Season Comes to an End for Longhorns

DALLAS - For the first time since 1971 the Longhorns are going home after two straight loses in a regional.

It just wasn’t Texas’ day on Sunday while Dallas Baptist, the host team of the Dallas Regional, couldn’t do anything wrong if it tried.

The Patriots out-hit the Longhorns 16-3 and got a masterful complete-game from hard-throwing right-hander Cory Taylor to put an end to UT’s season with an 8-1 victory at Horner Ballpark.

Here are some notes and thoughts from Texas’ season-ending defeat:

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There were no excuses given by Augie Garrido after this one. DBU was simply the better team on Sunday.

“I think that we just saw Dallas Baptist play an excellent baseball game from every phase of it,” Augie Garrido said. “We lost the game but in reality they won the game. They did everything to win the game. It was remarkable.”

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If there was one batter the Longhorns were trying to avoid on Sunday it was three-hole hitter Justin Wall, who went to high school at Fort Worth Nolan Catholic and said after the game that he was overlooked by UT and other big schools.

Ty Culbreth was hesitant to throw him anything juicy in his first at-bat and he drew a two-out walk.

Texas’ starter didn’t have the luxury of putting him on in the third, though, and Wall made him pay with a three-run homerun over the right field fence that gave the Patriots a 4-0 lead.

DBU started the inning with their 9-hole hitter Chane Lynch hitting a double to center. Drew Turbin followed with a double of his own to make it 1-0 and then Camden Duzenack singled to put runners on the corners for Wall, who came in hitting .289 with a team-leading 10 home runs and a team-high 50 RBI.

Wall added to that RBI total in the fifth with a sacrifice fly and then again in the sixth and eighth with RBI singles.

He seemed to come up every time the Patriots had a rally going, and made UT pay.

”We knew he was a good hitter,” Garrido said. “He had a great day as did the rest of their hitters.”

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Even if Texas would have played on Saturday its bullpen would have been in fine shape if it had to be called upon. The decision to postpone Saturday’s game to today made everyone available.

So Ty Culbreth knew he could be aggressive against a DBU team that was handcuffed by VCU on Friday.

Culbreth was good through the first two innings but wasn’t getting the outside call al all, and ran into the aforementioned third-inning trouble that he wasn’t able to come back from.

In a game this lopsided you simply have to tip your cap to DBU if you are UT and move on to the offseason. Culbreth wasn’t terrible by any means, DBU was just that much better on Sunday.

”When they executed the show bunt and bounced it over the third baseman’s head [on the second double in the third], it was offensive perfection,” Garrido said. “The line drives they hit off quality pitching were timely and frequent. The storyline isn’t about us. It’s all about Dallas Baptist and the great team they are.”

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For as good as Wall was at the plate Taylor may have been better on the mound for DBU.

He did exactly what a pitcher is supposed to do when staked to an early lead: attack the zone.

“That was by far the best outing we’ve had this year and one of the best we’ve had since I’ve been at DBU,” Patriots head coach Dan Heefner said.

Taylor finished nine innings by only giving up one earned run on three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks.

“You just have to pound the zone when you are ahead. I was lucky to be able to go out there and go nine.”

Added Texas right fielder Collin Shaw, who was 0-for-4 on Sunday: “He threw a great game. Hats off to him.”

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Garrido said that he had a couple of players come up to him after the game and said that this would not happen to them next season.

Tres Barrera, who was one of those players, thinks the Longhorns will return the pieces next season to do some damage in the NCAA Tournament.

”It’s going to suck going into the locker room not seeing guys like Collin Shaw, Parker French, and all of those guys,” he said. “They are Class A. It’s going to be hard but we have to go back to the drawing board and get back to work. We have a lot of guys coming back, and a lot of young guys that didn’t get to play a lot this year with a lot of talent. It’s going to be fun. We will hit the ground running and we’ll be back next year.”

Every motivating, Garrido told the team after the loss to bottle the feeling they were experiencing in that moment.

”I told them after the game, you know the difference between what it’s like to win and lose now,” he said. “This is going to serve you well the rest of your life because it will. The pain that goes along with it will encourage you to move forward in whatever you chose to be, and you will want to win the game that you are in because of the pain you feel right now.”

Garrido thought this team could have done better even though it needed to win the Big 12 Tournament just to make the NCAA Tournament.

”I think the team is potentially better than that,” he said. “I’m responsible when the team doesn’t play up to its level of potential. I think there is more in there than what happened.”

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Looking ahead to next season, the Longhorns will lose seniors Collin Shaw, Brooks Marlow, Parker French, and Kirby Bellow.

We’ll have to wait and see what juniors Ben Johnson, C.J. Hinojosa, Travis Duke, Chad Hollingsworth, and Ty Cullbreth are going to do.

Hollingsworth battled injury the last two months of the season so odds are he’ll want to prove to scouts that he can stay healthy for a season before making the next step in his career.

The player to really keep an eye on here is Johnson, whose stock has to be on the rise after a first-team All-Big 12 effort this season. The one thing that could draw him back is a sub-par postseason.

Morgan Cooper could end up being the staff ace next season when he returns from Tommy John Surgery, which cost him all of 2015.

Parker Joe Robinson is also a name to know next season. The 6-4, 240-pound freshman was a high school All-American from Coto De Caza (Calif.) JSerra Catholic.

Hard hitting catcher Michael Cantu will also see an increased roll. Having his bat in the lineup on a more consistent basis should provide powerful results.

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