DALLAS — Despite a shaky season and uneven play, Texas is looking to reverse its past mistakes when it travels to Dallas this weekend.
The Longhorns didn't have a particulary rough start, but they did run hit a wall mid season. From March 27 to May 5, Texas tallied seven wins, were swept three times, fell out of every top-25 ranking and needed to win the Big 12 tournament to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.
“Sometimes the game gets you down,” Garrido said. “The game over takes your mentality.”
In a 13-day layoff between the series against Texas Tech and the series at Baylor, the Longhorns didn’t focus on hitting and pitching so much as they focused more on the mental side of the game.
“We didn't want them to get back in touch from where they were,” Garrido said. “We wanted to be able to see into the future and the opportunities that were in front of them. We did fun things.”
It seems as though the approach worked.
Texas won two of three at Baylor to take the fifth seed for the Big 12 tournament. At Tulsa, the Longhorns got three straight complete games from senior Parker French, junior Ty Culbreth and freshman Connor Mayes to get to the title game.
In the championship game, sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera and sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz each had key RBI hits to give Texas a 6–3 win and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
“Ten days ago, if you would have said we would be in this situation, I would have taken it in a heartbeat and been a little bit surprised,” French said. “We’ve played our best baseball at the right time.”
Now, the key for the Longhorns will be keeping up that momentum and that postseason feel into a tough Dallas Regional.
Texas, VCU and Oregon State ranked in the top 30 in the Nation in Era, and regional host Dallas Baptist had a team ERA of 3.40.
This Friday at 1:30 p.m., Texas is slated to go up against Oregon State junior pitcher Andrew Moore who posted a 1.73 ERA with 103 strikeouts in the regular season.
The Longhorns remain confident, riding their five-game win streak, and last years’ run to Omaha provides the team with experience.
“One thing we can take from last year is playing nine one-inning games,” senior right fielder Collin Shaw said. “In the postseason when those moments are so important, you have a lot experience of winning that one moment to advance.”