The Texas Longhorns are into the winner's bracket in the Big 12 Tournament after a complete-game performance by pitcher Parker French gave the Horns a 2-1 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Wednesday morning in Tulsa.
Known for his competitiveness on the mound, French dug deep to throw 127 pitches after pitching two innings on Saturday, scattering eight hits over his nine innings of work and striking out six Texas Tech batters. The only extra-base hit he allowed was a double in the first inning that eventually resulted in a stranded runner.
It was the first complete game for a Texas pitcher this season.
Right fielder Collin Shaw tripled in the second with two outs and center fielder Zane Gurwitz responded to the opportunity by slashing an opposite-field double down the right-field line to provide the early margin. The sophomore also helped out French with two nice plays in the field, including a running catch at the wall in the sixth inning that kept the game-tying run from scoring.
Gurwitz scored the game's second run in the top of the seventh on a throwing error by the Red Raiders second baseman to provide some cushion for French, which the starter eventually needed after an infield single with runners on second and third scored a run in the bottom of the inning.
French worked out of that jam and then had to work out of another in the ninth inning -- with runners on second and third, he struck out the final batter of the game with a nasty breaking ball on the outside part of the outside corner.
As usual, French responded when the team needs him most, positioning Texas to make a Big 12 Tournament that will have to result in a championship to continue the Longhorns season. HIs career postseason numbers, including the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament, are as follows -- 3-1 record, 1.97 ERA, and one save over 37 innings pitched.
Texas will take on the winner of the Baylor-TCU contest at 4 p.m. CT on Thursday, with a Bears win the ideal scenario for the Longhorns.