In the bottom of the second, Tanner Witt, starting at designated hitter, did a nice job extending his hands with one out to cover the outer half of the plate and ripped a hard liner off the second baseman’s glove. Witt looked like an improved hitter tonight compared to earlier this season. Mitchell Daly followed by doing the opposite with his hands – pulling them in and smacking a ground-rule double into the left field bullpen. A soft, shallow fly ball off Dylan Campbell’s bat dropped in for a RBI single and Hodo’s sacrifice fly put Texas in front 4-0 after two innings.
Pete Hansen pitched into the fifth inning and tossed 77 pitches over 4.1 innings as he continued to build up. The lefty, who gave up four hits, walked two and struck out four, competed well, making quality pitches with traffic on the basepaths. His fastball touched 88 MPH a few times, but was generally in the same range as usual. In addition to trying to build up velocity, Hansen’s breaking balls – he’s throwing both a curve and slider – blended together a little too often tonight. He’s still not back to what he was last season, but each positive outing without discomfort gets him one step closer to regaining his freshman form.
“Pete went out and he still isn’t quite there,” said David Pierce. “We understand that. He’s still kind of cutting the ball and velocity’s not there. But he’s pitching. And did a really nice job of just going four and a third and pitching in-and-out, hard-and-soft. It was good.”
The Texas youth movement made some noise early and became louder as the game progressed. When Campbell barrels the ball, it comes off the bat differently than most college hitters with more carry and explosiveness. The freshman, starting in left field tonight, proved that in the sixth inning when he hit a high, hard and deep fly ball to right-center field that surprisingly carried over the wall for a two-run homer…