Texas 4, Texas State 1: Longhorns finish off season sweep of Bobcats as TCU series looms
With an important work trip set for this weekend, Texas first took care of some business at home on Tuesday night.
Zach Zubia hit a tie-breaking home run and five pitchers combined to limit Texas State to three hits in a 4-1 win at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. It was the third midweek win over the Bobcats this season for Texas (36-11).
Next up for the sixth-ranked Longhorns is a three-game series at No. 3 TCU that starts on Friday.
"This was a growth game for us," Zubia said. "It's going to help us out when we go to TCU this weekend."
Through the first five innings, Texas and Texas State battled to a 1-1 tie. In the sixth, Zubia gave UT a 2-1 lead with a blast to right field.
The home run was Zubia's seventh of the season and the 26th of his four-year career. He is two long balls shy of joining the top 10 home run hitters in school history.
The solo shot also extended Zubia's on-base streak to 23 games. That is a season-best run for the Longhorns. Zubia, who reached base in 41 straight games at the beginning of the 2018 season, is hitting .347 over his last 23 games. He has drawn 26 of his 39 walks during this streak.
"I've had a good approach," Zubia said. "I've been able to be mature and take my walks when they come and not get out of the zone too much. I think that's something that's been really helpful for me."
After adding a run on a seventh-inning error, Texas made it 4-1 on an Eric Kennedy groundout in the eighth.
Facing a Texas State team that was hitting just .252, UT freshman Lucas Gordon allowed one hit over a three-inning designated start. Drew Shifflet worked the next two innings and was tagged for Texas State's lone run. Only two Bobcats reached base in the final four frames as Texas turned to Cole Quintanilla, Tanner Witt and Aaron Nixon.
Quintanilla was credited with the win. The third-year right-hander from Cedar Park was perfect over the two innings he pitched. He struck out three batters.
"I thought Cole Quintanilla, that's the best he's thrown since he's been here. It was electric, lights out," said Sean Allen, the Texas assistant who coaches the pitchers.
Texas, which is 13-5 in the Big 12, will now turn its attention to the upcoming tussle with TCU. With six conference contests left on both teams' schedules, the Horned Frogs hold a two-game lead over the second-place Longhorns in the conference standings.
Since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2013, the Longhorns are 2-10 against the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. Texas last won a series there in 1992.
Around the bases: Nationally, Zubia and Mike Antico entered this week in a fourth-place tie in walks drawn. Antico drew his 40th and 41st walks on Tuesday. ... After plating a second-inning run on a fielder's choice, shortstop Trey Faltine has driven in a run in three of his last four games. ... Allen blamed his pitch call for Texas State's only run, a solo homer by Cole Coffey. ... Texas State dropped to 19-27.