April 13, 2012
Box Score |
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 23 Texas Longhorns were unable to register a win in the series opener despite a strong performance on the mound by starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill, falling 3-1 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 11 innings.
Oklahoma State (18-14, 5-5 Big 12) scored a pair of runs in the 11th inning. Jarrett Higgins reached on a leadoff single and moved to second on a groundout by Jared Womack. Robbie Rea gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game when he hit a rope into the gap in left centerfield for an RBI double. Mark Ginther followed with an RBI single up the middle to give Oklahoma State a 3-1 advantage.
Texas (18-13, 7-3 Big 12) mounted a late rally in the home half of the 11th. Taylor Stell started the frame by getting hit by a pitch and Erich Weiss walked to put a pair on. The fans were brought to their feet when Jonathan Walsh roped a shot into the gap in right centerfield, but it was tracked down by Oklahoma State outfielder Trey Whaley. Kevin Lusson was hit by a pitch to load the bases to put the game-winning run on first base with one out. Jacob Felts struck out swinging. Jordan Etier came to the plate with two outs. After lacing a 2-2 potential, game-tying double just a couple feet foul down the rightfield line, he grounded out to second base to end the game.
With extra-base hits at a premium early in the contest, the Longhorns cobbled together a pair in the bottom of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Etier doubled to the gap in right centerfield to lead the frame and moved to second on a groundout by Landon Steinhagen. Etier was replaced on the basepaths when he was caught in a rundown on a Brooks Marlow groundout. Marlow ended up on second where he scored after shielding a ball from the Oklahoma State shortstop on a laser by Mark Payton. The RBI double by Payton stretched his string of consecutive games reaching base via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch to 32 games, including all 31 games in 2012.
The Cowboys knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning.Rea hit a leadoff single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ginther. Trey Whaley was issued a walk to put a pair on. Gabe Weidenaar singled to rightfield, but a perfect throw from Payton to Felts gunned down Rea at home. With runners on the corners and two outs, Hoby Milner came in to relieve Thornhill. Milner’s third offering to pinch-hitter Aaron Cornell bounced away from Felts for a wild pitch allowing Whaley to score from third with the equalizer.
Blake Barnes (3-3) earned the victory with two innings of hitless shutout relief. He walked one, hit two batters and fanned three. Starter Andrew Heaney allowed one run on six hits and one walk while striking out nine over 9.0 innings.
Thornhill allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five over 6.2 innings. Corey Knebel (2-2) was the tough-luck loser for the Longhorns. The Texas closer was stretched out to 3.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four.
Payton led the Longhorns offense going 2-for-5 with two doubles and one RBI.
Weidenaar went 4-for-5 with one stolen base. Rea went 2-for-5 with one run, one double and one RBI.
Texas and Oklahoma State wrap up the three-game series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.