 5-0 victory.
The pair of wins did a lot of good to erase the memories of Friday night’s heartbreaking 3-1 extra inning loss.
The two teams went into extras tied up 1-1, and in the 11th the Cowboys were able to notch two runs off of Texas’ closer Knebel to break the game open.
In the home half of the inning, Texas did mount a rally, loading the bases with one out in the inning, but Jacob Felts and Jordan Etier were both unable to come up with a hit, and the game ended at 3-1.
Printed on Monday, April 16th, 2012 as: Longhorns sweep doubleheader