MORGANTOWN, W.V. -- Three Texas pitchers combined for nine scoreless innings, C.J Hinojosa and Zane Gurwitz provided run-scoring singles, and Texas Baseball evened their series with West Virginia with a 2-0 win Saturday afternoon at Hawley Field.
Starter Nathan Thornhill logged four innings, Chad Hollingsworthpitched two to pick up the win and John Curtiss closed it out with three shutout frames. The Longhorns, who are 34-14 overall and 11-9 in the Big 12, moved into a tie for third place with Texas Tech and Kansas in the league standings.
Hinojosa gave Texas the only run it would need with a RBI single in the fourth that scored Madison Carter, and Gurwitz tacked on an insurance run with a RBI single in the seventh. Carter, who is leading Texas with a .375 average in Big 12 games, finished with two hits, as did Gurwitz.
The Longhorns were outhit 11 to 6 but were at their best in tight spots, keeping the Mountaineers (25-17, 8-8 Big 12) hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. Thornhill, Hollingsworth and Curtiss combined to leave 12 West Virginia runners on base in the game.
After working a 1-2-3 first inning, Thornhill pitched out of jams the next three innings. The senior stranded two runners in the second and third and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
Texas went ahead 1-0 in the fourth after Carter singled through the left side with one out, moved into scoring position on a Collin Shaw groundout and scored on Hinojosa's single. In the bottom half of the inning, two straight singles with one out had the Mountaineers threatening. After Thornhill recorded his third strikeout of the day a walk loaded the bases, but he got out of the jam with a flyout.
Hollingsworth (2-0) retired the side in order in the fifth, but had to pitch out of trouble in the sixth. A single and a walk gave West Virginia two on with one out, but Hollingsworth used a flyout and groundout to escape.
Curtiss picked up his eighth save of the season with three strong innings, scattering three hits and striking out one.
West Virginia starter Ross Vance (3-1) went 8 1/3, striking out four and walking one, but was stuck with the loss after allowing two runs.
Mark Payton extended his national-best reached-base streak to 87 games with a double in the first inning. The shutout is Texas' eighth this season.
The win sets up a rubber match on Sunday, when Texas will send RHP Lukas Schiraldi (6-2, 4.05) to the mound. Schiraldi is back in the weekend rotation for the first time since March 9 in place of Dillon Peters, who is out with a salivary duct stone. First pitch is set for noon CT.
(Source: University of Texas Athletics)