Baseball: Slumping Horns Shut Out In Columbia

It's official. Texas is in a slump. Missouri scored multiple runs in three different innings and starter Garrett Broshuis scattered four hits over 8-1/3 innings while striking out a career-best nine as No. 1 Texas (41-8, 13-6 Big 12) was shut out, 8-0, at Missouri (27-16-1, 6-10 Big 12) Saturday. UT's losing skid now stands at three games as the Horns not only suffered their first shutout loss of the season but also failed to claim their first Big 12 series win of 2003.

The loss, combined with Oklahoma State's extra-inning win over Oklahoma Saturday afternoon, dropped Texas from first place in the Big 12 standings. The Cowboys (29-14, 12-4) own a half-game lead over the Horns, and could extend that lead tonight as they go for a sweep of the Sooners (27-18, 13-7).

Texas starter Justin Simmons (8-2) took the 'L' as his teammates left their bats in Austin, totaling just four hits in 31 plate appearances Saturday. Overall, the Horns have generated an anemic one run on 10 hits in 18 innings this weekend.

A bad-hop single off the bat of Bo Davis and a base hit to left from Lee Laskowski with one out in the bottom of the first followed by a bloop double to left by Cody Ehlers, a sacrifice fly delivered by Ryan Rallo and a two-out, run-scoring double from Jeremy Hernandez staked Missouri to an early 3-0 advantage. Simmons then retired seven in a row, while Broshuis would limit UT to only two singles through the first three frames before working out of a second-and-third jam with one out in the fourth with a strikeout and a groundout. In the fifth, the Tigers tacked on two more runs to push their lead to 5-0 as a leadoff walk to Hunter Mense and a base hit from Wes Helms with one out yielded two scores behind a groundball RBI and a looping double to center field by Laskowski.

Broshuis, meanwhile, set down the next 11 batters he faced to move the game to the bottom of the seventh with Mizzou still up by five before a two-out double by Tyler Williams in the bottom of the frame followed by a Laskowski RBI single made it 6-0 in favor of the Tigers. In the eighth, Missouri, with a double from Jeremy Hernandez, an infield single by Mense and consecutive RBI hits from Gary Arndt and Helms with two outs, all off of Texas reliever Randy Boone, to give the Tigers an 8-0 cushion.

UT stranded two in the fourth, eighth and ninth but for the third game in a row failed to take good advantage of its run scoring opportunities. Every Longhorn starter but DH Ryan Russ struck out at least once, and in both the eighth and the ninth, with two on, Texas batters recorded the second and third out of each inning with strikeouts.

Other than Buck Cody's scoreless middle inning relief, there were few bright spots for the Horns. Taylor Teagarden collected a pair of UT's four hits on the day as he extended his current hit streak to five games. Aside from that, well, there's always tomorrow in what is now a must-win game. The Horns' No. 1 ranking will certainly soon be gone, but salvaging a Sunday win (noon start) will at least keep this team within striking distance of the No. 1 spot in league play.

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