In a game where it seemed as if all hope was lost, David Hamilton delivered a moment that many fans will never see again and many more will never forget.
On Tuesday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, Hamilton won the game in dramatic fashion, securing an 11-10 comeback victory. Down 10-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Texas’ hopes were all but vaporized.
After back-to-back walks by junior outfielder Masen Hibbeler and sophomore outfielder Duke Ellis, however, the Longhorns showed the life they had been lacking all game.
Junior infielder Kody Clemens did as he has done all season and hit an RBI single to bring the game to 10-7. Zach Zubia, redshirt freshman designated hitter, then drew a walk to load the bases. That’s when Hamilton, perfectly in place at the five hole, hit a ball high and deep over the right field fence and cemented his place in Longhorn folklore with a walk-off grand slam.
“I’m still in shock, honestly,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t expect it to go out. I knew he was going to throw me fastballs, because he walked the batter before me. I was just sitting on it.”
The game was by no means perfect for Hamilton, who had some early defensive miscues. The first, an uncharacteristic bobble that would end up costing the team a run, and a second, a blatant error.
He made up for those mistakes in the best way possible, though, winning the game with one swing of the bat.
“Ryan (Reynolds) always jokes with me and says that whenever I make an error, I hit good,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know. It was funny. The ball kept getting caught in my glove, so I switched back to the one I used last year.”
Hamilton then added that it was the best moment he’s ever had playing the sport, and he was given an ovation by everyone, including his head coach, David Pierce.
“Just a great swing, a great way to end it,” Pierce said. “Somehow, some way, we just continued to fight. Great offensive approach. And that’s (home run) No. 3 (on the year for Hamilton).”
The game was ugly for the majority of play. Kamron Field, true freshman starting pitcher, was only able to get through two innings before getting pulled.
Texas’ bullpen didn’t fare much better. The Longhorns used a total of nine pitchers over the course of the night. Some struggled mightily, others not as much. No pitcher, however, showed the dominance they have demonstrated at other points in the season.
“We’re still shaky out of the bullpen with a lot of guys,” Pierce said. “It’s not throwing balls, necessarily. It’s not throwing quality pitches. And when the ball’s up, it’s going to get hit. And that’s all it was. So at that point, we were getting by with so many pitches, and it finally got to us.”
The Longhorns (31–17, 12–6 Big 12) will try to use the morale boost to their advantage, heading into a tough series this weekend against Texas Tech, one of the top teams in the nation, in Lubbock. Texas will savor this one for a while, though, because it doesn’t get much better than this.