There was one really important takeaway from Texas' 12-3 rout of undermanned Sam Houston State Tuesday night:

Redshirt sophomore RHP Morgan Cooper's ongoing return from Tommy John surgery.

In addition to a season-high 12 runs on a season-high 14 hits - Cooper went six, strong innings, giving up just three hits and sitting down 11 straight batters and 15 of 17 after giving up two, first-inning singles.

Cooper had a career-high 8 strikeouts and no walks.

It was Cooper's third appearance since missing the 2015 season with Tommy John surgery. He went two innings of relief vs UNLV, then four innings last Tuesday vs Texas State and six shutout innings vs Sam Houston State (5-9).

Cooper (6-4, 220), who is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA after facing 38 batters in 12 innings of work, may now be ready to move into the weekend rotation. We'll see.

Before that, I bet Cooper gets the start next Tuesday at No. 2 Texas A&M, which will be a great test against what appears to be a great team.

The bottom line is Cooper has looked good.


A few other takeaways:


* Outfielder Patrick Mathis was back in the lineup as DH after missing the Cal series with a hamstring injury and went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base.


* Part of the hit parade last night included a highlight-night from freshman Kody Clemens, who had three hits, including his first home run as a Longhorn, an opposite field, two-run dinger to right that made it 4-0 in the fourth inning.


* 1B Kacy Clemens also drove in three runs on a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in the fifth inning to make it 8-0.


* 2B Joe Baker and CF Zane Gurwitz each had three hits.


* Sam Houston State's three runs came in the seventh inning off of freshman reliever Beau Ridgeway on three hits, a sac fly and hit batter.


* Freshman closer Chase "Shutdown" Shugart, who struggled in the 9th inning of UT's collapse in Game 4 against Cal on Sunday, recorded three strikeouts in the 9th inning Tuesday (while giving up one single) to close things out.

UP NEXT: ... The Longhorns (6-7) go to No. 14 UCLA for the first road series of the season starting Friday night.



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