Texas 11, ACU 1: Confident but not cocky, Longhorns win their 13th game in a row
This weekend, Texas' winning streak became a teenager.
The Longhorns earned their 13th win in a row with a run-ruled victory over Abilene Christian on Sunday. In an 11-1 triumph at UFCU Disch-Falk Field that was called in the seventh inning, Texas scored six early runs and never looked back.
For Texas, this is its fourth-longest winning streak this millennium. The Longhorns won 21 straight games in 2010. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons, UT pieced together 14- and 16-game streaks.
"I don't care if you're playing Our Lady of the Foul Line, it doesn't matter. To win 13 straight is tough to do," UT coach David Pierce said. "In our sport, anything can happen. The best team doesn't always win."
After battling to a 3-1 win over Abilene Christian (19-16) on Saturday, the third-ranked Longhorns (30-8) quickly distanced themselves from the Wildcats a day later. In Sunday's first inning, Texas scored four times as Ivan Melendez, DJ Petrinsky, Douglas Hodo III and Eric Kennedy recorded RBIs in consecutive at-bats.
Texas added two more runs in the second session. That lead was then extended to 10-1 over the next three innings as Zach Zubia and Mike Antico both homered.
The Longhorns went on to score their 11 runs on 14 hits. Texas homered twice and tripled twice.
Antico went 3-for-4 and fell just a double shy of recording UT's first hitting cycle since C.J Hinojosa accomplished the feat at Kansas on April 19, 2015. Melendez extended his personal hitting streak to 13 games.That is UT's longest streak since Duke Ellis collected a hit in 16 straight games during the 2018 season.
"As a team, we're all trying to basically do the same thing which is we're trying to back the baseball up, we're not trying to get fooled out in front. We're not trying to do too much," Antico said. "When everyone buys into the same idea, you tend to have success."
The six teams beaten by Texas during this run — Kansas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Stephen F. Austin, Kansas State, Nevada and Abilene Christian — entered Sunday with a combined record of 92-100. None of those teams had a top-60 RPI. Only Nevada, which was 7-8 in Mountain West play, held a top-six spot in its conference standings.
Texas can only play the teams on its schedule, though. And over its past 13 games, the Longhorns beat those teams by an average of 7.5 runs.
Texas, which is 3-3 against ranked programs, now enters the backloaded section of its schedule. Over the next three weekends, the Longhorns will wage three-game wars against No. 13 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Texas Tech and No. 12 TCU.
"We're getting into the heart of it, it's going to be probably our toughest few weekends," Antico said. "The team is confident, but I wouldn't say we're cocky. We know that we've got to show up and play."
Around the bases: Texas improved to 22-2 at home, but the Longhorn won't play again in Austin until April 27. UT will travel to Texas State and Oklahoma State next week. ... UT sophomore pitcher Kolby Kubichek improved to 5-2 after allowing five hits and two walks over a five-inning start. Kubichek was aided by two double plays ... Texas third baseman Cam Williams was limping in the sixth inning. He was replaced by Murphy Stehly, but Pierce didn't think a serious injury had occurred. ... Pflugerville native Mike Brown played an inning in left field for Abilene Christian.