Despite playing in front of the largest recorded regular season crowd in history (7,879), the No. 12 Texas Longhorns (14-7, 1-1) fell short to the No. 11 Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-4, 1-1) by the score of 3-0. The loss evens the series and puts pressure on both teams to win as it has massive postseason implications.
Starting pitcher Blair Henley continued his momentum from his last start against Stanford, and managed to keep Texas Tech scoreless through seven innings. Tough to do against one of the best lineups in the country. Henley’s fastball, changeup, slider, and curve were all working for the junior today as Tech’s hitters were consistently off balance.
Unfortunately, the offensive performance by the Longhorns wasn’t something to write home about. Simply put, the Horns didn’t have enough base runners on base to get any momentum started. If you take away the ninth inning at the plate for Texas, the Longhorns only had one base runner on second the entire day. Credit to Caleb Kilian, as he retired the Horns in order in six of the seven innings he pitched. Texas only managed to get six on base the entire game and only one of those came on a hit. Need I go on?
Texas Tech broke the deadlock in the top of the eighth inning as Henley’s arm started getting tired. Anytime a pitcher reaches the 100-plus pitch mark, bad things are likely to happen. Nevertheless, Henley started the inning with a four-pitch walk, a balk, and another walk to put two runners on with no outs. Before Henley’s arm could fall off, head coach David Pierce made a call to the bullpen for Cole Quintanilla to come in for relief. Henley’s numbers are listed below:
Blair Henley – 7.0IP, 3H, 2ER, 5BB, 6SO, 111 pitches
The Red Raiders capitalized with runners in scoring in position as a sac fly from Brian Klein, and an RBI single from Cody Masters pushed them to a three-run lead. Fortunately, Quintanilla was able to limit any further damage and keep the Horns within a reasonable distance.
Hoping for some late inning magic, the Longhorns had their chance of a comeback. Following walks to Lance Ford, Eric Kennedy, and Zach Zubia — which loaded the bases with two outs, the winning run was at the plate in Ryan Reynolds. Lamentably, hope from the burnt orange faithful vanished as Reynolds’ fly out to left field ended the game.
Tomorrow’s rubber match is scheduled to be at 1:00 pm Central, as Pierce will turn to freshman Coy Cobb to close out the series. You can catch the game on the Longhorn Network or listen in on 104.9 The Horn.