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Texas Baseball Beats Houston
Updated: Sunday, March 2 2014, 02:37 PM CST
The No. 15/24 Texas baseball team received a dominant pitching performance for the second straight game as Parker French allowed just one run in seven strong innings to lead the Longhorns to a 3-2 win over previously undefeated Houston Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
A day after Dillon Peters struck out six in eight shutout innings, French nearly matched his career high with seven strikeouts. The junior allowed just one run in the second inning before shutting down the Cougars (8-1) for his final five frames.
Texas, which improved to 8-3 on the year, is 3-1 in one-run games this year – having defeated Stanford 4-3 last Saturday and UTPA 2-1 on Tuesday.
Nathan Thornhill, who earned a save Friday night, came through again Saturday by coming in with two on and two out of a 3-2 game in the ninth inning and inducing a line-out to shortstop.
Houston starting pitcher Jake Lemoine (1-1) was nearly as good as French, also going seven innings while surrendering three runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out six and walking one.
Texas, though, got a run in the second and two in the third and led the rest of the way behind French and a steady defense.
French (2-1) has allowed just two earned runs in 18 innings this season, and is part of a starting pitching staff that has yielded just 10 earned runs in 61 1/3 innings this season. With a career-high eight strikeouts last Friday against Stanford, he has 15 in his last two games.
Houston got on the board first with a run in the second, but Texas came right back with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Andy McGuire and Jeremy Montalbano reached on errors, and McGuire scored on a RBI groundout by Ben Johnson.
The Longhorns put their leadoff runner on base for the second straight inning in the third, when Brooks Marlow singled to right field. Mark Payton followed with a shot off the wall to left-center field to score Marlow, but he was called out at third trying to stretch it to a triple. Texas scored its second run of the inning when Kacy Clemens came around to score from second on a fielding error by the Houston second baseman.
Lemoine kept it close by retiring 13 straight from there, but John Curtiss came on to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Thornhill shut the door in the ninth.
At the plate, C.J Hinojosa recorded his third multiple-hit game of the year with a 2-for-3 performance, while Payton’s reached-base streak extended to the 50-game mark.
Texas concludes play in the Houston College Classic Sunday at 10 a.m. when it takes on Sam Houston State (10-1), which is also 2-0 this weekend. RHP Lukas Schiraldi (1-1, 6.00) takes the mound for Texas against RHP Dirk Masters (0-0, 0.90).