After a huge come from behind win last night, the Longhorns just didn’t have enough juice left needed to complete another come from behind victory Saturday afternoon.
Texas starter Chase Shugart struggled in a big game today as he surrendered 11 hits, 5 earned runs, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts over the course of 6 complete innings.
The gritty Texas offense picked up their starting pitcher, allowing Shugart to do just enough to keep Texas in the game throughout his outing.
The Longhorns and Mountaineers went punch for punch for 9 innings as the two teams exchanged leads 5 times before West Virginia delivered the knockout blow in the 8th inning.
After Texas scored 3 runs in the top half of the 8th to take a 6-5 lead, the Mountaineers answered with 3 runs of their own in their half of the 8th to go back on top 8-6.
Andy McGuire, who has been a sure arm out of the bullpen for Texas, did not have command for his pitches this afternoon and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, a walk, and 2 wild pitches.
Going to the 9th, it looked like we were in store for more late inning Longhorn magic as Ryan Reynolds, DJ Petrinsky, and Michael McCann all singled to lead off the inning and load the bases for Texas.
Unfortunately the ‘Horns could not channel enough late game magic this time around as Tate Shaw and Duke Ellis both tallied strikeouts, followed by a game ending Masen Hibbeler fly-out to centerfield, as the Longhorns found themselves on the short end of an 8-6 battle of a ballgame.
Texas moves to 30-16 on the season with a big game looming tomorrow in the rubber match.
The ‘Horns really need to handle business tomorrow in order to continue momentum before facing Texas State on Tuesday before traveling to Lubbock to face the Red Raiders in what could be the most important series of the season for Texas.
As much as it hurts, we should all be rooting for an OU victory tonight (channel your inner John Curtiss) over Oklahoma State after the loss to WV this evening. Texas can put themselves in prime position for the top spot in the Big 12 with a win tomorrow.
It’s time for the starting pitching staff to decide who is going to step up and deliver for this club. We are at the point in the season where starting pitching becomes most important and as of late, you don’t know what you’re gonna get with any of the Texas starters. With that being said, I hope Blair Henley goes out tomorrow and pitches a gem.
Overall, the grit and fight that this team continues to show is really encouraging and I believe they are hitting their stride as a team at the right time. If they can get even an ounce of consistency from the starting pitchers, this team could be primed to make a deep postseason run.
The series finale is set for Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 12 P.M. Central and can be heard on 104.9 The Horn FM or streamed live via WVUSports.com