Sophomore Dillon Peters overcame his struggles
against the first few batters he faced to give Texas seven strong innings in
their series-clinching 6-3 victory over the Sacramento State Hornets Sunday. Five
Longhorns had multiple hits, including junior rightfielder Mark Payton,
who recorded the Horns’ first triple in the young season.
Peters’ first pitch of the game hit Hornet
rightfielder Nathan Lukes, and he walked the next batter; eventually Lukes
scored, but settled Peters settled in after the shaky start and allowed only
one more run.
“The first inning was a big inning,” head
coach Augie Garrido said. “If that exploded on him it would have been much more
difficult. The fact that he worked his way out of that was huge.”
The Longhorns supported Peters by scoring at
least one run in each of the first four innings. The first came as a result of
a single up the middle by Payton, scoring sophomore leftfielder Taylor Stell.
In the second inning, freshman shortstop C.J. Hinojosa scored on a single by junior
centerfielder Weston Hall; Hall later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Stell.
“We bunted a little more today than in the
first two games,” Garrido said. “The first two games I wanted to be sure to
pass on the message to the players that the hard work they’ve been doing with
the hitting is going to pay off.”
The other run allowed by Peters came via a
home run by designated hitter Chris Lewis, the homer of the year at UFCU
Disch-Falk Field. Peters eventually retired the side in order in his last two
innings of work.
“Anytime the pitcher sits on the bench and
watches the offense score runs he feels a lot more confident,” Garrido said.
“When they go out there thinking that they can’t give up a run all sorts of
things happen to them there.” The Horns’ final run came off the bat of
Hinojosa, who drove in junior catcher Jacob Felts from second base. “Our offense was hitting the ball all weekend
and our defense played pretty well,” Peters said. “We’re just happy we came
back and got that second win this weekend.”
Junior closer Corey Knebel came on in the
eighth to close out the game, allowing a home run before settling down to
finish the game. “My thoughts are that he did much better the
second time out,” Garrido said. “He doesn’t understand what happened Friday
night but he’s not gonna let it happen again. Today he was closer to the real
Texas plays the UT-Arlington Mavericks at home
at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Next weekend, the Big 10’s Nebraska Cornhuskers play a
three-game series at Disch-Falk. The Cornhuskers and the Horns last met in 2011
in a three-game series in Lincoln, NE.