Longhorns fall to Sooners in series finale after Clemens’ ejection

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Photo Credit: Briana Vargas | Daily Texan Staff

On Saturday, senior first baseman Kacy Clemens sent the Sooners home with bitter tastes in their mouths after blasting a grand slam in the Longhorns’ blowout win.

Less than 24 hours later, Oklahoma had to return to UFCU Disch-Falk Field to meet Texas for the finale of the Red River Showdown.

But the Longhorns didn’t let the Sooners forget about the previous game just yet. They immediately loaded the bases in the first inning to recreate the exact same scenario that ended in a grand slam Saturday.

Same runners on base, same batter at the plate.

Although Clemens couldn’t send another ball out of the park, he hit a sacrifice fly to give the Longhorns an early advantage in the game. But Texas couldn’t hold onto its lead and dropped the final game to Oklahoma, 2-1, falling short of the sweep.

Despite the frustrating loss, the Longhorns still remain positive about their performance this weekend.

“It’s just when you get to two first wins and you do have the opportunity (to sweep), it’s a little frustrating that you don’t finish the job, unless you get blown out,” head coach David Pierce said. “We didn’t get blown out, we just didn’t come up with a clutch hit, so overall it was a good weekend for us.”

But after the first inning, Clemens didn’t get another chance to help his team in the game.

During his next at-bat, he struck out looking and disagreed with the home plate umpire’s call, yelling a few words in rebuttal. But the umpire silenced him by ejecting him from the game.

Burnt orange fans — who were hoping to see Clemens repeat his offensive success — were anything but silent, however. The stadium erupted in boos and heckles at the umpire about the controversial call.

Junior Jake McKenzie replaced Clemens at first base and collected a hit, but the Longhorns still missed the presence of Clemens’ production at the plate.

“Any time your four-hole hitter and your leading RBI guy is not in that ball game, it definitely changes (things),” Pierce said. “But I’m really proud of Jake. He steps in, gets a base hit, hit the ball well the second time and played great defense. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but we’ve got to move on.”

From there, the momentum shifted to the Sooners’ side. Junior pitcher Kyle Johnston started the game with five dominant scoreless innings. But the Sooners finally caught up to Johnston and brought in a crucial run that tied  the game at 1-1. 

Oklahoma continued to find the ball in the seventh inning and scored another run against sophomore reliever Chase Shugart to take a 2-1 lead.

Sophomore reliever Beau Ridgeway gave his team a chance to make a comeback by tossing  scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, but the Longhorns were unable to rally, giving Oklahoma the win.

“I know that we’re a great team,” junior right fielder Travis Jones said. “I think everyone else in the locker room knows that we’re a great team. It’s just that we kind of have to swing the bats whenever we’ve got great pitching on the mound and we didn’t do that today and it costed us the game.”