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AUSTIN — Texas followed up a 9-0 Tuesday victory over Richmond with the rare (for Texas) Wednesday victory as the Horns clobbered Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 15-0 in a game that, while originally scheduled for a full nine innings, ended after seven in a run rule. Sophomore Nick Kennedy earned the win.
David Pierce’s team completely dominated the Islanders in all three aspects of the game. The pitching staff, led by Kennedy, teamed up to shut out A&M-CC and combine for a WHIP of 0.57 with no walks added to the equation. Kennedy tossed four innings and allowed only one hit, striking out six.
Kennedy began the night in dominating fashion, and the Longhorn bats followed suit out of the gate. Sophomore outfielder Tate Shaw, in his first start of the season, smacked a double on the first pitch he saw in the lead-off role. Freshman shortstop David Hamilton brought him in immediately with a RBI single.
After stealing second, freshman outfielder Austin Todd brought Hamilton in with an RBI double. Todd scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Texas capped off its first inning scoring with a sacrifice fly from freshman designated hitter Trace Bucey.
Texas put the game out of reach in the second inning with a total offensive onslaught. Senior first baseman Kacy Clemens stayed hot by doubling in a run. With two men on, Todd got his second and third RBIs with a single to make it 7-0. Junior second baseman Bret Boswell brought Clemens home with his own RBI single. Bucey added his second RBI with a single.
Junior outfielder Patrick Mathis threw all doubt out the window as to who was going to take this game when he smacked a monster three-run home run over the Texas bullpen to make it 12-0.
The Horns added some “insurance” runs in the third and fourth when freshman third baseman Ryan Reynolds lined a ball off the Islanders’ pitcher to bring home Todd. In the fourth, Hamilton brought home Mathis on a ground out, and Kacy Clemens singled to cap off the Texas scoring on the evening.
Following Kennedy, Malmin gave up two hits and struck out one in his one inning of work. Sophomores Beau O’Hara and Chase Shugart finished the last two innings, with the only blemish being a hit allowed by Shugart.
Texas welcomes the UCLA Bruins to Austin this weekend for a three game set. The following Tuesday, SEC rival Texas A&M will travel to Austin for a one game set. The Aggies defeated Texas last season in College Station with a walk-off home run.
David Pierce Post-game quotes
On who stood out at the plate: Austin Todd’s been as hot as anybody in these last three games. I think he’s seven of his last nine at-bats and hitting the ball hard. Trace Bucey was really good again tonight. But I was really pleased and happy for Tate Shaw. Tate stepped into the one-hole and he hit and played like a one-hole hitter does. He hit the ball the other way, he hit off the wall, he got hit by a pitch and he scored runs. So just, all in all, an overall balanced effort from our lineup.
On what he takes away from playing teams that they should beat: I’ll take two shutouts and 15 runs anytime, but the main thing is us playing consistent baseball, pitching and throwing strikes and quality pitches and great defense. Because hitting’s going to come and go, and it doesn’t matter if you’re facing 85 or if you’re facing 95, you’ve got to have the right approach. And so I’ve been impressed with our preparation in the last few days and our approach at home plate.
On what he tells the team to prevent mental lapses: Throughout the evening, we’re talking about getting better and improvement as the game’s being played. It’s not just, ‘We’re up big so we get to relax.’ It’s, ‘We’re still concentrating and trying to get better.’
On the overall pitching performance: The thing about Nick [Kennedy] is he wasn’t throwing, he was pitching. He has great stuff and he had great tempo and he controlled the game. I thought he was outstanding.
On the uniforms and who decided to wear them: It was mine and [equipment manager] Vinny [Alcazar’s]. It was based on last night. If we win last night, then we wear them tonight. I think the kids love them. We weren’t going to wear them if we didn’t win [last night], so I guess you could call it a reward.
On the series against UCLA this weekend: The thing with UCLA, it’s a lot like Stanford. They can really pitch. Their ERA is incredible. They’re a veteran team. They’re very similar to us. They’re playing very good defense and pitching very good. Offensively, they’re similar to us. I think it’s going to be low-scoring games. I think it’s going to be two teams really trying to see who they are when they’re in tight ballgames.