The Texas Longhorns were unable to rattle Mizzou ace Kyle Gibson in Game 1, as they were shutout by the projected 1st rounder, but returned the favor in Game 2 as Brandon Workman tossed another gem.
Game 1 Missouri 2, Texas 0 Box Score
Game 2 Texas 5, Missouri 0 Box Score
The Texas Longhorns and Missouri Tigers faced off Saturday for two games and once again saw some excellent pitching performances in both. Sophomore right hander Chance Ruffin got the start for the first game and was pitted against Missouri ace Kyle Gibson. It became apparent early that runs would be hard to come by, especially for the Longhorns, as Gibson lived up to his 1st round billing.
“He is one of the best pitchers in the conference,” said Longhorn Head Coach Augie Garrido. “He had control of all of his pitches and he was throwing them in any count. He doesn’t get rattled, his presence is excellent, and he really just makes it look easy. A brilliant job.”
Gibson was able to strand all nine runners he let on base and left five in scoring position. He ended up going the distance for the complete game shutout and didn’t allow any Longhorns more than one hit.
“You just have to hope he misses a pitch and when he does you have to take advantage,” said junior Brandon Belt on his approach to Gibson. “But he was really good out there today.”
Gibson received all the help he would need in the third inning when the Tigers strung four singles together and scored two runs off Ruffin in his only bad inning. He ended up as the hard-luck loser going eight and a third innings and only allowing one other hit.
While the pitching and defense has been excellent to start the season for the Longhorns, the offense has been slow to come and it really showed today in the first game.
“We weren’t able to get the leadoff man on at all and it makes it much more difficult to score when you can’t do that, especially against a great pitcher,” said Garrido.
The Longhorns weren’t able to put a run on the board in the first game and but it didn’t take long for them to get one in the second. Senior second baseman Travis Tucker led off the game with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Michael Torres and scored on an RBI groundout from Brandon Belt to give the Horns the early lead.
“The second game, we knew we had to come out there and win,” said Belt. “We definitely didn’t want to lose two on our home turf”.
The Longhorns added another run in the fourth inning on a line drive single into centerfield from Russell Moldenhauer which drove in Torres.
Sophomore Brandon Workman was his usual dominant self on the mound going seven innings, striking out seven and allowing only two hits and two walks.
“He was really good out there today and so was Chance,” said Garrido. “Our pitching staff is doing a great job and they have really been keeping us in a lot of ballgames.”
Senior Austin Wood entered in the eighth inning and completed the shutout for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns would score again in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. Michael Torres started the inning off by reaching on a single.
Brandon Belt followed with a double into the gap in deep left-center field driving and was sacrificed to third by Tant Shepherd on a bunt. Preston Clark drove in Belt with a single into left field.
Texas scored the final run in the eighth inning. Connor Rowe led off with a single and came around to score on another single by Kyle Lusson.
Cole Green will take the mound on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the series finale as the Longhorns look to take the series.