Texas Longhorns baseball (37-22) fell to the Oklahoma State Cowboys (30-25) 6-5 Sunday afternoon in the Big 12 championship game in Oklahoma City.
With an RPI at 16 prior to the loss, the Longhorns are still a lock for the NCAA tournament, and will likely be a two seed. The regional site information will be announced tonight on Facebook at 7:30 PM CST, and the selection show for the field will be on ESPN 2 at Monday at 11 am CST.
Morgan Cooper got the start for the ‘Horns despite experiencing some arm soreness recently. Coop loaded up the bases in the first, but also struck out three looking to get out of the jam with no damage done.
Texas struck in the bottom of the inning with a two out rally. Travis Jones was hit by a pitch and stole second to put a runner in scoring position for Kacy Clemens.
Clemens delivered with a ground ball single that squirted past the second baseman and brought home Jones to make the score 1-0. Back to back singles by Austin Todd and Brett Boswell brought Kacy home to give the ‘Horns a 2-0 advantage.
Oklahoma State clawed back in the top of the third. The Cowboys scored after a single and an RBI double to make the score 2-1. Cooper fought back and earned three straight outs, leaving a runner stranded on third.
Texas reclaimed its two run lead in the third again due to some two out magic. Boswell knocked a double to left field, and Kody Clemens followed in his brother’s footsteps by hitting an RBI single through the second base side.
Connor Mayes relieved Cooper in the top of the fourth. Oklahoma State began the inning with a fly ball to left field that the wind (and perhaps some misplaying by Travis Jones) allowed to drop for a double. A sac bunt then put the runner on third, which was followed by two walks.
Mayes was then pulled in favor of Chase Shugart. The sophomore righty allowed an RBI single to score two and knot up the score at three. Oklahoma State then took the lead on a single to left to make it 4-3.
After three straight Texas fly outs to center field, Jake McKenzie took the hill for the ‘Horns and got out of the bottom of the fifth, despite giving up two hits.
Oklahoma State’s lack of bullpen depth began to show in the bottom of the inning when three straight one out walks loaded the bases for the ‘Horns. Kody Clemens, however, hit a liner to third that resulted in his brother Kacy being tagged out as well to end the inning on a double play.
Two straight doubles for the Cowboys in the sixth on Nick Kennedy brought the score to 5-3. In the seventh, Beau Ridgeway came on to pitch and the Cowboys added another run on a solo shot to make it 6-3.
The ‘Horns would fight back in the bottom of the seventh. An RBI single by Zane Gurwitz narrowed the Oklahoma State lead to two and a Ryan Reynolds RBI two out single later in the inning made it a one run game.
David Hamilton grounded out to leave runners stranded on the corners, and in the bottom of the eighth the Longhorns again stranded a runner in scoring position, this time at second.
In the bottom of ninth with Texas still down one, Zane Gurwitz took the ball for a ride, but it was caught at the warning track for out number one. Michael Cantu then knocked a base hit up the middle to give the ‘Horns life.
Ryan Reynolds then came to the plate and struck out with a full count, but pinch runner Tyler Rand stole second on the play. David Hamilton then popped up to end the game, and give Oklahoma State an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.