Texas 11, Oklahoma 6: Prepared Longhorns secure series by slugging the Sooners
When it comes to nicknames, Cam Williams and Zach Zubia may have two of the better ones on the Texas roster.
Williams was nicknamed "Hammer" by his father a long time ago. A first baseman, Zubia has been called "The Big Cat" ever since volunteer coach Troy Tulowitzki saw him fielding his position a couple years ago.
On Saturday, both of those nicknames were fitting. Loud home runs by Williams and Zubia lifted Texas to an 11-6 win over rival Oklahoma at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The win helped No. 9 Texas (17-6, 4-1 Big 12) secure its season series against Oklahoma (12-10, 0-2). On Friday night, UT walked off the Sooners in the 11th inning.
"We love to secure the series but I'd love, we'd all love a sweep even more," Williams said. "Tomorrow, that's what we're looking forward to."
Like it did on Friday night, Oklahoma scored two runs in Saturday's opening inning. The two runs were scored courtesy of Tyler Hardman's two-run homer to right field. Four innings later, Oklahoma scored twice more when Hardman blasted a baseball over the fence in left field.
The Texas fan who found the second baseball hit by Hardman threw it back onto the field. The next few over-the-fence souvenirs would be kept, however.
Trailing 4-3 in the sixth inning, Williams tied the game up with his team-leading fifth homer of the season. Two batters later, Zubia booked a trip around the bases for both himself and teammate Silas Ardoin.
In the seventh inning, Eric Kennedy — who just goes by EK — gave Texas a 7-4 lead with a solo shot. Williams then went deep again in the eighth.
A switch-hitter, Williams said this was the first time that he's ever homered from both sides of the plate in the same game. Williams credited the Longhorns' pregame preparation for a good day at the plate.
"We pride ourselves on toughness," Williams said. "To me and a lot of the guys in there, being tough is having a routine every day, preparing every day. When we see each other carrying that out, we feel like we have each other's backs."
Added Texas coach David Pierce: "I've been involved with a lot of great teams and a lot of great players. I don't know if I've ever had a group of 15 to 17 hitters that are here when I'm here, when I get here early ... it's almost a guilt trip if you're not there."
Williams became the first Longhorn since Lance Ford against West Virginia in 2019 to record a multi-homer game. Texas last had four home runs in a game during a 2018 trip to Texas Tech.
That power surge was enough to support Tristan Stevens in his sixth start of the season. Stevens allowed four hits and registered a career-high seven strikeouts over six innings. Over his first three years at Texas, Stevens had never pitched more than 2 1/3 innings in a game. All of this season's starts for Stevens have gone into the sixth inning.
Around the bases: Pierce opened his postgame press conference by congratulating the Texas men's swimming and diving team for the national championship it won on Saturday. Of Eddie Reese, Pierce said "It's Eddie and the rest of us." ... For their series finale on Sunday, Texas and Oklahoma have a first pitch set for 1 p.m. ... Oklahoma senior Brady Harlan went 0-for-3 as Oklahoma's designated hitter. Harlan made 11 starts at Texas during the 2016 season. ... Oklahoma scored two runs in the ninth inning and forced Pierce to make a two-out pitching change.