The Texas Longhorns returned to the friendly confines of UFCU Disch-Falk Field Tuesday night and shut out the Dallas Baptist Patriots behind the arm of Austin Dicharry.
The Longhorns were looking to bounce back after a tough week that saw them lose four games in a row and the last three by a total of three runs. The team took a loss in Houston to the Rice Owls and was swept by the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence. Freshman right hander Austin Dicharry was the man for the job Tuesday, playing the role of stopper and ending the team’s losing streak.
“This was a game we needed,” said head coach Augie Garrido. “We got some quality pitching from Austin tonight and this gives us something very positive.”
Dicharry took the mound for the Horns and earned his first collegiate victory by shutting out the Patriots for 7.1 innings. He struck out eight while allowing only four hits and one walk and seemed to get stronger as the game went on.
“I think there in the fourth or fifth I really found my rhythm,” said Dicharry. “That’s when I was really able to make the pitches I was trying to make.”
The Longhorns got on the board and scored what would turn out to be the game’s decisive run in the third inning. Junior Kyle Lusson drew a walk and was sacrificed to second base by Brandon Loy. Lusson then stole third base and was driven in on a line drive single into left field from Michael Torres.
Lusson, who had the start in center field, played the whole game without an official at bat going 0-0 with two walks, a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base.
The Longhorns would add to their lead in the seventh inning. Russell Moldenhauer reached on an infield single right up the middle and was replaced by pinch runner Tim Maitland at first base. Kevin Keyes, who had struck out twice on the evening already, came up and launched a double off the wall in left centerfield, driving in Maitland from first.
“The first two at bats I was really long to the ball so I was just trying to cut my stride down and make everything shorter,” said Keyes on his at bat in the seventh. “I was looking for a ball up, he hung a curveball, and I put it in the gap.”
The Longhorns seemed to have a tough time with Patriots starter Victor Black early on but were able to string some hits together in key situations in the final innings.
“That was probably one of the smartest games we’ve played all year,” said Garrido. “We were facing a really good pitcher but we were able to make the necessary adjustments as the game went on, shortening our strides, being able to move our runners when we needed to.”
The Longhorns added their final run in the eighth inning on a single from Brandon Loy, driving in sophomore catcher Cameron Rupp.
Keith Shinaberry and Chance Ruffin completed the shutout for the Longhorns as they improved to (15-6) on the season.
Texas will resume play this weekend with a three-game series against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Game time for Friday is set for 6 p.m.