Texas Longhorns baseball fell 2-1 tonight against the lowly Baylor Bears, moving the Longhorns to 21-29 on the season. And no one saw it -- UFCU Disch-Falk field was virtually empty. This could be partially because school is out, but obviously also correlates to the lack of success on the field. The eyes of Texas were not on the baseball team tonight, but the lack of pressure didn't result in a win.
With two games remaining, Texas has yet to clinch a Big 12 Tournament berth. A Kansas loss would've clinched it for the Longhorns, but the Jayhawks were rained out in Stillwater. As Austin American Statesman writer Ryan Autullo noted, this is Augie Garrido's first-ever season at Texas were his team did not record a single sweep.
The pitching was not the problem for Texas, as Morgan Cooper performed well on the mound. However, early in the game, Cooper had some issues allowing hits after getting two strikes. He gave up five hits in his first three innings, but it wasn't until the fifth inning when Baylor did their damage. Cooper hit a batter, and later threw away a sac bunt to bring two home. In a year where Augie's "small ball" has been widely detested, it was brutal to give up the game-winning runs on a bunt.
Texas freshman reliever Beau Ridgeway came on in the 7th and managed to go three innings in only 21 pitches. Ridgeway taking care of business is a positive to take away from the game. Texas relievers have struggled in conference play, and if Texas has any hope at all to make noise in the Big 12 tourney, they will need to have a deep bullpen.
Baylor starting pitcher Drew Tolson had a phenomenal game. He went eight innings, and had very few run threatening innings. Baylor's star closer Troy Montemayor, who has a 0.86 ERA, got the job done in the ninth. The game as a whole moved at a seemingly rapid pace, especially because there were no walks given up on either side in the whole contest.
Texas' one run came off of a two-out base knock to third by Tres Barrera in the sixth inning to score Jake McKenzie. Barrera had a chance to repeat in the eighth. After being moved over by a sac bunt and a ground out, McKenzie was on third with two outs when Barrera stepped to the plate. However, with a full count, Texas' leader whiffed on a pitch out of the zone, and the momentum was stymied.
Texas has now lost eight of their last nine games. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's never happened in history. What's worse, their only win over the last nine contests was over Prairie View A&M, losers of 13 of their last 14.
The Longhorns will look to bounce back tomorrow at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network and on 104.9 The Horn, as usual. But hey, if you are in Austin, maybe you should see the game in person. There are many, many empty seats waiting for you.