The Cowboy baseball team faced the Texas Longhorns Friday evening in what turned out to be a doubleheader due to the weekend weather forecast. The Cowboys dropped the first game 5-4 in a valiant effort at a comeback late in the game, and then was held to only three hits in a 7-0 shutout in the nightcap game to lose the series to the Longhorns for the first time since 2012.
Joe Lienhard started the first game of the night for the Cowboys and went a career-high seven innings only allowing two runs and striking out six. Cade Cabbiness hit his first homerun as a Cowboy tonight as he put a two-run blast in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead over the Longhorns but Texas would tie the game with runs in the third and fourth. But in the eighth, the Longhorns struck for three runs against Cole Hearrean and Trey Cobb. Hearrean allowed a leadoff double to pinch hitter Austin Todd, the only batter he faced, before Cobb came on and retired the next two batters.
The Cowboys would go in the bottom of the ninth still down three but with one out, an error, single and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. Garrett Benge then stepped to the plate and delivered a two-RBI single to center field to make the score 5-4. A wild pitch by the Longhorns closer, Beau Ridgeway, would move the runners over to second and third and a walk following that would load the bases up for Ryan Sluder. But that would be as close as the Cowboys would get as Sluder struck out to end the ballgame give Ridgeway his 10th save of the season. But the stat that proved to be the Cowboys kryptonite was 11 stranded baserunners throughout the game including the bases loaded bottom of the ninth.
“You like to think as a coach and certainly as players that you’re able to cut that game off and move one.” said Coach Holliday after the doubleheader. “And that’s what you pride yourself in being able to do, but sometimes that is tough. And with double headers and a small gap of time to turn the page and recharge your emotions a little bit and your body and your mind to bounce back. I mean yeah, it proved to be difficult for us. And then we faced an outstanding pitched in game two and we got in a little bit of a deficit early against him and didn’t really put a whole lot together. So, credit to him for being a really outstanding performer and did a nice job against us. But, as I tell everyone, the elements are the same for both teams, and I’m not going to sit here and make excuses. We walked out here with a chance to play ball, both teams had the same challenges in front of them and they came out on top in both games. And that’s disappointing, but I’m not disappointed in our kids, I’m disappointed in the result and we’re all feeling that way right now. But it’s big boy athletics and you got to bounce back and be resilient.”
Tyler Buffett would take the mound to start the second game of the doubleheader, and had a fairly successful night on the mound, asides from three pitches, striking out a career-high 10. But five of the Longhorns seven runs were driven in by the second baseman, Bret Boswell, who hit a pair of homeruns. A two-run blast in the second inning and then a three-run blast in the third.
Texas started Morgan Cooper proved to be difficult tonight as he only allowed two hits in seven innings of work and tallying 11 strikeouts. If weather permits, the series is set to wrap up tomorrow evening at 6 p.m.