AUSTIN — Following a dominating series sweep over Minnesota, No. 8 Texas returned to the field on Wednesday after its game against UTPA was postponed from Tuesday.
Texas came out as cold as the previous night’s freezing weather in the first half of the game, but rallied to defeat UTPA, 5-4 thanks to a walk-off single by freshman third baseman Bret Boswell. Here’s the box score.
The first four innings saw sloppy hitting, pitching, and defense from the home side. Texas committed three errors in the game, including two from junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa. Freshman Connor Mayes was run off after 2.2 innings and allowing four runs. The Horns also failed to get any offense going in the first four innings against Broncs starter Parker Gallegos, whose fastball topped out at around 80 MPH. Gallegos forced Longhorn hitters to put the ball in play, and his defense backed him up for most of the night.
It was not until they were facing a 4-0 deficit that UT put its first run on the board thanks to an RBI single by Hinojosa. Texas would not score again until the 7th, when senior Collin Shaw doubled to deep left-center to bring home one. UTPA replaced Gallegos, who went 6.1 IP on 111 pitches, and Texas began to face pitch speeds closer to something they were used to seeing.
Boswell doubled in the 8th to bring home senior Brooks Marlow and cut the deficit to one. Then, after failing to put a squeeze down and facing a 1-2 count, sophomore Zane Gurwitz singled under the shortstop’s glove to score Boswell and tie the game at 4-all.
UTPA did not go down quietly in the 9th, as junior Ty Culbreth got himself into a jam after walking one and giving up a single to another. The Broncs had a man on third and one out when they fouled off an attempted squeeze by their 3-hole hitter on a 2-2 count. With two runners in scoring position, Culbreth then forced a fly out to end the inning and give the Horns a chance to win it in the 9th.
After Shaw reached base on a walk, he was moved to second on a Hinojosa sacrifice, and to third by a Marlow sacrifice fly. Boswell came to the plate with the opportunity to win the game, and on a full count, he delivered with a single past the shortstop’s glove for the win. Culbreth earned his second win of the season in relief.
Head coach Augie Garrido said that these types of things were not unusual for Boswell.
“He’s a big-game player and a big-game performer,” Garridosaid. “He’s got the most even keeled personality you will ever meet, and it serves him well in big moments.”
Garrido said that his team had to scramble against a UTPA team that came to Austin prepared to win.
“I think [UTPA] actually came in with a better spirit about playing hard and playing as a team,” he said. “That shows how important teamwork is in this game. What it took was for [Texas] to really take their mind off of the results and get back to the process of seeing the ball and hitting it.”
Boswell said that after a questionable 3-1 call the previous pitch, he was still confident that he would deliver.
“I just had to get back in there,” Boswell said. “I thought I was going to get a hit. I was looking to go up the middle and I put a swing on it.”
Texas takes on San Diego in a 3-game set at home this weekend.