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Home Runs, Dominant Pitching Leads Texas To Series Sweep Of Cal Poly




By Joey Barrett


After an opening weekend of being tested by one California school, the 13th ranked Texas Longhorns took care of business against another California school in the Cal Poly Mustangs in convincing fashion. This is how things went down this weekend at UFCU-Disch Falk Field.


Game 1 (Friday): Longhorns 2 Mustangs 0

Lebarron Johnson Jr put together a dominating performance on the mound to give Texas the 2-0 series-opening win, throwing eight shutout innings while striking out eight and only giving up two hits.


After starting the game with four relatively quick innings where both teams combined for two hits and six baserunners, the Longhorns broke through and scored in the bottom of the fifth by way of a Jared Thomas infield single that drove in freshman second baseman Dee Kennedy.


The Longhorns then added on another run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Peyton Powell, driving in Thomas who doubled himself in the previous at bat. Redshirt sophomore right hander Gage Boehm came in in the ninth to record the save, his first as a Longhorn.


For the Mustangs, catcher Ryan Stafford had two hits while outfielder Jake Steels also tallied a hit as well. For the Longhorns, Thomas had two hits while Powell, Jalin Flores, and Rylan Galvan each had a hit.



Game 2 (Saturday): Longhorns 6 Mustangs 0

Picking up where they left off from Friday night’s stellar performance on the mound, the Longhorns clinched a series victory with a 6-0 win over the Mustangs on Saturday.

            

Texas opened up the scoring in the bottom of the third after Powell drove in Schuessler to make it 1-0 Longhorns. Max Belyeu and Thomas both hit opposite field 2-Run homers in the fourth and seventh innings respectively, which extended the Longhorns’ lead to 5-0. Texas then added on another run in the bottom of the eighth after Jalin Flores scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0 Longhorns.

             

With one more opportunity at the plate, the Mustangs put on some pressure but ended up stranding two runs in the top of the ninth, giving the Longhorns a second straight shutout victory over Cal Poly.

             

At the plate, Texas was led by Thomas and Schuessler who both had two hits on the day. Junior second baseman Ryan Fenn had two hits for the Mustangs while Steels, senior shortstop Aaron Casillas, and junior outfielder Liam MacDonald each had a hit as well.

             

On the mound, Charlie Hurley continued what Johnson began the night before for the Longhorns, earning the win after throwing six shutout innings while striking out three batters and only allowing four hits. Redshirt sophomore right hander Grant Fontenot and David Shaw preserved the shutout in their three combined innings of relief. For the Mustangs, junior right hander Steven Brooks went 5.1 innings and struck out five batters.

             

This win makes the Longhorns 5-1 on the young season, while the loss drops Cal Poly to 2-4.



Game 3 (Sunday): Longhorns 7 Mustangs 0

Continuing on a weekend-long trend of excellent pitching and home run hitting, the Longhorns not only completed a series sweep with Sunday’s 7-0 win but also went about without giving up a single run to the Mustangs in any of the 27 innings pitched in this weekend’s series.

             

At the plate, Texas was carried by four home runs with two being hit by Powell in the third (a solo shot) and seventh innings (a 2-run homer), his third and fourth of the season. Belyeu hit his second in as many days with a solo shot to left in the sixth while Flores hit his second of the year in the seventh.

             

In the eighth, the Longhorns tacked on two runs on a passed ball that scored Thomas and an RBI single by Galvan that drove in Flores. Easton Tumis then sealed the deal in the top of the ninth by throwing the Longhorns’ 27th shutout frame of the weekend to give Texas the 7-0 win.

             

Five Longhorn hitters recorded multiple hits on the day with Powell leading the way with four followed by Thomas with three (including a double). Galvan, Belyeu, and freshman designated hitter Casey Borba had two hits apiece while Flores had one hit with the aforementioned home run. The Mustangs did have nine hits on the day with Steels recording three hits while junior outfielder Casey Murray Jr having two of his own. Fenn, Stafford, Casillas, and junior outfielder Cam Hoiland each had a hit for Cal Poly as well.

             

Cody Howard made his first start for the Longhorns and got the win after throwing five shutout innings. In relief, Max Grubbs and Boehm each threw an inning and Tumis threw the final two to preserve the shutout for Texas. Senior right hander Ryan Baum started for the Mustangs and went 3.2 innings while striking out four batters.



What’s next?

The 6-1 Longhorns play St John’s in a midweek duel at the Disch on Tuesday night before heading to Houston to play in the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park, where they will play the defending national champion LSU Tigers on Friday night, Texas State on Saturday afternoon, and Vanderbilt on Sunday morning. Cal Poly, now 2-5 on the season, return to San Luis Obispo to play host to the Utah Utes in a three-game series beginning on Friday night.


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