In a season filled with lows, the return to action for Texas Longhorns baseball after a week-long break provided another one. After a 24-game win streak against its little cousin from San Marcos, Texas dropped last night's non-conference finale by a score of 3-2 to the Texas State Bobcats. A series loss to Baylor in Austin this weekend would bring Texas' loss total to 30.
The Longhorns' two runs came on an RBI double by Tyler Rand in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. It was the lone hit of the inning for the 'Horns, as all three men on base had gotten there via walks. The double was one of only five hits on the day for Texas, but it held up until Texas State pushed across a run in the top of the seventh. The Bobcats quickly broke the tie in the eighth with an unearned run thanks to an error by right fielder Patrick Mathis.
When you are out-hit 7-5 as Texas was last night, it doesn't necessarily spell disaster; but when you add in three errors to Texas State's clean sheet in the field, it was clearly the visitor's game to lose. The two errors aside from the one made by Mathis also helped set up Texas State runs, as Nolan Kingham in the seventh and Chase Shugart in the eighth both threw away pick-off attempts to allow Bobcats runners into scoring position.
Official attendance was 4,783. Actual attendance was much, much lower.
Some advocating for Augie Garrido to return for another season use the argument that he could reach the 2,000-win milestone in 2017. He entered 2016 with 1,950, and is now up to 1,971. Unless he picks up two or three against Baylor and then a couple more in the Big 12 Tournament, getting to 2,000 next year will necessarily require a better season than this year has been; that is, he is likely to be less than halfway to the 50 he needed to start this season when 2016 mercifully ends. Which is to say: I'm not buying that approach.
The regular season ends this weekend at home against Baylor in a Thursday-Saturday series. (Official attendance for each game will be around 4,783.) Texas enters the weekend at 9-12 in the conference, sitting at sixth place. If the season ends as it stands now, Texas will play third-place TCU in its first matchup in Oklahoma City.
There is a scenario -- a very remote scenario -- in which Texas suffers one last indignity by being left out of the Big 12 Tournament. That requires Kansas to sweep Oklahoma State to finish at 9-14, Texas to be swept by Baylor to finish at 9-15, and Kansas State to take two of three from TCU to finish at 10-14. The likelihood is that won't happen, though, and the Longhorns will get the opportunity to make an improbable run to the NCAA Tournament.