Stan­ford ace Bu­bic si­lences Texas bats

Horns se­cond base­man Cle­mens’ 13-game hit­ting streak snapped.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - SPORTS - Cedric Golden

Shh! Don’t yell. You wouldn’t want to wake up those Texas bats.

That’s how it felt at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Fri­day night as the pre­vi­ously hot Texas of­fense went silent against seventh-ranked Stan­ford.

One night af­ter putting up 12 hits in the series opener, the 23rd-ranked Longhorns ran head­long into Kris Bu­bic, whose left arm dou­bled as a si­lencer. Bu­bic held the Horns to three hits and a run through six in­nings, and his team­mates jumped on Texas starter Nolan King­ham in a 7-1 win.

Bu­bic, a ju­nior, one-hit the Longhorns over the first four in­nings, and that hit came on lead­off man David Hamil­ton’s bunt in the third in­ning. It ac­tu­ally loaded the bases with no outs be­cause Bu­bic had is­sued a pair of walks. The would-be rally dis­solved into noth­ing af­ter Hamil­ton was called out for run­ner’s in­ter­fer­ence on Kody Cle­mens’ one-out chopper and that was fol­lowed by a force-out.

Bu­bic (3-0) struck out nine and walked five as

he threw 103 pitches. He was able to get his 90 mph-plus fast­ball over the plate and kept the Horns off bal­ance with some de­cep­tive off-speed stuff.

Texas (9-5) had scored 46 runs in its past four games but couldn’t touch Bu­bic, which comes as lit­tle sur­prise since he en­tered the game with a 16-in­ning score­less streak. It stretched to 22 be­fore he was charged with an earned run in the seventh as Duke Ellis’ ground­out off re­liever Ja­cob Palisch scored pinch run­ner Kam­ron Fields.

“He com­manded the zone on both sides of the plate,” Texas DH Zach Zu­bia said. “His (ve­loc­ity) was up there. I think he was top­ping out at 93 and 94. He was spot on. He was money.”

The Car­di­nal (12-2) re­turned to their stingy ways af­ter giv­ing up a sea­son-high eight runs in the opener. Be­fore the 8-6 loss Thurs­day, Stan­ford had sur­ren­dered only nine runs in its pre­vi­ous five games. Three pitch­ers hand­cuffed Texas the en­tire evening and be­came the first group to hold se­cond base­man Cle­mens hit­less. Cle­mens, who hit his fourth homer of the year in the opener, went 0 for 3 and had his hit­ting streak snapped at 13 games.

“Bu­bic was as good as ad­ver­tised,” Texas coach David Pierce said. “We knew we would get min­i­mum op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

While Bu­bic con­tin­ued his solid start to the sea­son, King­ham (2-2) never ap­peared com­fort­able on the mound. Worse yet, when he got ahead of Stan­ford’s hit­ters, he strug­gled to close out at-bats. Nico Ho­erner’s solo homer in the first in­ning was only the be­gin­ning of his prob­lems. Right fielder Bran­don Wulff con­nected on a three-run homer for a 5-0 lead in the fifth. The two hit­ters atop Stan­ford’s order — Tim Tawa and Ho­erner — com­bined to go 5 for 9 with a pair of RBIs and four runs.

King­ham gave up five earned runs on 10 hits with three strike­outs and a walk.

“He left the ball up,” Pierce said. “His best two pitches, he’s got to get the ball down . ... It’s a good test for him. He hasn’t been as sharp as open­ing night, and we’ve got to get him right.”

Stan­ford added a pair in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk and a sac­ri­fice fly.

It’s a good test not just for King­ham but for his team­mates. For many years, then-Texas coach Augie Gar­rido used the Stan­ford series as a mea­sur­ing stick for what his team needed to work on be­fore Big 12 play. This Car­di­nal group is solid in all ar­eas, and if you told Pierce be­fore the series that his team would split the first two games against the seventh-ranked team in the coun­try, he would have taken it, no ques­tions asked.

“Hon­estly, (this series) builds char­ac­ter,” he said. “We know we would have to per­form against a qual­ity team ev­ery sin­gle game this week­end. They out­played us tonight.”

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