The Texas Longhorns are now one step closer to securing a Big 12 regular season championship and a top-eight national seed.
The Baylor Bears are one step closer to falling out of the NCAA Regional picture.
Freshman starting pitcher Taylor Jungmann carried the ‘Horns to a 3-1 victory in Waco on Sunday, securing Texas' third series sweep of the Bears in the last four seasons.
Brandon Workman had been in the Longhorns' weekend rotation all season, but after he failed to pitch more than four innings in five consecutive weekend starts, head coach Augie Garrido and pitching coach Skip Johnson decided to go in a different direction.
"We wanted to give Taylor a start and try to get Workman back throwing some bullpens," Johnson said of the decision. "We wanted to get his rhythm and timing back and get his confidence back and go from there. We knew Taylor could do that because he'd dome it earlier in the year."
Jungmann didn't disappoint.
The right-hander was in control of the Baylor hitters all day long, surrendering only one run on three hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out a career-high ten batters.
The Central Texas native consistently pounded the strike zone with all of his pitches, and he didn't fall behind a hitter 2-0 until there was one out in the fifth inning.
Catcher Cameron Rupp was impressed with the performance.
"[Jungmann] was awesome," he said. "Everything everyone asked. He threw strikes and hit his spots. It makes everything easy for us on defense. He played great and threw the ball real well."
Rupp not only caught an excellent game, but he also provided the bulk of the Longhorns' offense.
Baylor starting pitcher Willie Kempf had good stuff on Sunday, but Rupp put Texas on top with an opposite-field solo homer in the second inning.
"They had been working both sides of the plate all weekend against me," Rupp said. "My approach is always to look away and adjust in. They threw it away and I went with it."
Two innings later, the sophomore backstop struck again.
Rupp gave the Longhorns a 2-0 lead when his single to center brought home first baseman Brandon Belt.
That would be plenty of support for the Texas pitching.
Jungmann retired 15 of the game's first 16 hitters. The Bears didn't pose a threat until the sixth inning, when Jungmann walked the leadoff hitter, got an out on a sacrifice bunt, and allowed a single to put runners on the corners.
Slugging Baylor shortstop Shaver Hansen came up with an RBI fielder's choice and what would be BU's only run of the afternoon. Jungmann struck out cleanup hitter Dan Evatt on a slider to end the threat.
The Beats threatened once again in the seventh after reliever Austin Dicharry walked centerfielder Brooks Pinckard. After Pinckard stole second, Dicharry got a popup on a sacrifice bunt attempt, a groundout, and an infield popup to strand the runner at third base.
Texas added to its lead in the ninth with a trio of singles. Third baseman Michael Torres, who was 3-for-5 on the day, poked a base hit into left field, scoring Brandon Loy and making it a 3-1 contest.
Sunday's low-scoring affair was quite a bit different from the first two games.
"When you score 31 runs in two games, sooner or later you're going to have a game like this," said Augie Garrido. "The game was definitely about pitching and defense. Jungmann did a fabulous job with his part of it. Dicharry got some important outs to get to Wood."
Left-hander Austin Wood pitched the final two innings for the ‘Horns without allowing a run. The senior earned his 20th career save, propelling him above Charlie Thames and Eric French for third place in UT history.
"Wood continues to be one of the amazing closers in the country at this point in time," Garrido said. "He certainly ranks there, in my opinion, with the two best we've had here since I've been here, and that's Huston Street and J. Brent Cox."
With the sweep, the Longhorns improved to 33-11-1 overall and 15-8-1 in Big 12 play. Texas plays the Aggies of Texas A&M next weekend, who are 13-8 in the league. Kansas State sits in second place by mere percentage points with a 12-7 record.
Jungmann pitches Horns to sweep of Baylor
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