Ty Madden started and ended his day on the mound Saturday about as well as he could have.
When the first pitch rolled off the sophomore’s fingers, Texas fans roared in appreciation. Moments later, Madden retired the Boise State batter on his first strikeout of the afternoon.
Eight innings later, he bookended a complete-game performance with his seventh strikeout in a 2-1 win for the Longhorns (7–0) at Disch-Falk Field.
Madden threw 102 pitches — only two of which resulted in hits for the Broncos (0–2), though one was a solo homer by right fielder Reagan Doss — in his second win of the season.
“I felt like coming in today I was already at an advantage just because I studied them a lot more,” Madden said, “and you could tell they were thinking about last night’s game.”
Madden met with Bryce Elder on Friday night after the Texas ace allowed just four hits and no runs in the series-opening win. Elder shared what he noticed during the game, which gave the Saturday starter a “huge” edge, he said.
With the Longhorns having just one night of Broncos at-bats to study, Madden relied on his teammate and assistant coach Sean Allen for insight into what he was preparing to face on the mound.
Texas relief pitcher Donny Diaz jogged to the bullpen after the eighth inning, but Allen reassured Madden he was going to have the chance to close out the game.
“I think he was better in the last three innings than the first three innings today,” head coach David Pierce said, “and I didn’t feel like fighting him for the ball today.”
Madden noticed some of the Boise State hitters began sitting on his fastball, so he began mixing in his slider and curve to stay ahead.
While Madden fought to stave off a potential Broncos resurgence late, the Longhorns struggled to score runs for five straight innings. Texas left four runners on base before the seventh, when left fielder Eric Kennedy secured the lead with a solo home run that flew to the bullpen in left field.
“Eric, in that situation, a lot of times he’s going to bunt there,” Pierce said, “and I wanted him to hit because I want to see him drive the ball. He has the capability and he hit the game winner.”
Kennedy assisted on defense as well, collecting fly balls from three consecutive hitters in the fifth inning.
Although the Longhorns failed to overpower the newly reincarnated Broncos — who had discontinued baseball after the 1980 season — as they did in Friday’s matchup, they remain undefeated and collected their second series win of the year ahead of Sunday’s finale.
“We didn’t make quick enough adjustments,” Pierce said, “but at the same time, when you find a way to win a game that’s not going your way offensively and you do so with pitching and defense, it’s a quality win.”