On what was most likely his final start at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, senior Parker French delivered one of his best performances of the season. French threw 7.2 innings on a career high 131 pitches, allowing seven hits and walking three while striking out seven and stranding 10 in Texas’ 3-0 victory over Texas Tech. With the win, UT improved their record to 24-22 and are now 9-10 in Big 12 play.
Texas scored all three of its runs in the fifth inning. Senior Collin Shaw began the inning by stretching a single into a double. Then, Shaw scored thanks to an error on the third baseman after a bunt single from sophomore Zane Gurwitz. The second run came when freshman Michael Cantu reached on an another infield single allowing senior Ben Johnson to score. Texas’ third and final run came when freshman Joe Baker hit a sacrifice fly to left that brought home sophomore Tres Barrera.
French lowered his season ERA to 2.34 with his scoreless outing. He began the seventh inning with 111 pitches and began the eighth 118. He retired the first two batters before walking the third, and pitching coach Skip Johnson made the decision to pull French from the game. French received a huge ovation from the 5,261 in attendance, and offered his thanks to the fans during his curtain call.
French was relieved by senior Kirby Bellow who walked the only batter he faced. Bellow was replaced by senior Ty Marlow, who retired the only batter he faced. Freshman Connor Mayes, who is Sunday’s scheduled starter, closed out the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Head coach Augie Garrido said that his senior starter put another great chapter into his Longhorn carreer.
“The story line for me, of course, is Parker French giving us the pitching performance that he gave us,” Garrido said. “The big inning was the bases loaded and nobody out, and getting out of that with a zero. That was huge.”
Garrido offered more words of praise for French later.
“I think you put another positive paragraph added on to his legacy at the University of Texas with this game today,” Garridosaid. “He’s done a lot of great things academically and athletically here. He’s a very special person. Tonight was very special at a time when his team needed him most and his university needed him most.”
French said that his final start was everything that he expected it to be.
“It was awesome, a dream come true, a blessing, all those clichés,” French said. “It was fun to go out and compete one last time at the Disch for all these fans and my family.”
He said that he needed to convince Skip Johnson to let him stay in one more inning. He was able to go 1.2 more.
“I felt like I had something left the whole time,” French said.With how I work in the offseason, I prepare myself to be able to throw 100-plus pitches. I did have to lobby for the seventh inning. Luckily that was the quickest inning of the night. I looked really smart on that one. I really wanted this moment. I wasn’t ready to stop competing.”
Finally, French said that his curtain call was the perfect end for his career at home.
“I’ve always thought it’s unfair that the hitters get curtain calls,” French said. “I told some of the guys that was one of the coolest moments in my life. Very emotional, but it was awesome. It shows the support and love from the fans, and my family as well. This is how you want to go out.”
Texas tries to win the series tomorrow with junior Ty Culbrethon the mound at 2 p.m.