Red Raiders tie series, 1–1, after Texas offense falters

Daniela Perez

On Saturday afternoon, UFCU Disch-Falk Field saw a regular season record-breaking crowd of 7,879 people. Texas fans cheered on the Longhorns until the end, even though Texas’ offense couldn’t find its usual groove and fell to the Red Raiders, 3-0.

After a sixth inning rally in their first game of the series, the Longhorns were unable to keep their momentum and only tallied one hit in the three-hour game. Their overall record now stumbles to 14–7.

Texas recorded its only hit of the game in the second inning when designated hitter Zach Zubia swung into left field. First baseman Tate Shaw was able to make it on base after a walk, but both were left in the dust after catcher Michael McCann struck out looking.

Texas Tech, too, struggled to get hits in the first seven innings and went into the eighth with only three hits.Lack of offensive action plagued both teams’ veteran pitchers: Blair Henley for the Longhorns and Caleb Kilian for Texas Tech. Henley tallied six strikeouts and five walks while Kilian struck out four batters and allowed two walks.

“I think (Henley’s) exactly right,” Texas head coach David Pierce said in a mid-game interview with Longhorn Network. “I mean, he’s mixing four pitches, he’s pitching ahead in most counts and you know he’s attacking the hitters.”  

Henley, however, lost his footing at the top of the eighth when he allowed back-to-back walks, which put the Red Raiders in prime scoring position. After 107 pitches, Pierce dipped into his bullpen and called on Cole Quintanilla for relief.

Quintanilla, who held a 1.32 earned run average before Saturday’s game, has been able to provide relief for the Longhorns many times before. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders found their stride the minute he stepped onto the mound.

A two-hit, three-run rally ensued, which in the end would be enough for the Red Raiders to hold the upper hand for good.

Yet, Texas was not ready to wave the white flag. Quintanilla found himself in another risky situation when a Texas Tech runner made it to second in the top of the ninth. However, Quintanilla and the defense stopped the Red Raiders from tallying more runs, sending the Longhorns back to the plate.

Second baseman Lance Ford walked to first and set the groundwork for a potential comeback. Both Kennedy and Zubia were able to make it on base, and gave the Longhorns their first bases-loaded situation of the game.

With two outs, third baseman Ryan Reynolds was the Longhorns’ last hope. After one ball and one foul, Ryan Reynolds flied out to left field and Texas’ hope crumbled.

With a tied series, a win for either Texas or Texas Tech would provide a boost as Big 12 play continues.