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Offensive Explosion

Here's a quick look, with plenty of notes, quotes and highlights from the Texas Longhorns' 12-5 win over the Texas State Bobcats in front of 5,293 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin on Tuesday night.

Mark Payton went 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBI as part of Texas' huge offensive night on Tuesday.

How the Longhorns (18-13, 3-6 Big 12) Won
Texas came out aggressive at the plate and on the base paths and it ended up with its highest run total of the season when it was all over. Ty Marlow, making just his second start as a position player (first base), went deep in the second inning, and Mark Payton and C.J Hinojosa finished with five combined runs and five RBI in the offensive showcase. Reliever Travis Duke (2-0) went 3 1/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit. Duke picked up the win after starter Josh Urban lasted only 2 2/3 innings.

How the Bobcats (12-19) Lost
Texas State couldn't get the third out early and then it couldn't stop the bleeding in the fourth as the Longhorns jumped out to a 9-2 lead after four innings and never looked back. Bobcat starter Lucas Humpal lasted only three innings and gave up five runs. Reliever Jeremy Hallonquist came in for Humpal and was responsible for three of the four runs Texas scored in the fourth. Texas State put together small rallies throughout the game thanks in large part to shortstop Garrett Mattlage who went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, but they simply couldn't keep up with the Horns' hot bats.

Game MVP
Longhorn clean-up hitter Mark Payton led the way at the plate for the Longhorns with a 4-for-4 performance in which he scored three runs and drove in two more - he also walked once. This could have gone a few different ways as four Longhorns recorded multiple runs and RBI, but Payton was in full command at the plate in each of his appearances.

It Was Over When...
Texas went on its run in the fourth inning. The Horns were in control - up 5-2 - heading into the fourth, but after six straight Longhorns reached base safely - four hits, an error and a walk - and four found their way home, Texas was sitting pretty with a 9-2 lead that wasn't going to be touched by the outmatched Bobcats team. The big hit of the inning belonged to Jeremy Montalbano who hit a double to left that scored Payton and Hinojosa for the final two runs of the fourth.

Horns Up
What else? The Texas bats. Hinojosa finished 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, Ty Marlow went 2-for-5 with his big home run over the right-field wall and Weston Hall went 3-for-6 with two runs and an RBI. By game's end eight of the nine starters finished with at least one run and one RBI.

Horns Down
It was a great game for the Longhorns, but it wasn't without blemishes. The Texas pitchers hit five Texas State batters on Tuesday. It obviously didn't hurt in the end, but that is a lot of free bases to give up to anyone. Texas starter Josh Urban hit two, Travis Duke hit two and Chad Hollingsworth hit one. Again, not the end of the world, but it's definitely worthy of tonight's Horns Down.

Biggest Surprise
This has to go to Ty Marlow. The Texas utility player was getting his second start as a position player - he started at third base against Stanford on March 3 - and filled in well at first base - he was credited with an error after not completing a tough play from his brother, Brooks, at second. His first career hit as a Longhorn was his bomb into the Texas State bullpen, and his second came in the very next inning when he brought Payton home with a single to left in the third. Marlow brings a competitive fire with him when he's called upon as a reliever, and he showed he brings that same fire to the plate with his swing-for-the-fence mentality.

Biggest Disappointment
The other negative from Texas' win was the errors. The Longhorns finished with two and there were even some other plays that could have been made that were credited as hits. The Marlow brothers were credited with both, and both came in the sixth inning. Ty's was a tough play as he was stretching to try to make the catch and couldn't hold on to a low (but catchable) throw. Brooks' was a throwing error to his brother. No runs were scored in the inning, but as Augie Garrido looks for the best combination of hitting and fielding, the right side of his infield wasn't as sharp as he would have liked on Tuesday.

Stat(s) of the Night
The Longhorns recorded season highs in hits (16) and runs (12)... Texas recorded five double plays Tuesday night, the most since May 19 of last year against Baylor.... Ty Marlow's home run was the second time this season that a player homered for their first hit as a Longhorn. Last year Brooks Marlow pulled off the feat.

Story of the Night
The Texas bats came alive after a weekend of failure against Oklahoma. The Longhorns exploded for their best offensive outing of the season against Texas State and had a noticeable confidence boost afterwards with a very important series at Kansas coming up this weekend. Ty Marlow, Mark Payton and C.J Hinojosa were the biggest contributors on the night, but virtually all the way down the lineup Texas was getting guys on base and timely hitting for the first time in weeks.

Augie Garrido on how big it was to have the offensive outburst:
"It's a step forward. It's a step in confidence building and it reveals the capabilities of the players and the talents of the players."

Augie Garrido on Ty Marlow's bulldog mentality:
"Every ball he knows he's going to hit a home run. Whether he does or whether he doesn't make much difference to him. The question is he knows he's going to. That's what we wanted to bring to it. We wanted to bring his personality into the lineup and have him affect everyone the way he affects himself. He's very, very aggressive and very confident and very talented."

Ty Marlow on what he was thinking after his first big day at the plate:
"I'm more worried about the communication with me and Brooks on the two errors that we had, but other than that I felt great."

Ty Marlow on how big Tuesday's win was:
"Real big. I feel like we got our confidence back, putting up a 12-spot on Texas State - a pretty good team, pretty good pitching. I feel like we're going in the right direction. This is our first game right here."

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