Longhorns rally but fall short against Missouri
Texas loses two of three at tournament in Houston.
Posted March 1st, 2020
- Lineup changes aren't enough as Missouri wins 9-8.
- “Today we showed a little weakness; we acted like a young team,” Pierce says.
- Horns will face Arizona on Tuesday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
HOUSTON — Despite head coach David Pierce making several changes to the starting lineup, Texas’ offensive woes continued Sunday on the third day of the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
A continued scoring drought, fielding errors and struggling relief pitchers allowed Missouri (6-5) to jump on Texas (10-2) early and hold on late. In the end, the game was almost identical to Texas’ win over Arkansas on Saturday, this time with the Longhorns coming up short on their own rally attempt and falling 9-8 to the Tigers.
The game was the first between Texas and Missouri since a 5-0 win by the Tigers in 2012.
“Today we didn’t show resiliency. Today we showed a little weakness; we acted like a young team,” Pierce said. “I like where this team is. I don’t care what the result was. But we’ve got to learn from it.”
Both teams came into the game having earned 8-7 victories on Saturday, but it was the Tigers whose momentum carried over from their 10-inning victory over Oklahoma.
Missouri struck first, taking advantage of errors to score runs in the first and third innings, both unearned off starting pitcher Coy Cobb.
Cobb finished with four strikeouts against five hits and three runs in five innings.
Texas scored six runs in the second inning against Arkansas on Saturday, but the Longhorns would go 10 innings without recording a run.
“We talked a lot about winning on Sunday, and we just didn’t play well,” Pierce said. “That’s what I’m going to mark it down as right now; I really felt like we just didn’t play well. Learn from it, move on, and get ready for Arizona on Tuesday.”
Eric Kennedy ended the drought in the fourth inning, driving in Trey Faltine with a sacrifice fly to put Texas on the board.
Missouri’s Peter Zimmerman responded with a solo home run to preserve the Tigers’ two-run lead. Zimmerman had three RBIs on the day.
In the fifth, Texas took advantage of pitching woes by Missouri. The Longhorns chased starting pitcher Spencer Miles and tied the game with a bases-loaded hit by pitch from Zach Zubia and a walk from Cam Williams.
Kennedy capped the inning with a fielder’s choice to drive in Duke Ellis and give Texas a 4-3 lead.
But in the sixth inning, Missouri roared back with five runs.
Texas relief pitchers Kolby Kubichek and Tristan Stevens struggled to record an out, surrendering five hits and one walk before getting pulled in the middle of the inning.
The Tigers recorded three straight hits, with a single by Luke Mann tying the game and one by Josh Holt putting them on top. Chad McDaniel had the hit of the inning, sending a ball over the head of Austin Todd for a two-run single.
But like every team in the tournament, Texas did not quit fighting.
Williams and Zubia added RBIs in the seventh and eighth innings and Duke Ellis scored on a wild pitch to make it a two-run game going into the ninth.
Todd cut the deficit to one run in the bottom of the ninth, but Ellis struck out looking to end it.
“We’ve really taken care of the ball, and we’ve really pitched well, and we just didn’t get it done today,” Pierce said. “We’ll definitely evaluate it, we’ll definitely learn from it, but we’re not going to beat it up so bad that it’s going to affect our plan on Tuesday.”
Texas will face Arizona at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.