The No. 23 Texas Longhorns (5-2) couldn’t get anything going offensively as they lost a close one throughout to the Purdue Boilermakers (1-5) in the second game of a double header on Saturday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The win gave the Boilermakers their first win of the season and a chance to split the series between the Longhorns with another victory on Sunday.
Freshman pitcher Coy Cobb got the ball to start game two of the doubleheader as the freshman made his second-ever appearance in burnt orange. Consider his previous outing in Lafayette on a learning curve for the young pitcher out of Katy, Texas — despite his 8.10 ERA coming into today, Cobb flashed his potential in pitching seven innings with zero runs allowed, earned or unearned.
Early on, both teams couldn’t gain a rhythm offensively as Purdue starting pitcher Andrew Bohm and Cobb exchanged scoreless innings. Cobb specifically, faced the minimum amount of Purdue batters in the three innings following the first. It wasn’t until the bottom of the third that Texas had a real opportunity to blow the game wide open. Unfortunately, the Horns couldn’t capitalize with the bases loaded as redshirt sophomore designed hitter Zach Zubia struck out to end the threat.
What made Cobb effective, especially early in the ballgame, was his ability to hit on first-pitch strikes. Always ahead in the count, he got many batters to either ground out or fly out, at one point retiring 12 straight hitters. In addition, Cobb didn’t issue a walk until the top of the sixth — the Boilermakers had to earn every base runner.
The Longhorns had a great chance to end the stalemate in the bottom of the sixth, but failed to bring in freshman left fielder Eric Kennedy from third. To start the inning, Kennedy earned a walk and was able to make it to third following a balk and a wild pitch. However, freshman second baseman Lance Ford grounded out to second base to prolong the scoreless game.
Cobb’s day ended when redshirt sophomore pitcher Tristan Stevens came out of the bullpen at the start of the eighth inning. Stevens followed Cobb’s solid performance with a quick 1-2-3 inning of his own to head to the bottom of the eighth. You could say Cobb had a great day at the office only allowing four hits, avoiding walks (he did hit a batter), and giving up no runs on seven innings of work. Cobb’s numbers are listed below:
Coy Cobb – 7.0IP, 0R, 0ER, 4H, 0BB, 2SO, 104 pitches
The top of the ninth started off with a throwing error by senior shortstop Masen Hibbeler that resulted in Owen Jansen earning first base. Ben Nisle then doubled to left field advancing Milo Beam (who pinch ran for Jansen) to third. Senior pitcher Brandon Ivey then replaced Stevens in relief, but Ivey couldn’t keep a run off the scoreboard as Zac Fascia singled to bring in both Purdue base runners.
Later in the inning, another throwing error by Ivey resulted in Fascia scoring, bringing the Boilermaker lead to 3-0. Following a wild pitch from sophomore pitcher Nico O’Donnell, Ryan Howe drove home a runner on a ground out, leaving the Horns at a 4-0 disadvantage going into the bottom of the ninth.
The Longhorns couldn’t get any base runners in the bottom of the ninth as Purdue pitcher Bo Hofstra managed a quick 1-2-3 inning to end the game.
Ultimately, errors in the field and an abysmal hitting performance were the reason the Horns ended up losing this game. Give credit to the Purdue bullpen, as they only managed to give up a single hit the entire game. As a result, a great pitching performance by Coy Cobb unfortunately came to a disappointing end, but Texas will look to take the series victory tomorrow as they play the final game in this four-game series.
Sunday’s game is set to start at 12:30 p.m. Central. You can catch tomorrow’s game on the Longhorn Network, on 104.9 The Horn, or make you way to the ballpark to watch Texas try to take the series victory.