Baseball: Texas Tunes Up For Stanford

Critical to these February contests for Augie Garrido's Horns is establishing the pitching rotation, now that projected ace Sam LeCure has been ruled academically ineligible and former All-Americans J.P. Howell and Huston Street have taken their games to the minor leagues. Enter Kyle McCulloch, Buck Cody and Randy Boone.

Those three Longhorn starters combined to limit UNLV to just eight earned runs as top-ranked Texas swept the Rebels this past weekend at the Disch. With the three weekend wins, the Horns stand at 7-0 on the young season heading into today's 2:30 contest with UTSA at the Disch. But McCulloch, Cody and Boone, plus Clayton Stewart, J. Brent Cox and the rest of the mound staff, will get their most important early progress report this weekend when Stanford invades Austin for a showcase of Top Five ballclubs. Opening pitch in the three-game set is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Friday.

Against UNLV, McCulloch posted a career-best seven innings while fanning a career-high eight batters in a 12-3 win in the series finale. In two starts and one relief appearance on the season, the sophomore rightie is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA. Cody and Boone also sport 1-0 records, with each of their wins coming in the season-opening series vs. San Diego State. Both lefty Cody and rightie Boone got no-decisions in their starts vs. the Rebels this past weekend. Cody was pulled in the top of the fifth of Saturday's game as UNLV jumped to a 5-1 lead before Texas rallied for the win with a four-run bottom of the ninth. Boone went five innings in the series opener, surrendering six hits and one earned run and left with a 3-1 lead, but McCulloch, in his one inning of relief, gave up the tying runs, taking Boone out of the decision. Stewart picked up relief wins in both games with 2-2/3 innings of hitless work. The senior righthander is 3-0 on the season and has yet to give up a run. Cox also has a 0.00 ERA and picked up his first save of the season in Friday's win.

On the offensive side, familiar names top the hit list. SS Seth Johnston is batting .448 with a homer and eight RBI. C/1B Taylor Teagarden is close behind with his .421 mark (2 HRs, including a Saturday blast vs. the Rebels, and 9 RBI), followed by CF Drew Stubbs at .387, LF Carson Kainer at .364 (with a team-leading 10 RBI) and DH Will Crouch at .350. Stubbs and Johnston have hit safely in all seven games this season.

Clendon Ross contributed to this report.

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