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Texas Rides Late Inning Rallies To Take Series Over Houston

By Joey Barrett

In a series that consisted of a bevy of offensive fireworks, the Texas Longhorns came into Darryl and Lori Schroeder Park and overcame many moments of adversity to take the series against the Houston Cougars. Here is a recap of everything that went down this weekend.

Game 1 (Friday): Cougars 9 Longhorns 1

The Cougars opened the series in explosive fashion on Friday by hitting five home runs along with pitchers Owen Woodward and Cade Citelli giving up only two hits en route to a 9-1 victory.

Houston started the scoring in the second when Harold Coll scored on a wild pitch. The Cougars would then make it a 3-0 ballgame in the fourth thanks to a two-run homer by Cary Arbolida.


Will Gasparino not only gave the Longhorns their first hit in the fifth but also their only run as well when he hit a solo shot to left. Houston would then respond in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of solo homers by Jonathan French and Anthony Tulimero to increase their lead to 5-1.

Arbolida and Tulimero would then each homer again in the sixth and eighth innings respectively, both being two-run shots, and the Cougars would then coast from there and win 9-1 after the Longhorns only recorded one hit after Gasparino’s home run.


Houston recorded eleven hits on the night with Tulimero leading the way with three and Coll and Arbolida each having two. Jalin Flores was the other Longhorn that recorded a hit.

Owen Woodward made the start for Houston and struck out ten batters in 4.2 innings before leaving in the fifth after sustaining an elbow injury in the middle of throwing a pitch. Cade Citelli, Cougars’ original Saturday starter, came in and finished the game in relief of Woodward and got the win. Max Grubbs made his first Friday night start of the season for Texas but gave up five runs in five innings while taking the loss.

Game 2 (Saturday): Longhorns 6 Cougars 5

Dee Kennedy’s two late-inning homers propelled the Longhorns to a 6-5 win on Saturday in a ballgame that was very back-and-forth in nature.

Kimble Schuessler drove in a run in the first on a single and in the third on a double and then later scored on a sac fly by Max Belyeu to give Texas the 3-0 lead. Houston then put up three runs of their own in the bottom of the third by way of hits by Tulimero and Ace Reece that drove in one and two runs respectively to tie things up at three apiece. 

In the fifth, Kennedy and Schuessler would both hit solo homers to put the Longhorns up 5-3. The Cougars would again tie things up in the seventh with a pair of solo shots themselves by Cody DeJesus and Tulimero, the latter’s third home run of the series.

Kennedy would then put Texas ahead for good in the ninth with his second home run of the game before Gage Boehm struck out the side in the bottom half to earn the win for the Longhorns as they prevailed 6-5 to tie the series up.

Texas recorded eleven hits with Peyton Powell having four of them and Schuessler having three and being a triple shy of a cycle. Flores and Kennedy each logged a pair of hits as well for the Longhorns. Tulimero was also a triple shy of the cycle for Houston as he led the Cougars with three hits. DeJesus and Reece had two hits apiece while Cameron Nickens recorded a hit to round up the hits for the home team.

Ace Whitehead started for Texas while Duncan Howard got the start for the Cougars, while Boehm got the win and Justin Murray took the loss.

Game 3 (Sunday): Longhorns 13 Cougars 8

The Longhorns exploded for eight runs in the ninth inning to secure the series victory over the Cougars with a 13-8 win on Sunday.

Rylan Galvan opened the scoring in the third with a two-run homer to give Texas the early 2-0 lead, which was short-lived as Coll would hit a three-run homer of his own in the bottom of the third to give Houston the 3-2 lead. The Cougars would then add on to their lead in the fourth on a sac fly by Tulimero that brought in Nickens and an RBI single by Coll and in the fifth when Nickens hit a two-run shot to left and all of a sudden Houston had a commanding 7-2 lead.

In the last three innings however, Texas would start roaring back which began with an RBI double by Kennedy in the seventh. Gasparino recorded an RBI double of his own in the eighth and then later scored after a throwing error occurred when he stole third, which cut the Longhorn deficit down to two.

While Reece hit a solo honor in the bottom of the eighth to give the Cougars a much-needed insurance run, it wouldn’t be enough with what was about to go down in the ninth by the Texas offense. Thomas would start the scoring after initially advancing to third on a single by Kennedy, where another throwing error by the Cougars would allow Thomas to come home. Powell would then tie the game at eight apiece with a two-run homer with Flores immediately giving the Longhorns the lead right after Powell’s homer with a solo shot. Belyeu would then make it an 11-8 ballgame when a two-run homer of his own. Later in the ninth, Galvan and Thomas would each have an RBI single to extend the Texas lead to 13-8, which ended up becoming the final score after Boehm came in and pitched a shutout bottom half to end the game.

Galvan the Longhorns with four hits on the day followed by Gasparino with three. Kennedy and Thomas each had two hits while Powell, Flores, and Belyeu made the most of their one hit apiece in the form of the aforementioned home runs. For the Cougars, Coll had three hits while DeJesus, Arbolida, and Justin Murray had two hours apiece.

Lebarron Johnson started for Texas while Antoine Jean started for Houston. David Shaw got the win for the Longhorns after throwing two innings in relief, while Citelli took the loss for the Cougars in his second relief appearance of the weekend. The series win improves Texas’ overall record to 22-15 and 9-6 in Big 12 play, while Houston drops to 17-18 and 5-13 respectively.

What’s Next?

The Longhorns return to UFCU Disch-Falk Field to begin a homestead as they host the UTRGV Vaqueros on Tuesday and the TCU Horned Frogs for a weekend series starting on Friday. The Cougars host the Houston Christian Huskies on Tuesday and the Southern Jaguars on Wednesday before heading north for a series starting on Friday against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

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