Longhorns face second straight Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas State in Arlington

Evan Vieth, Associate Sports Editor

After just two hits and a six-run loss, Texas has been eliminated from Big 12 postseason play and may have just kissed their chance at a regional goodbye.

The state of Kansas got their revenge on the Longhorns in the Big 12 tournament. Kansas State and Kansas were a combined 2–4 against Texas on the season coming into tournament play, but two days in and the Longhorns have already been knocked out at the hands of the two underdogs.

Kansas State took down the Longhorns 6-0 just 20 hours after the Kansas Jayhawks upset the Longhorns as an eight-seed team 6-3. The underwhelming weekday slate dropped the Longhorns to 0-5 on the season at Globe Life Field and likely played themselves out of their chance at hosting a regional on June 2.

For the second straight game, the Longhorn bats seemed to fail at waking up when it mattered most. Unlike the Kansas game, which was within a one-run deficit for most of the game, Kansas State had six runs on the board before Texas had their second hit.

After six strong innings of one-run baseball, redshirt sophomore right hander Lebarron Johnson Jr. was taken out in the top of the sixth after allowing a lead-off single. Following Johnson was sophomore lefty David Shaw, one of the Longhorns most consistent and effective relievers in Big 12 play. Shaw allowed a walk and a single to the next two batters, and despite recording an out, he exited the game in a dangerous situation, allowing the bases to be loaded with a 3-0 count.

Junior right-hander Charlie Hurley replaced Shaw, and from there the floodgates opened. Hurley walked the batter on the next pitch, surrendering the first run of the season inning. The 6-foot-8-inch righty then allowed a base hit and a walk, bringing in two additional runs before being replaced by redshirt junior Zane Morehouse. Morehouse did finish the inning, but not before giving up a two-RBI double that, fortunately for the Longhorns, caught the final runner at home for the second out of the inning. By the time the dust settled, Texas was down 6-0 and any hope at advancing in the tournament seemed bleak.

One reason for Shaw’s exit, as well as Longhorn struggles, can be attributed to injury concerns for the No. 1 seed. Though it isn’t the reason Texas lost, it is the first time all season head coach David Pierce has had to deal with more than redshirt sophomore Tanner Witt’s injury. Shaw now joins reliever Heston Tole with arm injuries, with three of the Longhorn starting hitters struggling with injuries.

Just as he looked to have secured the starting DH role, senior Tanner Carlson broke his arm and hasn’t been able to play all tournament. Though able to play, redshirt junior Peyton Powell and freshman Jared Thomas are both battling through back injuries. Powell was unable to play his usual third base position on Thursday, forcing junior Mitchell Daly back into the starting lineup as Powell moved to the DH role.

On the positive side for the Longhorns, Dylan Campbell has accumulated a hit in 35 straight games after his eighth inning single to center, one of only two for Texas all game. Thirty five has been the number to chase, as it now ties Tyler Wright for the longest streak of all-time in the Big 12.

Texas has been eliminated from the Big 12 tournament but will play on June 2 when regional play starts. Longhorn fans will be glued to the TV on May 29 as the NCAA selection show will pick who is hosting regionals and who’s going to play in the three-game start of the postseason.