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Texas Drops Game Two; Season Finale Open Thread

Texas led from the third inning on and answered Kansas State's punches for the first eight innings, but the Wildcats grabbed a walk-off win to put Texas back in the familiar L column.

If baseball continues like this, we're very close to having no distractions from the QB situation.
If baseball continues like this, we're very close to having no distractions from the QB situation.
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the bottom of the ninth last night, it looked as if Texas had secured a series win on the road in Manhattan. At least psychologically, that would have been awfully nice; Texas is 3-4 in conference series this season, and 0 for their last 3.  Since the entire basis for advancing in the NCAA Tournament is to win 3 games the first weekend and 2 the second, it would be nice for the Longhorns to remind themselves that, yes, they are indeed capable of winning more than one game in a weekend.

But now it will take a win today to accomplish that goal. Nathan Thornhill went 5.2 innings and allowed a single run as Texas built a 3-1 lead. He gave way to the bullpen, whose performance went from shaky to disastrous. Chad Hollingsworth worked a difficult 7th inning, giving up 3 hits in the frame but limiting the damage to a Ross Kivett RBI double.  Catcher Tres Barrera erased the K-State run with a leadoff homer in the top of the 8th, giving Texas a 4-2 lead.  Augie Garrido turned to closer John Curtiss to attempt the two-inning save.

In the 8th, he worked around a leadoff single by center fielder Max Brown--who then stole both second and third bases before Curtiss stranded him there with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout. He would have no such success in the ninth, despite starting the inning against the Wildcats' two weakest hitters. The 8 and 9 men in the order started the frame with singles, and then leadoff man Kivett stroked an RBI single. Suddenly the winning run was on base with none out. Curtiss induced a pop out on a bunt attempt, but it didn't matter as Austin Fisher hammered a double down the left field line to complete the comeback and win the game.

Texas' best case scenario is now to get a good performance from Parker French, finish the conference season at 13-11 and 4-4 in series, and get hot in OKC at the conference tournament. A loss today, in all likelihood, removes Texas from any hosting conversation for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and completes the narrative of a second half collapse. So, no pressure.

First pitch is at 3:30 on Fox Sports 1. This is your open thread.