Texas coach Augie Garrido went from hot seat to the NCAAs with the Longhorns' improbable four-game run through the Big 12 Tournament.
Freshman Kyle Johnston pitched six innings, giving up two runs on three hits, and Zane Gurwitz delivered a 2-RBI single in the eighth inning to put Texas up for good in a 6-3 Big 12 Tournament final victory over second-seeded Oklahoma State Sunday.
The Longhorns took advantage of three Oklahoma State errors in the eighth inning to score five unearned runs that erased a 2-1 Cowboys' lead with the threat of rain looming over the game in Tulsa.
Texas also got a great relief effort from lefty Kirby Bellow, who got the save after giving up just one hit in two scoreless innings after taking the ball from Parker French.
French, who gave up one unearned run on two hits in one inning of relief, earned the win - his second win of the Big 12 Tournament.
"This team never stopped believing," coach Augie Garrido said. "We had to have great pitching this week, and we got it. We won it about the only way we could win this tournament. And now we move on."
Gurwitz was huge for Texas in the Big 12 Tournament, going 8 of 13 at the plate, including 2-of-3 Sunday with 2 RBIs and 1 run scored. For the tourney, Gurwitz had 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored.
Sophomore catcher Tres Barrera was 3-for-7 in UT's back-to-back victories over Baylor to reach the final with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored, including a walk-off, bases-loaded single in a 4-3 victory over the Bears on Thursday.
The Big 12 tourney draw opened up for Texas after eighth-seeded Baylor knocked off top-seeded TCU in first-round play. And then fourth-seeded Texas Tech eliminated TCU in the first game of the losers' bracket.
That allowed Texas to face fourth-seeded Texas Tech and the eighth-seeded Bears (twice) to reach the second-seeded Cowboys in the final. And Johnston set the tone for Texas by staring down OSU's strong-hitting lineup and giving up just two runs through six innings with seven strikeouts.
Senior P Parker French and junior lefty Ty Culbreth pitched complete-game victories against Texas Tech and Baylor, respectively, in the first two games of the Big 12 Tournament. The 5th-seeded Longhorns had a 1.33 ERA in their first three games at the Big 12 Tournament having allowed just four runs.
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