No. 8 Texas baseball rallies to clinch series over Oklahoma, 2–1

UT+Baseball+sophomore+Dylan+Campbell+making+his+way+around+the+bases+after+hitting+a+home+run+during+the+Alumni+game+on+Saturday%2C+February+5%2C+2022.

Jonathan Sherchand/The Daily Texan

UT Baseball sophomore Dylan Campbell making his way around the bases after hitting a home run during the Alumni game on Saturday, February 5, 2022.

Jordan Mitchell, Senior Sports Reporter

Trailing 7-1 in the seventh inning during the Sunday matchup against Oklahoma, No. 8 Texas baseball was in jeopardy of dropping its weekend series.

With Chazz Martinez, the Sooners’ starting Sunday pitcher, giving little to swing at, the Texas offense remained dormant throughout the first six innings of play, only hitting four balls and scoring one run off redshirt senior infielder Murphy Stehly’s RBI single.

However, sophomore left fielder Dylan Campbell resuscitated a dead-in-the-water Longhorn batting lineup.

With sophomore infielder Mitch Daly and redshirt senior outfielder Austin Todd on first and second base with no outs, Campbell nuked Oklahoma reliever Ben Abram’s 84 mph fastball to the left field bleachers for a three-run homer, narrowing Oklahoma’s lead to three. 

Shaken, the Sooners’ pitching staff walked redshirt sophomore shortstop Trey Faltine and Douglas Hodo III, redshirt sophomore center fielder, putting two Longhorns on base before Stehly stepped up to the plate with an out on the board. 

Stehly, who came into the series with a .472 batting average and 50 hits, slugged another to left field off a slider gone wrong, scoring three more and tying up the ballgame at seven a piece. 

Bringing home five more runs in the ninth inning, Texas secured Sunday’s series-clinching win with redshirt junior pitcher Coy Cobb keeping Oklahoma’s damage to one run in relief. The Longhorns topped the Sooners 12-8 at the Globe Life Field in Arlington.

The Sunday victory followed a 4-2 loss in Saturday’s matchup, putting Texas in jeopardy of losing two consecutive Big 12 Conference series. Oklahoma was an unexpected struggle for Texas, stealing seven bags on redshirt sophomore catcher Silas Ardoin and the Texas defense in Saturday’s matchup.

David Sandlin, Oklahoma’s starting pitcher Saturday, was also problematic for Texas, giving up no hits in the six innings he pitched. 

While Texas’ Saturday pitcher, redshirt senior Tristan Stevens, had six strikeouts and only two runs allowed in his solid showing, the Longhorns had another frustrating performance from the bullpen. Oklahoma hit three times and scored twice off of the pitching duo of sophomore Aaron Nixon and redshirt sophomore Zane Morehouse, sealing the Sooners’ win Saturday.

“The other (bullpen) guys have big explosive arms but haven’t been in this environment,” head coach David Pierce said. “The hurdle is being able to get those guys comfortable in these environments to be who we think they can be.”

On top of the shaky bullpen, redshirt junior Eric Kennedy, starting left fielder and leadoff hitter, grappled with a hamstring injury in the sixth inning before getting scratched from the rest of weekend play by Pierce. 

However, Campbell was a bright light in the wake of misfortune. While in for Kennedy on Sunday, the sophomore contributed two hits, including his momentum-sparking home run and a put out. 

Campbell has had a slow start slugging this season, with a batting average of .216 before Friday’s game.