Baseball

Texas 11 BYU 1: Madden dazzles over seven innings, helping Texas take series

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Sophomore Ty Madden flummoxed BYU batters in all 7.0 innings he pitched, including 6.0 innings of no-hit ball.

According to his head coach, Madden’s victory wasn’t a spontaneous event that occurred at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Friday night. It was something Madden made happen in the days, weeks, and months leading up to his second start of the 2021 season.

“He’s the best preparer I’ve ever seen in 34 years,” Texas’ David Pierce said. “From how he works in the offseason, to his roll outs, to his stretch, to his yoga, to his strength and conditioning. He’s very precise on his throwing plan. Everything that he does has a purpose, and that’s a coach’s dream.”

Madden’s preparation for his start didn’t begin early in the week after a disappointing opening series in Arlington. It goes further than preseason camp, further than fall ball.

Madden utilized every day following the shutdown of the 2020 college baseball season due to the coronavirus. He said following the game he threw around 80 innings throughout the spring, summer, and fall, including simulated innings back home against people he called “pretty good hitters.”

The offseason effort has him feeling like he is exactly where he should be when so many other pitchers around the country are struggling to get going. “I got six months to just truly work on my craft, get stronger, and develop,” he said.

Madden surrendered one hit in his 7.0 innings of work along with one walk and one hit batsman. He struck out a career-high 11, giving Cougar hitters a steady dose of 96+ mph fastballs and biting sliders. He had all the run support he needed after the first two innings, eventually earning the win in Texas’ 11-1 victory.

Only one of the 24 BYU hitters Madden faced worked a three-ball count. He touched 98 mph in the sixth inning, a frame he needed just six pitches to complete. BYU saw a heavy dose of fastballs and sliders, his two main pitches. They saw a changeup, his third pitch, twice. He rarely needed it because of how effective he was with his primary stuff.

“We worked hard this week on getting the fastball down and landing sliders,” Madden said. “I thought I did a good job of that. I didn’t feel overly live. Just kind of staying in my legs and when I tend to do that, it tends to come out good.”

Madden was perfect through 3.1 innings before hitting a batter. That batter did not move past first as Madden retired the next two Cougars he faced. He struck out the side in the fifth, then forced a groundout and two flyouts in the sixth.

Mitch McIntrye led off the top of the seventh inning and pulled a dribbler to Cam Williams at third. It seemed like an easy play, but Williams couldn’t get a handle on it. McIntrye reached base, and the no hitter was gone. That didn’t prevent Madden from continuing his strong night. He struck out three of the next four hitters to complete his outing.

He received plenty of run support throughout the evening. After a lethargic start to the season at the plate, Texas knocked in seven runs in the first two innings, none more entertaining than the first three.

With two on and two out in the first, Zach Zubia stepped into the batter’s box. He lined a base hit to center field that snuck under the glove of a diving McIntyre. Mike Antico scored, as did Trey Faltine.

Zubia is known more for his power than his speed. He had 19 career home runs entering the game. All of them went over the fence. No. 20 was an inside the park home run.

“We can all go to our grave knowing that Zach Zubia can score on an inside the parker,” Pierce said. “That’s how I look at it. It was worth watching no matter what.”

Zubia’s home run, his first of the year, opened the floodgates for the Longhorns. Texas scored three in the first, four in the second, three in the sixth, and one more in the seventh for good measure. Zubia’s home run netted him three RBI. Williams also added three RBI, two off a ground rule double and one from a sixth inning ground out.

Ivan Melendez led the way with four RBI off two singles, one in the second and one in the sixth. Douglas Hodo added the final run for the Longhorns with a seventh inning sacrifice fly.

BYU’s lone run came when the game was well out of hand in the ninth inning.

Texas looks to sweep the series Saturday with Tristan Stevens on the mound.

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