Baseball: Horns Blank Jayhawks

Texas didn't waste any time putting yesterday's tournament-opening stinker behind it, plating four runs in the top of the first and cruising to a 9-zip win that sent Kansas packing and extended the Horns' time in Oklahoma City by at least another day.

"We knew that we had to respond to what happened yesterday," Longhorn SS Seth Johnston said post-game. "I feel that the four-run first inning really helped us out. Robby hitting that double to lead off the game is a huge confidence builder. Hitting the ball hard is contagious."

The top five in the Texas order certainly had the hitting bug. Leadoff man Robby Hudson collected three hits on the day, two of them doubles, while two-through-five hitters Drew Stubbs (2), Johnston (2), Carson Kainer (3) and Chance Wheeless (3) each registered a multi-hit game. Overall, the top five in the order totaled 13 of the Horns' 14 hits.

"Every time we swung the bat, we hit it hard," Augie Garrido said.

In a critical performance for a staff missing its top starting pitcher, Randy Boone went the distance for Texas, allowing just three KU hits while striking out seven to pick up the win.

"It is going to be a plus over the next few days to not have to use anybody else with the other guys coming up fresh," Boone said. "I was pleased with that and was happy that I could provide what we needed today."

A Johnston single drove in Hudson with the first run of the game in the top of the first, then Kainer followed with and single, Wheeless made it 2-zip two batters later and Nick Peoples smacked a double down the left field line to send Kainer and Wheeless home to make it 4-0 before the Jayhawks picked up a bat. Texas added another run in the top of the second, but Kansas threatened in the home half of the inning, loading the bases with one out. Boone, though, induced an inning-ending double play and the Jayhawks never mounted another serious threat.

Texas padded its early 5-0 lead with three in the fourth and one in the sixth to close out the scoring.

Johnston paced the Horns with four RBI. Wheeless and Peoples collected two RBI each.

The No. 3-seed Horns (44-13) will face Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. Six-10 true freshman rightie Kenn Kasparek is expected to get the start in that elimination game.

Note: Clay Van Hook made his first collegiate start at catcher, replacing Todd Gilfillan, who had started three straight games after regular backstop Taylor Teagarden aggravated a lower back injury in the series opener vs. the Aggies last Friday. "He did great," Garrido said of Van Hook. "He is a baseball guy. His dad is a baseball coach. He will do anything for the team. He is a battler and a scrapper. He hits .250 but he hits .250 when the game is on the line. He is the guy who goes 1-for-5 but the one is when the game is on the line for us. He has won about four games for us with base hits." Van Hook went 0-5 at the plate, committed one error and allowed one stolen base and one passed ball vs. the Jayhawks.

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