Baseball: Texas Completes Sweep With 8-3 Win

AUSTIN, Texas - A five-run fourth inning propelled No. 1 Texas (23-2) to an 8-3 win and series sweep over Eastern Michigan (3-10) in front of 4,383 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Sunday, March 14. With the victory, Texas has now won 12 games in a row overall and 16 contests at Disch-Falk Field dating back to 2003.

While both teams threatened to score in each of the first two innings by placing runners in scoring position, Texas' Justin Simmons (DeSoto, Texas/Duncanville) and fellow starter Aaron Ollila held the respective offenses in check to keep the game scoreless. In the third, Eastern Michigan saw a leadoff walk to Brian Bixler result in a run as Ryan Ford and Derrick Peterson followed with consecutive singles to put the Eagles on top 1-0. The score remained that way until the bottom of the fourth when a leadoff triple by Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas/Boerne) and a walk to Ryan Russ (Comfort, Texas/Kerrville Tivy/Texas A&M/Navarro College) placed runners at the corners with no outs before a throwing error on a stolen base attempt and a single by Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock) plated both base runners and gave Texas a 2-1 lead. Still not done in the inning, the Horns capitalized on two EMU errors and a pair of walks with a RBI-groundout from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas/Atlanta), a run-scoring single by Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas/Tomball) and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas/Creekview) to establish a 5-1 UT advantage.

Now trailing by four, Eastern Michigan would respond in the top of the fifth with a run courtesy of a double by Peterson and a two-out single from Matt Moffett to make it a 5-2 game before threatening for more by loading the bases on back-to-back singles in the frame. However, Simmons managed to strike out the next batter he faced on a 3-2 offering to end the inning and preserve the Longhorns' lead. A two-out, two-run triple by Michael Hollimon (Dallas, Texas/Jesuit College Prep.) that followed two earlier walks in the bottom of the fifth then pushed Texas out in front by a score of 7-2 before consecutive doubles from Curtis Thigpen (Forney, Texas/Forney) and Teagarden increased the lead to six runs at 8-2.

Following a scoreless seventh, the Eagles would push across another run with a two-out, RBI-single from Peterson in the eighth after a hit batter and a single had placed runners on the corners to pull within five at 8-3. Once the Horns were retired in the bottom of the eighth, EMU then received consecutive singles from Moffett and Hrovat and a balk to challenge the UT lead with two runners on with no outs, but Texas' fourth and fifth relievers on the afternoon in Buck Cody (Oklahoma City, Okla./Casady) and Kyle Yates (Kerrville, Texas/Kerrville Tivy/Midland College) managed to set the next three batters down in order to close out the 8-3 Texas win. Simmons, who struck out four over five strong innings during his seventh start of the year, picked up the win, while Ollila took the loss for Eastern Michigan.

Headlining the Texas offense on the afternoon were Hollimon, who went 2-for-3 with one run scored and two RBI, Johnston, who scored one run and collected a pair of hits, and Thigpen, who upped his career-long hit streak to 13 games with his double in the sixth. The Eagles, meanwhile, had their 14-hit attack led by Peterson, who went 4-for-5 with one run scored and two RBI, Moffett, who drove in one run during a 3-for-5 outing, and the duo of Hrovat and Ford, who each recorded a pair of hits on the day.

Up next, the Horns begin a four-game road trip with a 6:30 p.m. game on Tuesday, March 16 against UT-San Antonio at Nelson Wolff Stadium.

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