It’s been 41 years since UT-Pan American defeated Texas, and after Wednesday the Broncs will have to wait another year to break that streak.
The Longhorns defeated them, 9-5 in a game that was defined by ups and downs.
The game started out with a definite upward spike for the Longhorns, as they pushed across four runs in the first.
The inning was kick started by a Mark Payton hit by pitch and after a Jordan Etier out, Erich Weiss reached with a walk. Then the hottest hitter in the lineup, Jonathan Walsh, stepped to the plate and delivered, hitting a laser into right field that went for a triple and scored both runners.
“I just took a deep breath and looked for a ball up in the zone,” Walsh said. “I like to swing earlier in the count because it allows me to take a more aggressive swing, and he threw me a pitch I could handle.”
However, from there things took a turn for the worse for Texas.
In the top of the second the Broncs pushed a run across against starter Dillon Peters. But it was in the third inning when the team ran into real difficulties.
Freshman Ricky Jacquez came into the game for the Longhorns and he struggled from the beginning. He allowed two quick hits to the top of the Broncs order before retiring a batter. That relief from the out didn’t last long though; on the second pitch of the next at bat, UTPA’s second baseman Vincent Mejia sent a rope over the right field fence to tie the game.
After the homer the Broncs added another run in the inning to jump ahead of Texas 5-4.
The next frame of baseball turned out to be an extinguisher of sorts for the team. In the bottom half of the third they tied the game up at five all. But more importantly, in the top half of the fourth, Hoby Milner came into the game in relief, and pitched so well that he ended up finishing the game allowing only one run.
“You see what quality hitting can do to quality hitting, it was a masterful job,” said head coach Augie Garrido.
Milner’s six quality innings of relief allowed the Longhorns offense to slowly crawl its way ahead in the game.
In the sixth the Longhorns loaded the bases with no outs, and just managed to get the winning run across when Etier hit into a 4-6-3 double play allowing the runner to score from third.
From there Texas and UTPA traded scoreless innings until the eighth, when Walsh’s bat struck again. He snuck a line drive over the center field fence for a three run homer, which was good for his fifth RBI of the day and raised his team leading batting average to .380.
The win didn’t come easy, but the Longhorns knew with the way the offense has been performing that they would find a way to pull out this game.
“We played every inning like the first inning and we knew it’d come around the way we’re hitting the ball right now,” said catcher Jacob Felts.
Printed on Thursday, March 29, 2012 as: Texas offense continues to lead team