AUSTIN — Texas came back from a disappointing weekend sweep at TCU with an offensive explosion while limiting Prairie View A&M to just one hit in a 12-4 victory. Seniors Collin Shaw and Brooks Marlow both homered, and junior Ben Johnson was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, three runs and four stolen bases.
Freshman Jake McKenzie earned his second victory on the season in two innings of relief.
The Longhorns scored in every inning except for the third. They stayed aggressive on the base paths until the game was safely out of reach for the Panthers, going 8-for-9. Texas scored in the first inning when sophomore Zane Gurwitz brought home Johnson with a single. Brooks Marlow then brought home a run with an RBI on a ground out, and freshman Joe Baker brought home the third run of the inning with a single.
In the second, Johnson brought home senior Taylor Stell with a sacrifice fly. Then in the fourth, Johnson brought home another with an RBI single. Shaw brought home the seventh run in the fifth inning on an RBI single, one of his two on the night.
In the sixth, sophomore Tres Barrera brought home Johnson on an RBI single. Baker brought home the ninth run on his second RBI of the night. Shaw hit a solo homer in the seventh, and Brooks Marlow followed that up with a two-run shot in the eighth.
Sophomore Josh Sawyer got the start for Texas. He was charged with all four Panther runs in three innings of no-hit work.
He was replaced by fellow sophomore Jon Malmin, who failed to retire a batter. McKenzie worked the next two innings for the victory, walking just one. Junior Travis Duke, freshman Kyle Johnston and seniors Kirby Bellow and Ty Marlow worked one inning each, with Johnston surrendering the only Panther hit.
Head coach Augie Garrido said that the team’s aggressive play on the bases would be something that would continue in the final two conference series.
“We can’t just sit still because then all you do is think about a hit and a hit never produces a run because you’re never in scoring position,” Garrido said. “You have to do something to get movement.”
Garrido also said that the biggest challenge his team has faced is mental rather than physical.
“It’s always about attitude,” he said. “We don’t have a bad attitude. We don’t have dissension. We don’t have conflicts between the coaches, which a lot of times in losing seasons you do. What we have a team that is trying but got caught in the trap of trying to improve their hitting.”
Johnson said that being at the top of the batting order is a challenge he embraces.
“I just try to set the tone early,” he said. “We just wanted to keep aggressive and hopefully that transitions into this weekend.”
Texas begins a conference series with Texas Tech at home this Friday.