Following the high of sharing a Big 12 regular-season title with a sweep of the then-No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers last weekend, the No. 20 Texas Longhorns hit another low in Arlington at Globe Life Field in the opening game of the Big 12 Tournament with a 6-3 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks on Wednesday.
Right-hander Lucas Gordon received some critical help in the first inning following a leadoff single when right fielder Dylan Campball made a running catch crashing into wall to save a run, allowing Gordon to escape the frame without any damage.
Dylan Campbell doing Dylan Campbell things pic.twitter.com/pQrXAh3mFV— Nash (@NashTalksTexas) May 24, 2023
Two strikeouts helped Gordon go 1-2-3 in the second inning as he found a better rhythm on the mound, but in the third inning, the Texas ace and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year had to face more high-leverage pitches after giving up a leadoff walk and a one-out single. Kansas tallied the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly and then the second after a two-out stolen base and subsequent single. Not only did the Jayhawks take the lead, 17 foul balls through three innings elevated Gordon’s pitch count to 68 pitches.
In a lengthy at bat by Longhorns second baseman Jack O’Dowd in the third inning, Texas put its first run on the board with O’Dowd’s home run to right field on the 14th pitch he saw from Kansas right-hander Collin Baumgartner.
HOLY AT-BAT!— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) May 24, 2023
O’Dowd‘s 14-pitch AB ends with a massive tank and it’s a one-run ballgame!#HookEm pic.twitter.com/zAy3IOebXy
Gordon departed after the fifth inning having allowed two runs on seven hits, replaced by right-hander Travis Sthele, who retired the side in order.
In the bottom of the inning, Campbell extended his hitting streak to 34 games with a two-out single. Catcher Garret Guillemette followed with another single and left fielder Porter Brown did the same, sending a 2-2 pitch up the middle to score Campbell and tie the game at 2-2.
The seventh inning was decisive for the Jayhawks — Sthele gave up a one-out single and a walk, then a grand slam on a 3-2 pitch following an intentional walk as Kansas took a 6-2 lead.
A leadoff double by shortstop Mitchell Daly and a single by O’Dowd put Texas in a position to cut into the lead with runners on first and third and no outs, but the Longhorns couldn’t come through with a strikeout, popout, and flyout.
After hitting the ball hard multiple times in the eighth inning without any production to show for it, O’Dowd hit his second home run of the game with two outs in the ninth inning before a strikeout ended the game.
Texas faces No. 5-seed Kansas State in an elimination game at 9 a.m. Central on Thursday on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.