The Texas Longhorns baseball team has been leaning heavily on senior pitcher Nathan Thornhill in the postseason. He was up to the task on Friday.
Thornhill (8-2) threw seven solid innings as Texas hung on to beat Houston 4-2 in Game One of the Austin Super Regional. Thornhill was efficient, allowing two runs on seven hits, and throwing just 91 pitches. He cruised through every inning except the fifth.
Texas jumped on Houston starter Jake Lemoine (6-8) early. In the top of the first, Ben Johnson reached base on a fielder’s choice. Mark Payton then launched a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for a two-run home run and the Longhorns seized the momentum early.
The Longhorns got to Lemoine for another run in the fourth. With Madison Carter on third and CJ Hinojosa on first, Collin Shaw hit a routine double play ground ball. Josh Vidales’ relay throw to first was in the dirt for an error, allowing Carter to score.
Texas added its final run in the fifth, chasing Lemoine in the process. Johnson walked, stole second, and scored on a Tres Barrera single to push Texas’ lead to 4-0.
Houston fought back in the fifth with three consecutive singles. With runners on first and second, Vidales’ single hit the first base bag and bounced over Kacy Clemens and into right field to cut the lead to 4-1. Houston added a second run on a double-play ground out.
Thornhill made the two run lead stand up before giving way to John Curtiss to start the eighth. Curtiss pitched the final two innings for his ninth save.
Payton had three hits, extending his reached-base streak to 100 games. Johnson scored two runs and stole his 21st base of the season.
The two teams play tomorrow at 1:00 PM.