The Texas Longhorns delivered their best offensive output of the season Tuesday night, scoring 12 runs on 15 hits.
Tuesday night turned into an offensive showcase for the No. 8 Texas Longhorns as they downed the Texas State Bobcats, 12-2, scoring runs in all but two innings and improving their record to 31-11 on the season.
The Horns received some big-time contributions at the bottom of the order with the six through nine spots combining for ten hits, seven runs and eight RBI. Freshman Kevin Lusson paced the group, reaching base in all five plate appearances and scoring five runs.
“Every at bat I’m feeling more confident,” said Lusson. “I have the confidence that I can contribute and that’s helped me turn in some good at bats.”
Lusson’s batting average ballooned to an other-worldly .500 after his performance Tuesday and considering he’s only been in action for a couple weeks now, it’s scary to think of what he could accomplish in the future while wearing the orange and white.
Another bat that showed up was that of center fielder Connor Rowe. Rowe was 3-for-5 on the night and twice put a run across with two outs in an inning. Rowe had been showing steady improvements at the plate as of late and, citing a mechanical adjustment, it’s safe to say that he might be finding his groove as well.
“Earlier in the season I was struggling,” said Rowe. “But I switched my hand position and I think it’s actually helped me track the ball better. I’ve been able to see balls a lot deeper and drive them the other way.”
Brandon Loy and Preston Clark, in the seventh and eighth spots, respectively, were able to reach base three times apiece in the ballgame.
After the tough losses the previous weekend to Kansas State, the Texas offense was able string some hits together and not leave runners on base.
“It was a heck of a way to respond to the weekend adversity,” said head coach Augie Garrido. “They didn’t drag last week to the game this week and the difference was the consistency on the offensive side.”
The Longhorn pitching staff also turned in a nice performance on the night, especially from reliever Stayton Thomas. Brandon Workman got the start on the night but was very wild, running into trouble in the first two innings. After the Bobcats scored two runs off him the Longhorns went to the bullpen for Thomas.
“Thomas came in and gave us more innings than anticipated,” said Garrido. “He really got stronger as the game went on.”
Thomas entered at the start of the third inning and pitched five innings of shutout ball. He struck out two, walked none and gave up only three hits in his best outing of the season.
“I guess you could call it a breakthrough night for me,” said Thomas. “Tonight everything was working for me and it felt great.”
Andrew McKirahan came in for the final two innings and also held the Bobcats without a run.
Brandon Belt logged his fifth homerun of the season with a shot into the left field bullpen in the bottom of the first inning to get the scoring started for the Horns. After that, the rout was on.
The Longhorns will hope to keep the bats going this weekend as they begin a three game series against the Baylor Bears. They will have a split series, game one being played at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Friday with an 8 p.m. start time. Games two and three will be played in Waco as the top two teams in the Big 12 face off with conference title implications on the line.