It wouldn't be a Texas baseball season without a double-header against Dallas Baptist. The Longhorns met the Patriots for the 19th double-header between the two schools.
No. 4 Texas beat Dallas Baptist to take the first game of a double header on Saturday, 6-3. The Patriots had ten hits in the game, but manged only three runs, while the Longhorns got their six runs on eight hits.
The Horns' first run in the two-game set came on a bases loaded walk. In the bottom of the first, senior Hunter Harris drew a walk, bringing home Chance Wheeless first run of the game. Harris and reserve outfielder Bryan Herrara were honored before the game, as the afternoon twinbill would be their last games at Disch-Falk Field. The next batter after Harris, Bradley Suttle, hit a SAC fly to bring in the second run for the Longhorns.
In the top of the second, Dallas Baptist right fielder Drew Holder led off the inning with a double to left field. The Patriots first run of the game came when second baseman Matt Tucker hit a ground ball that dribbled up the right field line and through the legs of Wheeless at first base, allowing Holder to score the unearned run.
But Wheeless quickly amended for his error, cranking an RBI double in the bottom half of the inning, scoring Nick Peoples and putting Texas up by three.
In the top of the third, Dallas Baptist grabbed another run when third baseman Jerem Goldschmeding hit an RBI double to left-center. Texas pitching coach Tommy Harmon took a trip to the mound to talk to Kyle McCulloch. After deciding to leave McCulloch in the game, McCulloch hit the next batter, Holder, to load the bases, but got the next batter, Tucker, to ground into an inning ending double-play to get the Horns out of a jam.
In the bottom of the third, Texas fired off another two runs on Kyle Russell and Chais Fuller RBI singles to extend the lead back to three runs. Dallas Baptist answered back in the top of the fourth with one last run before being shut down the rest of the way.
After the fifth, not a run was scored by either team as Texas cruised to the 6-3 win.
McCulloch (8-4) was the wining pitcher for UT. In four innings of work, the junior right-hander struck out four batters, while giving up three runs, two earned, and six hits on 59 pitches. Michael Gardner (4-4) got the loss for Dallas Baptist. He gave up five runs, four of them earned, and six hits on 59 pitches as well over two and two-thirds innings.
What a way for Hunter Harris leave Disch-Falk Field.
In his last game at the Disch, Hunter Harris hit is first homerun.
"It was special," said Harris. "My dad's always ragging on me. ‘When are we going to see the power?'"
We saw it today. The senior outfielder, who had never once hit a homerun in his career at Texas, blasted a two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth innings, as the No. 4 Longhorns beat the Dallas Baptist Patriots 10-5.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Carson Kainer hit a ground rule double that bounced just at the right-field line and over the ‘75-'83 national champions banner to score Nick Peoples. It was Kainer's 25th two-out RBI of the season.
In the top of the second, after getting Matt Tucker to groundout to short, Texas pitcher Adrian Alaniz faced Dallas Baptist second baseman Trevor Head. Head crushed the 1-1 pitch and pinged a homerun off of the left field light pole. It was his third homer of the season and the third given up by Alaniz. Alaniz kept a calm head and struck out the next batter, Evan Bigley. The inning ended when Texas third baseman Nick Peoples caught a rocket off the bat of Dallas Baptist's Damian Gomez.
After exchanging a couple frames of zeros, in the fourth inning (a good inning for the Horns lately), the Texas offense exploded for five runs, with Harris, Bradley Suttle, Brett Lewis, Chance Wheeless and Peoples all crossed the plate.
Texas was on the offensive again in the bottom of the sixth. With Chais Fuller, Peoples and Drew Stubbs all on base, Kainer singled through the right side to grab another two RBIs. Then the story of the game occurred when Harris crushed the first ball Dallas Baptist pitcher Randall Taylor gave him for a two-run homer putting the game out of reach for the Patriots.
Harris took off running when he hit the ball.
"I can never tell when a ball's gonna be gone," said Harris. "I've had too many bounce off the top of the wall."
Harris was likely the only one in the part who didn't know it was headed for the parking lot. Carson Kainer, who was driven in on the two-run shot, instead started trotting when the ball was hit.
"Oh yeah, I knew it was gone."
Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido thought Harris homering in his last game at the Disch was poignant.
"Ted Williams did it," posited Garrido, "why not him?"
Alaniz (7-2) got win for Texas. In his four innings pitched, he gave up one run and five hits on 71 pitches, while striking out five. Ricky Sparks (2-1) was the losing pitcher. Sparks gave up six runs, five of them earned, and five hits on 79 pitches over three and two thirds innings.
The Texas player arrived for their team meal at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and didn't leave until after 9:00 p.m.
"It was a long day, but a lot of fun," said Harris. "It's great being out at the ballpark with these guys."