Texas Baseball defeats Baylor in regular season finale

Texas Baseball defeats Baylor in regular season finale
(Image via TexasSports.com)

AUSTIN, Texas—In Saturday afternoon's regular season finale, Texas Baseball pounded out 13 hits and battled to a 7-6 win over Baylor at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The Longhorns offense—propelled by Zane Gurwitz (four hits), Michael Cantu (three hits) and Kody Clemens (three hits)—backed freshman Nolan Kingham to the win.

The Longhorns (22-30, 10-14 Big 12) wasted no time getting on the board. Tyler Rand opened the frame with an infield single before swiping second base for his 12th bag of the year. Gurwitz followed with a 10-pitch walk and the Longhorns had a pair on the bases. The duo pulled off the double steal before Travis Jones lifted one to the warning track in left to give the Longhorns a 1-0 lead. A batter later,Tres Barrera grounded out to score Gurwitz and Texas ended the first with a 2-0 advantage.

The Bears (24-27, 10-14 Big 12) scratched away at the Longhorns lead, picking up a run in the third and the fourth to tie it, but Texas answered back immediately.

Cantu opened the bottom of the fourth with his first of three hits on the afternoon. Kody Clemens laid down a bunt single and, after the pitcher threw it away at first, both runners advanced into scoring position.

Bret Boswell followed with a walk before Tyler Rand drove in Cantu from third on an RBI fielder's choice. With the Longhorns back on top 3-2, Gurwitz then drove an 0-1 pitch up the middle to plate Clemens and give Texas a 4-2 lead.

The teams exchanged zeroes in the fifth and sixth thanks to two perfect innings on the hill from Nolan Kingham, but the Bears took advantage of a couple of errors in the seventh to pull out front 5-4.

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The Longhorns answered once again in the bottom of the frame. Gurwitz opened the inning with his third hit of the ballgame before Jones dropped down a bunt that the Baylor pitcher threw away. After a passed ball advanced the runners into scoring position, Tres Barrera lifted a sac fly to center to knot it back at 5-5.

Cantu was the hero for the Longhorns, however, as the sophomore ripped his third base hit through the right side to put Texas back up 6-5.

Kody Clemens then followed with a base knock of his own before Bret Boswell came through next with an RBI single to make it 7-5.

Chase Shugart came on in the ninth and, despite allowing a solo homer, closed out the ballgame. Jake McKenzie recorded the final out of the ballgame on a spectacular bare-hander—his second of the ballgame and the Longhorns finished out the 7-6 win.

The Longhorns next head to Oklahoma City as a seven-seed in the Big 12 Conference Championship tournament.

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.

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