FORT WORTH — The momentum the Longhorns built over the last week dissipated in seven hours Saturday afternoon.
Texas gave up 21 runs and 26 hits two games as the Longhorns dropped both games of a doubleheader to TCU.
“The separation between the two teams might have been the infield play,” head coach Augie Garrido said.
The day got off to a rough start in the bottom of the first. With a runner on base, senior pitcher Parker French fielded a ground ball, but threw the ball past second base trying to turn the double play. The error came back to hurt the Longhorns as the Horned Frogs struck for two runs on a single by Dane Steinhagen.
After the Longhorns pulled back to within 2-1 in the second, TCU responded with two more runs on a single and a fielding error by junior left fielder Ben Johnson.
TCU's lead grew to 6-2, but Texas made a run in the eighth. The Longhorns drew four walks in the inning’s first six batters to cut the deficit to 6-3 and Johnson legged out an infield single to plate another run.
Junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa led off the ninth with a single and eventually scored on a double play; however, senior second baseman Brooks Marlow struck out to end the game.
“We kind of fed off of it a bit,” Marlow said. “We had the momentum a little bit even though we lost.”
Texas got off to another rough start in the second game with TCU taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. But the Longhorns fired back with an RBI single by Hinojosa to tie the game.
After the Horned Frogs retook the lead in the bottom of the inning, Marlow responded in the fourth with a solo home run to right field. Johnson then gave Texas its first lead of the day with a single to right to score freshman designated hitter Joe Baker, who had reached on a two-base error.
But that was it for the Texas offense. The Longhorns loaded the bases in the sixth with one out, but failed to capitalize after senior right fielder Collin Shaw and Hinojosa struck out to end the frame.
Meanwhile, TCU struck for a run in the fifth, sixth and then blew the game wide open in a six-run seventh inning to take a 10-3 lead. All six of the runs were unearned due to lapses in the defense, including Hinojosa made a throwing error and overthrew second after making a diving stop up the middle.
“Those were the plays that separated the two teams,” Garrido said.
Junior pitcher Ty Culbreth got the start in place of sophomore Kacy Clemens, who Garrido said would be out for a month. Culbreth finished with three earned runs and six strikeouts in six innings of work.
“I felt like I attacked the zone,” Culbreth said. “I felt like I had command of all three of my pitches.”
The teams were forced to play a doubleheader because of torrential rain and winds Friday night. The Longhorns will look to avoid the series sweep in the final game on Sunday at 1 p.m.