By Steve Lansdale
LUBBOCK, Texas — The last pitcher whose job is to seal up victories in tight games is referred to as the “closer.” For one game Sunday, he 18th-ranked Texas Longhorns adopted a closer-by-committee approach as Parker Joe Robinson, Josh Sawyer and Andy McGuire teamed up to allow just hits and one run in a 7-5 victory over No. 8 Texas Tech at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock.
The victory was UT’s second out of three in the weekend series against the Red Raiders, making Texas the first visiting team to win a series in Lubbock all season. The win lifted the Longhorns’ record to 33-18 overall, and 14-7 against teams from the Big 12. Tech, meanwhile, dipped to 35-14 overall and 12-9 in conference games.
Robinson entered after starter Blair Henley allowed four runs and eight hits over five innings. Robinson threw 2-2/3 innings, allowing the Red Raiders’ last run and picked up the win, improving his season record to 3-0. McGuire got the save, his seventh of the season.
Second baseman Kody Clemens and Zach Zubia homered in the seventh inning to lead the UT offense. Clemens’ 16th of the season tied the game at 4-4, while Zubia’s two-run shot — he has gone deep 10 times this season — provided the last runs the Longhorns would need.
Clemens and Zubia have accounted for 26 — or 54.2 percent — of the team’s home runs this season.
Four players — Clemens, Zubia, right fielder Duke Ellis and first baseman Jake McKenzie — picked up a pair of hits for Texas, which outhit its hosts, 11-10. McKenzie drove in the Longhorns’ final run when his single to left-center field plated left fielder Masen Hibbeler from second base in the eighth inning.
The team will have a week off before hosting Texas State at 6:30 p.m., May 15 in a game that can seen on the Longhorn Network.