STILLWATER, Okla. -- Despite putting the tying run on base in the top of the ninth, the Horns could not pull out the victory and series sweep as No. 1 Texas (35-7, 11-6 Big 12) lost a tough 3-2 decision Oklahoma State (28-16, 8-9 Big 12) in front of 2,084 fans at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on Sunday, April 24. While the loss marked only the first for UT in its last nine games, the Longhorns, with wins in the first two games of this series, still earned the series victory over the Cowboys by a 2-1 margin.
Texas put together a two-out threat in the top of the first as two singles and a walk loaded the bases, but Oklahoma State starter Rick Rivas managed to get a groundout to keep the game scoreless. Right fielder Corey Brown then connected on a two-out, home run in the bottom of the opening frame to give OSU a 1-0 advantage. The Cowboys looked to up their lead one inning later when, with a runner at second and two down, designated hitter Mike Hernandez sent a ball to left center that Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) hauled in with a leaping catch to keep it a one-run game. In the third, UT tied the score at 1-1 when, after Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) singled and Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) doubled, Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) dropped a one-out, safety squeeze bunt to score Peoples. Quickly answering in the bottom of the third, Oklahoma State received a leadoff double from Chris Gutierrez followed by a sac bunt and a RBI-base hit from Ty Wright to reclaim the lead at 2-1. Still alive in the frame, the Cowboys then loaded the bases after a double from Brown and a hit batter before Ryal lined a single to left to make it a 3-1 contest. From there, UT starter Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) retired his next two batters on a short fly ball to center and a flyout to right to work out of the bases-loaded jam.
After Rivas worked out of another two-out, bases-loaded situation in the top of the fourth, the Cowboys loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth on two singles and a hit batter, but Alaniz recorded his third and fourth strikeouts of the afternoon to keep it a two-run ballgame. Following a scoreless sixth, the Longhorns would try to get something going in the seventh when Johnston lined a shot down the third-base line to start the inning, but Ryal made a diving stop and threw him out to begin a 1-2-3 inning for OSU. Alaniz, meanwhile, struck out four over his next two frames to keep the Cowboys in check and move the contest to the eighth.
Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) then led off the top of the eighth with a solo home run to bring the Horns back within 3-2. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth for the Cowboys, the Horns came to bat in the top of the ninth down to their final three outs and trailing by one. Although Peoples drew a leadoff walk to put the tying run on base, Oklahoma State reliever Scott Richmond set down his next three batters to preserve the one-run victory and earn his fifth save of the season. While Rivas, who allowed only two runs on six hits while striking out six over eight innings, picked up the win for the Cowboys, Alaniz shouldered the tough loss despite fanning eight over seven innings of work.
Topping the offense for the Longhorns on the day were Johnston, who recorded his third straight multi-hit effort with a 2-for-4 outing to up his current hit streak to six games, Teagarden, who connected on his third home run of the season in the eighth, and Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas), who upped his current hit string to nine games. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, had its 10-hit attack paced by Brown, who went 3-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI, and Ryal, who turned in a 2-for-3 outing that included an RBI. Of additional note for UT, senior Clayton Stewart (Angleton, Texas) worked a scoreless eighth in relief of Alaniz that included one strikeout to give Longhorns pitchers nine strikeouts on the day.
The Horns now return home to Disch-Falk Field for a 6:15 p.m. Central matchup with Texas State on Wednesday, April 27.