No. 12 Texas Longhorns baseball (37-20, 17-7 Big 12) has been eliminated from the Big 12 tournament after only two games.
After falling to No. 8 seed Kansas on Wednesday, the No. 1 seeded ‘Horns lost again on Thursday to the No. 4 seed Oklahoma Sooners (35-22, 14-10) 3-1 in Oklahoma City.
The elimination game saw the ‘Horns yet again fail to create the offense that propelled the team through the regular season.
Texas notched only six hits and stranded seven runners. The only time Texas scored was when Duke Ellis hit into a 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the fifth to get a run on the board.
Starter Nolan Kingham threw an average game, posting eight hits, three runs, one walk, and a strikeout across 5.1 innings. Chase Shugart came on in relief and looked a bit sloppy, walking four in his 2.1 inning. Shugart, however, ultimately did not surrender a run and earned a huge strikeout on a full count with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth.
Josh Sawyer got the only batter he faced out and Parker Jo Robinson turned in a nice inning of work in which he struck out two.
The relief pitching has been one of the few positive takeaways from the tournament, as guys like Robinson, Matt Whelan, and Andy McGuire have all looked like reliable arms out of the bullpen who Texas can count on in the NCAA tournament.
The Big 12 tournament wasn’t extremely meaningful for the ‘Horns, as Texas has likely secured an NCAA regional host spot. The losses, however, dissolved some of the momentum that the ‘Horns had and shined a light on the fact that Texas still has many flaws. Texas’ struggles at this plate this week, for example, were a bit concerning considering how good the ‘Horns’ offense has been as of late.
The NCAA tournament field will be announced on Monday and the NCAA Regionals begin on June 1.