With its first road trip of the year approaching, Texas took care of business at home Wednesday night.
The Longhorns produced 10 hits and cashed in on several miscues in a 7-2 win over Lamar at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The five-run victory served as a tune-up for UT, which travels to nationally-ranked LSU this weekend.
“(Mid-week) games are important,” junior infielder DJ Petrinsky said. “You’ve got to capitalize, especially when teams make a lot of errors. You’ve got to capitalize and get the win and then look forward to the next one.”
The two teams battled to a 1-1 tie through three innings before Lamar’s defense imploded in the fourth frame. Three different Cardinals committed an error in the inning, and those miscues — plus a wild pitch by reliever Chet Jones — led to two runs crossing the plate. Lamar (1-3) had committed only one error in its first three games.
Texas (3-1) pushed across four more runs in the fifth. Four Lamar errors led to three unearned runs, but UT also bested the nine hits it collected in a 5-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday.
The Longhorns were paced by Petrinsky, who went 3 for 4 with three runs and a RBI. Petrinsky, who spent the last two years at Hill College, had gone hitless in his first three games. Last year, he hit .353 with 12 home runs.
“About time, shoot,” said Petrinsky, who played catcher and first base. “It felt good. I had some cheap hits, but that’s baseball. Hit the ball hard, you get an out. Get a little cheap hit, get rolling.”
Freshman Nico O’Donnell did not factor in the decision in his first-ever start. He twice loaded the bases in his first inning on the mound, but he ended up allowing three hits and two walks over a 50-pitch outing. O’Donnell, who will be available to pitch in relief this weekend, was pulled with one out in the fourth.
Texas used five pitchers who combined to give up four hits. None of those five were on UT’s roster in 2017 and only Bryce Elder, another freshman, played in the season-opening series against Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I thought it was important if it was playable to be able to play tonight,” Pierce said, referring to the rains that fell in the Austin area on Wednesday. “The arms that you saw throw had to throw tonight. They were going to throw a bullpen if they didn’t compete in the game. They needed to get into competition.”
Texas’ three-game series at LSU starts on Friday; the Longhorns were 6-11 on the road last year. Texas holds a 23-10-1 edge in its all-time series with LSU, but the last win — and the 2009 College World Series — went to the Tigers.
No. 19 Texas and No. 23 LSU are separated only by Indiana, Mississippi State and Cal State Fullerton in D1Baseball’s national poll. LSU dropped 11-3 and 10-5 decisions to Notre Dame last weekend. The Tigers also have a 7-6 win over the Fighting Irish and Wednesday’s 14-6 beating of New Orleans on its résumé.
Around the bases: Elder was credited with the victory after he threw 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief. … Freshman Zach Zubia drove in the first run of his career with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly. He later had an RBI triple. … Three days after he pitched for 1 2/3 innings in his first game since 2015, junior Andy McGuire played two innings in left field. … Texas announced a crowd of 3,950, although the actual number on a chilly evening was far lower. “We had the diehards here tonight,” Pierce said with a laugh.