Play of game: After Zane Gurwitz tripled leading off the Texas second, Brooks Marlow jumped on the very next pitch and turned a sinking liner to right field into another triple. When Marlow scored on a Mark Payton squeeze, the 4-0 score probably looked like a bigger hole than it was for Vanderbilt.
Star of game: Nathan Thornhill never seemed to be in much danger as he scattered six hits and struck out five over eight innings. The senior right-hander had kept Texas in its opener six days before by allowing two runs in 7d/3 innings against UC Irvine.
Close play: Vanderbilt's Brian Miller handled Mark Payton's squeeze bunt in the second by himself, running over and tagging Payton just before he touched first. But Miller eventually lost the ball as he tumbled forward, and first-base ump Jeff Head ruled Payton safe.
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Quirky moment: Texas scored its first run in unusual fashion after loading the bases in the first inning. C.J Hinojosa hit a liner up the middle that deflected off second-base umpire Mark Uyl, leading to a dead ball and all runners advancing. It was unfortunate for Vanderbilt, as second baseman Dansby Swanson was in position behind Uyl to either snag the liner or get it on a short hop, likely leading to one or even two outs.
Defining moment: The bottom of the first inning seemed to undo Vanderbilt, as starting pitcher Tyler Ferguson walked two and hit two before leaving with two out, the bases loaded and Texas ahead 2-0. The Commodores were fortunate to escape further damage as Miller struck out Kacy Clemens after inheriting a 2-0 count.
Our take: Texas continued its comeback run through Bracket One and now might own the momentum heading into Saturday. Everything seemed to go against Vanderbilt on Friday, though, so maybe the Commodores shook all of their bad karma. They also have a fresh Carson Fullmer ready to go.
They said it:"This is who he is.
He's committed to the university, he's committed to the baseball program, he's committed to Austin, Texas. He's all in, man." — Texas coach Augie Garrido on Thornhill — Rich Kaipust