In front of a crowd a 6,914 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, Texas opened NCAA Tournament play with a 10-0 shutout of Texas Southern. The Longhorns used 6 strong innings from Chase Shugart and a balanced offensive attack to advance to Saturday’s winners bracket game against Texas A&M.
Shugart picked up his 5th win of the season, tossing 6 scoreless innings, allowing only 4 hits and striking out 5. The right-hander exited the game having only thrown 69 pitches, likely making him available out of the bullpen or as a starter later this weekend.
Texas opened the scoring with two runs in the 2nd inning. DJ Petrinsky worked a 1 out walk and advanced to third on a single into CF by Tate Shaw. With runners on the corners, Texas Southern pitcher Peyton Schneider attempted a pickoff at first, but his throw sailed wild, bringing home the first run of the game. After a Jake McKenzie single placed runners on the corners again, David Hamilton dropped a bunt single to bring home another run and give the Longhorns an early 2-0 lead.
In the 3rd, the Longhorns stretched their lead to 6-0. Zach Zubia opened the frame with a single into LF and Masen Hibbeler followed with a walk. Two batters later, DJ Petrinsky crushed a hanging breaking ball over the LF wall for a 3-run homer. Duke Ellis added the final run of the inning on a RBI single up the middle after Tate Shaw walked and David Hamilton reached on an error.
An eventful 5th inning gave Texas additional cushion. The Longhorns loaded the bases after a Tate Shaw walk, Jake McKenzie single and a David Hamilton’s fielder’s choice that resulted in an error. Kody Clemens then delivered a 2-run single into CF, stretching the Texas lead to 8-0. With Zach Zubia batting, David Hamilton executed the first steal of home for a Texas player since Mark Payton accomplished the feat in 2011, giving Texas a 9-0 lead.
The Longhorns tacked on their final run of the game in the 8th. Masen Hibbeler led off with a one-hop double off the CF wall. After a groundout moved Hibbeler to third, DJ Petrinsky collected his 4th RBI of the game on a single into LF.
Matteo Bocchi threw the final 3 innings for Texas, picking up the first save of his career. Bocchi struck out 6 and only allowed a single hit.
Texas will now meet Texas A&M tomorrow in the winners bracket at 6 PM. Nolan Kingham will start on the mound for the Longhorns while Texas A&M will likely counter with Mitchell Kilkenny.