Horns hit UTSA, 14-2

baseballAUSTIN — On a cold February night, UTSA held the Texas Longhorns close for seven innings.

With what seemed to be a game that held a pitching change every inning, gaining momentum was difficult for each team. Thanks to an error on a routine single by Ben Johnson that slipped under the centerfielder’s glove, Texas was able to open the floodgates, and eventually win, 14-2, in the first game of the 2015 season at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. (box score: UT 14, UTSA 2)

Texas opened its lead in the first with one run and added another in the third. UTSA threatened constantly throughout the game, scoring in the fourth and sixth. It wasn’t until Texas LF Johnson slapped a single up the middle in the 7th inning that UT was able to put the game away for good. Johnson’s 2-RBI single squeaked under the Roadrunner centerfielder’s glove, allowing freshman catcher Michael Cantu to score from first on the error, and Johnson to come the full 360 feet for a 4-run play.

That play was just the beginning of the offensive explosion, as the next inning sophomore 1st baseman Tres Barrera delivered his second home run of the year to the leftfield bullpen for another three runs to make it 10-2. Texas would score on two bases loaded walks and two RBI singles from Hinojosa and Barrera to cap the scoring. Barrera went 5-for-6 with 2B, HR, and six RBIs. The Horns smashed 20 hits to UTSA’s eight.

The game was filled with pitching changes, with Texas using seven pitchers, and UTSA using eight. Freshman Connor Mayes was the pitcher of record for UT, going 3.0 IP, allowing two hits and striking out two. Ty Marlow appeared in a game for the first time since his Tommy John Surgery, but had to leave after six pitches after injuring his groin.

Head coach Augie Garrido said that his team performed well for the fifth game of the season, but admitted there was a lot left to work on.

“You just have to be patient,” Garrido said. “It’s really early in the year. We did play with less nerves than down at Rice. We were more consistent.”

Garrido said that his team had to work really hard to get through the incredibly slow pace of the game.

“We asked them to motivate each other,” Garrido said. “The dugout is one of the things we have to work on. They have to be responsible for recognizing the little things the players are doing on the field that easily go unnoticed.”

Barrera said that his show of strength even caught him by surprise.

“I didn’t even think that ball was going.” Barrera said. “We were taking BP earlier in the day, the wind was blowing straight in, and I said ‘it’s one of those days.’”

Texas hosts the Minnesota Golden Gophers at UFCU Disch-Falk for a 4-game series this weekend.