HOUSTON – Lukas Schiraldi allowed just two runs in 6 2/3 innings of work and eight Longhorns contributed a hit in a balanced offensive effort as the No. 8/9 Texas baseball team defeated No. 12/18 Rice 5-2 Tuesday night at Reckling Park.
Brooks Marlow scored three runs on the night, while Tres Barrera had a game-high two RBI as Texas improved to 4-1 against ranked teams and 23-7 overall. Ben Johnson and C.J Hinojosa both had two-hit nights.
Schiraldi, who has gone at least six innings in each of his last three starts, picked up a win for his third start in a row to improve to 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA. Rice starter Jon Duplantier (0-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Schiraldi faced just one over the minimum in the first three innings, retiring the side in order in the first and getting a double play ball to wipe out a runner after a single in the second.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first, when Marlow reached and singles from Johnson and Mark Payton loaded the bases, and Barrera grounded into a run-scoring double play.
The Longhorns added to their lead in the third inning, making use of a Rice error that put runners on the corners for Barrera, who hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Marlow.
Rice cut the lead in half in the fifth, when pinch hitter Blake Fox hit a two-out single to center field to score a runner from second base.
Texas, though, responded with three runs the next half inning. Hinojosa led off the sixth with a double off the wall in left field, stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly from Zane Gurwitz to make it 3-1. After Kacy Clemens walked, Marlow singled and Johnson reached on a fielding error to load the bases, Payton worked a 3-2 count and drew a walk to force in another run.
Barrera followed with a RBI single through the left side to make it 5-1, and Schiraldi worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth.
Rice completed the scoring with a RBI groundout in the seventh, but reliever Travis Duke came on to work 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Morgan Cooper picked up the save with 2/3 innings of work in the ninth.
Texas, which also defeated the Owls 2-0 in the Houston College Classic on Feb. 28, clinched a season-series win. The two teams have one more meeting, next Tuesday in Austin.
The Longhorns return to conference play on Friday when they open a three-game series with Baylor. Game times are set for 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
courtesy of texassports.com