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Longhorns Walk-off Against Stanford
Updated: Saturday, February 22 2014, 10:15 PM CST
The No. 18/25 Texas baseball team won its fifth straight game Saturday afternoon at UFCU Disck-Falk Field as Collin Shaw broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the ninth by scoring on a wild pitch with the bases loaded, lifting the Longhorns to a 4-3 walk-off win.
Mark Payton went 3-for-3 with two walks, Dillon Peters pitched seven strong innings, and Texas twice scored go-ahead runs in the final three innings. After winning 9-3 Friday night, the Longhorns (5-2) captured the series with Saturday’s win.
Payton, who has recorded multiple hits in every game this year, increased his season batting average to .621 (18-for-29).
Leading 2-0 for much of the game, Stanford knotted it up at 2-2 on a bases-loaded, two-out single by Zach Hoffpauir in the seventh inning. The Longhorns responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning when Payton hit a two-out single up the middle on a 3-2 count to bring home Ben Johnson.
But Stanford responded in the eighth when Alex Blandino ripped a two-out double off closer Nathan Thornhill that scored Austin Slater all the way from first.
In the decisive ninth, Shaw reached on a fielder’s choice, and Brooks Marlow and Payton followed by drawing two-out walks to load the bases. With C.J Hinojosa at the plate, Stanford pitcher Marcus Brakeman threw a wild pitch that bounced in the dirt, went to the backstop and allowed Shaw to race home.
Thornhill (2-0) picked up the win for Texas, while Brakeman (0-1) took the loss.
Texas again came through with key two-out runs, plating one in the seventh and the game-winner in the ninth to bring their season total to 17 (out of 35 total runs). Payton’s go-ahead single in the seventh was his Big 12 leading 18th hit of the year.
The Texas defense was strong throughout the day, turning two double plays – one in the eighth and one in the ninth. Peters was equally effective, recording 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, fourth and fifth. The junior left-hander got 12 groundball outs and threw 57 strikes on 78 pitches.
In the first, the Longhorns took an early lead when a throwing error on Stanford shortstop Drew Jackson allowed Marlow to score from second. Payton, who got on with a single, scored on a groundout by Andy McGuire for a 2-0 lead that Texas held on to until the seventh inning.
The walk-off win was Texas’ first since March 16, 2013, when Jacob Felts doubled to lift the Longhorns to a 2-1 win over Texas Tech.
Texas and Stanford conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. RHP Lukas Schiraldi will take the mound for Texas against Stanford RHP Chris Viall.