No. 19 Texas pounds Texas State on the road, 10-3

Behind an offense that scored 10 runs and 10 hits and a bullpen that pieced things together after southpaw Pete Hansen was forced to make an early exit due to injury, No. 19 Texas jumped on Texas State early and closed the Bobcats out with authority en route to a 10-3 victory at Bobcat Ballpark in San Marcos on Tuesday. Combined with Tuesday’s performance in a 12-1 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, head coach David Pierce’s Longhorns are off to a red-hot start at the plate with 25 hits, including 11 for extra bases, in two games.


Texas (5-4) is over .500 for the first time in 2021 after touching up the Texas State (4-5) pitching staff for a few big run-producing innings. Trey Faltine’s two-run home run in the second inning highlighted a three-run frame for the Longhorns and a 2-for-3 night with four RBI and two runs scored for the freshman shortstop.


The Bobcats got to Hansen (2.1 innings, three hits, two runs, one earned run, two strikeouts, one walk and one wild pitch on 49 pitches) for one run in the home half of the second and were threatening in the third when Hansen left the game due to a shoulder issue. Palmer Wenzel came out of the bullpen cold and fought through a tough inning, getting out of a bases-loaded jam by surrendering only one run and not relinquishing the lead.


Behind a plethora of outstanding defensive plays made at second base by Mitchell Daly, Wenzel cruised the rest of the way to the tune of 3.2 innings of scoreless, no-hit baseball to allow the bats to break the game open in the seventh inning. After right fielder Douglas Hodo (2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base) and first baseman Ivan Melendez (two runs scored) reached on an infield single and a fielding error respectively, a one-out infield single by designated hitter Zach Zubia (2-for-3, RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base) extended the Texas lead to a two-run margin, 4-2.


Faltine was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for catcher Silas Ardoin (2-for-4, three RBI and two runs scored) to deliver the knockout blow. Ardoin’s second run-scoring double of the night cleared the bases and left fielder Eric Kennedy (1-for-4, RBI) singled through the right side of the infield to plate Ardoin and wrap up a five-run frame for the Longhorns.


Faltine added a two-run double in the eighth to close out the scoring. Freshmen Tanner Witt, Jared Southard and Aaron Nixon combined to surrender three hits and one run with one strikeout and two walks over the final three innings to put a bow on a dominating performance over an opponent Pierce said before the game was going to be a good test for his club.


“Texas State is going to be a team that’s going to compete for the Sun Belt, they’re going to have a plus RPI — definitely a top 100 — so if you’re playing a quality team 45 minutes up the road, that works as well,” Pierce said after Tuesday’s win over the Islanders. “They’re tough. They’re going to test us for sure.”


Horns247 followed the action and provided live updates throughout the game.


PREGAME


— The Longhorns are coming off a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in which they pounded out 15 hits, seven of which went for extra bases. Center fielder Mike Antico launched his first home run as a member of the Texas program to highlight a 2-for-5 night with a double in the rout of the Islanders in which he extended his current hitting streak to six games.


— The top three hitters in Wednesday’s lineup — Antico, right fielder Douglas Hodo III and first baseman Ivan Melendez — carrying multi-game hitting streaks into the game. Hodo (2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored on Tuesday) has a five-game hitting streak while Melendez (1-for-4 in the win over the Islanders) has recorded a hit in his last four games.


— Cam Williams, who was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday after going 8-for-18 with eight RBI, three home runs and two doubles in games with Mississippi State (one) and BYU (four), had a five-game hitting streak snapped in Tuesday’s win. With that said, Williams made a couple of tremendous defensive plays at third base and Pierce the ability of the second-year Longhorn who transferred in from San Jacinto College has worked hard to become a complete player.


“I’ll be honest with you, I think he has great hands,” Pierce said. “I hit him fungo every single day. That’s kind of my spot during batting practice and I try to burn him. His reaction and his hands are really, really good. I think the big question mark was his throwing. Can he be consistent with his throwing? He’s proven that he can. He has a lot of pride he puts a lot of time in. He’s going to hit, but to have that luxury to have that defense and that security at third base is big.”


— Pete Hansen (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is going to get the ball for the Longhorns. Velocity is going to be something to watch for Hansen, who dealt with arm issues in the fall and had to pause his preseason preparation twice due to COVID-19 protocols. Pierce said he and the Longhorns were hoping to have Hansen, who was going to slide into the role as a Sunday starter when the 2020 season got wiped out, up and running at full strength this week after a three-inning, 50-pitch outing with no hits allowed, two strikeouts and two walks in the 3-1 win over BYU last Wednesday.


“I think he’s getting closer,” Pierce said. “The thing is, it’s not only pitching, but you saw him rusty fielding his position, we saw him rusty on his picks and so he’s just got to get into competition and get a little bit more active doing that on the side in his side work.”


Here’s the rest of the lineup for Texas:


1. Mike Antico (.235) — CF

2. Douglas Hodo (.400) — RF

3. Ivan Melendez (.320) — 1B

4. Cam Williams (.269) — 3B

5. Zach Zubia (.348) — DH

6. Trey Faltine (.167) — SS

7. Silas Ardoin (.250) — C

8. Eric Kennedy (.152) — LF

9. Mitchell Daly (.500) — 2B


FIRST INNING



Mike Antico—who hit his first bomb last night—leads us off and we’re underway in San Marcos! #HookEm pic.twitter.com/DyObwSsJCN


— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 4, 2021

— Hodo gets hit by a pitch with one out to put the first runner on base for the Longhorns. Antico led off the game by flying out to left-center.


— Hodo steals second on a strikeout by Melendez. That’s where he ends the inning as Williams goes down on strikes to Texas State starting pitcher Cameron Bush (0-0, 3.68).


— Hansen thought he was out of the inning with what looked like a third strike to Texas State left fielder Will Hollis. Hollis stays alive, works a full count and drives a two-out single to center to keep the Bobcats alive in the home half.


— A two-out single through the left side of the infield by second baseman Jaxon Williams comes on the 20th pitch of the inning by Hansen. The Bobcats are making good contact off of the Texas southpaw.


— Hansen gets Jose Gonzalez, the designated hitter for the Bobcats, to ground out to Faltine to end the first. It’s a 24-pitch inning for Hansen with one strikeout and two hits allowed. Texas 0, Texas State 0


SECOND INNING



The Kid got all of this one. #HookEm | @TFaltine pic.twitter.com/abBmcbQPMn


— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 4, 2021

— After Zubia leads off the inning by getting a sinking line drive to fall into left for a base hit, Faltine brings home with one swing of the bat. Faltine turns on one, sending it down the left-field line for a two-run home run and the first lead of the game for the Longhorns, 2-0.


— Texas is still doing damage in the second inning with no outs. Ardoin hammers a ball off of the wall in left-center for a stand-up double and Kennedy gets hit with a pitch in the foot to put two on for Daly.


— Daly puts down one of the best bunts of the season for the Longhorns. Ardoin and Kennedy advance easily and the only play for Bush is to get Daly at first base.


— With one down, Antico’s groundout to second brings Ardoin home. Kennedy is at third with Hodo at the plate at Texas on top of Texas State, 3-0.


— Bush sits Hodo down on strikes to end the inning. It’s a three-hit, three-run second inning for the Longhorns with a man left on base.


— Texas State responds quickly thanks to Wesley Faison, who leads off the inning by lofting one to left-center. Antico is unable to make the play against the wall and Faizon has a triple.


— With one out, right fielder Isaiah Ortega-Jones scores Faizon on a groundout to third. The Bobcats are on the board, but the bases are empty with two away in the second.


— Hansen gets shortstop Cameron Gibbons to pop out to second to end the inning. It’s one run on one hit for Texas State, but Hansen (three hits and one run allowed with two strikeouts on 35 pitches, 22 of which have been strikes) minimizes the damage after surrendering the triple to open the inning. Texas 3, Texas State 1


THIRD INNING


— Zubia and Faltine draw back-to-back walks with two outs to provide a spark, but they end the inning stranded after Bush strikes out Ardoin. The fifth strikeout of the night for Bush (three runs allowed on three hits with two walks on 62 pitches) ends the third inning for the Longhorns.


— Hansen comes out of the game with one out in the third after issuing a walk and allowing a runner to advance on a wild pitch. Palmer Wenzel comes into the game cold out of the bullpen.


— The Bobcats draw a pair of two-out walks off of Wenzel, the second of which to Faizon comes with the bases loaded to bring in a run. Texas State cuts the Texas lead to a one-run margin, 3-2, with catcher Tucker Redden coming to the plate.


— An infield grounder by Redden is picked up by Daly, who makes a nice defensive play to record the final out of the inning. Wenzel works out of the jam in an inning in which the Bobcats will leave the bases loaded after one run, no hits and one Longhorn error. Texas 3, Texas State 2


FOURTH INNING


— Antico and Hodo draw two-out walks, which prompts Trout to make a pitching change. Bush’s night is done after 74 pitches and right-hander Austin Smith is coming out of the bullpen to keep the Longhorns off of the board.


— Smith strikes out Melendez to get out of the inning. Texas strands two runners and comes up empty in the fourth, unable to build on a one-run lead over Texas State, 3-2.



A 1??2??3?? 4th for @PalmerWenzel and we head to the 5th with the Horns up, 3-2! #HookEm pic.twitter.com/kenB50s43k


— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 4, 2021

— Wenzel retires the Bobcats in order in the fourth. Texas 3, Texas State 2


FIFTH INNING


— Williams leads off the inning with a stand-up double, but that’s all for the Longhorns in the fifth. The hit is significant though because it’s the first for Texas since Ardoin’s double in the second inning.


— Wenzel works a 1-2-3 fifth with Daly starting the inning with yet another outstanding defensive play. Wenzel has retired seven in a row to help the Longhorns take a one-run lead to the sixth. Texas 3, Texas State 2


SIXTH INNING


— The Longhorns are retired in order. Smith’s one-out strikeout of Daly is the eighth for Texas through six innings.


— Make it another three-up, three-down inning for Wenzel. He’s retired 10 Bobcat hitters in a row while throwing 3.2 innings of no-hit ball with one strikeout and two walks. Texas 3, Texas State 2


SEVENTH INNING


— Hodo opens the inning with an infield single and Melendez reaches on Justin Thompson’s fielding error at third base. Texas has runners at the corners with nobody out.


— At the end of a lengthy at-bat with one out, Zubia puts one in play in Thompson’s area. He’s unable to try and get Hodo breaking from home plate and the pump fake allows Zubia to reach base with an RBI infield single and extend the Texas lead to a two-run margin, 4-2. It’s two on with one out for Faltine, who’s facing Texas State’s Reece Gould, who entered the game after Melendez reached on the error by Thompson.



SILAS! ARDOIN!

Bases loaded double for @SilasArdoin4 and the Horns lead 7-2! #HookEm pic.twitter.com/nVE8cWNi8Y


— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 4, 2021

— After Faltine gets hit by a pitch, Ardoin comes through and delivers a massive blow by smashing a double to left-center. Ardoin’s second run-scoring double of the night clears the bases and puts the Longhorns up by five runs, 7-2.


— The onslaught continues thanks to Kennedy singling into right field. Ardoin scores and the Longhorns build an 8-2 lead over Texas State.


— A strikeout by Daly and a flyout to left by Antico ends a five-run, four-inning for the Longhorns with one Bobcat error helping Texas pour it on in a huge seventh to build a six-run lead over Texas State, 8-2.


— Tanner Witt makes his fourth appearance of the season in relief of Wenzel. After working through the mess on the bases in the third, Wenzel fired 3.2 innings of no-hit, shutout baseball with two walks and one strikeout on 45 pitches, an outing where he retired the last 10 Bobcats he faced.


— A one-out single by Gibbons breaks up a stretch of 11 Texas State hitters in a row retired by the Longhorns. It’s the fourth hit of the night for the Bobcats.


— Thompson makes up for his rough top half of the inning in the field by taking Witt the other way and getting one to drop into right field. Thompson’s hit goes all the way to the wall, resulting in a two-out triple to cut into the Texas lead with Texas State trailing the Longhorns, 8-3.


— Hollis flies out to right to end the inning. Texas 8, Texas State 3



Huge inning for your Horns, y’all.

At the stretch in San Marcos, it’s 8??-2?? Texas!#HookEm pic.twitter.com/QtXt9D6cHc


— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 4, 2021

EIGHTH INNING


— Texas State lefty Wes Engle begins the inning on the mound for the Bobcats. Engle walks Melendez after striking out Hodo and walks Zubia after Williams moves Melendez to second on a groundout to first base.


— Zubia is the last Texas batter Engle will face. Trout goes to the bullpen and Triston Dixon becomes the sixth pitcher for the Bobcats in the game.


— A wild pitch by Dixon on a 1-2 offering to Faltine advances the Longhorn runners into scoring position. On the next pitch, Faltine brings them in by lining a single to center, putting Texas on top of Texas State, 10-3.


— Ardoin draws a two-out walk, but Texas strands two runners with Dixon getting Kennedy to strike out looking. The Longhorns score two runs on one hit to extend their lead over the Bobcats heading into the home half, 10-3.


— Jared Southard is out of the bullpen to take over for Witt. In an 11-pitch outing, Witt allowed two hits and one run while striking out two Bobcats.


— Southard works around a one-out single by Gonzalez to keep the Bobcats off of the scoreboard in the eighth. The Longhorns are headed to the plate in the ninth with a seven-run lead. Texas 10, Texas State 3


NINTH INNING


— Hodo’s second hit of the game, a two-out single to right, is all for the Longhorns in the ninth. Aaron Nixon is on to work the ninth with Texas leading Texas State, 10-3.


— The defense behind Nixon erases a one-out walk with a 4-6-3 double play to end the game. Nothing remotely close to drama in the ninth for the Longhorns, who’ve won five of six since starting the season 0-3.


FINAL: Texas 10, Texas State




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