Texas baseball extends win streak to seven, beats Baylor 5-3 in Big 12 opener

20 Mar By
Texas starter Ty Madden allowed four hits and three walks while striking out nine Baylor hitters to improve his record this season to 3-1 (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

WACO, Texas — The No. 10 Texas baseball team extended its win streak to seven games Friday night, opening Big 12 play with a 5-3 victory over Baylor at Baylor Ballpark.

The victory moves Texas to 13-5 on the season, and 1-0 in conference action with two games left in the weekend series against the Bears, who fell to 12-5 overall, and 0-1 in games against conference opponents. 

Texas starter Ty Madden was sharp for the most part in the narrow victory, allowing four hits, walking three and striking out nine over 6-1/3 innings and improving to 3-1. Two runs crossed the plate with the right-hander on the mound, though the Longhorn offense gave UT the lead in the second inning, after which the Longhorns never trailed. 

Baylor scored first, as leadoff hitter and center fielder Jared McKenzie doubled to the right field gap on Madden's second pitch of the game. McKenzie crossed the plate on the next at-bat, as second baseman Jack Pineda socked a triple to left-center field, driving in the run easily. Madden quickly settled down, striking out the next three batters and ending the first with Baylor in front, 1-0. 

Baylor starter Tyler Thomas (2-1) experienced difficulty of his own on the mound in the top of the second, losing the lead in a four-run frame. 

Texas catcher Silas Ardoin worked the count to 3-2 to lead off the inning, before a hard-hit grounder allowed him to advance to second. Baylor shortstop Tre Richardson fired the ball past the first baseman Chase Wehsener as Ardoin rounded first, as the catcher swiped an extra base to put himself in scoring position. A walk and two outs followed, though Ardoin took advantage of another error by Baylor's infield and reached third base on third baseman Cam Williams' lineout. 

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Second baseman Mitchell Daly finally drove both Ardoin and shortstop Trey Faltine home on an RBI double down the left field line. Three consecutive walks, drawn by right fielder Douglas Hodo III, left fielder Eric Kennedy and center fielder Mike Antico followed. Antico's walk brought Daly across the plate, with Thomas throwing three straight balls following a first-pitch strike. Thomas failed to find the strike zone in the ensuing at-bat against first baseman Zach Zubia, who was hit by a pitch, as Hodo crossed the plate. 

Texas tacked on an additional run on in the third, as Faltine doubled to begin the inning and scored off a double by Williams two batters later. That run extended the lead to 5-1, though Baylor slightly cut into the deficit with a single run in the bottom of the frame. McKenzie from third scored on a single up the middle by catcher Andy Thomas with one out, but that was all Baylor could muster for the next four innings. 

The Bears mounted a late rally in the eighth, with two singles in the first three at-bats. Palmer Wenzel took the mound for Texas, relieving freshman Tanner Witt, and pulled Texas out of the inning without severe damage, though Baylor scored one on a fielding error from Faltine with two outs. 

Williams was the Horns' top offensive performer, going 2-for-5 at the plate with one run batted in. Ardoin, Faltine and Daly were the only other Texas players to record a hit, though the team also drew eight walks. 

Right-hander Tristan Stevens, who is 1-1 on the season with a 3.63 ERA, will start Saturday for Texas, while Baylor will have Blake Helton (1-1, 4.41 ERA) on the mound. The game, which starts at 3 p.m., can be seen on BIG 12 Now on ESPN+.

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley