Texas baseball pitchers struggle at the mound in first loss since March 30

Amsal Madhani

The Texas baseball team came into Sunday’s game against Oklahoma State with its eyes set on a series sweep and its 17th consecutive victory. However, the Cowboys had different plans on their mind.

After Saturday night’s victory, Texas head coach David Pierce said his team needed to match the energy of an opponent with their backs against the wall on Sunday. Early in the game, it was evident Oklahoma State was hungrier than a Texas team that was enjoying an astounding win streak.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Kolby Kubichek faced a lot of pressure in his series finale start, and the Oklahoma State batters had his number from the get-go.

The Cowboys scored three runs in the first inning, including a two-run homer from sophomore Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Oklahoma State hit the ball with vicious intent after losing both installments of the double header on Saturday, and the offensive onslaught forced Pierce to call his bullpen for relief earlier than he wanted. He tasked redshirt freshman pitcher Pete Hansen with figuring out the Cowboys’ attack, but Hansen didn’t fare any better.

The very next inning, Oklahoma State junior infielder Jake Thompson hit an absolute bomb down right field to extend the Cowboys’ lead to 5-0 over Texas.

Pierce continued to search for someone who could stop the red-hot Cowboys’ batting group, eventually going six deep into his bullpen. None were able to prevail, however, as Oklahoma State defeated Texas 7-3, preventing the series sweep and ending the Longhorns’ 16-game win streak.

While the loss and Kubichek’s starting production were disappointing on the day, Pierce said he is confident his team and his pitcher will bounce back next week.

“Wind blowing out, (the Cowboys) ran in a couple of balls, and Kolby (Kubichek) wasn’t as sharp as we needed him to be,” Pierce said. “At the end of the day, Kolby’s going to bounce back and be ready to go next week.”

Texas’ pitching crew wasn’t the only group struggling Sunday afternoon, as its batting group had one of their worst outings at the plate this season. The Longhorns mustered only three runs on a paltry five hits against the Cowboys.

The only offensive standout was freshman infielder Mitchell Daly, who recorded a solo home run in the seventh inning that threatened to cut into Oklahoma State’s lead. However, Texas couldn’t generate any momentum off Daly’s bat.

It wasn’t a pretty game for the Longhorns, but Pierce said he feels that this is just a bump in the road for his team.

“Our team has just played and competed so well for not only 16 ball games, but for this entire season, and I don’t expect them to do anything different moving forward,” Pierce said.