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TEXAS TECH SWEEPS UT SERIES

After going 34 batters without a hit during a stretch from Game 1 to Game 2 of the Longhorns' series with No. 6 Texas Tech, Texas' bats came to life in Game 3 (kind of ... in the first couple innings). But everything else went wrong in an 8-5 Tech victory that allowed the Red Raiders to sweep UT in both teams' Big 12 opening series.

Here's the good news for the Longhorns: next up is a game at Texas State on Tuesday at 6 pm CT.

Oh wait, never mind. Ty Harrington's Texas State Bobcats took two of three from defending national champion Coastal Carolina in San Marcos over the weekend.

As for Texas on Sunday, first-year coach David Pierce made some adjustments to the Longhorns' lineup for Game 3 against Tech.

Pierce swapped OF Tate Shaw, who has the team's best on-base percentage (.556) from the 9 hole to the 2 hole with freshman SS David Hamilton (.160) and started Michael McCann, the team's best batting average (.386), at catcher over ice cold Michael Cantu (.135).

Texas' bats came to life early in Game 3 as the Horns scored two in the first and one in the second for a 3-1 lead.

Texas starting P Blair Henley, who took the loss (2-2) after throwing 65 pitches with 48 for strikes, gave up three singles in the third, and Tech was able to convert them into two runs to tie the game 3-3.

Then, after getting a ground out and a strikeout to start the fourth inning, Henley gave up back-to-back singles, including his fourth hit with an 0-2 or 1-2 count. So with two outs and and two men on, David Pierce decided to go to his closer - Kyle Johnston.

And beginning with that move, everything Pierce did to try to help his team seemed to backfire.

A wild pitch by Johnston to the first batter he faced allowed a run to score. Then, Johnston gave up a walk and back-to-back doubles as Tech scored four runs in the top of the fourth, taking a 7-3 lead and blowing the game open.

Pierce said in that mid-fourth-inning interview on LHN that he took Henley out  because he was allowing "multiple base runners" by giving up (four) hits on 0-2 and 1-2 counts and "didn't feel like he had anything to put 'em away with."

So Pierce said, "We went to the stuff (Johnston), and it didn't work out."

Texas starting P Blair Henley's final line: 3.2 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs (all earned) with 5 Ks and 0 walks. 

Texas scored two runs in the sixth as a sacrifice fly by Hamilton scored Bret Boswell, who doubled to lead off the inning. And a Texas Tech balk allowed Ryan Reynolds, who walked to get on base, to score from third, cutting Tech's lead to 7-5.

Tech's Josh McMillon added a solo homer off of Jake McKenzie in the eighth to round out the scoring.

It could've been worse for Texas as Tech left 10 men on base. Beau Ridgeway came out of the bullpen in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out and got Tech's Connor Beck to ground into a double play to avoid a ton of damage.

Then, Pierce took Ridgeway out for McKenzie, who promptly gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced.

It was that kind of day for Texas (and that kind of series).

Here are some of the numbers from Game 3:

STAT                                                            TECH            TEXAS

Struck Out Looking 1-6 0-4
Reached on Error 0 0
Reached on Fielder's Choice 0 1
Runners Advanced 2 3
Two-Out RBIs 4 1
Left On Base by Batters 10 5
Overall Hitting .375 (15-40) .154 (4-26)
Two Outs .533 (8-15) .125 (1-8)
Runners On .389 (7-18) .250 (3-12)
Runners in Scoring Pos. .333 (3-9) .125 (1-8)
Lead Off .333 (3-9) .444 (4-9)
Runners on 3rd, Less than 2 Out .333 (1-3) .667 (2-3)
Bases Loaded .000 (0-1) 0 (0-0)
Advancement Opportunities .474 (9-19) .529 (9-17

 

NEXT UP FOR TEXAS: ... at Texas State on Tuesday at 6 pm CT. ... Texas State took down defending national champion Coastal Carolina 2-1 in their three-game series this weekend.

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