The win, coupled with Oklahoma State's Friday night loss to Missouri, ensures the Horns a top two finish in the conference race and thus a top two seed in next week's Big 12 Tournament. Texas and Oklahoma are the only teams with a shot at the league title. The Sooners, who the Horns took two of three from OU in Norman earlier this season, finish up with two vs. the Huskers in Lincoln.
Texas can ensure its second Big 12 regular season title in three seasons by sweeping the Aggies as the three-game series now concludes in College Station. Saturday's showdown between the Horns and the Ags, set for 7 p.m. (CDT), will be televised by Fox Sports Net. Short of a sweep, any combination of two UT wins and/or Sooner losses will propel Texas to the league championship.
Longhorn junior LHP J.P. Howell picked up the win for Texas to improve to a career-best 12 wins on the season against two losses while Aggie pitcher Jason Meyer (8-2) shouldered the loss. Although Howell didn't have his best stuff (he walked five and gave up five hits and three earned runs in six frames while fanning four), the Longhorn bats awoke (hallelujah!) in the bottom of the sixth with six runs on five hits to bail him out after giving up three in the top half of the inning.
Texas loaded the bases with one out in the opening frame and left two stranded in the bottom of the third as the game remained a (sloppy) pitchers' duel through five scoreless innings. At that point, Howell had surrendered just one hit while Meyer had retired eight in a row.
The Aggies broke through in the top of the sixth as two singles and a walk loaded the bases before consecutive RBI hits produced a 3-0 A&M lead. But Texas immediately responded in the home half of the frame by placing a runner on second with one done after a fielder's choice bunt was followed by a wild pitch. Will Crouch then laced a double to left-center to break the UT scoreless drought and make it a 3-1 contest. Robby Hudson singled in another run, and consecutive two-out RBI hits from freshman CF Drew Stubbs, 2B Seth Johnston and 1B Curtis Thigpen yielded five runs to put Texas on top, 6-3.
From there, reliever J. Brent Cox surrendered just two walks between the seventh and the eighth innings before giving way to Buck Cody. The junior produced a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the win on Senior Night and to register his second career save.