DALLAS — Everything that went right in Texas’ run to the Big 12 title went wrong this weekend in the Dallas Regional.
After coming out on the right side of close games in the Big 12 tournament, Texas dropped a close 5–4 decision to Oregon State on Friday evening.
Then, with the season on the line against host Dallas Baptist, the Longhorns pitching — which only gave gave up seven runs in Tulsa — got rocked for seven runs on 16 hits in an 8–1 loss to end the season.
“You come to the University of Texas to play for championships and when you don’t reach the opportunity to play in that game it hurts,” sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera said.
Sunday’s elimination game began nearly identical to Friday’s opener. Texas junior pitcher Ty Culbreth and Dallas Baptist junior pitcher Cory Taylor each worked through two scoreless innings both Friday and Sunday.
But Culbreth was the first to blink in the third inning. Patriot seniors Chane Lynch and Drew Turbin led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to draw first blood, and junior left fielder Justin Wall drilled a three-run home run a couple of batters later to give Dallas Baptist a 4–0 lead.
The Patriots kept the pressure on, adding to their lead in the fifth and sixth innings on RBI singles to up their advantage to 7–0. Wall entered the game with 50 RBIs and brought in six of Dallas Baptist’s Runs.
“We knew he was a great hitter, but he had a great day,” head coach Augie Garrido said of Wall.
Meanwhile, Texas batters struggled to figure out how to get to Taylor. The Longhorns managed only three hits and five base runners against the right-handed pitcher while Taylor and his mid-90s fastball struck out nine.
Texas avoided a shutout when sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera singled to center with two runners on, cutting the deficit to 7–1, but the Longhorns never got a runner past second base after that.
To add insult to injury, the Patriots added one more run in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single by none other than Wall, making the final score 8–1.
Barrera said Taylor got better as the game went on.
“He did a great job,” Barrera said. “He attacked the zone and competed.”
Senior right fielder Collin Shaw, who finished his final game as a Longhorn 0-for-4, said the loss hadn’t set in yet.
“It will set in eventually, but I love playing baseball here,” Shaw said.
The consecutive losses are the first time the Longhorns have gone 0–2 in the NCAA regional round since 1971.