It is only fitting that a 2-run walk-off home run by Kody Clemens has given Texas a chance to win a Big 12 regular season title. The junior delivered the two big blows for the Longhorns, hitting the game tying 2-run home run in the 5th before smacking a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th. It was the 3rd walk-off home run at UFCU Disch-Falk Field this season. The 5-3 win combined with an Oklahoma State loss pulls the Longhorns even with the Cowboys in the Big 12 standings, with Texas owning the tiebreaker. A win tomorrow with an OSU loss would make Texas outright Big 12 Champs. If Texas and Oklahoma State have the same result, the Longhorns could be co-regular season champs and earn the #1 seed in the Big 12 tournament based on having the tiebreaker. The worst scenario for Texas fans is a Longhorns loss and Oklahoma State win, which would give OSU the regular season title outright and put Texas as the #2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Before looking ahead to tomorrow though, here’s some thoughts and takeaways from another dramatic finish at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
- TCU jumped all over Chase Shugart in the first inning, scoring 3 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, 2 walks and an error. Shugart’s fastball command was iffy and he was not able to throw his breaking ball effectively. Innings 2-5 were a different story, as Shugart settled in and scattered 2 hits across 4 innings, allowing 0 runs and walking only 1. It was encouraging to see #24 give Texas 5 innings, especially with David Pierce saying he needed his starters to carry a heavy load, even on nights where they may not have their best stuff.
- As has become a theme this season, the Longhorns battled back to tie the game at 3. In the 9th, closer Andy McGuire entered and allowed a leadoff walk and 1-out single, placing runners on 1st and 2nd. David Pierce made his way to the mound and revealed after the game that he told McGuire he had 2 freshman warm and ready to go in the bullpen, and McGuire responded “I got this”, and proceeded to retire the next two batters to give Texas a chance to walk it off in the bottom half of the inning.
- Between Shugart and McGuire, Texas got 3 innings of shutout relief from Josh Sawyer and Parker Joe Robinson. Robinson continues to be one of Texas’ best relievers, lowering his season ERA to 1.46.
- Prior to the Clemens home-run, Duke Ellis legged out a 2-out infield single, beating the TCU pitcher Augie Mihlbauer to first base. After the game, Pierce praised his rightfielder for extending the inning and giving Clemens a chance to bat.
- “Without Duke’s hustle down the line, (Clemens) doesn’t have the opportunity to come to the plate right there. Just effort and desire, and he did his job, he busted it down the line and gave Kody an opportunity.”-David Pierce
- Pierce spoke passionately about how much he enjoys watching this years team play because of how they root for one another and play for their teammates
- “There are a lot of young men in their who are playing their guts off for the University of Texas and for each other.”
- After the game, Michael McCann called the players into the locker room for a meeting. What was said?
- “I know exactly what they talked about because I told Michael McCann, “We got another ballgame together and we got a chance to win a championship, so go take care of your guys”- David Pierce