Going into Saturday afternoon’s game against Oklahoma State, Texas was already trailing the series 2–0. The Longhorns were only able to hit one ball in Thursday’s 15-0 loss while their 10-2 loss saw nine hits but only two runs, both coming in the ninth inning.
For a moment on Saturday, however, it seemed as though the Longhorns could have taken one game from the Cowboys. They clawed and battled every inning to maintain or take the lead from OSU. But Texas’ efforts proved fruitless again, falling 11-10 in the final inning of the game.
“It’s not really about our opponent right now, it’s about ourselves and that’s what we have to figure out,” Texas head coach David Pierce said in a postgame interview with Texas Sports. “It’s who we are, and (the) guys have to step up and trust themselves and go compete, it’s that simple.”
Though Texas’ batting found a rhythm against OSU, fielding and pitching mistakes took the game away from the Longhorns and handed it over to the Cowboys — a story the Longhorns know all
They took an early lead in the first inning after a double from designated hitter Zach Zubia that brought both right fielder Austin Todd and shortstop Masen Hibbeler home. Now leading 2-0, the Cowboys were quick to respond and put the score at 2-1.
A similar rhythm continued throughout with both teams responding whenever opposing runners found their way home. Even after the Longhorns blew a 5-3 lead by allowing six runs in the bottom of the sixth, they responded with four runs in the seventh and another in the ninth.
Then, Texas regained all the momentum after a two-run home run by first baseman Tate Shaw tied the game at 9-9 in the top of the seventh.
“It’s one of those deals you piece everything, you view the game in three pieces and you have to play all three against good quality teams,” Pierce said.
However, not even the Longhorns’ biggest resurgence could erase the five errors they committed earlier in the game, or the lackluster pitching which allowed the Cowboys to come back in the bottom of the ninth.
In all, 10 Longhorn pitchers saw the mound on Saturday, and tallied a combined 12 walks, 10 hits and only eight strikeouts.
While Texas struggled with pitching in the final frame, Pierce made three pitching changes in order to salvage the Longhorn lead. However, no pitcher was able to stop the bases-loaded situation that inevitably lead toTexas’ takedown.
“Well, now you gotta put together playing the right way with the right heart and mentality. But you got to play well, too,” Pierce said. “And, can’t kick the ball around and you can’t walk people, it’s that simple.”
After being swept in Stillwater, the Longhorns will stay on the road to play Texas State in San Marcos on Tuesday.