No.24 Texas Longhorns baseball (31-19, 9-11 Big 12) suffered a three game sweep at the hands of the No.11 TCU Horned Frogs. Texas lost 11-10, 8-2, and 4-3 this weekend, and both the opener and closer went to extra innings.
It was an extremely frustrating weekend that exposed Texas’ perceived pitching dominance. Nolan Kingham and Morgan Cooper, who entered the weekend with 2.05 and 1.45 ERAs, respectively, were both pulled by the start of the fourth inning in their starts. The two combined for 5.1 innings pitched, 15 hits, and 14 runs.
Kyle Johnston’s Sunday start was much more impressive, as the junior went 6.1 innings and allowed two hits and four walks. No runners scored under Johnston’s watch, but he earned two runs when his bullpen let him down.
Chase Shugart walked three runners to score two, and Beau Ridgeway and Nick Kennedy both allowed a run in 1.1 innings each.
TCU’s superb hitting overmatched a pitching rotation that had been stout all season. There were some bright spots for the ‘Horns on offense, however.
Freshman outfielder Austin Todd proved that he belongs in the lineup on a daily basis. Todd was 5-6 in the opener and 2-5 in the closing game. Though he was 0-4 in the second game, he earned a walk.
Senior Zane Gurwitz posted similar numbers to Todd (he went 5-6 in the opener as well). The outfielder has been a reliable player his entire career for the ‘Horns, but injuries and a bit of a slump had made him largely unproductive for much of the season.
So what does this weekend mean for the ‘Horns’ outlook? After entering the top 25 this week for this first time since March, Texas now finds itself squarely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament.
The Longhorns have four games left, all of which are home (and thank God, because Texas is 6-10 on the road this year). Texas will take on Incarnate Wood on Tuesday, May 16th in what should be one of the ‘Horns’ easiest games of the season. That weekend, the Longhorns will host a very good West Virginia club for a three game series.
Texas must win at least three of their last four to feel good about its postseason hopes. The ‘Horns will also need a couple of Big 12 tourney wins to secure a spot in the big dance.