Last weekend, Texas baseball won a share in its second-ever Sun Belt championship, beating Louisiana in the team’s last home series of the season.
“If you set goals, one of the first is to win the conference championship,” said head coach Stephen Trout. “And just so you know, we have one victory to make it happen directly. And then, to go along with that, we will have other goals that we will be able to achieve. And so this team put us in a great position for the postseason. But we are not finished yet, we need to play a lot and there is still a lot to do. “
The Bobcats considered Saturday’s game their senior day, honoring nine players before the competition: appointed striker Wesley Fayson, second baseman Cameron Gibbons, right-handed pitcher Matthew Nicholas, outfielder Isaiah Ortega-Jones, shortstop baseman Thorsthope Daltjast Thompson and outfielder John Voutrich. Many of the seniors stepped up during the game to help the burgundy-burgundy and gold win 6-4.
After Louisiana scored at the top of the first, junior redfield outfielder Ben McClain overtook the bottom shot, and Sheffield and Thompson followed the RBI double, pushing Texas ahead, 2-1. Junior catcher Peyton Lewis sent a solo home run to the right center field to increase the lead. But Ragin ‘Cajuns came back with a series in the fourth and two in the fifth to regain the lead, 4-3.
Schafield got a base with a single at the bottom of the eighth, moved to second place in the next bat, and then stole third base in a failed peak attempt. Thompson swung at the sacrificial fly to kill him and raise the score. Faison was missed on the next plate, and Vutrich launched Homer with two RBIs to bring the Bobcats forward again and help secure a 6-4 victory.
– Drew King (@ drewking0222) May 15, 2022
“I mean Trout is still talking about his senior day at TCU. And it was 10 or 20 years ago, but for a long time, ”Vutrykh said. “So this is something we will remember for the rest of our lives, this game will stand out more than others. So to get a big win and get it in such, you know, dramatic form and in such a significant game, it’s really cool for us and something I will definitely never forget. “
Louisiana came out strong the next day, posting two runs at the top of the first. Texas responded by scoring nine combined runs in the next three innings – with two home runs and one from junior outfielder Jose Gonzalez, who brought in six WRCs.
Both teams scored two races in the seventh. Cajun (30-20, 17-10 Sun Belt) took five points at the top of the eighth, but failed to complete the return, dropping 11-9. The hosts ended the weekend with a sweep of the series and won a share of the first since 2019 conference.
– Drew King (@ drewking0222) May 15, 2022
“If you have a team with so many guys … if you don’t make it, the next guy will do it,” Gonzalez said. “It’s really amazing just to see and just so many guys who can do it and we’ve been doing it all season. If not me, then Schuffield. If it’s not Shuffield, it’s Fason. If not Fason, then Vutrich. If it’s not Wuthrich, it’s (freshman from first base Daylon) Pena. Like, just so many guys, it’s great.
Tristan Stevors, who has already broken Texas record for his rescue career, took three more over the weekend and now heads the country and holds the program record for one season out of 15. The team also climbed two places in the D1Baseball.com national poll to No. 15.
In the home final on Tuesday, the Bobcats (41-11, 23-4) were due to play the Houston Baptist, but the game was canceled after a mutual decision by the coach. Maroon and Gold now need another win – or another defeat from South Georgia – to earn the Sunshine Regular Season Championship. They will compete in their final series of away games this weekend in Georgia (30-23, 15-12), playing in Atlanta on Thursday at 5pm, Friday at 5pm and Saturday at noon.
“I mean, some incredible teams have gone through this program. And this team will obviously be one of the best, ”Trout said. “And so they just lowered their heads, went to work, bought everything we asked for. But if you ask them, they are still very hungry. They are not satisfied only with records. They want to do things we’ve never done before. And so we’ll get back to work on Tuesday with this and follow that. ”