Kansas fans filed out of Hoglund Ballpark as the Longhorns lined up on Jayhawk turf for handshakes and highfives Friday night.
Texas had just won its sixth straight game at the Jayhawks’ expense, 5-3.
Sophomore pitcher Nolan Kingham returned to the mound to start another Friday night game after throwing his first-career complete game shutout a week ago against Kansas State. The reigning Big 12 Pitcher of the Week posted another quality start for the Longhorns against Kansas to pick up his fourth win of the season.
Kingham left the mound after seven innings, but the Jayhawks couldn’t catch much of a break when sophomore reliever Beau Ridgeway came into the game. Kansas hoped for a late-game rally in the 5-3 ballgame, but Ridgeway only allowed one hit and pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Behind their two stud pitchers, the Longhorn batters racked up 11 hits throughout the night. Junior right fielder Travis Jones sent two runners home with a pair of doubles in the game. Texas’ leadoff batter narrowed down one factor that has allowed him to step up his game and find recent offensive success.
“I guess time, really,” Jones said. “I’ve been grinding it out off the field in my own time with coach (Sean) Allen. So I think just finding some stuff here and there really helped me and trying to be more athletic versus what I was doing when my numbers were pretty bad.”
The Longhorns also scored with a pair of homeruns in the game. Senior first baseman Kacy Clemens put Texas on the scoreboard right away with a solo home run during the first inning. Freshman third baseman Ryan Reynolds crushed a bomb of his own to make it a 5-3 ballgame during the sixth inning.
After the 5-3 win, the Longhorns now improve to a 19–10 record on the season. Friday night’s game also marked their fourth straight win in Big 12 play and moved them above .500 in the conference for the first time this year.
Head coach David Pierce said the Longhorns’ recent success has come as a result of concentrating inwards on factors that have allowed them to excel as a team, regardless of their opponent.
“We still have to prove everyday to ourselves that we’re doing the right things,” Pierce said. “The thing that I see our team doing more and more now are the little things of how to control a runner, how to minimize damage when it’s first and third and nobody out … But to me, it’s not about Kansas, it’s not about anybody in the Big 12, it’s about Texas.”
Texas looks to maintain its six-game winning streak in the second game of the series against Kansas on Saturday at 2 p.m.