The pitcher’s mound saw a combined 15 pitchers between Texas and Arkansas during their second game on Wednesday night. Although some batters left Disch-Falk Field bruised after both teams combined for eight hits by pitches, the Longhorns left with a 7-6 win as well.
“Hey, it’s a win against a quality opponent,” Texas head coach David Pierce said in a postgame interview with Texas Sports. “Finally, we got off the skid against Arkansas and (it) wasn’t pretty, but we got it done and that's all that matters tonight.”
Texas’ bullpens saw a lot of action Wednesday evening. After six pitchers, the Longhorns settled in with Cole Quintanilla and found consistent pitching to get them through the seventh-inning stretch.
In total, the seven Texas pitchers combined for nine hits, eight strikeouts and four walks. Most of them only averaged one inning of play.
“We had to mix and match again tonight, but we wanted to keep many guys fresh, but … that's where we are right now, we’re really not on all cylinders,” Pierce said. “We’re struggling a little bit at home plate, driving the ball, especially with two outs, and that's part of a little lull. Maybe we’re a little tired, but at the same time, we found a way to win the game and that’s all that matters.”
Quintanilla held the Razorbacks and protected the Longhorns 7-5 lead until the ninth inning when he allowed a run with two outs on the count.
Then, with the game inches away from the Razorbacks’ grasp, Quintanilla produced his biggest strikeout of the game and captured the save for the Longhorns, his fourth of the season.
“(Quintanilla) was hot and he threw the ball well, and that's what we needed to do to win the game,” Pierce said.
Arkansas’ pitching looked drastically different on Wednesday night and allowed Texas’ offense to exploit their weakness. Arkansas’ pitching allowed 14 walks and totaled just five strikeouts with eight different pitchers.
However, the Longhorns did not take full advantage of the lackluster Razorback performance as they left 16 batters on base. Yet, it proved to be enough to take down the Arkansas squad.
Down 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning, second baseman Lance Ford wasted no time getting on base for the Longhorns with a single up the middle. Shortstop Masen Hibbeler followed with a single into right field. It wasn’t until outfielder Eric Kennedy was walked that the Longhorns had a bases-loaded situation.
What followed was a hit by a pitch to designated hitter Zach Zubia and a walk by third baseman Ryan Reynolds that gave the Longhorns two runs on the scoreboard.
Texas took the lead in the sixth inning when all nine batters in their lineup had an appearance at the plate.
Down 5-4, a single by Zubia tied the game after outfielder Austin Todd ran home. What followed were back-to-back walks during two bases-loaded situations that gave Texas their final runs of the night.
With a 16–8 record, Texas will be on the road in Fort Worth this weekend as it faces its second Big 12 opponent, No. 22 TCU