Texas 10, Incarnate Word 1: Longhorns roll after shaking things up at the ballpark
When Texas baseball coach David Pierce handed in his lineup card on Tuesday night, things looked a little different.
Dylan Campbell, a freshman, was given his first-ever start in the outfield.
Ivan Melendez found playing time at first base.
Tanner Witt, a freshman pitcher, left the bullpen and picked up a bat.
Texas, coming off an 11-2 loss at Baylor on Sunday, mixed up its lineup in the 10-1 win over Incarnate Word at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
"Good night bouncing back from our first conference weekend," Pierce said. "I thought we did a nice job within our prep early today. ... This team continues to impress with how they like to work and how much they like coming to the ballpark early."
Texas (15-6), ranked ninth in the country, has a three-game series against Oklahoma this weekend. With the Sooners on deck, the Longhorns chose to conduct some on-field experiments during their midweek meeting with the Cardinals.
As Texas searches for depth in the outfield following Austin Todd's season-ending shoulder injury, Campbell was sent out to left field. Normally, he's a backup infielder. He caught four fly balls and prevented the Cardinals from stretching a third-inning single into a double. At the plate, he drove in three runs with a single and a home run.
Melendez started at first base and moved to third for the final inning. Pierce has penciled him in as his designated hitter 11 times this season, .
With Texas needing a designated hitter, Witt went 2-for-2 with a walk. The freshman entered the game with just four at-bats to his credit. He's been used as one of the Longhorns' top relievers.
According to Pierce, those moves were "pretty calculated" and not random. Melendez had already started three times at first base. Pierce said Witt would have already seen more plate appearances this season had Texas been using him as a starting pitcher instead of a key reliever. The Longhorns have also been learning more about Campbell's abilities in the outfield.
"He can handle it," Pierce said. "His arm actually plays better from the outfield than it does from second (base)."
Of Texas' 10 hits, two were particularly notable. Campbell's sixth-inning homer was the first of his career. Peter Geib also homered for the first time while serving as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
A redshirt sophomore, Geib connected on the first pitch he saw from Cole Beddingfield. The at-bat was Geib's first of the season. He missed the 2020 season with an injury.
Sophomore Cole Quintanilla pitched 1 2/3 innings of spotless relief and was credited with the victory. Starter Pete Hansen allowed four hits and two walks over 77 pitches and threw 4 1/3 innings.
Around the bases: Incarnate Word dropped to 8-6. ... Texas is 5-0 in midweek games that aren't attached to a series. ... Campbell also had one of Texas' three stolen bases. ... Eric Kennedy went 2-for-5 and recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the season. That's tied with Douglas Hodo III for the team lead.