Baseball: Late Comeback Give Horns 21st Win

AUSTIN, Texas - Junior J.D. Reininger (Spring Branch, Texas/Smithson Valley) slapped a one-out base hit through the left side of a drawn in infield with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give No. 1 Texas (21-2) a 3-2 victory over Eastern Michigan (3-8) in front of 4,156 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Friday, March 12. Notably, the win upped UT's current win streak to 10 games and gave the Horns 14 consecutive victories at home dating back to 2003.

The game remained deadlocked at 0-0 through four innings as Longhorns' starter Sam LeCure (Centertown, Missouri/Helias Interparish) retired 14 batters in a row and Eagles starter Ryan Ford faced one over the minimum during that span. The Eagles then jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the fifth when a single through the middle off the bat of Brad Hrovet brought home Matt Moffett, who reached on a two-out walk and moved over to second on a stolen base. The Horns would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame as Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas/Atlanta) led off with a double to right field and then proceeded to come home on an RBI-single by Robby Hudson (Redlands, California/Redlands/Riverside CC) to tie the game at 1-1. In the top of the seventh, the Eagles again took the lead as back-to-back doubles from Moffett and Hrovet brought in another run to give EMU a 2-1 advantage. The Longhorns then threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the inning as they were able to put runners on second and third with no outs via a walk, a bunt-single and an error, but Ford forced three consecutive groundouts to end the inning and keep the Eagles out in front.

Texas would knot the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth as a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher by Reininger allowed Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas/Creekview), who reached base on an error, moved to second on a balk and then advanced to third on a single from Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas/Boerne), to score. Now tied at two apiece, the Eagles would look to bring in another run in the top of the ninth, but Longhorns reliever Buck Cody (Oklahoma City, Okla./Casady), who came on in the bottom of the eighth, retired all four of the batters he faced to keep the game tied. In the bottom of the ninth, Texas received a leadoff walk from Michael Hollimon (Dallas, Texas/Jesuit College Prep.), a bunt single from Curtis Thigpen (Forney, Texas/Forney) a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to load the bases with one out and bring the winning run 90 feet away. Facing a full count, Reininger then grounded a single through the left side of the infield to plate Hollimon and propel the Horns to the one-run victory. Earning the win in relief for UT was Cody, who fanned two of the four batters he faced over his 1.1 innings of work, while Ford incurred the loss for EMU despite allowing only two earned runs on six hits over eight frames. Of note, LeCure worked 6.1 innings during his eighth start of the season for Texas and matched his individual game career-high with seven strikeouts in a no-decision.

Leading the Texas offense on the afternoon was the duo of Thigpen, who extended his current hitting streak to 11 games as he went 2-for-5, and Reininger, who went 1-for-1 while also accounting for two RBI. Meanwhile, the Eagles were paced by Moffett, who went 1-for-3 and scored Eastern Michigan's two runs, and Hrovat, who went 2-for-4 and tallied a pair of RBI.

Additionally for UT, sophomore Zach Gallenkamp (Austin, Texas/Westlake) will miss the next four to six weeks after suffering a fracture to his right foot after it was struck by a line drive during practice this past week.

The Longhorns will continue their three-game set with the Eagles at Disch-Falk Field on Saturday, March 13, at 2 p.m.

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