Any hopes of the No. 10 Texas Longhorns making a run for the Big 12 regular-season title took a likely fatal blow on Saturday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field as the Longhorns were smashed by the No. 8 Oklahoma State Cowboys, who took the series following Friday’s win.
After left-hander Pete Hansen gave up four home runs, the Longhorns pitching staff combined to give up four more on Saturday, as right-hander Tristan Stevens allowed two and right-handers Travis Sthele and Justin Eckhardt each allowed one. Oklahoma State recorded 11 hits on the day and added six walks, consistently putting Texas pitchers under pressure, including Stevens, who six runs on six hits in 5.2 innings. Stevens was able to strike out a career-high eight batters, but that was a pyrrhic victory on a disappointing day at the Disch.
Texas has now lost five of the last six starts by Stevens.
The Cowboys took a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning as Stevens tired and the visitors took advantage, driving Stevens from the game as his command faltered with one-out and two-out walks before a single forced Sthele into action. Sthele couldn’t keep the game close, giving up two singles, loading the bases with an intentional walk, allowing a run to score on a wild pitch, and then giving up the game’s big blow — a three-run home run by Griffin Doersching that cleared the road behind left field.
With the seven runs in the inning, the game was out of reach and Oklahoma State didn’t relent, adding one run in the eighth and three runs in the ninth.
Texas couldn’t get going at the plate until designated hitter Austin Todd hit a three-run home run in the eighth, but it was the lone highlight on a day when right-hander Bryce Osmond took a perfect game into the fifth inning and didn’t give up a hit until left fielder Dylan Campbell led off the sixth inning with a double into the right-center gap. But despite Campbell advancing to third on a wild pitch with no outs, the Longhorns weren’t able to drive him home in two bases-loaded at bats — a strikeout by Todd and a flyout by first baseman Ivan Melendez.
In all, Texas only managed six hits and three walks offensively in a poor performance.
The Longhorns try to avoid the sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central on Longhorn Network.