No. 5 Texas Baseball Opens With 7-4 Win At Hawaii

Four Texas pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and every Longhorn starter collected at least one hit as No. 5 Texas opened the 2004 campaign with a 7-4 win over Hawaii (0-1) at Les Murakami Stadium on Friday. Starting P <B>Justin Simmons</B>,<B> </B>who struck out two over the first four innings, was credited with the win.

Friends, if Simmons can re-gain his 2002 All-American form to go alongside All-American Huston Street and last year's ace J.P. Howell, the Horns will field one of their most formidable pitching rotations since Roger Clemens, Dennis Cook and Calvin Schiraldi mowed down opponents during the 1983 national championship season.

Headlining the 14-hit Texas offense was the tandem of Taylor Teagarden and Nathan Warrick, who each collected three hits and accounted for three runs scored and four RBI. Freshman OF Drew Stubbs, the Houston Astros third round draft pick last year, went 2-for-3 while scoring once and driving in one run during his collegiate debut. Teagarden matched a career-best with three hits on the night and also extended his current hit streak to nine games dating back to last season.

Scoring one run with two outs in each of the first two innings off RBI-singles from Taylor Teagarden in the first and Drew Stubbs in the second, Texas jumped to an early 2-0 lead. Hawaii received solo home runs from Rocky Russo and Josh Green in the bottom of the second to knot the game at 2-2. Then, following a leadoff single from Warrick and Curtis Thigpen's sacrifice bunt at the top of the third, Teagarden connected on a two-run home run to left field to put the Horns back on top, 4-2.

J.D. Reininger's sacrifice squeeze bunt with runners on the corners in the fifth upped the Texas lead to 5-2, but the Rainbows would threaten to tie the game in the bottom half of the frame by placing two runners on with no outs. After a strikeout, reliever Kyle Yates came on and retired the next two batters he faced to end the inning. In the very next frame. Texas plated another run in the next frame to pull in front 6-2, but Hawaii attempted another rally in the bottom of the inning by scoring one run on an RBI-single and loading the bases with one out. Yates came up big by fanning the next two batters he faced to end the sixth.

Reininger would then pad the Horns lead in the top of the seventh with a two-out, RBI-double to make it a 7-3 game, while Yates, who fanned six over 3.2 innings of relief, held Hawaii in check over the next two frames to send the game to the ninth. Street entered the game and, despite allowing a run off two hits and a sacrifice fly, notched two strikeouts en route to closing out the 7-4 UT win.

The Longhorns and Rainbows continue their three-game series at Les Murakami Stadium with Game #2 slated for Saturday, at 10:35 p.m. CST.

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