Horns Sweep Kansas, Extend Big 12 Lead

Texas (36-15, 19-4 Big 12) took the final game of the series against Kansas (33-21, 10-14 Big 12) much like they did the previous game: locking down on defense and one explosive inning.

"Getting the hits, playing good defense, moving runners over," said Longhorns Coach Augie Garrido. "What they did today was in line with the principles of Longhorn baseball."

The Longhorns, who now own a 2-1/2 game lead over second-place Nebraska (15-5) in the league standings, scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a nine run lead, cruising to an 11-1 win. The game ended in the bottom of the eighth on the mercy rule. "The mercy rule only applies in NCAA baseball when it is the third game of a series, after seven innings and one team is up by ten or more runs. )

The fateful fourth began with a Bradley Suttle single and then a SAC bunt from Kyle Russell to move him over. But on the next play, Suttle was thrown out at third, leaving Preston Clark on first with two outs. That's when the bottom dropped out.

"It shows how mentally tough we've become," said Junior left fielder Carson Kainer. "A lot of time with two outs, guys try to drive the run in and be the hero. It shows we're mentally tough enough to clear our minds and just hit the ball. Hopefully that'll be one of the characteristics that will carry us in the post season."

Chais Fuller was hit by a pitch to get on base and advanced Clark to second. Then Nick Peoples got the scoring started with a double down the right field line to bring home both Longhorns on base. It looked like the inning was going to end when Chance Wheeless slapped an infield grounder, but Jayhawk second baseman Jared Schweitzer tripped and fell as he tried to throw, allowing Peoples to score an unearned run on the throwing error. Drew Stubbs tripled to right center, scoring Wheeless and in the next at-bats Kainer, Hunter Harris and Suttle all followed with doubles, Suttle's bringing home Harris for the fifth unearned run of the inning. Finally, Russell flied out to end the madness. Every single run in the fourth came with two outs.

"Hitting that many balls in a row is a great sign of relaxed concentration," said Garrido.

In the bottom of the eighth, Drew Stubbs trotted home on a throwing error by Kansas third baseman Erik Morrison, and put Texas up by ten, ending the game.

Alaniz (6-2) got the win for Texas, pitching six and two-thirds innings and giving up one run on five hits while grabbing six strikeouts. Kodiak Quick (8-4) was tagged with the loss for Kansas, giving up ten runs (only five of them earned) on six hits in three and a third innings worked.

Texas takes a week off from conference play with a Saturday, May 13 doubleheader vs. Dallas Baptist before looking to lock down the Big 12 regular season title vs. Missouri. A sweep of the Tigers in Columbia would ensure an outright regular season championship for the Horns.

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