Street, Ferin Pace No. 5 UT's Series Win Over KU

Sophomore<B> Huston Street </B>picked up a pair of wins while <B>Joe Ferin </B>redefined<B> </B>clutch hitting as No. 5 Texas took two-of-three at Kansas over the weekend. Ferin came through with a game-wining, two-out triple in the 11th to rally Texas to a 5-3 win Sunday.

That was after Ferin delivered a two-out, RBI-single in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 3-3. Ferin also registered a career-best three hits in Saturdays’ 5-1 win. Street worked a career-high five innings while striking out a career-best six for the second time in as many days to improve to 5-0 this season. Texas, now 37-14 on the year, remains atop the Big 12 standings at 18-6. Kansas fell to 33-21, 8-13 in Big 12.

Against starter Justin Simmons, Kansas sent seven batters to the plate in the first inning and jumped to an early 2-0 lead behind four singles, including RBI base hits from Ryan Baty and Casey Spanish. The Jayhawks added an unearned run in the third following a two-out throwing error (by Omar Quintanilla) with a runner on second.

KU starter Ryan Knippschild held Texas in check, limiting the Horns to only two hits through five frames.

But Dustin Majewski plated Tim Moss in the sixth to get Texas on the scoreboard at 3-1. Two innings later, Moss doubled and scored his second run of the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Eric Sultemeier. Down 3-2 in the top of the ninth, J.D. Reininger’s one-out double brought the tying run to the plate.

Then came a 45-minute rain delay.

When play resumed, Reininger moved to third on a fly-ball. With two down and the series on the line, Ferin came through with a clutch base hit to knot the game at 3-3.

In the 11th, Reininger led off with a walk before moving to second on a sacrifice fly. Then, with two-away, Ferin came through again when he delivered the series-winning RBI with a triple off the center field wall before scoring himself to give Texas a 5-3 advantage. Street, who came on in the seventh, closed out the game.

The series got off to a horrendous start as Texas’ pitching fell apart to the tune of 13 hits in a 10-1 loss Friday in front of a record crowd (2,106). The Jayhawks' scored nine runs during the first four innings, sending eight batters to the plate and registering five hits in the first frame alone to jump out on top 4-0.

Texas starter Danny Muegge (6-5) lasted all of 3.2 innings in shouldering the loss while reliever Eugene Espineli provided anything but in lasting but three batters. Jesen Merle then tossed 2.1 scoreless innings while striking out three. Meanwhile, KU starter Kevin Wheeler not only pitched a complete game, he limited Texas to four hits through seven frames while also batting as the Jayhawks' designated hitter.

Texas’ lone offensive spark was Michael Hollimon’s solo home run in the third to close UT's deficit to 4-1. But a bases-loaded three-run double, followed by consecutive RBI hits in the fourth gave Kansas all the cushion it would need (and then some!) to pull in front, 9-1.

On Saturday, J.P. Howell struck out nine over 6.2 innings while Street fanned six of the seven batters he faced as Texas responded with a 5-1 victory.

The Jayhawks broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third as three consecutive two-out singles produced a 1-0 KU lead. Texas got untracked in the sixth when Scott Dodge led off with a walk and eventually came around to tie the game at 1-1 on a two-out Majewski RBI-single.

The score remained until the top of the eighth when Moss delivered a RBI base hit to center followed by Quintanilla’s run-scoring double to put Texas up, 3-1.

The Horns added to their lead in the top of the ninth on a solo homer from Sultemeier and a safety-squeeze bunt from Curtis Thigpen after a walk and a single put runners on the corners with one out to give UT a 5-1 lead.

Now, Texas’ hopes for a second straight Big 12 championship hinge on a season-ending three-game series against No. 11 Texas A&M on Friday, May 16 at Olsen Field in College Station, at 6:30 p.m. The final two games with the Aggies are set for Disch-Falk Field, 3 p.m., May 17 (a Fox Sports Net regional telecast) and at 1 p.m., May 18. Before taking on the Horns, the third-place Ags (35-13, 14-7) host Kansas in College Station. Second-place Nebraska (36-13, 15-6) closes the Big 12 season with Oklahoma State this coming weekend and Baylor May 16-18. Both series are in Lincoln.

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