Texas stopped the bleeding of a seven-game losing streak by virtue of a 6-4 home win over Wichita State Tuesday night, and they desperately need to stay in the win column in order to get back into the NCAA Tournament conversation. And though it's rare for Texas to find common ground with Oklahoma, the 'Horns and Sooners enter the weekend in very similar places psychologically: both have just been thumped by Oklahoma State.
OU comes in one game ahead of Texas in the Big 12 standings, fresh off a sweep of Kansas in Norman. Conversely, a three-game sweep by the Cowboys in Stillwater last weekend bumped Texas from first to fourth in the league behind OSU (7-2) and TCU and Oklahoma (both 6-3). In the ensuing week, though Oklahoma played a nonconference game against the Cowboys on Tuesday which can only be described as a disaster.
The Sooners committed four errors and gave up 20 hits en route to a 24-2 Bedlam shellacking. Sooner fans have seen massive final scores attained before the final act of a game before, but this time the tables were turned as the Pokes had their final, 22-run margin by the end of the sixth inning. Of course it's only one game, and Oklahoma is not the team coming into this huge series at 1-7 in their last eight games. But still: 24-2.
Here are your pitching matchups for the weekend:
UT - Sr. RHP Parker French (2-2, 2.31)
OU - So. RHP Jake Elliott (3-3, 2.88)
UT - So. RHP Kacy Clemens (2-2, 4.59)
OU - So. RHP Alec Hansen (4-3, 3.04)
UT - TBA
OU - r-Sr. RHP Robert Tasin (5-1, 1.69)
The "TBA" on Sunday is interesting, as Wescott noted earlier that Chad Hollingsworth will be held out this weekend with a shoulder injury. Josh Sawyer got the Tuesday start against the Shockers, but went only 3.2 innings and 62 pitches sop he should be available. The only other available pitchers with any starts this season are Connor Mayes (2), Kyle Johnston (1), and Tyler Schimpf (1)--look for a committee approach from Texas in the finale.
This is a crucial stretch of the schedule for the Longhorns. After completing the back-to-back weekends against the Oklahoma schools, they get something of a break with a trip to Lawrence next weekend (thankfully not during the colder part of the season for once). That's followed by a road series at TCU and a home one against Texas Tech. These next four series will determine Texas' postseason position, and indeed whether they will even get a bid.
Tonight's first pitch is at 7:05, tomorrow at 3:30 PM, and Sunday at 2:30 PM. All three are on Longhorn Network. This is your open thread. Hook 'em!