Texas uses walks, timely hitting to top UT-Pan American

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Junior pitcher Corey Knebel threw two perfect innings to conclude the game against Texas-Pan American.  The closer returned to play after a suspension last week for violating team rules.  

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Head coach Augie Garrido knows that the Longhorns need to win their games against Big 12 opponents in mass in order to have a chance at returning to the postseason.

That said, Garrido did not downplay the significance of Texas’ gritty 6-1 victory in a sloppy matchup against The University of Texas-Pan American in terms of improving his team’s attitude for the home stretch. 

“When you win, the next day at practice is a lot different than when you lose,” Garrido said. “The worst thing about losing is how it puts that dark cloud over everything. As long as you are playing, you have to know that there is realistic opportunity [to win].”

The Longhorns picked up 12 walks in the game, including six in a three-run third inning. Brooks Marlow and Ben Johnson each picked up an RBI in the frame on bases-loaded walks, and Ty Marlow scored on a balk by Kyle Tokunaga.

Mark Payton kicked off the scoring for the Longhorns in the first inning with an RBI single to score Weston Hall. Texas would also score runs in the fourth and eighth innings on a pair of run-scoring hits by Ty Marlow. 

Ty Marlow said that his team was eager to get back on the field following a tough series loss in Lawrence against Kansas. 

“After a big loss at Kansas, we just came out here wanting to prove something,” Marlow said. “We just have to take the Tuesday-game mindset into the weekend games and we should be fine.“

Right-hander Josh Urban was strong in his second start, as he limited the Broncs to one run and while striking out three in 4.2 innings to pick up his first win. Travis Duke pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out two while allowing just one hit. 

After serving a suspension over the weekend for a violation of team rules, closer Corey Knebel returned to pitch a pair of perfect innings to finish the game. Following the game, Knebel said that he was happy to move on from the suspension and believes that it is something that he can learn from. 

“I’m very glad to put it behind me,” Knebel said. “I’m glad that everything’s OK now. I definitely took it as a life lesson. I felt like it might have been needed. I took it in a good way.”

With the win, the Longhorns improved to 20-15 on the season and 16-6 at home. Texas has not lost a Tuesday night game since March 19 when they fell on the road to Houston. 

The Longhorns will look to improve their 4-8 conference record and pick up their first Big 12 series victory of the year this weekend when they host West Virginia in a three-game set. The series opener is scheduled to begin Friday at 7 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.