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No. 21 Texas blows lead, drops series against No. 17 Oklahoma State with 4-3 walk-off loss

Zane Morehouse blew his first save with the Longhorns in a comeback victory for the Cowboys.

Texas baseball

The No. 21 Texas Longhorns missed an opportunity to win a key series on the road in Stillwater against the No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys with a 4-3 walk-off loss on Sunday at O’Brate Stadium.

Texas took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run home run by catcher Garret Guillemette on a hanging slider following a single by center fielder Eric Kennedy and a walk by right fielder Dylan Campbell. Guillemette has now hit all five of his home runs this season in the last eight games.

But the Longhorns only managed three hits and three walks in the remaining eight innings with the biggest missed opportunity coming in the ninth. Guillemette took a four-pitch walk to start the frame, left fielder Porter Brown singled, and pinch hitter Jayden Duplantier was hit by a pitch trying to lay down a bunt, loading the bases with no outs. Texas couldn’t add the key insurance runs, though, when first baseman Jared Thomas struck out swinging to end a nine-pitch at bat and shortstop Mitchell Daly grounded into a double play on a 1-0 pitch.

Oklahoma State’s pitching deserved credit for a second straight game with starter Brian Hendry settling in after the poor start, left-hander Drew Blake allowing only one hit over 4.0 innings with five strikeouts, and right-hander Isaac Stebens earning the win after coming on for Blake to get the final three outs.

For Texas, right-hander Lebarron Johnson Jr. got the start and lasted 3.0 innings while battling typical command issues — he struck out five batters and only gave up two hits, but also walked five. Left-hander David Shaw, left-hander Ace Whitehead, and right-hander Andre Duplantier all had solid appearances in making the lead stand over the next two innings before right-hander Charlie Hurley took over. The USC transfer was solid in 3.0 innings of work except for the sixth, when he gave up an infield single and then a two-run home run on a hanging breaking ball.

In the fifth, Duplantier benefited from arguably the best defensive play of the game when Campbell threw out a runner at the plate trying to score on a single.

It was in the ninth inning that everything fell apart for the Longhorns. With Morehouse on trying to earn his fifth save of the season, his command fell apart after retiring the leadoff batter. On a 2-0 pitch, Morehouse gave up a single up the middle, then walked the next two batters on full counts to load the bases before the tying run scored on a wild pitch. With the infield drawn in trying to send the game into extra innings, Morehouse gave up a single down the right-field line to end it.

Texas returns to UFCU Disch-Falk Field for a Tuesday game against Air Force before hosting Kansas State in a weekend series that starts on Thursday.