It was another bad day at the office for the No. 12 Texas Longhorns (12-6), who fell to No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (12-3) by the score of 9-0 on Sunday at Sunken Diamond. The loss is the third straight for Texas, and also marks the third straight time in as many years the Cardinal have taken the series from the Longhorns.
As the rain started to really come down in the bottom of the fourth, the Horns completely collapsed due to sloppy play in the field and pitching woes. Following two straight singles to center field and a walk to Brandon Wulff with no outs, head coach David Pierce turned to sophomore right-hander Kam Fields to replace freshman right-hander Coy Cobb.
Unfortunately, the first pitch Fields threw was a wild pitch that resulted in the first run coming in for Stanford. The very next play, a dribbler to redshirt sophomore third baseman Ryan Reynolds proceeded in an overthrow to home as freshman catcher Caston Peter was trying to tag the runner. As a result, two runs scored because there was no one covering home, bringing the score 3-0 with no outs. As the conditions got sloppier due to the onslaught of rain, another wild pitch from Fields not only walked Tim Tawa, but also scored Andrew Daschbach from third. Pierce had seen enough from Fields and made his second call to the bullpen in the inning.
Stanford added to their lead after a Duke Kinamon RBI single to center field to give them a five-run lead. Taking full advantage of the wet conditions, the Cardinal seemed to steal every base with ease and eventually got the bases loaded once again. Pierce turned to the bullpen for the third time in the inning, hoping someone would stop the bleeding.
Finally, after Pierce’s fourth trip to the mound, the Longhorns finally got out of the inning, but not before giving up three more to the Cardinal, bringing the score 8-0.
After a lengthy rain delay in the bottom of the seventh, the officials decided to call the game over. The Horns ended the game recording only one hit and sending seven pitchers to the mound.
Many people, including myself, thought that Texas had a real good chance to grab a series win in Palo Alto. Or at least a split. Obviously, that didn’t happen. One thing is for certain though — the youth and inexperience showed throughout this series.
Whether it was bad field play that led to freshman shortstop Bryce Reagan getting benched, or going from a senior to a freshman catcher, or having the majority of the bullpen comprised of freshman and sophomores, Texas will likely have their fair share of growing pains this season.
Texas will look to get back on track next Tuesday when they head back to UFCU Disch-Field Field to face the Texas Southern Tigers (2-10).