No. 19 Texas advances to the title game of the Big 12 tournament with a 9-2 win over No. 18 Oklahoma State


No. 19 Texas advances to the title game of the Big 12 tournament with a 9-2 win over No. 18 Oklahoma State

The No. 18 Texas Longhorns rebounded from a Saturday morning loss to the No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys with a 9-2 win in the evening at Globe Life Field in Arlington in the Big 12 tournament to advance to Sunday’s title game against the To get No. 22 Oklahoma Sooners.

Texas lost the morning game to Oklahoma, a solid 8-1 loss to the Cowboys during which the Longhorns struggled to get through with clutch hits, leaving 10 runners stranded. With play still within reach, Texas put runners in first and second place with no outs and in the first and second innings, but failed to produce runs. In the third inning, however, the Longhorns found themselves in a 6-0 hole as starter Zane Morehouse struggled and those six runs to seven hits allowed more than enough production to secure the win.

The two teams met for the third time in the Big 12 tournament Saturday afternoon, with conference finals down the line and shortstop Trey Faltine coming through with two doubles and four RBIs to speed up the Longhorns. First baseman Ivan Melendez added his first two hits of the tournament and an RBI as Texas hit 11 hits with four hit by pitches and three walks.

Right-hander Andre Duplantier started the season for the sixth time when he attempted to go more than an inning for the first time in early March by throwing 4.1 innings against Texas State. Allowing a leadoff walk and a single, Duplantier quickly ran into trouble with first- and third-place runners and no outs. A sacrifice fly to left field gave Oklahoma State the lead as Duplantier recorded his first out. With runners in first and second place after a stolen base and a walk, Duplantier arranged for a line drive to Eric Kennedy and then knocked out the next batter to end the inning, escaping the jam without too much damage.

In the second inning, the Longhorns threatened an infield single from designated hitter Austin Tood and a walk from catcher Silas Ardoin. Second baseman Mitchell Daly seemed to give the pitcher a tailored double play, but he threw the ball into midfield and Texas tied the game 1-1 with runners in first and third places. Another infield single, this time by Faltine, gave the Longhorns the lead. Texas was unable to break up the game after Kennedy stranded two runners when he was caught looking on in a 1-2 rank.

Texas kept the pressure on Oklahoma State starter Hueston Morrill in the third. First baseman Ivan Melendez picked up his first hit at Arlington to start the inning and right fielder Murphy Stehly followed with a drag bunt single. Todd also bunkered and Morrill made another mistake looking at second before throwing late at first. When Morill hit third baseman Skyler Messinger, the Horns added to the lead and ended Morrill’s outing.

Right-hander Kale Davis came in and knocked out Ardoin and Daly, relying mostly on a fastball in the mid-90s, but Faltine came through with the big hit the Longhorns needed and cleared the bases with a double hit into left field corner to 6:1.

Midfielder Douglas Hodo III followed with a double of his own down the left field line to score Faltine from second place.

From the bullpen, right-hander Jared Southard didn’t concede hits in 1.2 innings but walked four batters, including two in the fourth inning, leading to his elimination in favor of left-hander Luke Harrison, who loaded the bases with another walk before the attempted Rally ends with a groundout to first base.

Texas further punished the Oklahoma State bullpen in the fifth inning when Faltine doubled and hit on a two-out triple from left fielder Dylan Campbell, who replaced Kennedy.

Melendez followed with an RBI single and Stehly was hit by a pitch, with both runners advancing on a pass ball and giving Texas a 9-1 lead.

An Oklahoma State home run in the fifth inning thwarted Texas attempts to dominate the Cowboys to end the game early and save two innings of bullpen work, and the Longhorns failed to score in the sixth or seventh inning. either. But Harrison ended up scoring 2.1 solid innings before giving in to right-hander Marcus Olivarez in the seventh, who straightened the team. The following inning was not so smooth, as two singles from Oklahoma State put the runners in first and second place with one out. Olivarez recorded the second out with a popup in foul territory behind first base and finished with a flyout to Campbell in left field.

In the ninth, right-hander Tristan Stevens came on to record the final three outs, including a second-place groundout and two strikeouts.

Texas meets Oklahoma for the Big 12 tournament title Sunday at 5 p.m. Central on ESPNU. The Longhorns, now back in 11th place on’s live RPI, have positioned themselves to host a regional event regardless of what happens on Sunday.

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