Here's a quick look, with plenty of notes, quotes and highlights from the Texas Longhorns' 2-1 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in front of 6,842 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin on Saturday afternoon.
Jacob Felts' ninth inning RBI double gave Texas a 2-1 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
How the Longhorns (12-6, 1-1 Big 12) Won
Texas got an outstanding outing from starting pitcher Dillon Peters and overcame an equally strong outing from Texas Tech starter Trey Masek - who hadn't allowed a run through 32 innings entering the game - to set up a rubber match in tomorrow's series finale. Peters went the longest he's ever gone, pitching 8 1/3 innings and wracking up a career high seven strikeouts against the Red Raiders on Saturday. Texas got its two runs in the first and ninth, the last one coming on a Jacob Felts double to center that grazed the tip of center fielder Brett Bell's glove before getting all the way to the fence. The shot allowed Madison Carter to score from first after he worked a one-out walk. Corey Knebel may have saved the day for the Longhorns when he came in with one out in the ninth inning with the bases loaded. Texas' All-American closer struck out the only two batters he faced to get Texas out of the jam and set up the dramatic ending.
How the Red Raiders (13-8, 1-1 Big 12) Lost
Tech struggled with Peters as much as Texas struggled with Masek, the difference was the Horns were able to capitalize on one more opportunity. The Red Raiders had a runner on second with two outs in the seventh when Tim Proudfoot hit a single to center. Eric Gutierrez was sent home but found catcher Jeremy Montalbano waiting for him at the plate after a perfect cut off from Weston Hall to C.J Hinojosa. In the ninth Peters allowed two hits around an intentional walk to load the bases before Knebel was called from the bullpen. Without much time to warm up, Knebel took the mound and fanned the next two Tech batters on five pitches each. It was a tough game to find scoring opportunities with the quality pitching; the Red Raiders lost because they couldn't find a way to capitalize on the few opportunities they had.
Dillon Peters pitched the best game he's had as a Longhorn. The sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind. was dominant against Texas Tech, allowing only four balls to be hit into the outfield through his first six innings. The only run he allowed all game came in the third when an infield ground out scored Mason Randolph from third, who had reached on a leadoff walk. He and Friday starter Parker French will be a very tough 1-2 combo if Texas can continue to get the kind of production it got from Peters at The Disch on Saturday.
It Was Over When...
This wasn't over until the fat lady sung. It looked certain that Tech was going to be able to get at least one across in the top of the ninth when it had the bases loaded and one out before Knebel slammed the door on that possibility. Then, in the bottom of the inning Texas was going to have to rely on its often criticized bottom of the lineup to find a way to score the game-winner against Tech reliever Jonathan Tripp. Carter working a one-out walk out of a 1-2 count got the ball rolling and then Felts took an 0-1 pitch and sent it just over the center fielder's out-stretched arm. It was the Longhorns third walk-off win of the season.
Texas three-hole hitter Erich Weiss will get overshadowed by Felts' walk-off and the pitching performances of Peters and Knebel, but the third baseman had a heck of a day. He finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. On a day when it was hard to find hits - the Horns finished with just seven on the day - Weiss stood in and was a tough out for the Red Raiders' ace.
While you can point to the bats not producing much, the pitcher they were up against will be a very high-round draft pick when he goes pro. In games like this you just have to tip your cap to the guy on the other side and be thankful your team made enough plays at the end of the day to come out on top.
Jacob Felts. Texas' junior catcher took the loss on Friday pretty hard when he struck out in the ninth with a chance to tie or win the game. Augie Garrido said he went with freshman Jeremy Montalbano at catcher to start for that reason. Montalbano reached with a hit in the seventh and was taken out for a pinch runner, meaning Felts would finish the game at catcher. He was due up third in the final inning with a chance to win it after Knebel's marvelous two-out appearance and erased the memory of Friday night's disappointment with the game-winning hit on Saturday.
Again, it's hard to point to a disappointment in a game like this one. Texas left a lot of opportunities out on the field - it stranded eight runners in all - but it wasn't going up against a scrub on the mound.
Stat(s) of the Night
Texas is now 6-2 in one-run games after going 5-7 a year ago... Corey Knebel had allowed all five inherited runners to score leading up to today. He kept all three runners on the bases with his two huge strikeouts in the ninth... The Longhorns have now stolen 29 bases after swiping three more on Saturday. They've only allowed their opponents to steal four.
Story of the Night
This Texas-Texas Tech series has produced two dramatic pitching duels over the first two games. After last night's 1-0 Red Raider win, the Longhorns bounced back and won behind a great 8 1/3 innings from Peters and a clutch two outs from Knebel. Trey Masek was as good as advertised for Tech, but the Longhorns found a way to put a chink in the armor in the first inning and then took advantage of Tripp in the bottom of the ninth. Jacob Felts, after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Friday, got immediate redemption with his game-winning double.
Augie Garrido on what the win means:
"It's an important win after last night's difficult defeat. To be on the other side of it makes everyone feel a whole lot better and a lot more confident, and especially Jacob who was taking the loss last night as his responsibility, which we all know isn't true."
Garrido on Dillon Peters:
"He pitched with a purpose. And he pitched with conviction from beginning to end. He never backed off. He had the one inning where he walked a couple of guys and had a little bit of a competitive lapse, but absolutely turned it around and went through nine innings for the first time all year."
Jacob Felts on how it feels to hit the game winner after Friday's game:
"It feels great, especially after last night - last night was pretty tough. I kind of took it tough on myself a little bit."
[b]Felts on his mindset realizing he would have a chance to win the game:
"I was ready to go. I was ready to get another opportunity to redeem myself. And luckily I did get the opportunity, and Good Lord willing it worked out for me, so I'm happy."
Dillon Peters on going 8 1/3 innings:
"I feel like I prepare myself week in and week out to go the distance that far. It's just whether or not they need me to. Today they let me role and I felt good out there and just went as long as I could."
Peters on going up against Trey Masek:
"He's a good pitcher and I knew that I had to give up one or no runs, and stuck to my game plan and worked down in the zone and it ended up working out."
Corey Knebel on his appearance:
"This was a great game today and I haven't one of those in a long time."
Knebel on his mindset entering the game:
A little scared. I wasn't really ready yet. They had just told me to get hot and I was going in next batter, so I was real nervous going in. It's like 'Wow, bases loaded, one out, what do I have to do here? I've got to get a ground ball.' So all I thought was just throw to the mitt."[/i]