Texas snaps seven-game losing streak

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Freshman pitcher Connor Mayes got a pair of big outs to help Texas escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and propel Texas to its first win since March 22.
Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

Texas was in desperate need of win when the Shockers loaded the bases late in the game with one out. 

Freshman pitcher Connor Mayes was on the mound as the Longhorns (18–15, 5–4 Big 12) clung to a one-run lead. 

But, with a shallow fly and a groundout, Mayes came up big as Texas finally ended its seven-game skid with a 6–4 win over Wichita State on Tuesday night.

“It’s great for something to go right for us, especially after the past couple of weekends,” second baseman Brooks Marlow said. “I think it’s just a step forward for us and it’s going to make us that much better.”

The Texas offense had struggled over the seven-game losing streak, but it came up big against the Shockers.

“It was important to see the team much more relaxed,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “We looked much better tonight as a team.”

The Longhorns struck early, taking their first opening-frame lead since their series finale against Kansas State on March 22.

In the opening frame, freshman shortstop Joe Baker led off with a walk, which was followed by a Shocker error on a sacrifice bunt that allowed senior second baseman Brooks Marlow to reach first safely. Baker came around to score on an RBI fielder’s choice by junior left fielder Ben Johnson. 

Texas added another run on a double by sophomore third baseman C.J Hinojosa.

The offense continued its early onslaught in the second inning. Sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz began the Longhorn threat with a one-out walk, Baker followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and Marlow pushed the Texas lead to 3–0 with an RBI single. Sophomore catcher Tres Barrera extended the lead to 4–0 with a  sacrifice fly.

The Shockers fought back in the fourth, when freshman designated hitter Gunnar Troutwine hit an RBI double to cut the Texas lead to 4–2.

But Texas answered in the bottom of the frame as Marlow recorded another RBI single to put Texas up 5-2.

A two-run Wichita State homer in the fifth cut the deficit to one.

After the Shocker homer, both offenses went cold until Wichita State loaded the bases in the eighth.

Texas added an insurance run in the ninth on Baker’s third hit of the game.

Senior reliever Ty Culdreth closed the game out in the ninth and secured their first win since March 24. Freshman pitcher Jake McKenzie, who came on in relief in the fourth for sophomore starter Josh Sawyer, picked up the win.

“The best part of today was just getting that win,” Baker said. “We really needed that to finally get that first win out of the way and get that streak ended. It was a good win.”

Correction: Due to an editing mistake, an earlier version of this story had Ty Marlow, instead of Ty Culdreth, closing out the game in the ninth inning.