Baseball: Texas Tames Late Kansas Uprising, 6-5

Sophomore pitcher <B>Sam LeCure</B> hurled 7-1/3 scoreless frames while closer <B>Huston Street</B> came on to shut down a late Kansas rally to help lead No. 2 Texas (45-8, 16-6) past the determined Jayhawks (26-28-1, 2-17) Saturday at the Disch. The win kept the Horns just ahead of Oklahoma State (30-15, 13-5), a Saturday winner over Nebraska, and Oklahoma (30-18, 16-7), a Saturday winner over Kansas State, in the race for the Big 12 title.

In notching his eighth save of the year -- including his second in as many games -- Street is now tied with Zane Carlson for the all-time career Big 12 saves leader with 37. LeCure, shaky in recent appearances against Missouri, Nebraska and Baylor, was in command of this one as he retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced.

After a scoreless first inning, the Longhorns staked an early 1-0 lead as freshman OF Carson Kainer led with a single, moved to second on Seth Johnston's sacrifice bunt and proceeded home on an RBI single from Robby Hudson. The score held until the bottom of the fifth, before Texas added three unearned runs as Hudson reached on an error and Will Crouch hit a bunt single to put two aboard before Johnston singled with two down and came home on three wild pitches to make it a 4-0 game.

From there, the pitching efforts of LeCure and KU reliever Don Czyz kept the respective offenses from scoring as LeCure faced a maximum of four batters during each of his 7-1/3 innings of work while Czyz was able to silence the Longhorns bats by retiring seven in a row through three innings.

Texas then moved out to a 6-0 lead as Kainer belted a two-run home run over the left field wall to score Johnston, who singled to open up the bottom of the eighth. Down to their final three outs, KU attempted to rally in the top of the ninth by loading the bases off three consecutive singles with no outs.

After Longhorns reliever J. Brent Cox struck out the next two batters he faced, Matt Tribble singled in a run to cut into the lead at 6-1. With two outs and the bases loaded, Sean Richardson connected on a grand slam to make it a one run game before Street came on to end the KU rally and preserve the 6-5 victory.

Headlining the offense for the Horns was the duo of Johnston, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and an RBI, and Kainer, who collected three hits in four at bats while scoring two runs and driving in another two.

The Horns will conclude their three-game series versus the Jayhawks at the Disch on Sunday, at 1:00 p.m.

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