In the most anticipated mid-week game of the year, close to 8,000 made their way to Disch-Falk Field to witness the bitter rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M. Spectators were given a show to remember, with the better performance coming from the Aggies. The Longhorns had a shot to win the game late, but eventually lost a 9-6.
The loss was an all too familiar feeling for Texas fans. Against TCU earlier this season, the Longhorns played two games that went down to the wire. Costly mistakes late, however, would add two more losses to Texas’ record. On Tuesday night, Texas was within one run of tying the game going into the ninth inning.
But after freshman reliever Ty Madden loaded the bases, sophomore Kamron Fields came in for relief. Fields allowed the game sealing hit for Texas A&M, a two-RBI single that would put the game out of reach.
“(We need to learn to) quit giving things away,” head coach David Pierce said. “We’re literally giving games away or allowing people to put pressure on us because of the base on balls or an uncharacteristic error or a timing of that error that’s killing us.”
Texas started the scoring off early after notching a run in the first inning. But Texas A&M would roar back with four-run second inning that included two home runs. The Aggies hit as well as a team has hit in Austin this year. Texas A&M collected double-digit hits before even reaching four complete innings of offense.
The young Texas arms struggled heavily throughout the game. The Longhorns would use a total six pitchers with no one going for more than two innings. Each would allow a hit, with starter freshman Owen Meaney and the man who relieved him, sophomore Matt Whelan, combining to allow 10.
Through six innings, Texas A&M held a comfortable 7-2 lead and looked to coast into a victory. Senior catcher Michael McCann had other plans in the seventh. With two men on, McCann hit the first home run of his career at Disch-Falk Field. The blast would cut the lead to two with all the momentum in Texas’ favor.
“It was good to see (Michael),” Pierce said. “He’s got the ability. He’s got the pop.”
Junior Austin Todd would double to lead off the bottom half of the eighth inning. He scored on an error, a gift that cut the lead to one. Aside from McCann’s home run, Todd was head and shoulders above his teammates at the plate on Tuesday night. He went 3-4 with a pair of doubles and was the only Texas batter with multiple hits.
Todd’s desire to beat the team’s most hated rival was obvious in not only his play, but also postgame.
“Every loss hurts, but this one was pretty tough,” Todd said. “Just knowing that we were right there. One pitch, one play could’ve changed everything. But this one hurt.”
Texas will have to shake this one off as they prepare to face another rival, this time in the Baylor Bears, a team that was predicted to win the Big 12 Conference preseason. The three-game series will take place in Waco at Baylor Ballpark. First pitch for Friday night’s game is set for 8 P.M.
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