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STAR BEING BORN IN "SHUTDOWN" SHUGART

The Longhorns' 10-4 win Tuesday night in 11 innings at Texas State is the latest evidence a star is being born in Texas freshman RHP Chase Shugart, the team's young, fearless, new closer with a 0.00 ERA.

The Longhorns improved to 5-3 with a four-game series against Cal starting Thursday at the Disch by finally winning an extra-inning game.

Texas dropped the season opener against UNLV 4-3 in 12 innings and a 1-0 decision to Stanford last Thursday in 12 innings.

A star continues to be born in Texas fr P Chase "Shutdown" Shugart, who earned his first victory of the season by getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied 4-4.

In five appearances totaling 8.1 innings this season, Shugart has a 0.00 ERA (with 6 Ks and 5 walks) and only two hits surrendered against 25 batters faced. More importantly, Shugart has consistently exhibited the bulldog mentality of a closer by showing he's comfortable getting the ball in any situation.

"Not much bothers Chase," said Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido.

Redshirt sophomore RHP Morgan Cooper continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him all of last season. After throwing two shutout innings in the 7th and 8th innings of an 11-0 win in Game 2 of the UNLV series on Feb. 21, Cooper started Tuesday night at Texas State.

Cooper went four innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 earned runs with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks.  Texas was trailing 2-0 when Cooper was replaced by Beau Ridgeway in the fifth inning.

Ridgeway went 1.2 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 earned run with 1 strikeout and 0 walks. Ridgeway was replaced with two outs in the B6 after giving up a solo home run that allowed Texas State to narrow Texas' lead to 4-3, followed by a single.

In came senior lefty Travis Duke to for two-thirds of a scoreless inning, followed by junior lefty Jon Malmin for two-thirds of a scoreless inning.

Kacy Clemens replaced Malmin to start the bottom of the 8th inning and immediately recorded two outs on a fly out and a strikeout.

But Texas State's Ryan Newman tagged Clemens for a solo home run - giving the Bobcats' their fourth, two-out run of the game - and tying things up at 4-4.

Clemens was replaced in the B9 by true freshman RHP Chase "Shutdown" Shugart, who quickly found himself in a jam.

Shugart gave up a leadoff single. Then, the second batter reached first on a sac bunt as Shugart was given an error for throwing wild into the outfield.

With men on first and second and no outs, Texas State's Cody Lovejoy laid down a sac bunt and was thrown out at first. But the baserunners moved up to second and third with only 1 out. Shugart intentionally walked leadoff man Jonathan Ortega to load the bases.

Then came the play of the game: Texas State's Luke Sherley reached first base on a fielder's choice to UT shortstop Bret Boswell, who promptly gunned the ball to C Michael Cantu for the force out at home for out No. 2.

Shugart got out of the jam when he got Texas State LF Granger Studdard to ground out to second base for out No. 3 in the B9.

On to the 10th inning.

After the Horns failed to score a run in the T10, "Shutdown" Shugart was back out to do what he does in the B10.

Shugart recorded a strikeout, then gave up a single, followed by another strikeout and a third out when the base runner was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Michael Cantu to Joe Baker at second base.

It was a well-deserved first win for "Shutdown" Shugart, who got out of the bases-loaded jam in B9 and faced 9 batters (33 pitches) in two innings of work (the 9th and 10th innings) - giving up 2 hits with 2 Ks and 1 walk.

Zane Gurwitz had a big day at the plate, going 4-for-5, including a double, with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Bret Boswell, batting in the two hole, was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and 1 run scored.

Texas scored 6 runs in the T11 as Brady Harlan led off with a trip to first after getting hit by a pitch. Ben Kennedy then singled with a perfect bunt, moving Harlan to second.

Kody Clemens walked to load the bases. After a pitching change, Jake McKenzie drew a walk, scoring Harlan and putting Texas up 5-4.

Gurwitz then delivered an RBI single to CF, putting Texas up 6-4. There was another Texas State pitching change, and Boswell smashed a 2-RBI double down the right field line, putting the Horns up 8-4. 

A wild pitch allowed Boswell to move to third and scored Gurwitz, putting Texas up 9-4.

It wasn't until Joe Baker struck out that Texas State had recorded its first out of the inning.

Texas State changed pitchers again, and Tres Barrera brought in the Horns' final run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right before Cantu struck out looking to end the top of the 11th inning.

Blake Wellmann replaced Shugart in the B11, and recorded a ground out before giving up back-to-back singles. But Wellman recorded a fly out and a strikeout to end the game.

UP NEXT: ... Horns improve to 5-3 with a four-game series against Cal starting Thursday at the Disch.

 


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