Longhorn baseball fails to sweep Sooners, fall 3-2 in series finale

Vicente Montalvo

The Texas baseball team entered the bottom of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game needing two runs to sweep Oklahoma for the first time since 2014.

Redshirt freshman infielder Trey Faltine stepped up to the plate with no room for error as Texas nursed two outs. Faltine struck out, effectively ending the Longhorns’ chances of a rally and sealing a 3-2 loss but winning the series overall.

The lack of offensive production on Sunday was even more frustrating for the Longhorns considering the numerous chances they had to put runs on the board.

Down 2-0 in the fourth inning, the Longhorns found themselves in a bases-loaded situation after two Texas batters managed to draw crucial walks. Freshman infielder Mitchell Daly continued his dominant form, connecting with a pitch and sending it to right field for an RBI single.

The Longhorns tried to get another run across the plate, but the Oklahoma catcher tagged the runner out at home and ended the inning with the Sooners on top 2-1.

Texas missed multiple opportunities with runners in scoring position, hindering their chances to win, head coach David Pierce said.

“We didn’t execute in situational offense today,” Pierce said. “(Batters) probably tried to do too much from my perspective. (It’s) unfortunate, but great (that) we won the series.”

Despite a lack of support from a dormant offense, the Longhorns’ three pitchers on Sunday gave up only seven hits and struck out four batters. The group also managed to leave 11 runners stranded.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Kolby Kubichek got the start for the Longhorns on the mound and had what might be his most impressive outing so far this season. In over six innings of work, Kubichek allowed just two runs on three hits.

Pierce credited Kubichek, as well as freshmen pitchers Aaron Nixon and Tanner Witt, with keeping the Longhorns in the ballgame.

“I thought Kolby pitched well enough to give us a chance to win,” Pierce said. “The bullpen (was) good again with Witt and Nixon.”

In a one-run game with the bases loaded once again in the eighth inning, redshirt senior outfielder Mike Antico showed why he was named the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, making contact on a pitch and bringing home a run on an RBI single that tied the game at 2-2.

The Sooners’ one run in the ninth frame eventually proved enough for them to avoid the sweep with a 3-2 final score. This is the second weekend in a row that Texas has had the opportunity and failed to sweep a conference opponent.

Pierce said he believed that his team was focused and locked in, but they just never had an offensive breakthrough monumental enough to secure a victory.

“The entire talk after yesterday’s game was to finish today, and I thought our mindset was good,” Pierce said. “We just didn’t play well enough to win today.”

Texas (17–7) will now shift their focus toward another rival in Texas A&M for a midweek contest Tuesday.