After five straight innings with little motion on the basepaths, the Longhorns hit their stride in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game against Texas State. But the Bobcats weren’t willing to lay down.
With a double in the final frame, Texas State secured its second straight walk-off win, and Texas is once again returning to Austin with more questions than answers.
“I mean, we did a lot of good things tonight. We didn’t do everything perfectly, but at the same time, you know we were in a position to win the game, and we just didn’t finish it,” Texas head coach David Pierce said in a postgame interview with Texas Sports. “So, you know we have to deal through adversity, and that’s what it’s about right now, and we got to be able to pick up our team tomorrow and point out the things we did well and understand it and move on.”
With Tuesday’s 6-7 loss, Texas has now lost four straight games after being swept by Oklahoma State last weekend. Though the Longhorns had moments of defensive and offensive brilliance throughout the night, the same mistakes they have dealt with in the past crippled them.
The Longhorns and Bobcats struck early in the first, both tallying one run each. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that Texas State was on the board again with back-to-back home runs.
Texas responded with a scoring barrage in the top of the seventh that began with walks by outfielders Duke Ellis and Eric Kennedy. Fellow outfielder Austin Todd followed suit and reached base on a fielder’s choice, cutting the deficit to one run after Ellis scored. Then, third baseman Ryan Reynolds hit a grand slam down the right-field line, bringing home designated hitter Zach Zubia, as well, and giving the Longhorns a 6-3 lead.
“We put some at-bats together to create a situation for Ryan to hit the grand slam,” Pierce said. “We just gotta understand it, and you know just take a look at ourselves and did we do our job tonight and if you feel good about that, then we got a problem there.”
Yet, this late comeback could not stop the Bobcats’ late surge in the bottom of the ninth. With one out on the count, Texas State began with a double down the right field line and then a home run that weakened Texas’ lead to one run. After one more hit by a Bobcat batter, Pierce pulled pitcher Cole Quintanilla and placed Tristan Stevens on the mound. This would prove useless, as the Bobcats tallied two more hits and two more runs, giving them the walk-off win.
Now, with the Longhorns (24–19) going into conference play against No. 17 West Virginia, Pierce said he is looking to evaluate attitude and skills in order to improve his team.
“It starts with attitude, and if the attitude is right and your effort is right and the intent is right, then you build off of that,” Pierce said, “And then you look at, is it skill? And if it’s skill related, then we got to make an adjustment in preparation and so, it’s a process, so we continue the process.”