Texas climbs Big 12 standings with series win vs. K-State

Texas baseball won two straight to clinch an important series victory over No. 23 Kansas State in Manhattan this weekend.

Max Grubbs, Texas baseball
Max Grubbs, Texas baseball / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

After dropping the series opener in a comeback loss on March 28, head coach David Pierce and Texas baseball rallied to win the last two games this weekend against the No. 23 Kansas State Wildcats. Texas clinched the series against Kansas State with a 6-3 win in Manhattan on March 30.

Max Grubbs leads Texas baseball to a 6-3 win in the series finale vs. Kansas State

The Longhorns won two of three games, including an offensive outburst in a 21-11 victory over Kansas State on March 29.

Winning this series moves the Longhorns closer to first place in the Big 12 standings, with a record of 16-11 (6-3 Big 12) on the season following the three-run win over the Wildcats on Saturday. Texas is now tied with Kansas State for second place in the conference standings.

Pierce and the Longhorns are also one game behind the first-place Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 standings, boasting a record of 7-2 in conference play this season.

Texas got the job done on March 30 against Kansas State behind a quality start from sophomore Max Grubbs. The 6-foot-1 right-hander Grubbs gave the Longhorns six quality innings on the mound in this start, allowing no earned runs and six hits while striking out five Kansas State batters.

Grubbs moves to a perfect 4-0 on the season, with an earned run average below 2.00. Grubbs has won two straight Big 12 starts, including the series-clinching win at home at the Disch last weekend in a convincing 11-1 win over the Baylor Bears.

These types of performances on the mound from Grubbs is exactly the type of stability the Longhorns need on the mound in these critical Big 12 series. Texas's pitching performances have been spotty in the last few weeks, especially from the starting rotation.

But Grubbs has pitched at an all-conference level in the last few starts for Texas, including the gem he had on the mound today against Kansas State in the win.

Texas found a way to get it done with the bats, despite getting outhit by Kansas State by a margin of five. Grubbs and the Longhorns staff worked out of some jams in this game, including 11 Kansas State runners stranded.

The Longhorns scored a run for every hit they had in this game, while taking advantage of a couple of costly Kansas State errors.

Texas's bats did enough to get Grubbs his second win this season in a Big 12 start. Peyton Powell led the way with one run scored, one home run, and two runs batted in. Ninth-inning solo shots from Powell and Jared Thomas helped to seal the win for the Longhorns after Andre Duplantier shut down the Kansas State bats in the eighth and ninth innings for his second save of the campaign.

Pierce's squad answered the bell in this series after there were questions being asked regarding the Longhorns' status as a potential Big 12 title contender this season. Texas had dropped two games in a row entering Game 2 in this series against the Wildcats.

One of those losses for the Longhorns earlier this week was a bad defeat at the hands of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in a midweek matchup at the Disch on March 26.

Texas has now won each of its three Big 12 series to start conference play. It opened the conference slate with a big series win on the road in Lubbock a few weeks ago over the No. 17 Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas has also won series against Baylor and Kansas State in the last two weekends.

Texas returns home for four straight games at the Disch next week, including a midweek matchup on April 2 against the Abilene Christian Wildcats. The next series in Big 12 play for the Longhorns is a three-game weekend series at the Disch starting on April 4 against the BYU Cougars.

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