Texas Baseball Blows Out VCU

UFCU Disch-Falk Field may have been gutted and renovated, but the Longhorn baseball team showed up on Saturday with the same consistency and power that fans have become familiar with. The Horns, recently picked to finish first in the Big 12, beat visiting Virginia Commonwealth University 17-4 in the second of their three-game season-opening series.

Overall, Texas managed to score every inning except the third.

"We showed skill and had a good performance today," head coach Augie Garrido said. "We made some plays defensively that showed our athleticism."

A first inning shot up the middle with one out by Kyle Russell sent Michael Torres home to give Texas its first run of the game and a 1-0 lead over VCU. Russell also picked up his first of two RBI. Next up was catcher Preston Clark and a hit coupled with an overthrow sent him to second base and Jordan Danks home to give Texas a 2-0 lead.

Freshman Cole Green started things off for the Horns on the mound and pitched to only three hits over four innings. Green saw three up and three down in the third inning before being replaced by junior lefty Keith Shinaberry before the fifth. Shinaberry gave up four runs and six hits before Chance Ruffin took the mound to finish off the Rams. Ruffin pitched to only nine batters over three innings and sealed the deal.

In the second inning, a single through the right side by Kevin Keyes sent Brandon Belt home to set off another two-run inning. Belt lead the team with four runs and four hits in five at-bats.

In the eighth inning, Kevin Keyes was hit in the ear by a pitch that sent him to the ground. A hush swept through the crowd as he laid motionless facedown next to home plate. Eventually he made his way to the dugout amid applause and pinch runner Kyle Lusson filled in on the base path. The eighth inning also saw the peak of the Horns' scoring ability. RBI by David Hernandez, Travis Trucker and Michael Torres drummed up five runs for Texas before the inning was over. Revenge for Keyes's earache? Looked like it.

"Team communication is key and we've really been doing a great job. You've got to communicate on the field," Torres said. "This is the most fun I've had in a long time. This is what college baseball would be like."

Torres, a junior, recently transferred here from USC. He lead his team with five RBI on Saturday.

Although Texas has won both of its first two games, there is always tweaking to do.

"At this point we just have to get our batters back in their rhythm after these pitchers play with their timing and get in their heads," Garrido said. "It's like an auto race. After you run the race, you go back in the shop and fine tune some things."

The Longhorns wrap up their series with Virginia Commonwealth University at noon on Sunday.

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