Dane Myers scored twice to spoil the debut of Texas coach David Pierce as the Longhorns opened the 2017 baseball season on Friday with a 3-2 loss to Rice.
Over the first six innings, Texas traded Kody Clemens’ solo home run and Kacy Clemens’ sacrifice fly for a two-run double off the bat of Rice sophomore Dominic DiCaprio. After Texas stranded runners at second base in the seventh and eighth frames, Myers singled and later scooted across the diamond on a passed ball and sacrifice bunt. Myers then scored on Darryn Sheppard’s groundout to third base.
Rice reliever Evan Kravetz struck out pinch hitter Joe Baker to open the ninth inning’s bottom half, and the Owls then turned to Zach Esquivel. Esquivel retired the two batters he faced to close out the game.
Texas junior Morgan Cooper was credited with a no-decision after he gave up three hits and two runs over a six-inning start. Cooper recorded outs against 12 straight batters between the second and fifth innings, but the Owls broke through against the right-hander from Jarrell during their third trip through the batting order. Cooper threw 87 pitches in his 2017 debut.
Texas and Rice will meet twice on Saturday. The first pitch of the double-header at UFCU Disch-Falk Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.