Rivalry week

Kody Clemens (Will Gallagher/IT)

Kody Clemens (Will Gallagher/IT)

Texas fans still get the opportunity to watch the Longhorns take on their two biggest rivals every year on the baseball diamond. In 2018, it’s happening in the span of six days.

Longhorn head coach David Pierce takes his 22-12 team on the road Tuesday to take on the No. 23 Texas A&M Aggies in College Station. A few days later, Texas will cross the Red River for an important series against the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners that has major Big 12 implications.

Since their exciting NCAA Regional matchups in 2014, the Longhorns and Aggies have renewed the Lone Star Showdown twice. The first edition in 2016 ended with A&M hitting a walk-off home run at Blue Bell Park.

2017’s game resulted in a Longhorn victory, with Kacy Clemens’ emotional effort leading the way.

Though this rivalry does not have conference implications like it had in recent years, it still would do a lot for a team halfway through conference play. A win in College Station would provide plenty of positive momentum and prepare the Longhorns for three straight days of hostility in Noman.

“A&M and OU are A&M and OU,” Pierce said on Wednesday. “They’re both on the road, which is something which we’re also trying to overcome.”

Texas is just 4-6 on the road, and have not won a single road series this year. Winning in two of the most difficult environments a Longhorn could play in not only will boost the record but the confidence of a team beginning to find its form.

Oklahoma and Texas sit atop the Big 12 standings. The Sooners are 8-1, with their only loss coming on Sunday against TCU. A win against former Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson’s team would put Texas in the driver’s seat in conference.

“If we just go out and really attack the strike zone and understand how our pitching feeds off of our defense, and how well our defense is doing and allow them to work, we give ourselves our best chance of winning,” Pierce said.