Texas catcher Cameron Rupp started the comeback. He figured he might as well finish it too. Rupp broke a 6-6 tie with a leadoff homer in the top of the seventh inning, and Texas got 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief from Taylor Jungmann, propelling the Longhorns to a 10-6 victory over Arizona State Tuesday night at Rosenblatt Stadium. With the win, UT advances to Friday night’s game against the winner of the Arizona State-North Carolina matchup, which will be played Thursday evening.
An RBI double by Kevin Keyes and a two-run single from Brandon Loy gave Texas three runs in the top of the eighth inning to cap a comeback from an early six-run deficit that got started when Rupp smacked a three-run homer in the fourth.
Arizona State jumped out to a commanding 6-0 lead after three innings, plating three runs in both the second and third frames. Kole Calhoun, who had three hits and scored twice, led off the second inning with a home run to left-center field. One out later, Matt Newman singled, moved to third on a single by Raoul Torrez, and then scored on a passed ball. Jared McDonald’s single scored Torrez to cap the first three-run rally.
The second one started just as the first one did– with a leadoff home run. This time it was Carlos Ramirez taking UT starter Chance Ruffin’s offering deep over the left field wall to make it 4-0. Two walks sandwiched around an error loaded the bases for McDonald, who delivered a sacrifice fly that scored Calhoun. With Johnny Ruettiger on third, Newman stole second base. Rupp threw to second but no one was covering the bag. The ball rolled into center field, allowing Ruettiger to score the Sun Devils’ sixth run.
With ASU ace Mike Leake on the mound, the Sun Devils appeared to be in full control. By the time they came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth, however, the game was tied. Keyes led off with a single, and after Leake hit Loy with a pitch, Rupp cut the lead in half with a home run to right. Preston Clark and Connor Rowe followed with singles, and a fielder’s choice by Michael Torres put runners on the corners with one out. Travis Tucker put down a bunt that went for an RBI single, and a throwing error by first baseman Jared McDonald allowed Torres to advance to third and Tucker to move up to second. Brandon Belt then chased Leake with a two-run single to right that tied the game. Reliever Jordan Swagerty escaped further trouble by getting Russell Moldenhauer to line out before striking out Keyes.
The Sun Devils put two runners on with one out in the bottom of the fourth but Jungmann escaped the jam. The Longhorns put their first two runners on in the fifth but Arizona State reliever Mitchell Lambson came in to retire the next three batters to keep it a 6-6 game. UT had two on and one out in the sixth, but Lambson was able to work out of that jam as well. ASU had two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, but Jungmann retired the side without allowing the go-ahead run to score, setting the stage for Rupp’s go-ahead blast.
Tucker had three hits and scored twice for the Longhorns, while Loy and Belt each had two hits and two RBI. But the heroes were Rupp and Jungmann. Rupp drew two walks in addition to his two homers and four RBI, while Jungmann allowed only two hits and struck out six out of the bullpen.