Experience is the best teacher. On Tuesday night, the Longhorns were taught a lesson.
The youth of the 2019 Texas squad was put to the test against No. 9 Texas A&M, which resulted in the Aggies leaving Austin with a 9-6 victory.
Pitchers Owen Meaney and Donny Diaz were responsible for six runs in just four combined innings. Diaz’s runs were the result of two walks and a botched line drive by left fielder Eric Kennedy.
“The difference in (tonight’s) game was they are more experienced than we are in some areas,” head coach David Pierce said. “Our young guys got exposed a little bit tonight, and the one thing I will definitely say for this team is they are not going to give in. We just got to get better. We got to (be) cleaner, and when we do that, we are going to be a really good ball club.”
The Aggies led the Longhorns 7-1 heading into the sixth inning of the non-conference matchup at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Over the next three innings, they quickly saw that lead evaporate.
Texas cut the lead to 7-6 and had the tying run on third base but failed to tie the game. As a result, Texas A&M left Austin with a 9-6 victory and bragging rights for the next year until the two teams meet again.
“It’s easy to pick (the young guys) apart afterwards,” Pierce said. “But it’s not like they’re not trying, and it’s not like they’re not learning from it. They’re just young.”
The never-say-die approach for the Longhorns that has been so commonly displayed in ball games this season was once again showcased in front of a single-game record of 7,952 fans at the field, surpassing the mark set on March 16 against Texas Tech.
“It was an electric night,” Pierce said. “For both teams, it was a fun night as far as electricity in the building.”
Playing in an atmosphere like Tuesday’s will only help the Longhorns’ younger players be ready for when the games truly begin to matter.
Even though Texas has gone through a funk over the last seven games, there is no sign of uneasiness in the locker room according to right fielder Austin Todd.
“We kind of feel like it’s a roller coaster throughout the game,” said Todd, who finished 3-4 at the plate with two doubles. “I know one thing, we’re never going to back down, and we’re always going to compete until the last out, which we always have.”
Despite the loss to perhaps the biggest rival the school has, it’s important Texas turns around quickly and gets ready for Big 12 play which is set to resume this Friday.
“It’s one midweek game. I mean, it hurts, but at the same time we can’t let it affect us,” Todd said. “We got a big conference series against Baylor this weekend, and we got to regroup this week and practice and just go out and compete.”