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Texas 18, Abilene Christian 0: Runs come early and often as Longhorns blow by Wildcats

Texas infielder Murphy Stehly, seen in a 2020 game, went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs in the 18-0 win over Abilene Christian on Friday night.

Texas got off to its best start in nearly six years Friday night.

The Longhorns scored five runs in the first inning of an 18-0 pounding of Abilene Christian at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. En route to recording its most runs since 2010, Texas scored in all eight of the innings in which it batted.

Texas (28-8) has won 11 straight games. Among the active winning streaks in Division I, only Fairfield's 17-game run is longer.

"It's the Friday night game," Texas coach David Pierce said. "We're 1-0 in the series. We've got to regroup and be ready to play tomorrow."

Facing an Abilene Christian team burdened by a 5.40 ERA, Texas got its weekend started on a good note. In the first inning, UT starter Ty Madden retired the Wildcats (19-14) in order. The Longhorns then pushed five runs across in the bottom half.

Texas last plated five runs in a first inning during an 11-1 win over Baylor in May 2015. On Friday, the Longhorns struck first on run-scoring doubles by Zach Zubia and Cam Williams, and Douglas Hodo III drove in two runs with a single. All nine of UT's batters had a plate appearance in the first inning.

After adding a run in the second, Texas scored five more times in the third. Hodo homered in the fourth. One inning later, Texas leadoff hitter Mike Antico scored for the third time.

After going up 13-0 in the fifth, Texas removed all but two of its starters. Starting shortstop Trey Faltine came out after his RBI double in the sixth. 

Asked which substitutes impressed him Friday night, Pierce said: "I thought (Peyton Powell) did a nice job; he had two good at-bats. (Murphy Stehly) was solid."

Stehly went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Powell had one of Texas' 17 hits and scored a run.  

In addition to compiling its most runs since a 20-11 win at Missouri in 2010, Texas recorded its fourth shutout of the year. Madden and four relievers limited Abilene Christian to four hits, a season low for the Wildcats.

Madden (5-1) gave up three hits and three walks to the Wildcats. He finished with eight strikeouts and allowed one runner past second base. He threw only 83 pitches over his five innings, his second-lowest pitch count of the season. He had topped 100 pitches in four of his previous six starts.

"It was the perfect situation for him to only throw five and get some of those (other) arms in," Pierce said. "I was kind of hoping that we could get in that situation tonight to give him a little breather."

Friday's meeting was only the second between the two schools. Texas recorded a 9-1 win over the Wildcats on March 11, 2020. The next day, the NCAA cited coronavirus concerns as it canceled its postseason tournaments. The Big 12 pulled the plug on its spring sports a day later.

Around the bases: On Thursday, Texas received commitments from high school pitchers Collin Valentine and Cole Selvig. Valentine, a left-hander from Highland Park, joins UT's 2022 recruiting class. The Wisconsin-raised Selvig is a 2023 recruit. ... Hodo has homered in two straight games. ...  Freshman left-hander Caden Noah, who had a 20.25 ERA and hadn't pitched since Feb. 27, struck out two batters in the eighth inning. ... Eric Kennedy, the only Longhorn starter to play the entire game, scored three times and had two infield singles.