The No. 2 LSU Tigers arrived in Austin undefeated on the young season, and the heavy favorites to win the three-game set.
They left Austin with three losses thanks to a late comeback by the No. 22 Texas Longhorns that featured four runs in the eight and ninth innings, capped by a walk-off single by junior center fielder Austin Todd for the 7-6 victory.
Mr. Walk-off @austin_todd_10. pic.twitter.com/yhGZWJlJ8V— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 3, 2019
Right-handed freshman pitcher Coy Cobb toed the rubber for the Longhorns, looking to pitch Texas to their first series sweep of the year on Sunday at UCFU Disch-Falk Field.
Considering the less than ideal baseball weather, Cobb battled through the elements and kept the Longhorns in the game, even though the Tigers got on the board first in the third inning after a two-out RBI single off the bat of center fielder Zach Watson.
Wasting no time, the Longhorns answered in the home half of the third.
Freshman shortstop Bryce Reagan got things going with a one out double to the gap in right center. Reagan then advanced 90 feet to third on a Duke Ellis ground out.
With two outs, it appeared that Texas might miss on an opportunity to answer after falling behind early.
Todd and freshman left fielder Eric Kennedy made sure that didn’t happen.
Kennedy doubled home Reagan to tie things up, and Todd quickly broke the tie one pitch later, launching a two-run home run over the right-field wall.
This ball went a looooooong way, @austin_todd_10. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/wLEqpiwdyF— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 3, 2019
The Longhorns clung to the two run lead until the top of the fifth inning, when things started to unravel for Cobb, who was eventually replaced by senior left-hander Brandon Ivey.
After a hit by pitch, double, wild pitch, and one error, the Texas lead was quickly erased as LSU evened the score at 3-3. Cobb’s final line is shown below.
Cobb: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 82 pitches
Senior right-hander Matteo Bocchi was called upon to begin the sixth inning and quickly found himself in a bases-loaded situation after back-to-back singles and a base on balls. Bocchi was only able to record one out before head coach David Pierce made the call to the bullpen, bringing in freshman right-hander Mason Bryant.
Reagan then committed a costly error on a back-hand attempt after Bryant forced a potential double-play ground ball to the first batter he faced. Instead, the error allowed each runner to advance safely, adding a run for the Tigers. LSU wasn’t done, adding another run on an RBI single, increasing their lead to 5-3.
The seventh inning started a lot like the fifth as Bryant worked two quick outs which were overshadowed by a walk, wild pitch, and throwing error by redshirt sophomore third baseman Ryan Reynolds, allowing the Tigers to score an unearned run.
6-3 Tigers as things started to look bleak for the Horns.
Texas drew a run closer in the eight after a pair of doubles by Kennedy and Reynolds, with the Reynolds double coming off of LSU closer Todd Peterson.
6-4 Tigers as we moved to the ninth.
Down to their final three outs, Texas found themselves in dire need of some late-game magic. The inning began with a HBP courtesy of senior catcher Michael McCann. No better way to lead off an inning.
Senior second baseman Masen Hibbeler followed McCann with a base hit, allowing pinch hitter Lance Ford to come to the plate with a perfect opportunity to lay down a bunt.
Ford delivered with an absolute beauty, giving himself up and allowing the runners to advance.
After Ellis reached on an infield single to the shortstop to score McCann, Kennedy was able to beat out a blooper right back at the pitcher after LSU shortstop Josh Smith failed to touch the second base bag on the double-play attempt. Smith’s split second attempt to find the bag allowed Kennedy to reach first base safely.
With the table set, Todd dug into the box and saw just one pitch before sending the next pitch he saw right back up the middle to walk it off for the Longhorns.
Longhorns sweep the Tigers to move to 10-3 on the year. Texas is back on action on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Central against UT-Rio Grande Valley.
TEXAS FIGHT. pic.twitter.com/AiDE0GBEO8— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 3, 2019