Two days after suffering a disheartening loss to Oklahoma, the Longhorns will look to rebound with a home game against Texas State.
Texas dropped Sunday’s series finale after closer Corey Knebel blew a one-run lead in the eighth inning and allowed the Sooners to score three runs and clinch the season series for the first time in 14 years. Despite the Longhorns’ 17-13 record, junior right fielder Mark Payton does not believe his team needs to panic.
“You can’t think about winning, because if you are trying to win you are putting too much pressure on yourself,” Payton said. “We are just trying to go out there trying to win each pitch and hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”
The Longhorns have an opportunity to right the ship against Texas State, as the Bobcats are 2-13 on the road in 2013. Texas won its first matchup against the Bobcats this season 5-3 in Austin on March 26.
Texas has been the beneficiary of strong pitching at home all season long, as the staff is yet to allow more than five runs in a game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. This held true over the weekend against Oklahoma, as Longhorns starters combined to allow just two earned runs in 20 innings in the three-game series.
Sophomore outfielder Cody Lovejoy presents the biggest threat for the Texas pitchers, as he leads the Bobcats with a .330 batting average. The Longhorns will also have to account for sophomore infielder Garrett Mattlage, who leads the team with 11 extra base hits and 21 RBIs.
Texas will be eager to improve its offensive production against the Bobcats, as it is coming off a series in which it scored just four runs in three games. This came immediately after a six-game stretch in which the Longhorns hit .316 as a team and recorded five double-digit hit efforts.
The Longhorns could have an opportunity to reverse their hitting woes against a Texas State pitching staff that has recorded a team ERA of 4.69 through 31 games. The Texas lineup had 11 hits in its first matchup against the Bobcats.
Tuesday’s game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.