AUSTIN, Texas -- Designated hitter Lucas Kephart continued his hot hitting, driving in a career-high five RBI while Hoby Milner pitched 6.1 solid innings to help lead the No. 8 Texas Longhorns past the Missouri Tigers 5-2 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Saturday afternoon.
Milner (3-1) got the nod to start today even though he threw 13 pitches against the Tigers on Friday night to record his first career. Even with his pitching on short rest, the sophomore southpaw only gave up two runs off of three hits and two walks while striking out two to earn the win with 78 pitches.
The Longhorns (20-7, 6-2 Big 12) were able to give Milner some run support early, getting on the board in the first inning against Missouri starter Matt Stites. Mark Payton got things started drawing a full count before knocking a single to left field. Brandon Loy followed with a bunt single before Erich Weiss put both runners in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Kephart then got his first two RBI of the game with a single through the left side of the infield to drive in both Payton and Loy and put Texas up 2-0 in the first inning.
Texas added a run in the bottom of the third after back-to-back walks put Loy and Weiss on base. A double-steal moved runners into scoring position, allowing Kephart to bring Loy home on an RBI groundout to shortstop and increase the lead to 3-0.
The Longhorn offense came alive again in the fifth inning, rallying with two outs to add two runs. Loy and Weiss reached base with back-to-back singles, before Kephart again drove them both in, this time with a double to rightfield.
The Tigers (13-14, 1-3 Big 12) got on the board with their only runs in the top of the seventh inning. Jonah Schmidt got the inning started with a leadoff single. Dillon Everett then flied out to center before a full-count walk to Eric Garcia ended Milner's afternoon. Kendal Carrillo then came in for relief, giving up a walk to pinch-hitter Ryan Ampleman before pinch-hitter Scott Sommerfeld singled to right driving in Schmidt and Garcia to wrap up the scoring and cut the Texas lead to 5-2.
Texas' bullpen shutdown the Tigers as Carrillo pitched 1.2 innings allowing one hit and two walks. Corey Knebel earned his seventh save of the season with a perfect ninth inning including one strikeout.
Stites (1-2) was saddled with the loss after pitching the complete game, giving up five runs off of nine hits and two walks and striking out five over 8.0 innings.
Kephart batted 2-for-4 on the day with all five RBI to pace the Longhorn offense. Loy also had two hits, going 2-for-3 with three runs.
Missouri's offense was driven by Sommerfeld who went 1-for-1 with the two RBI for the Tigers.
Texas and Missouri close out their three-game series tomorrow at UFCU Disch-Falk Field with first pitch slated for 12 p.m.