Baseball ends frustrating season, misses post season for second straight year

Sara Beth Purdy

After a season full of disappointments, at least the Longhorns concluded their 2013 season on a positive note. The struggling Texas squad shut out Big 12 newcomer TCU 3-0 in Fort Worth in the Longhorns’ regular season finale. Despite picking up the win, the Longhorns (27-24, 7-16) dropped the series 2-1.

For the second year in a row, the Longhorns missed the postseason. The last time the Longhorns failed to reach the postseason for two straight seasons was in 1997 and 1998.  After that, the Longhorns enjoyed 13 straight years of trips to the NCAA tournament, which included two national titles. The Longhorns were also the only team not to qualify to compete in the Big 12 tournament.

The Longhorns finished dead last in the Big 12 regular season without having won a single conference series. The last time the Longhorns failed to win a conference series was in 1956.

Junior Mark Payton ended the season with a .393 batting average, finishing as Texas’ leading hitter, ahead of C.J Hinojosa who finished the season hitting .309 and junior Erich Weiss at .299. Payton also led with 11 doubles and eighth triples and tied with Hinojosa for 29 RBIs.

On the mound, Dillon Peters led the Longhorns with six wins and a 1.97 ERA, the lowest among the starting rotation. Junior Nathan Thornhill led with 60 strikeouts and junior Corey Knebel finished with nine saves.