Texas blanked in series opener against West Virginia, 1-0, as NCAA tourney hopes fade

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When C.J Hinojosa made contact with Harrison Musgrave’s offering in the bottom of the eighth inning, he thought he had done enough to tie the game.

“I thought as soon as I hit it, it had a chance,” Hinojosa said. “Then I saw him leap up and he caught it, and that’s bad luck right there.”

With runners on first and second base with one out in the eighth, West Virginia shortstop Taylor Munden snared Hinojosa’s line drive and stepped on second base to double off Brooks Marlow and end the Longhorns’ rally. Texas would fail to score again in the ninth inning and dropped Friday’s series opener 1-0 to West Virginia.

Center fielder Bobby Boyd broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Texas closer Corey Knebel, who had entered the game in relief of starter Parker French with one out in the eighth inning. Knebel gave up a wild pitch and a walk before allowing the sacrifice fly.

French picked up the loss despite turning in one of his best starts of the season. The right-hander allowed just one run on five hits in 7.1 innings, striking out a career high seven batters.

He is now 3-3 on the season and has not recorded a win since Mar. 8 against UC Santa Barbara.

French’s strong outing was outshined by the dominance of Musgrave, however. The left-hander struck out nine batters in pitching a complete-game shutout, allowing just six hits and none for extra bases. Musgrave threw 124 pitches, 82 of them for strikes, to improve to 6-1 on the season.

Making matters worse for the Longhorns, third baseman Erich Weiss had to leave the game in the fourth inning after a pitch went off the bill of his batting helmet and hit his nose. Weiss is scheduled to get X-Rays on his nose on Saturday.

The loss drops the Longhorns to 4-9 in Big 12 play, and they are 2-5 in their last seven games decided by one run. Following the game, head coach Augie Garrido admitted the frustration of his team and stated the importance of staying motivated for the next game.

“Everybody’s really frustrated,” Garrido said. "It’s very difficult. But as you go through this, if you can’t see the opportunity in the next day then you really are missing out on the best part of baseball.”

Texas will get a chance to even the series on Saturday when they host the Mountaineers for the second game of the three game set. The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CT at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.