Baseball

Texas 10 Texas State 3: Ardoin’s double, Daly’s defense puts Texas back over .500

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Texas’ sixth game in the span of eight days was a tight affair through seven innings. Once Silas Ardoin’s seventh inning at bat came and went, Texas was able to comfortably count down the outs until it could leave San Marcos with a victory.

Ardoin’s bases-clearing, three RBI double extended Texas’ lead from two to five over the Texas State Bobcats. The Longhorns added three more runs after Ardoin’s two-bagger to reach a double-digit run total, more than enough to top Texas State, 10-3.

Seconds after Ardoin made contact, he jubilantly pointed to the celebrating Texas dugout while running down the first base line. His three-run knock scored Zach Zubia, who himself brought in a run via an infield single earlier in the inning.

Prior to Zubia’s base hit, the game was a close contest. Trey Faltine drove in two of his four RBIs in the top of the second with a no-doubt home run just inside the left field foul pole. The Longhorns added one more to take an early 3-0 lead.

Texas State bounced back in the bottom of the second via an RBI groundout from Isaiah Ortega-Jones off of Longhorn starter Pete Hansen.

Hansen began the third inning but allowed two runners to reach via a walk and an error from third baseman Cam Williams. 

Responsibility for getting out of the jam fell to UTSA transfer Palmer Wenzel. He issued a bases-loaded walk to make it a 3-2 game, but the Bobcat threat ended on a groundout to Mitchell Daly at second base.

Daly was an active defender for the entire evening, especially during Wenzel’s time on the mound. Wenzel offered a steady mix of sinkers and breaking balls, constantly forcing Bobcat hitters to put the ball on the ground. They often found their way to the right side of the infield, and play after play, Daly was up for the defensive challenge.

Even former Texas State head coach Ty Harrington, who was on the television call for ESPN+, noted how much Daly had an impact on the game with his eight assists despite his 0-for-4 night at the plate with three strikeouts.

Wenzel entered the game in a tough spot but that was the only difficulty he faced throughout the evening. After issuing the RBI walk, he retired 10 straight on his way to the win.

His effort was needed due to the two-run margin the Longhorns held until the five-run seventh. After Zubia’s single and Ardoin’s double, Eric Kennedy almost knelt to one knee during his swing to pull a ball through the right side to bring in Ardoin for the Longhorns’ eighth run.

Texas State added a run in the bottom of the seventh off Tanner Witt after a one-out single from Cameron Gibbons and a two-out triple from Justin Thompson, but couldn’t threaten the Longhorns over the eighth and ninth innings.

Jared Southard stranded one in the eighth, allowing just a single. Aaron Nixon finished the ninth with a 4-6-3 double play started by Daly.

The win in San Marcos, where Texas had struggled to win tight games decided in the later innings in recent years, puts the Longhorns above .500 with a 5-4 record following an 0-3 start to the season.

Texas’ travels to Houston this week for a three-game set against the Cougars.