The Texas Longhorns used the weekend series with OU to take the lead in the Big 12 standings and set themselves up for a stretch run, beating the Sooners on Sunday, 8-5.
“It was awesome,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido after completing the sweep. “Mathematically huge, yes, but the players were awesome. Yesterday was as close to perfect as you can get but today was imperfect. Today, when one player failed, another would pick him up. We had to reach deep for this one.”
With Sunday starter Brandon Workman on the mound the Horns had to feel good about a sweep coming in but Workman found himself in a jam early. In the second inning he loaded the bases on a walk, a single to center and another walk. He seemed to be out of it after getting a pop fly from Jamie Johnson into foul territory on the third base side, but the ball drifted just out of the reach of MIchael Torres. Johnson lined a single into center a few pitches later and the Sooners found themselves with a 2-0 lead.
The Longhorns got things going offensively in the third with a leadoff single from junior Brandon Belt. Belt stole second base and Tant Shepherd followed with a walk. Cameron Rupp reached on a walk to load the bases and the Longhorns put their first run on the board with a walk from Lusson to bring home Belt. OU starter Garrett Richards completely lost control of the situation, walking Loy to bring in Shepherd and was pulled for lefty J.R. Robinson. Connor Rowe came up with the bases loaded and lined an 0-1 hanging curveball into left field, driving in two and giving the Longhorns a 4-2 lead.
The Sooners responded in the top half of the fourth with a double from Tyler Ogle and a homerun from Chris Ellison to tie the game. Following another single that would be all for Workman. The Longhorns went to the bullpen, bringing in freshman Taylor Jungmann.
After giving up a sac fly, Jungmann settled down and was able to earn the victory and improve to 4-2 on the season. He pitched 4.1 innings of relief on the day and didn’t give up any more runs after the Sooners scored in the fourth. Austin Wood came in to log the save, his tenth on the season, facing only one batter in doing so. It was also his 100th career appearance as a Texas Longhorn, joining Huston Street, J. Brent Cox and Randy Boone as the only Longhorns to appear in as many games.
The hitting continued in the bottom half of the fourth with a leadoff double down the right field line from Travis Tucker. Torres drew a walk and Belt attempted a sacrifice bunt but the lead runner was cut down on a nice play from the catcher, Ogle. Torres and Belt pulled off a successful double steal and Shepherd drew a walk, loading the bases for Keyes. He delivered with a sac fly to right to tie the ballgame at 5-5.
The Longhorns used the fifth inning to stake a claim to the lead as Brandon Loy led off with a single into right. An attempted sacrifice by Rowe put runners on first and second after a bad decision by the catcher and Tucker followed with a failed attempt at a sacrifice. With one out in the inning, Torres drove one to the wall in right center for a two RBI triple. Belt finished off the scoring for the Longhorns with a sacrifice fly, driving in Torres and giving the Longhorns an 8-5 lead.
“You can’t ask for anymore from a ballclub than what they’re giving,” said Wood after the game. “OU is a good team but this was our weekend.”
The Longhorns currently have a one game lead in conference play over Texas A&M and a 1.5 game lead over Baylor. They will resume play on Tuesday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field with an in-state rivalry game against the No. 2 Rice Owls. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.