The Texas Longhorns baseball team came in to Sunday’s finale looking to continue its dominating pitching while going for the sweep of the Stanford Cardinal.
It would get neither.
Cardinal bats came alive Sunday as Stanford avoided the series sweep with an 11-5 victory.
Stanford (3-4) struck early to take the air out of UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Wayne Taylor drove in three runs to highlight a four run second inning. The Cardinal used a tactic all too familiar to Texas fans – sacrifice bunts.
Alex Blandino opened the inning with a single. Following a wild pitch, Brant Whiting walked and Brett Michael Doran dropped down a bunt to move the runners to second and third. Drew Jackson laid down a squeeze bunt and Blandino beat the play at the plate to give Stanford a 1-0 lead. Tommy Edman walked to load the bases. Taylor followed with a triple to push the lead to 4-0.
Lukas Schraldi (1-1) started for Texas (5-3). The right-hander gave up five earned runs on four hits and four walks in just two innings.
The wheels came off in the sixth when Stanford struck for five runs to put the game out of reach. Austin Slater doubled to drive in two runs ahead of a Blandino two-run blast over the left-centerfield wall to put the Cardinal ahead 10-1.
Texas struck back in the bottom of the sixth. Zane Gurwitz drove in two runs with a single. A Brooks Marlow sacrifice fly brought in Ben Johnson. Gurwitz scored on a wild pitch to cut the Stanford lead to 10-5.
That would be a close as the Longhorns would get.
It still has to be considered a successful weekend when Texas can take two of three games from a perennial baseball powerhouse like Stanford. This is the kind of series Augie Garrido can build upon.
Speaking of Garrido, he was ejected for arguing a balk call in the third inning.
Texas will host UT-Pan American on Feb. 25 at 4:30 PM.
Sunday’s Studs and Duds
Gurwitz had a career-high three RBIs
Mark Payton was on base four times with a single and three walks.
Texas pitching. Schraldi served up four walks and a wild pitch in his two innings. Josh Sawyer and Ty Culbreth combined to give up five runs in one inning of work.