Baseball: Horns Even Stanford Series With 9-6 Win

STANFORD, Calif. -- Freshman Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas/Yoakum) allowed only four hits over a career-high 6.2 innings of relief and the Longhorns offense scored five runs with two outs as No. 1 Texas (11-1) pulled out a 9-6 victory over No. 3 Stanford (9-2) in front of 2,554 fans at Sunken Diamond on Saturday, Feb. 21. Of note, the UT win not only knotted the series at one game apiece, but also snapped Stanford's 16-game home-winning streak.

A leadoff walk to Dooley Prince (Sulphur, La./Sulphur/McNeese State) followed by a home run off the bat of Michael Hollimon (Dallas, Texas/Jesuit College Prep.) broke Texas out in front by a score of 2-0 in the top of the first. Stanford quickly countered in the bottom of the frame by loading the bases with no outs on two walks and a bloop single before a fielder's choice from John Mayberry, Jr. plated one run and a hit batter and another walk yielded two more scores to give the Cardinal a 3-2 advantage. After a scoreless second, a one-out walk to Prince in the third followed by a walk to Hollimon and consecutive run-scoring hits from Curtis Thigpen (Forney, Texas/Forney) and Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas/Creekview) gave Texas back the lead at 4-3. Stanford then evened the game in the bottom of the third as two UT errors, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly from Brian Hall knotted the contest at 4-4.

With both teams looking to grab the momentum, Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas/Atlanta) was hit with a pitch after one out in the fourth and moved to third with two down before Prince singled to bring him home and give UT a 5-4 lead. Then, after Hollimon and Thigpen drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with two out, Teagarden connected on a two-run double to push the Horns in front 7-4. One inning later, Texas upped its advantage to 9-4 with another two-out rally as Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas/Boerne) delivered a double down the left-field line with runners on first and second courtesy of two walks in front of a J.D. Reininger (Spring Branch, Texas/Smithson Valley) infield RBI-base hit. Stanford, meanwhile, had its offense held in check through seven full, as Boone surrendered only two hits over his first six innings of relief work.

Still trailing by five in the eighth, Stanford managed to post a pair of scores as a fielder's choice and a single placed runners on first and second with two away before two UT errors on a fly ball off the bat of Danny Putnam cut the Texas lead to 9-6. J. Brent Cox (Bay City, Texas/Bay City) then came on to relieve Boone and struck out the one batter he faced to quell the Cardinal charge and send the game to the ninth.

After a scoreless top of the final inning, Cox fanned the first two batters he faced to push UT one out away from victory. Stanford then received a walk around two base hits from its next three batters to load the bases and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Still holding on to a three-run lead, Cox beared down and struck out the next batter he faced to give the Horns the win and notch his first career save by registering all four outs he was called on to get by strikeout. While Boone, who allowed three unearned runs on four hits and struck out two, earned his second career victory, Stanford starter Jeff Gilmore shouldered the loss.

Headlining the day for Texas at the plate were Prince, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and one RBI, Hollimon, who scored a career-best four runs while also connecting on his eighth career home run, Thigpen, who collected two hits in two at bats, and Teagarden, who drove in three runs with a single and a double. Notably, those four players, which filled out the top four positions in the UT batting order, accounted for eight of Texas' 12 hits, eight runs scored and seven RBI on the day.

Stanford's offense, meanwhile, was paced by Putnam, who went 2-for-5 with one run scored, and Jed Lowrie, who scored twice and also collected one hit.

On an additional note for Texas, Johnston's RBI-double in the sixth upped his current hitting streak to seven games, which matches his career-long hit string established in 2003.

The Longhorns and Cardinal now face off in the rubber game of this three-game series at Sunken Diamond on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. Central.

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