Late in Friday night’s game against West Virginia, the Longhorns were down but not out.
Heading into the seventh inning, Texas trailed 6-3 and needed a spark to get itself back into contention. A hit-by-pitch on Masen Hibbeler did just that.
The Longhorns went on to score six runs in the top of the inning and never looked back after capturing the lead. Texas then tacked on a few more runs to propel the team to an 11-6 victory over the Mountaineers in Morgantown.
The Texas offense had not only one of its better offensive nights on the road but one of its better nights of the entire season. The team recorded 11 runs on 15 hits and added four walks on the night.
Texas (30–15, 12–4 Big 12) was led by sophomore infielders David Hamilton and Ryan Reynolds, who went for seven combined hits and six RBIs. Junior catcher DJ Petrinsky also played a large role for the Texas offense, with two RBIs on two hits.
Texas starting pitcher junior Nolan Kingham struggled in his start on Friday night, letting up five runs over five innings of work. He was pulled in favor of sophomore reliever Bryce Elder. Elder, who was unable to record an out, allowed one run on one hit in two batters faced.
Freshman reliever Matt Whelan then took over for Elder and recorded an almost-flawless four innings, in what may have been the best performance of his young career. Whelan faced a total of 12 batters and did not allow a hit or run.
Whelan came into the game with only eight appearances and a 5.52 ERA. To whom much is given, much is expected. But nobody, not even Texas head coach David Pierce, could’ve expected Whelan’s dominance over the last four innings.
The Longhorns face West Virginia in the second game of the series 3 p.m. Saturday at Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown.