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Horns Dominate Mountaineers

Here's a quick look, with plenty of notes, quotes and highlights from the Texas Longhorns' 12-0 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers in front of 6,747 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin on Saturday afternoon.

Mark Payton had a big day at the plate going 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI.

How the Longhorns (21-16, 5-9 Big 12) Won
Texas used two huge innings to take a tight 0-0 game and turn it into a blowout. The Horns put up five runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and added one more in the sixth and the seventh to run away from the Mountaineers on Saturday. Ten batters went to the plate in both the fourth and fifth innings with six Longhorns getting extra-base hits, including Jacob Felts' first home run of the season, a three-run shot over the left-field wall. Ty Marlow batted in the five hole with Erich Weiss sitting after yesterday's injury (if he plays Sunday it will be as a DH), and the trio of Marlow, C.J Hinojosa and Mark Payton went 8-for-14 with six RBI and seven runs. The twelve runs grabs your attention, but the zero for WVU was just as impressive as starter Dillon Peters (4-2) went eight strong innings before Travis Duke came in and pitched a scoreless ninth for Texas' second shutout of Big 12 play.

How the Mountaineers (22-18, 5-6 Big 12) Lost
West Virginia starter Dan Dierdorff got off to a good start, but in the fourth inning things fell apart for the right-hander. Through the first three innings he had allowed just one hit. The Longhorns started the fourth with four straight base hits - each would score - and when he was pulled in the fifth he had given up nine hits resulting in eight earned runs. Reliever Ryan Hostrander came in and surrendered three more runs, but by then West Virginia had already dug itself way too deep a hole with the way Peters was pitching.

Game MVP
Though Texas did a ton of damage at the plate, today's MVP goes to Dillon Peters. The sophomore lefty threw eight innings, allowing only four hits and three walks while striking out six. He doesn't dominate on the mound in terms of strikeouts, but he induces a ton of ground balls. When the defense is playing well behind him, like they were today, he's as hard as anybody to hit. In fact, in Big 12 play Peters has an impressive 0.98 ERA and opposing batters are hitting just .150 against him.

It Was Over When...
Texas put two straight fives on the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings. In those two innings the Longhorns went a combined 10-for-15 with six extra-base hits. The first three innings were a little shaky, looking like yet another low-scoring Texas baseball game, but the Horns exploded in the fourth and fifth for what the team hopes is a catalyst for better offensive baseball over the final ten regular-season conference games.

Horns Up
C.J Hinojosa had an all-around great day at the ballpark. He went 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI at the plate and also made a few fantastic plays on defense. Hinojosa may not be the fastest guy on the diamond, but he's shown throughout the season to have incredible range at short, and it was again evident on Saturday. He can make plays going in either direction, but his best this day was when he snagged a grounder going full speed to his right and made a big throw across his body for the game-ending out at first.

Horns Down
No "Horns Down" today. From pitching to defense to hitting it was a very, very good day for the Longhorns, one they've needed for a long time.

Biggest Surprise
Give it up to Jacob Felts. The junior catcher hit his first home run of the season with a shot into the visitor's bullpen in the fifth. The three-run homer that ballooned Texas' lead to 10-0 at the time was just his second home run of his career. With only eight RBI to his name this season entering the game, Felts added a career-high four to his total with an RBI single in the sixth. He finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored.

Biggest Disappointment
This is most definitely splitting hairs, but Texas cleanup hitter Mark Payton was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle on Saturday. The Horns' top hitter hit a triple in the second, a double in the fourth and a single in the sixth to set himself up for an opportunity in the seventh to hit one over the fence to complete the cycle. The right fielder grounded out to second in his final at-bat of the day. He finished 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI in Texas' big day.

Stat(s) of the Night
Dillon Peters has allowed one run in the last 24 2/3 innings he's pitched... Saturday marked the first time in his Longhorn career that Erich Weiss did not start.... Mark Payton has now hit eleven triples in his career.

Story of the Night
The Longhorn bats woke up, if only for a day. Three innings in it seemed like every other offensively-challenged game Texas has played this season, but then all of a sudden in the fourth inning something clicked the the Longhorns were placing balls all over the field. The twelve runs were by far the most Texas has scored against a conference opponent this year as virtually everybody got in on the action at some point. Combine that with a great performance on the mound by Peters and the final score is a clear indication of how much the Longhorns outplayed the Mountaineers in Game 2 of this three-game series.

Augie Garrido on the big offensive performance:
"It's not so much about the hitting, it's about the tension. And today we busted through that in the fourth inning and then it set up the rest of the game. In the first three innings it looked exactly the same as before, it looked like we were in the same rut. And then all of a sudden, the fourth inning took place and it looked like a Longhorn baseball team, the one we've seen several time in practice."

Augie Garrido on where the offensive explosion came from:
"It goes back to being confident, and being aggressive, and being competitive to a level that overcomes the fear. It eliminates all the thinking that 'I might not get this done' or 'I hope I get this done' or 'let's see if I can get this done'."

Augie Garrido on Dillon Peters:
"He's a good pitcher. He was really good in high school, he's a dominant pitcher. He would have been drafted by a Major League team had he had the computer profile of a Major League pitcher. He's going to have to be one of those guys that proves it at every level before he pitches in the Major Leagues. And a lot of them have done that, especially left-handed pitchers."

Dillon Peters on why he's been so successful of late:
"I'm just more and more comfortable with my routine, and working out midweek, making sure I'm not missing bullpens or long toss. It's carrying over and I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing and try to ride this as long as I can.

Jacob Felts on his home run:
[i]"It doesn't happen for me very often. Every now and then I'll run into one and it'll hit the wall for me. Maybe that was a little wind-aided home run, I don't know. I'm just glad it went over."

Jacob Felts on how big Sunday's rubber game is:
"Everyday is a big day for us since we don't have that many games left, so every game's important. But I think tomorrow will be the day. Tomorrow I think we're going to come out with the right energy and right mindset and we're going to get it done."

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