It may have been Texas’ final mid-week game of the year, but that didn’t stop freshman starter Coy Cobb from having his best performance of the season.
Cobb was the largely the story of Texas’ 9-0 home win over Incarnate Word. He went for six valuable innings and allowed no earned runs only five hits. The most encouraging sign for the freshman, however, was that he issued only one walk. Cobb has struggled with his command, something that ultimately forced him out of his role as the Sunday starter.
On Tuesday, though, Cobb’s command was at an all-time high. He threw every pitch in his arsenal effectively, including his slider, the pitch that may ultimately help him win back a weekend job in 2020.
“For (Cobb) to go in there and really, I think, pitch with dominance with his fastball and to be able to create the right angles to pitch with his changeup,” head coach David Pierce said. “And it was good to see him utilize his slider, not only when he needed it, but when it was the right pitch. And he threw it well.”
Offensively, Texas was no slouch either—especially from the left side of the plate. Even against a majority of left-handed pitching, the quartet of senior outfielder Tate Shaw, junior Duke Ellis and freshmen Eric Kennedy and Lance Ford combined for nine hits and five RBI.
Kennedy had perhaps the best day of the four going 3-4 at the plate with a pair of RBI. He’s now batting .310 on the year, easily the best average on the team.
“I was just seeing the ball well,” Kennedy said. “The coaches prepared me well for the pitchers we were going to face. So we knew what their tendencies were. So I was just ready for it. Then they threw it.”
Texas’ Tuesday win may not mean much on paper in the long run, as it doesn’t help with the likelihood of Texas making a postseason run, but in practice, the win can do a lot for a team in desperate need of a morale boost. It had been nine days since Texas had seen any action, with the Longhorns’ most recent appearance resulting in a sweep by Kansas.
What Tuesday’s win can do is give this team some much-needed confidence with the most important series of the year taking place later this week. On Thursday, Oklahoma will make its way to Austin with hopes of destroying a possible Texas trip to the Big 12 Tournament.
In order to make the Big 12 Tournament, Texas will need one of two things to happen—either sweep Oklahoma or win 2-3 and hope Kansas sweeps Kansas State. The more likely option is that Texas sweeps Oklahoma, but this team will have to put its rough past couple of months behind them and focus solely on winning each game one at a time.
If Texas does make the Big 12 Tournament, there is always the possibility of making a run. But the Longhorns have to play their best ball of the year in order for that to happen, and there’s no room for mistakes.
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