The No. 12 Texas Longhorns (20-12) were defeated at the hands of their old in-state rivals, the No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies (24-6-1), by the score of 9-6 during Tuesday night’s midweek showdown.
After Owen Meaney opened the game facing the minimum, Texas jumped out on top in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a Ryan Reynolds RBI blooper to center field that scored Austin Todd from second base. The Longhorns would’ve had more runners in scoring position, but the Aggies managed to throw out Zach Zubia heading to third for the final out of the inning.
Just as the Horns took the lead, the Aggies took it right back with a four-run second. Texas A&M came out swinging as the first pitch from Meaney resulted in a solo home run from Jonathan Ducoff to tie the game. It didn’t get any better, as Meaney allowed another home run later in the inning – this time a two-run home run. The Aggies tacked on one more to cap off the inning to bring the score to 4-1 in favor of the visitors.
During the second inning, Meaney definitely had trouble with location, as every hit ball was elevated in the zone – especially his changeup. That’s never a good recipe for success, and as a result, his day was done after two. David Pierce turned to Matt Whelan for relief, hoping that the sophomore would give the Horns multiple innings.
Texas A&M added three more runs to their total after six innings at the plate. However, the Longhorns made it a close game when they scored six unanswered runs to make it a one-run ball game heading to the ninth.
Eric Kennedy started off the bottom of the sixth taking three bags off a laser to center field, igniting the rally for the Horns. Ryan Reynolds would bring Kennedy in off a ground ball in the infield, giving the Horns their first run since the first inning.
Texas continued to fight back in the seventh with a three-run inning after the Aggies made a change to the bullpen. Chandler Jozwiak came in for relief and the decision proved to be beneficial for the Horns. Following a single and a double by Masen Hibbeler and Tate Shaw, respectively, Michael McCann laced one over the left field fence for a three-run home run, bringing the score to 7-5.
So far what the season has taught us about this ball club is that they will not give up until the final pitch.
Following a double to left center by Austin Todd, Todd scored at home thanks to a muffed throw from the first baseman, which allowed Reynolds to take a free base to second. Eventually, Reynolds reached third and represent the tying run, but Masen Hibbeler was sent down on strikes to end the threat for the Horns. Nevertheless, Texas went into the ninth trialing by only one run, which didn’t seem possible given how the early part of the game went for the Longhorns.
Unfortunately, the Horns couldn’t keep it within reach as the Aggies were able to add a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to extend their lead 9-6. With the bases loaded, Kam Fields surrendered the first run due to a wild pitch, which he’s been known to do often. An RBI single by Logan Foster sent another run in for the Aggies to cap off the inning with the score 9-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Down by three runs, the Horns couldn’t get anything going as the side was retired in order, sealing the loss for the Longhorns.
Although it is a midweek game, the Horns were looking to start a big week with some momentum heading into a big weekend series on the road. Nevertheless, the Longhorns will travel up to Waco this weekend to take on the Baylor Bears in what is shaping up to be a fun series.
The Longhorns and Bears will square off on Friday and the first pitch is scheduled to be at 8:00 pm central. Be on the lookout for the series preview in the next couple of days.