It didn’t look good for Texas after 2.5 innings, but then the Longhorns came back to take a one run lead in the third and extend that lead to three runs in the fourth. It didn’t look good for Texas after 6.5 innings following three straight multi-run frames by the Texas State Bobcats. It didn’t look good for Texas heading into the ninth trailing by four, but then the Longhorns scored one run and had the bases loaded with nobody out. Then David Hamilton came to the plate.
AUSTIN — At this point in the season, David Pierce’s Texas Longhorns (29-15, Big 12 11-4) can start to think about problems postseason teams face. Barring anything unforeseen, like series losses against bubble-caliber and flawed Big 12 teams at West Virginia and against TCU, Texas is in a great position to be one of 16 regional hosts.
The Houston Cougars outhit Texas seven to four on Tuesday, but the scoring opportunities the Longhorns were repeatedly handed made the difference in the game. Texas scored nine runs in the third and fourth innings with none of the RBIs coming as a result of a base hit. It was enough to overcome another early inning deficit for a 9-4 win.
David Pierce’s second season as head coach of the Longhorn baseball program has tested his ability to lead a program, and that was before the first pitch against Louisiana-Lafayette was thrown in February. After losing double-digit players to the draft, Pierce had to bring in half-a-roster last summer to contribute to the 2018 season.
After a redshirt year in 2015 and just three disappointing appearances in 2016, junior right-hander Parker Joe Robinson needed to change something. A new head coach in David Pierce was joining the program. Pierce did not recruit him from JSerra High School in California, and said Thursday he did not see a need for him in the program when he got to Austin.
An idea that was planted in Texas head coach David Pierce’s head in the fall to honor his ultra-utility man came to fruition on Tuesday, as senior Jake McKenzie played all nine positions in a single game.
Texas coaches and players have consistently said throughout the year the difficult non-conference schedule that included hosting Stanford and trips to LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M were in order to prepare the team for postseason environments against postseason-caliber opponents. The Longhorns showed signs of improvement in that regard as the season progressed but they own a 1-5 record against those teams in addition to a disappointing conference series loss in Manhattan against Kansas State.
COLLEGE STATION - In an exciting rivalry game, Texas got down early, clawed it's way back, got down again, clawed back once more, but ultimately could not break through and grab the lead from the No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies. Head coach David Pierce said after the game he tried to treat this Tuesday like any other Tuesday. However, both he and junior second baseman Kody Clemens admitted they knew a little bit more was at stake with this one.