Texas Baseball Tops Texas Tech, 8-3, in Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Opening Round

(via University of Texas Athletics)
(via University of Texas Athletics)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Lukas Schiraldi pitched 5 1/3 solid innings, Ben Johnson and Mark Payton drove in two runs apiece, and the No. 22/28 Texas baseball team defeated No. 23/27 Texas Tech, 8-3, Wednesday night in the opening round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.

The No. 5 seed Longhorns move on to play No. 1 seed Oklahoma State Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Texas (37-16) used a five-run second inning to take command – scoring all five runs with two outs – and Schiraldi gave up just one run one four hits and five walks. Chad Hollingsworth was credited with a save after coming on to pitch the final 3 2/3, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk.

Zane Gurwitz led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance, while Johnson, Payton, Madison Carter and Collin Shaw all had two hits apiece. Johnson had a game-high three runs, while Gurwitz had two. Texas had 13 hits as a team, marking the fourth time in the last five games it has recorded double-digit hits.

Shaw started the five-run second inning with a single, and stole second before being driven in on a RBI single from Kacy Clemens. After Gurwitz followed with a single and Brooks Marlow drew a walk to load the bases, Johnson drove in two runs with a single through the right side. Payton made it 5-0 when he doubled to left field to drive in two more.

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Texas tops Texas Tech, 8-3, in Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Opening Round-1Schiraldi faced trouble in the second and third innings, but limited damage both times. In the second, Tech loaded the bases with one out but Schiraldi used a strikeout and fly out to strand three. An inning later, the Red Raiders got on the scoreboard with a run-scoring double from Bryant Burleson, but Schiraldi again prevented further damage. With runners on first and second, he got a fly out and two strikeouts to end the inning.

Texas responded immediately, scoring twice in the fourth to take a 7-1 advantage. Gurwitz opened the inning by hustling to turn a single into a double, and came around to score on a single to center field by Johnson. Payton followed with his second double of the day to put runners on second and third, and Barrera drove in a run on a groundout.

Schiraldi settled in the next two innings, working a 1-2-3 fourth and allowing just a single in a scoreless fifth. Hollingsworth came on with one out in the sixth and induced a 5-4-3 inning ending double play with the bases loaded to preserve an 8-1 lead.

Texas Tech struck for a pair of runs in the seventh when Adam Kirsch hit a two-run triple, but the Longhorns shut down the Red Raiders (40-17) over the next two innings.

Payton extended his reached-base streak to 92 games, one shy of the Big 12 record held by Nick Martini of Kansas State. Schiraldi (7-3) picked up his team-high seventh win of the season, while the save for Hollingsworth was his second.

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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