Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

No. 24 Texas baseball drops first game of Big 12 Championship 6-4 to Texas Tech

Kennedy Weatherby

Taking to Globe Life Field two hours past their scheduled first pitch, No. 24 Texas baseball and Texas Tech had energy to spend on Tuesday night in their first matchup of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The opponents had a combination of five homers, with Texas dropping the game 6-4 after a tie-breaking home run from the Red Raiders.

The Longhorns entered the championship with two back-to-back series wins against UCF and Kansas, claiming its first conference series sweep against the Jayhawks to close out the regular season. Texas was announced as the No. 3 seed ahead of the tournament, just behind No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Oklahoma State, while Texas Tech entered as the No. 10 seed.

“We just got to fight,” sophomore right fielder Max Belyeu said. “Tough loss, we got punched in the mouth. All you can do is just fight.”

Sophomore first baseman Jared Thomas announced Texas’ arrival with a solo home run to left field in the first inning. However, Texas Tech senior outfielder Drew Woodcox sent his own solo blast flying at the top of the second inning, tying things up at 1-1 heading into the third inning.

Both opponents would soon realize it was going to be a long night ahead, as Texas senior second baseman Jack O’Dowd slammed another solo home run followed up by a double from Belyeu for two RBIs. The Longhorns snagged a 4-1 lead only to blow it at the top of the fourth inning due to a homer from senior infielder Austin Green for three RBIs, tying the score once again at 4-4.

On the defensive end, Texas junior starting pitcher Ace Whitehead had a less-than-ideal performance, allowing five hits, four runs and only striking out one. Whitehead was switched out for redshirt junior Andre Duplantier Ⅱ at the top of the sixth inning in hopes of regaining some traction.

Duplantier would go on to secure six strikeouts across four innings pitched and allowed no walks, giving Texas some breathing room.

The pressure combined with the near silence of the crowd antagonized each team. Texas Tech made two pitching changes in the sixth inning despite leaving Texas without a run for three straight innings, while the Longhorns had multiple players stranded on base, unable to create enough offense when batters were sitting at third.

“It’s pretty obvious that it’s frustrating,” head coach David Pierce said. “Guys aren’t having good at-bats, but their mind’s right. It just didn’t happen.”

Rounding the ninth inning with still no additional runs on the board, Red Raider junior infielder Cade McGee knocked a home run dead on the left foul pole, bringing in two RBIs to take the 6-4 win.

McGee’s home run would not have been counted at any other MLB stadium, according to Globe Life Field’s ground rules surrounding the foul pole.

With the loss, the Longhorns will face Cincinnati on Wednesday with the possibility of elimination from the tournament if they don’t pull off the win.

“I think all season we’ve had our backs against the wall,” O’Dowd said. “We’ve dropped a lot of Friday night games, … and I think we just need to lean on that experience … and trust that we know how to bounce back after a loss.”

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About the Contributor
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.