AUSTIN, Texas - The No. 22 Texas Longhorns took advantage of three Lumberjack errors and ended Stephen F. Austin's eight-game road trip by handing it a 9-1 loss on Tuesday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Five Texas (11-9) pitchers combined to hold SFA (7-13) to just four hits on the night, with the lone Lumberjack run coming via a Chris Hernandez pinch-hit home run to open the eighth inning. Tuesday's meeting was just the eighth all-time meeting between the two programs, and the first since 1995.
Brett Higginbotham fell to 2-1 after allowing six runs, just four earned, in four innings of work. He allowed five hits and struck out two, but was hindered by three hit batters and a pair of SFA errors behind him which led to runs in the second, third and fourth innings.
Meanwhile, Dillon Peters retired nine of the 10 batters he faced with four strikeouts in just three innings to earn his first win of the season. He was followed by four more Longhorn arms who all threw at least one inning, with John Curtiss tossing an equal three frames and allowing three of SFA's four hits on the night, including Hernandez's homer.
Jordan Etier finished with two hits and three RBI for the Longhorns, who won their sixth straight game and were coming off a weekend road sweep of Oklahoma. Mark Payton and Brooks Marlow each also finished with two hits apiece as part of an eight-hit Longhorn offensive attack.
SFA was its own worst enemy in the second as a pair of errors helped fuel the Longhorns to a 3-0 lead. Brooks Marlow started the inning innocently enough with a sure single to center field, but consecutive errors on Freddy Villalobos and Higginbotham loaded the bases with nobody out and UT got on top 1-0 one batter later when Kevin Lusson drew a bases-loaded walk. Jordan Etier then plated two more with a single to right-center before Higginbotham managed to retire each of the next three hitters to leave the bases loaded and minimize any further damage.
Texas got another run an inning later when Marlow was credited with a triple on a fly ball to left field to open the inning and eventually came in to score when Etier beat out a double play that would have ended the inning with the `Horns staying off the board.
The `Horns made it 6-0 with two more in the 4th as Maitland opened the inning by being hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a one-out squeeze bunt by Etier. One batter later Alex Silver rocketed a triple into the right-center field gap to score Erich Weiss.
SFA did not get its first hit of the game until a two-out Villalobos double in the 5th, but were denied a score when Mark Payton robbed Bobby Loveless of an extra-base hit and an RBI with a diving catch. After Cameron Gann tossed a scoreless inning of relief, SFA threatened again with a pair of hits and a walk against John Curtiss, but a double play ball and a fly out with two runners on quickly killed the rally.
A wild pitch and a failed pickoff allowed two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, and a sacrifice fly from Erich Weiss scored another to give Texas a 9-0 advantage after seven innings. Hernandez then led off the eighth with his first homer of the year to put SFA on the board, and Cass Ingvardsen pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth, but the `Jacks did not manage another base runner after the bomb as Curtiss and Hoby Milner proceeded to retire the final six hitters of the game to close it out for Texas.
The Lumberjacks next move on to a weekend series at home for the first time in three weeks when it hosts UTSA at Jaycees Field. First pitch of Game 1 is set for 3:00 p.m. on Friday.