Texas Longhorns baseball (24-13, 11-3 Big 12) scored a massive comeback victory on Saturday night, taking down the No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners (25-13, 8-3 Big 12) 5-3 in game two in Norman.
The ‘Horns fell behind 3-0 in the first, as the game began with a Chase Shugart lead off walk, passed ball, and Jake McKenzie error to put runners on the corners with no outs. OU would later notch three singles to score its three runs.
While an early three-run hole would normally doom most Texas teams of years past, the Longhorns offense battled back. Kody Clemens led the charge, as his leadoff double in the fourth got Texas going. Zach Zubia then walked, David Hamilton popped out, and Ryan Reynolds walked to load the bases with one out.
Though DJ Petrinsky struck out to make it two outs, Duke Ellis came through with a clutch two out double down the left field line to cut the OU lead to 3-2.
In the fifth, Clemens tied the game at three after this solo shot:
Meanwhile, Shugart turned in five complete innings, and his last four were very good after allowing three runs in the first. Though Shugart walked four on the day, he didn’t allow any hits after the first inning and got stronger as the game went on.
Shugart was replaced in the sixth by Nolan Kingham, who didn’t start Friday night because of an academic violation. Kingham kept the Sooners in check and looked to be in much better form than his last two appearances.
In the top of the eighth, Texas struck again, and again, it began with Kody Clemens. Clemens began the inning with a leadoff single to the right side. Zubia followed with his eighth dinger of the season to put Texas up 5-3.
Kingham continued to get it done, striking out two in the eighth and putting down the side in order. In the ninth, Kingham faced Oklahoma’s 3-4-5 hitters, and retired the first two batters. Kingham, however, faced some trouble after allowing a two-out single and then grazing a batter to put runners on first and second.
Despite the pressure, the ‘Horns were able to get the W after a pop out to Ellis ended the game.
So, what made Texas’ win against OU tonight one of the ‘Horns’ most meaningful wins of the season?
1.) Quality road wins — Texas was 4-7 on the road heading into the Oklahoma series. The ‘Horns will now have a chance to climb back to .500 on the road with a win tomorrow/.
2.) Top 25 — Regardless of what happens tomorrow, the Longhorns will likely find themselves in the top 25 at the end of this weekend and will be in realistic position to host a Super Regional.
3.) Best in the Big 12 — At 11-3 in conference, the ‘Horns are now the top team in the Big 12, as the Sooners (now at 8-3) have fallen from their top spot.
4.) Beating OU — Falling by one run to Texas A&M was tough, so getting redemption against a top rival by taking the series is an excellent feeling. Because OU sucks.
Texas’ work isn’t done yet, as the ‘Horns will return to action on Sunday at 1 pm CST and go for the sweep in Norman. You can catch the game on ESPN2.