Longhorns look to rebound from sweep

Michael Shapiro

Coming into last weekend’s matchup with Oklahoma State, the Longhorns were flying high. They had won six of their last seven, rocketing from a dreadful 14–20 season start to just one game under .500 in the span of two weeks.

But whatever momentum Texas had going into the weekend was quickly erased by its conclusion as the Longhorns suffered a sweep at the hands of the Cowboys. The results at UFCU Disch-Falk Field weren’t pretty. Garrido’s squad mustered just three runs in two games on Saturday, losing both ends of the doubleheader 3-0 and 6-3, respectively. 

Sunday’s matchup wasn’t much better. With a chance to salvage the series and keep chase in the Big 12 standings, Texas slumbered to a 4-0 deficit. And after fighting back to tie the game at four in the seventh, the Longhorns bullpen blew up, giving up four-straight runs en route to an 8-4 loss.

“The boys fought back to tie the game, but we didn’t take advantage,” said head coach Augie Garrido following the defeat. “That’s the vulnerability of college baseball. The momentum can shift in a moment.”

Before the sweep, Texas was a long-shot to receive an at-large bid from the NCAA selection committee. However, Garrido still hoped his team had a chance to receive a bid if the Longhorns managed to close the regular season with a winning streak.

“The 11 remaining games give us a great opportunity,” Garrido said on April 27. “If we can finish 31–21, it gives us a real chance to get an at-large bid. We’re in the hunt for sure.”

But after this weekend, that hope has completely evaporated. The Longhorns now sit at No. 101 in RPI, well below the assumed No. 75 cutoff needed to garner consideration from the selection committee. 

Now, the Longhorns must turn their attention solely toward the Big 12 standings. Unfortunately for Texas, their place in those standings isn’t encouraging. With six conference games to go in the regular season, the Longhorns sit in fourth place, five games behind Big 12-leader Texas Tech. 

On the bright side for Texas, its remaining schedule isn’t exactly daunting. Starting with a home contest against Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Texas faces a team 18 games under .500, two conference opponents with losing records in the Big 12, and Texas State, who the Longhorns have beaten by a combined score of 16-4 in two games this year. 

Sunday’s loss seemed to mark the beginning of the end for Texas’ 2016 season. However, with eight games to go prior to the Big 12 tournament on May 25, the season is far from over. Time is ticking on the Longhorns, but they don’t plan on going anywhere soon. 

“The amount of heart in this team is something to take note of,” sophomore pitcher Kyle Johnston said. “We can still get it done.”