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Texas Tech 5, Texas 3: Unable to rally after a long delay, Longhorns drop series

Texas freshman Silas Ardoin strikes out looking in the continuation of a baseball game in Austin on Sunday. Texas Tech earned a 5-3 win in a game that started on Saturday but was delayed by weather.

The longest at-bat of Texas’ baseball season lasted just three pitches.

Silas Ardoin struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a 5-3 loss to Texas Tech at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. After dropping a game that started on Saturday but finished a day later, No. 3 Texas (34-11, 12-5 Big 12) officially fell two games behind fifth-ranked and first-place TCU (32-10, 14-3) in the conference standings.

A 6-3 winner on Friday, No. 11 Texas Tech (30-10, 10-7) also secured its season series with Texas. The Longhorns last lost a best-of-three series in 2019.

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Depending on who you ask, the game’s pivotal at-bat either lasted less than two minutes or nearly 23 hours. With Texas attempting to rally with two outs and the bases loaded, Ardoin was announced as a pinch-hitter for Cam Williams around 2:20 p.m. on Saturday.

But with rain pouring in Austin, a weather delay was called by the umpiring crew. An hour later, the decision was made to resume at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

When things got going on Sunday, the first pitch was actually the game’s 224th. Texas Tech had replaced struggling reliever Levi Wells with Ryan Sublette. Ardoin was then caught looking at three Sublette strikes and the inning was over.

Ardoin's strikeout ended an inning that saw Texas draw two bases-loaded walks. The Longhorns were then retired in order in the final frame.

Technically, this game only lasted two hours and 40 minutes. Texas cruised through much of the action, but one bad inning spoiled the Longhorns' hopes of a victory.

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Through five innings on Saturday, Texas starter Tristan Stevens faced only 16 batters. But in the sixth session, Stevens hit a Red Raider with a one-out pitch. After Texas Tech loaded the bases on a double and a walk, Stevens plunked Jace Jung and the scoreless tie was broken.

Stevens retired Texas Tech clean-up hitter Braxton Fulford to get two outs on the scoreboard. The next three batters reached base with hits, however. Two of those hits drove in runs, and Jung also scored on a wild pitch.

Texas Tech exited the inning with a 5-0 lead. 

Stevens had been unflappable for much of this season. Over his first 62 1/3 innings, Stevens had hit three batters and issued 11 walks. He had allowed a total of four runs over his last four starts, all of which lasted seven innings.

Around the bases: Texas slugger Ivan Melendez hit his 10th homer of the season in the seventh inning. ... Zach Zubia extended his UT-best on-base streak to 21 games. ... Longhorn relievers Tanner Witt and Cole Quintanilla combined for three innings of no-hit, four-strikeout relief. ... Texas and Texas Tech were set to conclude their series at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.