Patient hitting approach nets Texas game one win over Purdue

Masen Hibbeler (Will Gallagher/IT)
Masen Hibbeler (Will Gallagher/IT)

Texas mustered a single extra-base hit against Purdue Friday and still won going away, 7-2.

Extra-base hits are the easiest way to move players around the bases. When an entire lineup reaches base and continually takes the next stop one at a time throughout the evening, that works, too.

Though the Longhorns left 12 men on base, it was a result of a patient approach that earned eight hits and drew 10 walks against Purdue’s four-pitcher effort.

“Up to this point, we’ve been very good with our discipline and understanding who we are and understanding what we can handle,” Texas head coach David Pierce said after the game. “The key to me I think is being able to expand maybe a ball off the plate with two strikes but not chasing a breaking ball in the dirt.”

Texas was patient from the start as three of the first five Longhorn batters drew a walk. It paid off quickly when junior Ryan Reynolds singled to score two.

Similar results followed in the next three innings with Texas putting a runner in scoring position in all three frames. However, that extra-base hit continued to be missing from Texas’ box score.

It didn’t affect Texas too much as sophomore Bryce Elder picked up where he left off following his great start at Louisiana. Elder continued to prove Pierce’s decision to make him the Friday night guy right as he allowed one unearned run and struck out six over six innings.

“I’ll tell you what, Bryce went out and did what Friday night starters do,” Pierce said. “He gave us a chance to win. He did a great job of attacking the zone and to a pretty feisty offense.”

Elder gave up an RBI double in the fourth, the only extra-base hit he would allow on the evening. When he worked the fifth and sixth, he had additional support from his bats.

With two outs in the fifth, Reynolds walked and senior Masen Hibbeler, still hitless on the year, walked to the plate. Facing an 0-2 count, Hibbeler slapped a ball to the right side. One batter later, senior Michael McCann singled to bring in Reynolds.

“A lot of times what you see is when a guy starts hot, they continue to have a good year,” Pierce said of Hibbeler. “The key is when you start cold, can you get through that time and can I allow him to get through that time? It was big for him.”

Texas added a single run in the sixth and three in the seventh off its only extra-base hit of the evening. The final two scored when Junior Austin Todd tripled to right center to truly break the game open.

Freshman Cole Quintanilla was able to work stress-free in the 7th and 8th innings and retired all six batters he faced.

The freshman has shown flashes of dominance in his young Texas career and continued to do so tonight.

“Right now, he’s pounding the strike zone,” Pierce said. “He’s a two-pitch mix guy with velo. I think more than anything it’s continue to be that and not try to be more.”

Senior Beau Ridgeway allowed a single run in the Purdue ninth, but continued to show improvement from his disappointing 2018.

Texas sends Blair Henley and Coy Cobb to the mound tomorrow for a double-header beginning at 1 p.m.